German Logistics

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  • 17/07/2013 Express-online optimizes freight-vehicles' reloading ... SESAME ACTIVE SYSTEM has developed the pan-European Express-online platform to optimize the loading rate of light commercial vehicles. The company s multi-criteria search engine identifies matches between vehicle journeys and demand for express freight deliveries across 30 European countries in real time, and then puts the interested parties in touch with one another. Express-online represents a win-win innovative solution for both haulage companies and freight forwarders.

    Following the development of international goods traffic across Europe and the integration of new member states into the European Union, the road transportation of goods has grown threefold in Europe over the past 40 years (from 1970 to 2010). In light of rising energy and environmental costs, it is more important than ever to maximize load rates in utility vehicles. Close to 60% of all light commercial vehicles carrying out urgent deliveries come back empty on the return leg of their long-distance journeys: this represents more than 200 million miles travelled in Europe every year.

    In order to address this environmental and economic aberration, SESAME ACTIVE SYSTEM has developed the Express-online platform. The platform offers an online matching service whereby its multi-criteria search engine identifies matches between vehicle journeys, on the one hand, and requests for express freight deliveries, on the other, across 30 European countries. The Express-online service is delivered in real time, putting the interested parties in contact with each other.

    As SESAME ACTIVE SYSTEM points out, this represents a winning formula for both haulage contractors and freight forwarders. Haulage companies often use light vehicles with limited loading capacity. This means that they are unable to find cargos at good rates on the standard freight exchanges for their return journeys.

    In turn, this results in the light vehicles having to go back to base empty. The Express-online platform is particularly well-suited to the needs of haulage companies: it can help them get their reloading requirements met. The platform puts hauliers in contact with freight forwarders with urgent freight-transport needs needs that, more often than not, only involve a few pallets, and which can be addressed easily, as soon as the haulage company s vehicle arrives on site for collection.

    Via the website, the express-freight haulage company gives details of the unladen journey that its light vehicle will be making; the haulage contractor must provide all the vehicle s specifications. The haulage company can then quickly view any reloading opportunities that fit in with its spare capacity and with the route that the vehicle will be following. When the Express-online system identifies a freight/vehicle match, it immediately alerts both the haulage company and the freight forwarder via their respective dashboards, as well as by email if required.

    Each player is then free to contact the other party or not. Unlike traditional freight exchanges, the Express-online servers automatically calculate how far each vehicle has moved in terms of both time (i.e. the length of a journey) and space (i.e.

    the distance covered). The haulage company can also adjust this by itself, in the event of its vehicles being ahead (or behind), as compared with the initial estimates. Because calculations are carried out dynamically, the haulier is able to find suitable reloading opportunities (i.e.

    requests for picking up freight items) in the middle of a journey. Conversely, a warning system alerts freight forwarders of the passage of a suitable vehicle at the required time: then, ordering customers get directly in touch with the carriers. By ensuring that the light commercial vehicles used for deliveries are loaded on their return journeys and not only on their outward journeys Express-online helps to reduce congestion on roads and to cut CO 2 emissions.

    Furthermore, the freight forwarders and haulage companies negotiate the reloading tariffs between them, which represent another benefit for both parties. As a result, the light haulage firm can reload its vehicle (instead of the vehicle going back empty) and the express freight-forwarding company pays between 40% and 50% less than it otherwise would for a standard urgent delivery. Express-online covers all of Europe and the platform interface has so far been made available in English, French, German, Italian and Spanish.

    The website is for freight forwarders as well as hauliers whose paperwork is fully up to date and who specialise in urgent long-distance transport. The specialist haulage companies are also rated for each of the journeys that they make. Their ratings are then posted up on their profile pages, assisting potential customers in their choice of haulage contractor.

    Both the Centre Francilien de l Innovation , i.e. the Paris Region s centre for innovation, and OSEO Innovation , which supports innovative businesses and technologies in France, provided the Express-online website with their support during its development. A patent has been registered for the website by SESAME ACTIVE SYSTEM.

    About SESAME ACTIVE SYSTEM SESAME ACTIVE SYSTEM is headquartered in Nanterre, in the Paris Region. The company has launched the Express-online platform with a view to providing an innovative web-based service that can interconnect and serve transport professionals, more particularly in the express-transportation segment of the market. Thanks to the Express-online service, light commercial vehicles used for express deliveries across Europe can optimize reloading rates, thus cutting the proportion of empty returns.

    This, in turn, reduces road traffic and cuts carbon emissions.

    For further information, please go to: Short URL :

  • 1962 the busing Burgl we General Umzugswagen (02 - Trucker Steve I found a few good freight image : 1962 the busing Burgl we General Umzugswagen (02) the Photo by George Schwalbach (GS1311) Bussing is a German bus and truck manufacturer established in 1903 by Heinrich Bussing (1843-1929) in Braunschweig. Bussing first truck, 2 ton payload using a 2-cylinder gasoline engine, and a worm drive machine. Successful design under license by other companies in Germany, Austria, Hungary and Straker British squire in the future is built.

    Bus it s time to start building a heavy-duty truck before the First World War. These trucks have a 4-cylinder and 6-cylinder engines. (5 tons and 11 tons).

    1923 Bussing first rigid three-axle chassis, used in the upcoming models, and allows the bus to lead the market share of commercial vehicles in Germany. (Wikipedia) mold bus AG wurde von Heinrich Bussing IM Yalei 1903 ALS Heinrich Bussing the, Specialfabrik fur Motorlastwagen, Motoromnibusse and MOTOREN, Brunswick, Elmstra e the gegr ndet and entwickelte SICH Zu einem Germany gr tenAnbieter the von Omnibussen and Lastkraftwagen in the Central European MIT beachtlichen Exporten AUCH back to travel bersee. The the the 1930er Jahrenpr gten Insbesondere seit Gordon mold Omnibusse MIT DEML wenemblemDAS Bild Germany st dtischenVerkehrs.

    The Bussing Valencia Fahrzeuge, Spezialit t von MIT Unterflurmotor.

    1971 wurde DAS Unternehmen Feng MAN bernommen. (Wikipedia) The busing Burgl we General Umzugswagen (01) in 1962 the Photo by George Schwalbach (GS1311) Bussing is a German bus and truck manufacturer established in 1903 by Heinrich Bussing (1843-1929) in Braunschweig. Bussing first truck, 2 ton payload using a 2-cylinder gasoline engine, and a worm drive machine. Successful design under license by other companies in Germany, Austria, Hungary and Straker British squire in the future is built.

    Bus it s time to start building a heavy-duty truck before the First World War. These trucks have a 4-cylinder and 6-cylinder engines. (5 tons and 11 tons).

    1923 Bussing first rigid three-axle chassis, used in the upcoming models, and allows the bus to lead the market share of commercial vehicles in Germany. (Wikipedia) mold bus AG wurde von Heinrich Bussing IM Yalei 1903 ALS Heinrich Bussing the, Specialfabrik fur Motorlastwagen, Motoromnibusse and MOTOREN, Brunswick, Elmstra e the gegr ndet and entwickelte SICH Zu einem Germany gr tenAnbieter the von Omnibussen and Lastkraftwagen in the Central European MIT beachtlichen Exporten AUCH back to travel bersee. The the the 1930er Jahrenpr gten Insbesondere seit Gordon mold Omnibusse MIT DEML wenemblemDAS Bild Germany st dtischenVerkehrs.

    The Bussing Valencia Fahrzeuge, Spezialit t von MIT Unterflurmotor.

    1971 wurde DAS Unternehmen Feng MAN bernommen. (Wikipedia) Days picture Rossco (Image Focus Australia) This F-series trucks for long-distance Yarramalong timber mill timber.

    Related posts: 1962 Ford truck manual cover Nice truck photos Cool burnout image Cool image of the half- Nice disgusting photos Tags: 1962, Burgl we, busing, General, Umzugswagen Category : Truckers pictures

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  • 3quarksdaily: Locomotif: A short survey of trains, music & experiments Locomotif: A short survey of trains, music & experiments by Gautam Pemmaraju I have always loved locomotives passionately. For me they are living creatures and I love them as others love women or horses. Arthur Honegger The influential electronic music artists Kraftwerk, saw their 1977 concept album Trans-Europe Express as a symbol of a unified Europe, a sonic poem enabling a moving away from the troubled legacy of the war, and particularly, of Nazi Germany.

    The spectre of the Reich and their militaristic high speed road construction was often linked to the band s fourth studio album Autobahn, although the band saw it, in part, as a European rejoinder to American keep on trucking songs. The French journalist and friend to the band, Paul Alessandrini, had apparently suggested the idea of the train as a thematic base (See the wikipedia entry): With the kind of music you do, which is kind of like an electronic blues, railway stations and trains are very important in your universe, you should do a song about the Trans-Europe Express . Described as embodying a new sense of European identity , the album was destined to become a seminal work of the band, not just in fusing a qausi-utopian political idea with their sonic aura, at once popular, idiosyncratic and profoundly influential, but also in reclaiming the train , which chugs across borders that had been fought over .

    In response to Kraftwerk s espousal of European integration, band member Karl Batos says here, We were much more interested in it at that time than being Germans because we had been confronted by this German identity so much in the States, with everyone greeting us with the 'heil Hitler' salutes. They were just making fun and jokes and not being very serious but we'd had enough of this idea. The chugging beat, ripe with unlikely hooks, and hypnotic, minimalist arrangements is in ways an ideological amplification of the idea of Autobahn , referencing the transport networks of Germany, and seeking in its propulsive proto electro groove a high speed velocity transit away from the horrors of Nazism and World War II .

    There was, however, as Pascal Bussy writes in Kraftwerk: Man, Machine, Music (1993), a formidable nationalism underlying their somewhat nebulous politics. Kraftwerk believed, as H tter is quoted saying to the American journalist Lester Bangs in 1975, that they were unlike other contemporary German bands which tended to be Anglo-American; they wanted instead to be known as German since the the German mentality, which is more advanced, will always be part of our behaviour . Drawing quite a bit of inspiration from pioneering avant-garde artists such as Karl Heinz Stockhausen, the Italian composer Russolo & the Fluxus Group (which included La Monte Young, Jon Hassel & Tony Conrad), it was actually the Frenchman Pierre Schaeffer that they were directly indebted to, in some manner, with regard to their electronic transport music.

    As Karl Batos reveals in the aforementioned interview, they were following his path , since it was the Schaeffer s Musique Concr te piece using only train sounds that they were referencing. Musique Concr te was a Schaeffer s way of turning his back on music . It was a method of empirically gathering environmental sounds and creating sonic envelopes using these sources.

    In doing so it was in an opposition with the way musical work usually goes , Schaeffer believed, and the process of collecting sounds, concrete sounds , whatever their origin be, was to abstract the musical values they were potentially containing . It was a way of freeing composition from its formalist shackles and reformulating the process of composition, a new mental framework , which saw the shaping of music as a more plastic process. In a 1986 interview (read here), the broadcast engineer who worked for the radio station ORTF, says that having successfully driven out the German invasion in the years after the war, music was still under an occupying power Austrian, 12 tone music of the Vienna School.

    It was this that he wished to reject and seek instead, salvation, liberation if possible . He along with Pierre Henry, in contrast to purely electronic music, developed pioneering modes and techniques of electroacoustic improvisation, wherein naturally occurring and other environmental sounds, any and all sounds , were recorded and then manipulated to create musical compositions. Etudes aux Chemins du Fer (Railroad Study) is often described as an early example of an audio mash-up, and the first one of railroad sounds engines, track sounds, whistles and other associate sounds.

    Described here as audio portraits for the end of the machine age and the beginning of the electronic age , Schaeffer was drawn to external events and impressive machines . He recorded these sounds at several locations, his intention in part, was to remove the original meaning of the sounds. Then using reverse, loop, speed change edit techniques, the final composition became then a surrealist sonic reconfiguration, a sonic collage of sounds, freely collected and organized.

    Schaeffer s ideas were influenced in part by Luigi Russolo, who propounded an elaborate aesthetic theory of noise (see also intonarumori instruments). John Cage s thoughts on noise are also quite extensive, and as Paul Hegarty points out here, all noises can be brought into the realm of something like music, and will drastically increase the remit of sound making and listening . It is this principle, of a broader, unexplored universe of sounds and noise open to exploration and experimentation that underscores the thoughts of Russolo, Cage, Schaeffer, amongst many others.

    Hegarty further points to Cage s increased liking for noise, more than intervals and just as much as single sounds , and Russolo s belief in the richness of noise. In his seminal futurist manifesto, The Arts of Noise (1913), Russolo states that hitherto, musical art had looked for the soft and limpid purity of sound and then sought to caress the ear with sauve harmonies , but it is noise-sound that has brought radical change for, This revolution in music is paralleled by the increasing proliferation of machinery sharing in human labor. In the pounding atmosphere of great cities as well as in the formerly silent countryside, machines create today such a large number of varied noises that pure sound, with its littleness and monotony, now fails to arouse any emotion.

    His evangelical zeal of noise aside, Russolo s points to his belief in the grandness of the machine age, its ability of bring large, transformative change, and of course, the grandness of human endeavour gloriously and emphatically reflected in the image (and noise-sounds) of machines. There is more pleasure, he contends, in the sounds of trolleys, autos and other vehicles than heroic or pastoral symphonies . Though Beethoven and Wagner have deliciously shaken our hearts in the past, now we are fed up with them , Russolo explicates in his grand manifesto.

    As the music journalist Paul Morley writes here, Russolo s manifesto provided the name for the experimental British band fronted by Trevor Horn, who Morley christened as Art of Noise. In pushing the boundaries of defining what music could be, Morley writes that Russolo's influence was path breaking and that he "helped create a musical landscape all the way from experimental classical music via avant-rock to electronic pop . Fuelled further by jazz innovations, and the avant garde ideas of Stockhausen and Cage, Russolo s legacy goes a long way, in particular, influencing the way technology was used (and abused) to mix sound and noise and, All great radical modern music made by humans and machines mixing noise and nature is Russolo's great dream of industrial sound come to life.

    Everything in his head could eventually be produced in a modern recording studio. Russolo was far more flexible than the futurist guru Filippo Marinetti, Morely points out, who rejected the musical (and artistic) past with great ceremony. Marinetti s intense nationalist fervour, his militant, fascist tone, the base upon which his ideas were formed, are more than evident in this translation of the founding of Futurism and the writing of the manifesto, wherein after a sleepless night of discussions and drafting with friends when for hours we had trampled our atavistic ennui into rich oriental rugs, arguing up to the last confines of logic , having written that they would destroy the museums, libraries, academies every opportunistic and utilitarian cowardice , the last point of their incendiary manifesto declares, We will sing of great crowds excited by work, by pleasure, and by riot; we will sing of the multicolored, polyphonic tides of revolution in the modern capitals; we will sing of the vibrant nightly fervor of arsenals and shipyards blazing with violent electric moons; greedy railway stations that devour smoke-plumed serpents; factories hung on clouds by the crooked lines of their smoke; bridges that stride the rivers like giant gymnasts, flashing in the sun with a glitter of knives; adventurous steamers that sniff the horizon; deep-chested locomotives whose wheels paw the tracks like the hooves of enormous steel horses bridled by tubing; and the sleek flight of planes whose propellers chatter in the wind like banners and seem to cheer like an enthusiastic crowd.

    Equally dissatisfied with traditional music, and also desiring some kind of freedom from the shackles , Feruccio Busoni authored a paper titled Sketch of a New Aesthetic of Music in 1907. As Thom Holmes writes in Electronic and Experimental Music (2008), after encountering Thaddeus Cahill s prescient electronic musical device the Telharmonium, he immediately grasped the relevance of the achievement to his own quest for a means of creating microtonal music . Besides, he also immediately understood, Holmes reveals further, the special relationship between inventors and musicians : I almost think that in the new great music, machines will be necessary and will be assigned a share in it.

    Perhaps industry, too, will bring forth her share in the artistic ascent. Francesco Pratella, another futurist ideologue, in 1911, wrote his own manifesto against traditionalism, intellectual mediocrity and commercial baseness , and unfurling to the freedom of the air and sun the red flag of futurism , he thereby issued a call to young composers to embrace adventure and new ideas. As Holmes points out, Pratella was interested in atonality, and the use of semitones, and to crush the domination of dance rhythms , but it would be his follower Russolo who would take this thought further, and build his noise-making machines.

    Amongst the Intonanumori that Russolo built in collaboration with painter Ugo Piatta, which produced a families of sounds, from roars, whistles, whispers, screeches, material noises, and voices, there was one, which Holmes writes of, that was meant to imitate the sound of an automobile engine starting. Russolo and Marinetti staged the first futurist concert in 1914, and described the reaction of the incredulous public as showing the first steam engine to a herd of cows . As Holmes writes, in a 1922 interview Russolo had said, speed and synthesis are the characteristics of our epoch , once again pointing to the the likely marriage of electronics with music .

    Russolo s ideas caught the fancy of many, who saw great possibilities of experimentation. Arthur Honegger s 1923 orchestral work, Pacific 231, inspired by a steam locomotive, is an early example of the fusing of some of these ideas. Edgard Var se (from Charlie Parker to Frank Zappa, he had a long list of admirers; see here) who knew both Marinetti and Russolo, took the cue.

    Holmes points out that although disappointed by the iconoclastic music being made by the futurists, he was very taken by the possibilities. Using dissonance and atonality, his musical experiments was energized , Holmes writes on, with striking rhythms, clash of timbres, and unusual combinations of instruments , and the underlying thought is revealed in this quote: I prefer to use the expression organized sound and avoid the monotonous question: But is it music? Organised sound seems better to take in the dual aspect of music as an art-science, with all the recent laboratory discoveries, which permit us to hope for the unconditional liberation of music, as well as covering, without dispute, my own music in progress and its requirements.

    Composers and inventors alike were seeking such liberating ideas, and what with the likes of Lee De Forest, Vladimir Baranoff Rossin , Jorg Mager, Leon Theremin, Maurice Martenot and Robert Moog who created exciting new inventions, and experimentalists such as George Antheil (see Ballet M canique), John Cage and Stockhausen, but a few stars in the grand firmament of musical argonauts, the early promiscuous entanglement between music, art and technology was to eventually, over the decades, result in noisy fornication in the open. The programmatic futurism of the early 20 th century is now a distant problematic, moderated by the unfolding of history; and the wars, the onset of the electronic age, the digital age, have radically transformed these early experiments, extricating them in some sense, from their original ideological moorings. Simplistic attributes have given way for keen and oftentimes, playful conceptualism.

    In search of lost silence , John Cage embarked on a musical train journey in 1978, creating an improvised concert on a train over two days in Bologna. Alvin Curran reconstructed this in 2008. Steve Reich s piece for strings and tape, Different Trains , first performed by the Kronos Quartet uses recorded voices as melodic elements, aside from other experimental techniques.

    It plays with memory reconstruction and the composer has mentioned holocaust trains in association. There are several other interesting experiments linked to trains, not merely evocations of memory, sensory experience, or reflected abstractions but also quirky conceptual formulations. A more one dimensional concept , is Entfernte Z ge , or Distant Trains (1983), a musical sculpture by Bill Fontana, set in a field where once stood one of the busiest pre-war train stations of Europe, the Anhalter Bahnhof.

    There is also Australian scientist and sonic artist Alan Lamb s 2006 installation Loco Motivus project, which involved a found Aeolian harp (see my piece on aural mapping and 'found' instruments) using wayside telephone wires at Pindari, a farm near Wagga, NSW. The performance was conducted on an eight-carriage train, and as it pulled into a silo sliding, the sounds of the wires were transmitted to the train via CB radio. Lokofon is another notable example by Norwegian musician/artist Espen Sommer Eide, which involved a set of soundworks by different artists on the northernmost train railroad in the world.

    One artist, Anton Nikkel , the curator of this work informs me, lectured on Russian railroad construction while propaganda music was playing in the background. Alexander Chen s reimagining of the NY Subway Map (Massimo Vignelli s 1972 diagram) as a set of strings, is a fabulous interactive work, wherein the trains (or imagined graphic ones at least), become the performers, as the artist puts it. The subway train is recreated in another visually provocative and striking video piece, titled Dynamics of the Subway, by Japanese artist/designer Keita Onishi, wherein geometric shapes propel the formation of the composite sound and visual.

    Trains have long inspired great music (not to mention art and literature as well). From classic American railroad folk songs and ballads, blues, jazz, rock and pop (see this exhaustive list and this Smithsonian Folkways collection), not to mention Hindi film songs, there is a vast array of music linked to trains (alert readers will possibly point to more). Emory Cook, the inventor and recording engineer, made a series of recording of trains in New York, titled Rail Dyanamics (1950).

    A limited express Japanese train is called Sonic. There has been a long fascination with the great machines, and what trains have represented and inspired, has been in part, the ability to metaphorically travel with pulsating vigour, a sort of propulsive, percussive march to newer ground. With freight and fireball, express and bullet, electric and ghost, it is perhaps the freedom train that is most obviously emblematic of the journey to newer artistic thought and expression.

    Posted by Gautam Pemmaraju at 12:30 AM | Permalink

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  • A New Debate Emerges: LNG or CNG for the Long Haul Amidst the constant discussion of plentiful domestic natural gas and its use as a transportation fuel, an unusual technological and philosophical debate has emerged. Those familiar with the industry know that until recently, fleet managers considering the conversion from gasoline or diesel to natural gas had basically two options: compressed natural gas (CNG) was the choice for any return-to-base, short mileage vehicles, and liquefied natural gas (LNG) was the option for long-haul on-highway Class 8 trucks, also known as tractor trailers or semis. The reasoning behind this was relatively straightforward, and more or less a product of a few issues inherent to gaseous rather than liquid fuel (energy density, tank storage capacity, re-fueling time).

    However, due to a variety of innovations, a paradigm shift may be under way. In comparing alternative fuels to gasoline or diesel, a major consideration is the relative energy density and associated cost, weight and size of on-board fuel storage. For natural gas, when compressed, its energy density is only about a quarter that of diesel, and when liquefied just 60% of the energy density of diesel.

    Therefore, either option requires greater fuel storage capacity to achieve a comparable range, which means more and/or larger tanks. Compared to CNG, LNG contains 2.4 times more energy per diesel gallon equivalent (DGE). Moreover, since LNG, like diesel and gasoline, is a liquid, one could achieve comparable refueling speed, whereas the level of compression required to fast-fill with CNG is very high (~3,600 psi).

    As a result, for the long-haul trucking sector, the energy density and associated cost(s), weight and on-board storage capacity of LNG have long been viewed as the more attractive, viable option. Relatively recent advances in tank storage capacity and fast fill refueling technology have allowed room for debate as to whether LNG really is the only natural gas option for the long-haul trucking industry. To best highlight the philosophical nature of this emerging debate, it may be best to look at two of the leading natural gas refueling infrastructure providers, Clean Energy Fuels (CLNE) and Trillium CNG (TEG subsidiary), each of which has taken an opposing view on this topic.

    Clean Energy was the first mover in the industry and is now by far the largest provider of natural gas refueling infrastructure in the US. They are betting big on the fact that CNG is the choice for local urban fleets (refuse vehicles, delivery trucks, etc.) but that LNG is the option for long-haul tractor-trailers. Alternatively, Trillium CNG, along with their partners at AMP Americas, a Chicago-based investment firm, strongly believe that CNG should be the choice for all heavy-duty fleets, regardless of distance traveled or route.

    Without commenting on which approach is better, the following will help to explain each company s thought process. CNG and LNG are both proven forms of natural gas storage, with distinct advantages over diesel and gasoline when used as a transportation fuel. To produce CNG, natural gas is taken directly out of the United States' expansive network of natural gas pipelines, whereas LNG must be cryogenically liquefied to -260 degrees F (to become a liquid) and often must travel via ground transportation (tanker truck) to stations across the US.

    With pipeline access, LNG can alternately be produced from the gas grid through MMLS (movable modular liquefaction system) units. On-site, CNG is compressed immediately and enters a truck in a process that is almost identical to traditional fueling practices, from the driver s perspective. On the other hand, LNG requires drivers to wear a mask and gloves to protect themselves against cryogenic burns.

    For the Class 8 truck sector, Trillium/AMP have made the decision to build CNG stations because, in their words, it is a cheap, simple and safe way to transport and store natural gas. They have also found that the additional simplicity of CNG over LNG makes it an easier product to maintain, as well as a less expensive product to produce. For example, according to their general pricing model and marketing materials, on average, end users of CNG gain a $.48 advantage over LNG, for a product that works equally well, has less associated hazards and a greater built-in infrastructure across the US.

    Alternatively, Clean Energy has invested heavily in LNG infrastructure, including two liquefaction facilities, to supply their network of 150 existing refueling stations and more in the works that they refer to as America s Natural Gas Highway. While the production and transport of LNG require greater technical expertise and significantly more capital than for CNG, LNG cost savings are realized on refueling infrastructure/operation. This is primarily a result of the high electricity demand/cost required to achieve the compression necessary for a fast-fill CNG station.

    There is also greater flexibility in where a station can be located (no need for natural gas pipeline access) and in future expansion of existing stations. For more on Clean Energy s take on this debate, you can watch their CNG vs. LNG educational video here.

    In either case, the technology is fully commercial, if not mature, so the debate is rooted primarily in economics. Regardless, the pace of innovation across the natural gas industry has been astounding over the past decade, from extraction processes, to refueling infrastructure, fuel storage and engine technology. So although the rapid rate of natural gas vehicle adoption may intensify this fuel debate, both options are viable and economically/environmentally superior to diesel for the Class 8 sector and time will tell which option is truly best suited for the long haul.

    While the question at the pump may well be, liquid or gas, the one thing that is clear is that NGVs of all sizes are here to stay!

  • A Start of Somethin' German.... | MyFDL I ve started this rant many of times and have since deleted its message and congested word babble. I ve since decided to start with a story, you know, those good ole fashion things that many people talk about which usually leads to comprehension and smiles. I was once told, or maybe I read it somewhere, the best way to grab someone s attention is to tell them a story.

    This goes back further in time, maybe even to the beginning of time where our time was spent around a fire, talking of stories and myths that helped us get to where we are today. So this is where I remain, in a fractal called today. We pushed off from our little humble home in the southern hills of Germany.

    My son and I. Just the two of us, sorry I am not purposely trying to get that song stuck in your head, but you re welcome. We cruised down the street toward the railroad tracks.

    The sun was bright and the wind light upon our faces, for we were trekking along the wooded road. My son loves the shaded view, letting the light peak through at certain little points, and then flicker to shade and so on. It s almost mesmerizing, like looking out a car window racing down a highway going 75.

    Except today his father was trucking at an intense speed of .12 mph. I don t walk, I stroll. I ve also been told to enjoy a walk at least once a day, by yourself .but I m sure this little story is an exception.

    Letting the mind ease into the scenery, I somewhat lost that weighted feeling of being on Earth. I noticed the life around me, the light and the little things that constantly work around us without our knowledge nor our consent. The birds and the bees were busy today.

    Here in Germany, I would say, almost every town is dissected by railroad tracks and all of them are connected by a single paved road that is kept for bikers and walkers. A brilliant planning scheme I must say, allows those bikers their space and the beautiful scenery of the rolling hills throughout the endless pastures. As my mind wandered I noticed a simple yellow leaf falling from the heavens, it spun like a helicopter blade, lower and lower and landed softly at my son s leg.

    Luckily he didn t notice it, probably one of the few things he didn t notice on the day, but it lay there in silence. I wonder what the odds are of that happening, as well as the forgot about small little detail of a swallow pooping on my right arm as we began our trek down the windy road. Is getting pooped on really good luck?

    I guess that s up to the person and their experience, which to me, I m going to take as a good sign, why wouldn t I? Why wouldn t I take everything that happened to me, regardless of my societal blinders, as good luck or a good omen? So many moving parts in that little scenario, me walking, my arm holding the stroller s handle, a swallow circling above, the wind lightly blowing .and yet somehow, someway, its little present fell through a space that connected us, and in turn did connect us in a very very loving way.

    It reminds me of the day I was mowing the grass back in Texas. It was a hot ass day and I was probably 16 or so, doing my chores because that s what kids do I guess. Mowing the grass, listening to my Paul Simon cassette on my headphones, and all of a sudden I felt a wet drip down my back.

    Looking to the sky for rain, I didn t find any kind of clue as to what the hell it was. Stopping Paul through his Graceland, I marched inside for a second opinion. My mother informed me that it was the longest bird poo she d ever seen.

    It had somehow .again .someway ..found its way between my shirt collar and my skin, which was probably less than an inch, and hit my spinal highway. This to me is one of the most amazing poop stories in history, or at least my history ..hat tip to the bird, you sir, or madam are one skillful pooopeer. Anyways, we cruised along this path.

    My mind racing as to how to form the beginning of a series of emailed thoughts on how to think for yourself. This subject has perplexed me in a myriad of ways, but nonetheless I have walked with this idea for quite some time. The answer came through a story, to write upon your life, and let others view and experience it through their own eyes and minds.

    Let them walk with you and your racing mind and heart, let them hear your story, for it is the only one that you know so well. These are my days, walking along these different roads, some paved, some graveled, all of them give me the insight toward the living beings alongside me you know, what others call nature. This is the beginning of a story with an insider s view upon my life and wonderings, I am not here to change the world, I am here to change myself, with the tools that I have been given, and the ancestors who walk with me each and every day.

    I talk to them you know, when the wind touches my face, cascades down my handlebars, and they tell me, you sir, are ridiculous and the universe is enjoying that little spice, so keep them handlebars bushy. We often stop at my son s great grandmother s house, she is usually at home, either in the yard tending her vast network of living green things or shuffling around the house doing who knows what. Germans are good for that I believe, they have a deep engrained belief that everyone should be working or doing something.

    Enter stage left, American stay at home dad with handlebars and a goofy grin. I throw curveballs, lots of them. We sit in her kitchen, she boils water for the Nescafe we re about to enjoy.

    Coffee here in Germany isn t what it is in Kona, Hawaii .but I digress, it s the little things, and Nescafe puts a perfect burn to my lips when I m smiling and watching my son crawl all over her while I listen to her nonstop German as she tells him to look here Kainoah look, look. Or of course, probably one of the more famous German words, nein meaning no. She has also called him a kleine schmeizer, which I m told roughly translates to little pooper ..again back to the poopin terms .

    I love watching her wrinkles on her face move as she smiles with him. It reminds me of certain childhood memories I had with my great grandmother. I have always felt a deep connection to these times and this woman, for I sang Icelandic with her, her native tongue, and brought a few tears of joy, probably the only such positive feedback I have received from my singing .but alas, the universe is open for sung and written words.

    I ve also stumbled across some writing that say the words are not the prayer. The feeling that your body has in reaction to the words spoken .is in fact the prayer. Ladies and gentlemen, there are many things inside all of us that we have no clue about, my life has somewhat crossed into subjects such as these for I feel as though the entirety of humanity needs a few voices, a few thoughts that run in an opposite direction.

    I guess I shall part now, get ready for my soccer practice that keeps the sausage pounds at bay. From my knowledge of living in another country and being subjected to a foreign language, I can surmise, that sometimes things don t cross over across languages, some words in German have no real meaning in English and vice versa. Which also puts a thought of how many different languages are out there, how many thoughts and feelings are bubbling all over the world right now, in this instant.

    There are however, many more similarities than differences in this wonderful human family we consist of.

    Lets start by reinforcing those as well as our basic nature of love, that we re all hardwired for ..and never forget to dream.

    All the love to you all, with a dash of bird poop for good measure .

  • A&R International chooses Krone Code XL | Haulage Today on Jun 16, 13 by admin with No Comments A&R International Haulage, based in Grays Essex, has added three sliding roof Krone curtainsiders to its fleet. The Profi Liners come with Code XL certification which, says the company, is a prerequisite for permissible transport operations in Europe. Contracted to Uniserve, the largest privately owned freight and...

    A&R International Haulage, based in Grays Essex, has added three sliding roof Krone curtainsiders to its fleet. The Profi Liners come with Code XL certification which, says the company, is a prerequisite for permissible transport operations in Europe. Contracted to Uniserve, the largest privately owned freight and logistics provider in the UK, A&R International deliver predominantly to French, Belgian and Dutch destinations and insist on the high standard of trailer construction and loading capability to which the EN code 12642 XL applies.

    Gone are the days when any curtainsider would do says Rob Scriven, A&R s founder and Director. We not only need trailer strength but also loading flexibility to a high safety standard and in this regard Krone s multi lock system comes into its own. Take for example a typical load comprising 9 tonne Eurostar transformers.

    These are crane loaded through the roof and then lashed into position using the multi-lock side rave. This has strapping points every few inches along its length, each of which has a two tonne rating and if you use two points, then naturally it doubles to four tonnes. We secure fore and aft of each transformer on each side which gives us 16 tonnes.

    It is safe and beyond question, legal. Groupage Flexibility Furthermore, the system allows A&R to handle groupage loads such as pallets or IBCs with equal flexibility and consideration to weight distribution. In this regard, the trailers are specified with front lifting axles which automatically engage over 16 tonnes, thus saving on tyre wear and fuel.

    Rear steering axles are also fitted to aid manoeuvrability and reduce tyre scrub. For UK operations, A&R s 11-strong tractor fleet provides an unaccompanied pick up and reload trailer service from eastern ports, including Immingham, Hull, Harwich, Dover and Purfleet. From Owner- Driver Beginnings Established in 1978 by Rob Scriven, A&R International has built a reputation for quality service based on its in-depth knowledge and experience of the transport industry.

    Above all continues Rob, we are committed to our operating licence and maintain the most stringent maintenance and inspection procedures to ensure first time MOT passes and minimum need for corrective work. Anything which we can t deal with in our in-house workshops is referred to Volvo or Krone, who provide solid backup at any hour of the day or night. Krone s European service network is also there if we should need it.

    Manufacturing plant secures the deal Our trailers will work hard for at least eight years says Rob and therefore we needed a combination of durability and flexible loading to ensure minimum down time and maximum return on investment for the business.

    To this end, I was impressed by everything I had heard regarding Krone s credentials but it was not until I visited their trailer plant in Germany that I was convinced.

    The impressive level of automation and build quality left me in no doubt

  • A&R International chooses Krone Code XL | HGV Ireland A&R International Haulage, based in Grays Essex, has added three sliding roof Krone curtainsiders to its fleet. The Profi Liners come with Code XL certification which, says the company, is a prerequisite for permissible transport operations in Europe. Contracted to Uniserve, the largest privately owned freight and logistics provider in the UK, A&R International deliver predominantly to French, Belgian and Dutch destinations and insist on the high standard of trailer construction and loading capability to which the EN code 12642 XL applies.

    Gone are the days when any curtainsider would do says Rob Scriven, A&R s founder and Director. We not only need trailer strength but also loading flexibility to a high safety standard and in this regard Krone s multi lock system comes into its own. Take for example a typical load comprising 9 tonne Eurostar transformers.

    These are crane loaded through the roof and then lashed into position using the multi-lock side rave. This has strapping points every few inches along its length, each of which has a two tonne rating and if you use two points, then naturally it doubles to four tonnes. We secure fore and aft of each transformer on each side which gives us 16 tonnes.

    It is safe and beyond question, legal. Groupage Flexibility Furthermore, the system allows A&R to handle groupage loads such as pallets or IBCs with equal flexibility and consideration to weight distribution. In this regard, the trailers are specified with front lifting axles which automatically engage over 16 tonnes, thus saving on tyre wear and fuel.

    Rear steering axles are also fitted to aid manoeuvrability and reduce tyre scrub. For UK operations, A&R s 11-strong tractor fleet provides an unaccompanied pick up and reload trailer service from eastern ports, including Immingham, Hull, Harwich, Dover and Purfleet. From Owner- Driver Beginnings Established in 1978 by Rob Scriven, A&R International has built a reputation for quality service based on its in-depth knowledge and experience of the transport industry.

    Above all continues Rob, we are committed to our operating licence and maintain the most stringent maintenance and inspection procedures to ensure first time MOT passes and minimum need for corrective work. Anything which we can t deal with in our in-house workshops is referred to Volvo or Krone, who provide solid backup at any hour of the day or night. Krone s European service network is also there if we should need it.

    Manufacturing plant secures the deal Our trailers will work hard for at least eight years says Rob and therefore we needed a combination of durability and flexible loading to ensure minimum down time and maximum return on investment for the business.

    To this end, I was impressed by everything I had heard regarding Krone s credentials but it was not until I visited their trailer plant in Germany that I was convinced.

    The impressive level of automation and build quality left me in no doubt Get this week's top trucking story direct to your mobile phone for less than 50 cent per week Subscribe Now Tags: Krone XL

  • Alaska: Avalanche on the Haul Road! Click through the image for more photography from recent Dalton Highway avalanches in the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner courtesy of Ed Davis. Never a dull moment on the Haul Road, Alaska s Dalton Highway through ultra-rugged terrain out to Prudhoe Bay oil operations. Six-to-eight recent, rather odd slush avalanches, the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reported over the weekend, led to what you see in the photo above, one of at least two such instances involving haul rigs in Atigun Pass.

    No one was injured in either of the cases, fortunately, but it points to the myriad dangers driver face there, made apparent for many around the world in recent years, of course, in the Ice Road Truckers series. (Season 3 followed drivers operating there, as did, in part, Seasons 5 and 6.) One Haul Road regular who s impressed her magnanimity upon an array of U.S. humanity well beyond the trucking world, Carlile Transportation driver Lisa Kelly, is the subject of a feature in this month s Overdrive , well on its way to subscribers mailboxes. (Also included in this issue: profiles of our Most Beautiful contestants, strategies for coping with the California emissions regulations, custom rigs and plenty of discussion of the new hours rule, set to go into effect July 1.) Kelly is back on the Ice Road Truckers show with the new season, starting up this Sunday on History, this time around running new routes on Canadian ice roads in Manitoba. Stay tuned to the site here for the full feature about her, going live tomorrow and tracing her path toward trucking through childhood motocross racing, pizza delivery, school bus driving and on to the growing trucking veteran s role she seems to be playing on the show.

    For now, here s a look at the June cover (below) to tide you over.

    Hopefully no chance of an avalanche where you are.

    Stay safe out there!

  • Alberta truckers facing driver shortage | Alberta Edition Troy Media Tags: Alberta's Business, Business - Jobs Translation December 10, 2012 CALGARY, AB, Dec.

    10, 2012/ Troy Media/ We see them roaring up and down Alberta s highways all of the time but we usually don t think too much about the contribution that freight trucking makes to the economy. But without it we d have a hard time moving much around. Total operating revenue for trucking companies in Alberta in the final quarter of 2011 (the most recent data available) was $2.18 billion a new record high.

    At the same time, total operating expenses were $1.88 billion. That left the total profit margin at about $300 million, or just about where it was in the same quarter a year previous. Wages, salaries and benefits for employees make up about 26 per cent of the total operating expenses for truck transportation companies.

    Fuel costs make up only 18 per cent of operating expenses: however, fuel costs have gone up by more than half between the start of 2009 to the end of 2011. That represents the fastest growing cost component for truckers. Other expenses such as insurance and capital depreciation accounted for the rest.

    But, for many trucking companies in Alberta, the biggest problem they are facing is a shortage of available and qualified drivers. As in many industries, the average age of truckers in the province is rising steadily. And as the experienced hands start to retire, fewer young people are moving into careers in trucking to take their place.

    That could push wages up even higher for companies down the road as they seek to offer salaries competitive with other industries. | ATB Financial Read Alberta s Business This snapshot is FREE to use on your websites or in your publications. However, Troy Media Alberta Edition, with a link to its web site, MUST be credited. To leave a comment, scroll down Troy Media Contact Us to interview or book one of our columnists.

    Click here to access Troy Media s Hi-Res photo library. You require a password to access our Photo Gallery. If you don't have one, click here.

    Discover the Troy Media Advantage

  • American Freight Trucking EASTLINK GLOBAL LOGISTICS HONG KONG CHINA 812B, 8th Floor, Hong Kong Plaza, 181-191 Connaught Road West, Hong Kong M17 1HH Map It EastLink is a global shipping agent based in Asia proactively striving for excellence while offering logistic services to its customers worldwide.

    EastLink proudly offer all types of sea freight logistics

  • An Update On The Situation In Greece | Internet Millionaire Articles By Mark Anastasi Yesterday we arrived on the Greek island of Santorini in the Cyclades, with newlyweds Steven and Corinna Essa. This place is stunning. Definitely a must for your list of travel destinations.

    Of course, the first thing our group of five laptop entrepreneurs did was connect to the Wi-Fi to check our sales and check our emails. It never gets old to open your laptop, connect to the Internet, and see that even while you re traveling or sleeping your websites, memberships, autoresponders, or webinar replays are making you money. In the evening, we walked on the picturesque cobbled streets of Oia, and sat at a taverna for some drinks and a bite to eat.

    The situation in Greece I hadn t visited Greece in a couple of years, and the atmosphere around the place has changed dramatically. In Athens, foreigners are greeted with words like, I hope you re not Germans . (there s a strong anti-Germany sentiment in Greece at the moment, because of the job-destroying austerity measures that the EU -led by Germany s Angela Merkel- are demanding). The country is in its fifth straight year of recession.

    Every year for the past five years the economy has been contracting. In the past 2 years Greece s population has declined by 500,000. More than 1,000 Greeks are emigrating abroad every day, and last year 6,000 doctors left the country.

    One taxi driver was fuming because the government liberalized the taxi profession, and the taxi license he had paid 230,000 euros for was now only worth 70,000 euros. Another taxi driver told me he lost 580,000 euros in 2010 because he owned 5 trucking licenses, and they liberalized that profession and suddenly all his licenses were worth zero. Everyone is reeling from the massive price increases and tax increases.

    The taxes are now added to your electricity bill. If you don t pay your bill, they cut off your electricity. Meanwhile, the incidents of gangs of Kalashnikov-wielding criminals breaking into people s houses and stealing whatever they can is becoming an almost daily occurrence.

    Meanwhile, in the political life of the country, little has changed. It is the same corrupt officials that are now back in power, after a little bit of reshuffling of the cabinet positions. At the insistence of the European Union, at least the government relented and put the former Defense Minister Akis Tsohatzopoulos in jail.

    e had been paid over 2 billion euros (!) in bribes from defense contractors, including many German arms companies Billions more were paid in bribes to Greek politicians by building contractors and various vested interests in the buildup to the Olympic Games in 2004 and the nationalization of many key industries in Greece. Some people made billions from buying these assets cheaply, politicians got rich, and now the Greek people are left with massive tax hikes and debts they can t possibly ever repay. I spoke to a few Greek youths, over the weekend.

    Some had just finished their studies, and their job prospects looked bleak. I told them about my book, and they got excited about the possibilities that being a laptop entrepreneur can open up. Corinna X, for example, got fired from jobs 5 times, before she decided to start her own Internet business.

    A year later she now has a monthly recurring income of over $11,000 a month. Perhaps I should organize a seminar in Athens sometime With what is happening around the world, you need to have the mobility to move abroad if circumstances dictate it and continue your business uninterrupted. If there ever was a time to be a laptop entrepreneur, it is now.

    What are you waiting for?

    Want more?

    Grab my free reports and videos on

  • An Update On The Situation In Greece | Online Business Articles By Mark Anastasi Yesterday we arrived on the Greek island of Santorini in the Cyclades, with newlyweds Steven and Corinna Essa. This place is stunning. Definitely a must for your list of travel destinations.

    Of course, the first thing our group of five laptop entrepreneurs did was connect to the Wi-Fi to check our sales and check our emails. It never gets old to open your laptop, connect to the Internet, and see that even while you re traveling or sleeping your websites, memberships, autoresponders, or webinar replays are making you money. In the evening, we walked on the picturesque cobbled streets of Oia, and sat at a taverna for some drinks and a bite to eat.

    The situation in Greece I hadn t visited Greece in a couple of years, and the atmosphere around the place has changed dramatically. In Athens, foreigners are greeted with words like, I hope you re not Germans . (there s a strong anti-Germany sentiment in Greece at the moment, because of the job-destroying austerity measures that the EU -led by Germany s Angela Merkel- are demanding). The country is in its fifth straight year of recession.

    Every year for the past five years the economy has been contracting. In the past 2 years Greece s population has declined by 500,000. More than 1,000 Greeks are emigrating abroad every day, and last year 6,000 doctors left the country.

    One taxi driver was fuming because the government liberalized the taxi profession, and the taxi license he had paid 230,000 euros for was now only worth 70,000 euros. Another taxi driver told me he lost 580,000 euros in 2010 because he owned 5 trucking licenses, and they liberalized that profession and suddenly all his licenses were worth zero. Everyone is reeling from the massive price increases and tax increases.

    The taxes are now added to your electricity bill. If you don t pay your bill, they cut off your electricity. Meanwhile, the incidents of gangs of Kalashnikov-wielding criminals breaking into people s houses and stealing whatever they can is becoming an almost daily occurrence.

    Meanwhile, in the political life of the country, little has changed. It is the same corrupt officials that are now back in power, after a little bit of reshuffling of the cabinet positions. At the insistence of the European Union, at least the government relented and put the former Defense Minister Akis Tsohatzopoulos in jail.

    e had been paid over 2 billion euros (!) in bribes from defense contractors, including many German arms companies Billions more were paid in bribes to Greek politicians by building contractors and various vested interests in the buildup to the Olympic Games in 2004 and the nationalization of many key industries in Greece. Some people made billions from buying these assets cheaply, politicians got rich, and now the Greek people are left with massive tax hikes and debts they can t possibly ever repay. I spoke to a few Greek youths, over the weekend.

    Some had just finished their studies, and their job prospects looked bleak. I told them about my book, and they got excited about the possibilities that being a laptop entrepreneur can open up. Corinna X, for example, got fired from jobs 5 times, before she decided to start her own Internet business.

    A year later she now has a monthly recurring income of over $11,000 a month. Perhaps I should organize a seminar in Athens sometime With what is happening around the world, you need to have the mobility to move abroad if circumstances dictate it and continue your business uninterrupted. If there ever was a time to be a laptop entrepreneur, it is now.

    What are you waiting for?

    Want more?

    Grab my free reports and videos on

  • Astatalk - Euro Truck Simulator 2-FiGHTCLUB download release Download Euro Truck Simulator 2-FiGHTCLUB | 552 MB Excalibur Publishing is pleased to announce that we ll be partnering with developer SCS Software once again to publish Euro Truck Simulator 2. SCS are the leading experts in the trucking sim genre and have developed such hit titles as UK Truck Simulator , SCANIA Truck Driving Simulator The Game and of course the original Euro Truck Simulator . Euro Truck Simulator 2 offers an unrivalled trucking experience with a massive amount of content that will keep you playing for many months or even years!

    Prove your skills in manoeuvring these impressive vehicles and take on a selection of delivery contracts across an incredible amount of European cities! A phenomenal amount of work has gone into this title from the creation of a European map that has taken years to create, an in depth business management section and high quality graphics that are a feast for the eyes! Features: Take to the wheel in over 60 cities set across Europe including England, Belgium, Italy, the Netherlands, Germany, France and more!

    Thousands of miles of real and well-known road networks. Hundreds of world famous landmarks and structures that can be seen when touring Europe. Customise your rig in a variety of different ways ranging from performance to purely cosmetic.

    Get behind the wheel of fully licensed trucks from several real life truck manufacturers. Start your own trucking business and watch it develop, even as you perform your own deliveries. Earn experience to unlock new missions.

    Make use of the fully functional GPS system to help you reach your destination. Explore the map to discover new truck dealerships. Expand your own delivery fleet by purchasing more powerful trucks.

    You have to login or register to post comments.

  • ATDynamics Launches TrailerTail Rear-Drag Aerodynamics ... HANNOVER, GERMANY (Marketwire Sep 17, 2012) Internationale Automobil-Ausstellung ATDynamics, the leading global supplier of semi-trailer rear-drag aerodynamics technology, announced today that it will provide its market-proven TrailerTail aerodynamics technology to the European trucking market. Ten thousand TrailerTails have operated 500 million kilometers on U.S. highways, saving the U.S.

    trucking industry seven million liters of diesel to date that would otherwise be wasted overcoming the aerodynamic drag experienced by box-shaped semi-trailers. ATDynamics is working with European regulators, trailer manufacturers and trucking fleets to ensure the compliance of maximum efficiency TrailerTail technology with EU highway regulations. ATDynamics will demonstrate TrailerTail technology in booth # 25 A08 from September 18-27, 2012 at the Internationale Automobil-Ausstellung (IAA).

    The company is also hosting a press conference as follows: ATDynamics: TrailerTail to Save Fuel for European Trucking Fleets Date: Tuesday, 18 September 2012 Time: 9:30 a.m. Place: Convention Center Messe Hannover, Room 107 ATDynamics is entering the European market with two TrailerTail technologies: a 50-centimeter device called TrailerTail Eco 50 that will be compliant with European regulation Directive 97/27/EC, which is expected to be passed in November 2012 and the longer, safer and more efficient 122-centimeter device used in the United States, marketed as the Eco 120 in Europe. ATDynamics is strongly encouraging European regulators to allow a minimum 122-centimeter length exemption for rear-mounted aerodynamic devices.

    ATDynamics estimates that the European continent would increase its fuel bill by EUR 2,6 billion annually by only permitting the 50-centimeter device. Pilot units are currently available to European trucking fleets. Building a sustainable global transportation system will require rapid innovation and significant international collaboration, said Andrew Smith, CEO of ATDynamics, Inc.

    TrailerTail is a proven technology which can be implemented immediately by the international community and we look forward to continued work with trucking fleets, trailer manufacturers, regulators, environmental groups and safety advocates to re-invent the shape of the modern semi-trailer. TrailerTails adopted on the two million long-haul semi-trailers operating across Europe would reduce transport carbon emissions by nine million metric tons annually and would save hauliers an estimated EUR 5 billion in diesel fuel per year. TrailerTails add additional safety benefits by improving vehicle stability in high winds, reducing spray in wet weather and creating a collapsible crumple-zone at the rear of trailers to reduce fatal rear-impact collisions.

    The 122-centimeter TrailerTails have demonstrated five to seven percent fuel savings at highway speeds in multiple SAE Type 2 J1321 (Fuel Consumption Test Procedure) tests conducted by independent third party testing organizations in the United States. The fuel economy of ATDynamics TrailerTail Eco 120 was also tested in Europe earlier in 2012 through a partnership with TNT Express and leading Dutch trailer aerodynamics company, Ephicas, in which six percent fuel savings were reported over a five-month testing period. Using a patented, origami folding design, TrailerTails collapse automatically out of the way when a driver opens the rear doors of a semi-trailer to access cargo.

    The devices are made of flexible, lightweight thermoplastic composite materials, can be installed by two people in less than one hour and are available for new trailers or retrofits. Drivers can collapse TrailerTails against the rear doors of a semi-trailer to eliminate additional vehicle length in high traffic areas. About ATDynamics, Inc.

    ATDynamics is the leading global supplier of semi-trailer rear-drag aerodynamics technology. Its flagship rear-drag reduction technology, TrailerTail, was first released in 2008 and is part of a suite of products engineered to reduce the fuel consumption of the freight transportation industry. Based in Hayward, California, ATDynamics is the recipient of numerous innovation awards and is a founding member of the North American Council for Freight Efficiency.

    ATDynamics is an affiliate of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) SmartWay Transport Partnership and is a key partner in the U.S. Department of Energy funded SuperTruck initiative.

    For more information visit: ** Note to Editors: High-resolution photos are available at

  • Atlantic Truck Show (07-08 June 2013),Moncton,Canada Bucharest Auto Show and Accessories 10-20 October 2013 Romaero Baneasa, Bucharest, Romania Seattle Auto Show 16-20 October 2013 CenturyLink Field & South Lake Union, Seattle, United States Of America Autocomplex 23-25 October 2013 Expocentre Fairgrounds, Moscow, Russia Saint-Petersburg International Auto Transport Forum Expo Conference 24-27 October 2013 Lenexpo Exhibition Centre, St.

    Petersburg, Russia Doors and Closures in Car Body Engineering Conference 13-14 November 2013 Dolce Bad Nauheim Hotel, Bad Nauheim, Germany International Conference on Automation and Intelligent Manufacturing Cape Town Conference 20-21 November 2013 Cape Town Lodge Hotel and Conference Centre, Cape Town, South Africa

  • B

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  • Barrington Freight Blog: French relocating to Belgium to avoid taxFrench Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault has described the decision of film star Gerard Depardieu to move to Belgium to avoid higher taxes as "shabby". He suggested that Depardieu's move to the small town of Nechin, just over the border from the French city of Lille, was unpatriotic at a time of cutbacks. Nechin's mayor revealed this week that Depardieu, 63, had taken up home there.

    Some of France's wealthiest citizens are feeling victimised by the Socialist government, a BBC correspondent says. There is a general disgruntlement in business circles over the tax rates, the BBC's Hugh Schofield reports. Luxury goods magnate Bernard Arnault made headlines three months ago when he announced plans to relocate to Belgium, denying it was for tax reasons.

    Belgian residents do not pay wealth tax, which in France applies to individuals with assets above 1.3m euros ( 1m; $1.7m), starting at a rate of 0.25%. Nor do they pay capital gains tax on share sales. Next year, the top rate of income tax in France is due to become 75% on earnings above 1m euros.

    It is currently 50% in Belgium. ==================== Call or email for a freight quote today.

    Call us now on 01268 525444 or click here to email us Labels: freight to france, trucking to france

  • Barrington Freight Blog: Full loads to GermanyToday we have quoted for a full load from of packaging from Peterborough to Frankfurt in Germany. We distribute thousands of full truck loads a month between the UK and Germany. Our German full load experts are well experienced in finding the best solution for availability of trucks and competitive pricing.

    We utilise our network of accredited hauliers to find the nearest truck to avoid empty running and the impact on the environment. We can help you with full loads for - * Mega trailers to Germany * Euroliner trailers UK to Germany * Box trailers for secure transport * Express vans for urgent dedicated loads. Whether you need a euroliner to Dresden or a dedicated Sprinter van to Munich, we can help.

    Call Simon Poole or Matt Everard TODAY with your requirements.

    Call us now on 01268 525444 or click here to email us Labels: dresden, full loads to germany, mega trailers to germany, muncih

  • Barrington Freight Blog: Haulage from Germany to the UKToday we are arranging the collection of 3 pallets from Frankfurt to Berkshire. Germany is the UK's biggest trading partner and is our most frequent freighting destination. We can collect all over the UK for onward haulage to all parts of Germany.

    So whether it be Manchester to Munich, Fulham to Frankfurt, Cardiff to Cologne or Bradford to Berlin we have the whole thing covered!

    Call us today for - Economy deliveries to Germany Groupage from East Germany to the UK Import from Germany to UK Full load haulage to Germany Express vans from Germany to Wales Next day delivery to Scotland to Germany Pallet service to Germany Machinery transport from Germany Mega trailers to Germany Urgent shipments from Germany to the UK Tel - 01268 525444 Labels: full load haulage to germany, import from germany, mega trailers to germany, pallet service to germany

  • Barrington Freight Blog: Haulage from Spain to the UKThis week we have been asked to quote to ship an urgent pallet from Barcelona to Wickford Essex. We are often asked to provide freight costs from Spain to the UK. We work with many UK importers bringing tiles, olive oil, clothing, machinery and other manufactured goods from all parts of Spain to the UK.

    We have full coverage of Spain and Gibraltar for imports and exports. We can help you with Spanish haulage for part loads, pallets, full loads and urgent express shipments. Our Spanish depot locations include - Barcelona, Alicante, Madrid, Irun, Valencia, Bilbao, Malaga and Murcia.

    We have trucks leaving Spain daily so fast deliveries are not a problem!

    Call +Matt Everard for a Spanish delivery quote today!

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  • Big trucking companies ready to shift to natural gas across the US Sales of natural-gas powered big rigs could jump as much as fivefold this year as falling prices for both natural gas and the carbon fuel tanks required for such trucks come down, the Wall Street Journal says. Lowe's, Procter & Gamble, UPS and PepsiCo are among the major US companies that have gone on record saying they're expanding their fleet of trucks that can run on either compressed natural gas (CNG) or liquefied natural gas (LNG). For instance, UPS is buying 1,000 natural-gas trucks by year-end, and P&G, whose fleet is about seven percent natural gas, is looking to boost that figure to 20 percent by 2015.

    FedEx wants 30 percent of its long-distance trucks to be powered by natural gas by 2023, while engine makers like Cummins Westport and Volvo are adding products to the market. As a result, as much as five percent of new heavy-duty trucks may be natural-gas powered in 2013, up from about one percent last year. CNG sells for about $1.50 a gallon, less than half the $3.87 price of diesel last week.

    That means that, even with a carbon fuel tank boosting the price of a $120,000 rig by another $40,000 or so, a trucker that typically gets about six miles a gallon and drives about 100,000 miles a year, could pay back the extra cost in about two years. Already about 60 percent of new garbage trucks in the US will be natural-gas powered this year. Those drivers will be helped by an expanding network of CNG stations across the country.

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  • Blessing the Trucks | Car Talk RAY: This was sent in by Ed Win from Palmyra, Pennsylvania. Ed writes, "Flashback to summer 1942. The British are battling the Germans and Italians for control of North Africa.

    In one of the towns under British control is an Italian civilian named Tony Cardiello. Tony refuses to submit to the British demand that they use his trucking company to transport supplies. Always willing to negotiate, the British confiscate the trucks and throw Tony into a detention camp.

    Move ahead now to the late '70s. Here I was, out of college three years, doing the only thing that a political science grad could do to earn a living: driving a truck. It was a cold winter in 1978 -- we experienced many mornings with the mercury at minus 20.

    In those conditions, diesel engines just didn't want to start. As it turns out, Tony Cardiello was the morning mechanic for this trucking company. He was the one we turned to when our big rigs wouldn't get up and go.

    Tony taught us that if a truck wouldn't start, we should leave enough juice for him to give it a second try. His first question for us was always the same: 'Did you bless the truck?' We said, 'No, we didn't bless the stinkin' truck.' Upon hearing that, Tony would walk over to the stubborn truck, face the bulldog ornament on the hood, and make the sign of the cross. Then he'd say, 'Start the truck!' Nine out of 10 times the truck would kick over and we'd be on our way." So the question is, how'd Tony do it?

    Think you know?

    Drop Ray a note!

    Car Talk Puzzler

  • Boreal Agrominerals mines natural fertilizer for organic growers ... The unrefined ore contains a unique blend of calcium, magnesium, potassium and phosphorous as well as micronutrients, trace elements and rare earths essential for healthy soils. Boreal Agrominerals sold 50,000 tonnes of Spanish River Carbonotite in 2013 from its Spanish River quarry, 60 kilometres northwest of Sudbury. A new northern miner is feeding the soil of North America s organic farms, gardens and flowerbeds.

    Boreal Agrominerals Inc. is digging Spanish River Carbonatite from its quarry 60 kilometres northwest of Sudbury and selling bulk quantities to organic farmers in Michigan, Ontario, New York, Massachusetts, Vermont and Quebec. A natural fertilizer, the unrefined ore contains a unique blend of calcium, magnesium, potassium and phosphorous as well as micronutrients, trace elements and rare earths essential for healthy soils.

    An alternative to conventional chemical fertilizers, the fine rock particles improve soil structure and help grow more nutritious and bountiful crops. We work with the largest organic farmers east of the Mississippi, said John Slack, Boreal s chief executive officer. For more than a decade, carbonatite from the company quarry has been applied on more than 60,000 hectares of farmland.

    Fruit, vegetable and cereal crop growers attest to its efficacy for improving soils and producing higher quality crops and better yields. The customer base we have today has been buying our product for 13 years, Slack said. These are rather smart farmers and if it didn t work, they wouldn t be buying it.

    Carbonatite deposits exist on every continent. They have a variety of industrial uses but are predominantly used in agriculture. Carbonatites normally have a propensity to contain minerals with uranium concentrations, but the Spanish River deposit is unique because it does not have those attributes, said Slack.

    It makes it ideal as a direct agricultural amendment for our markets, which are certified for organic food production. Spanish River Carbonatite is tested and approved for use on certified organic crops and is a registered fertilizer in Canada. John Slack, CEO, Boreal Agrominerals.

    A graduate of the Haileybury School of Mines, Slack prospected for minerals in northern British Columbia and Yukon for more than 10 years. When the junior mining industry collapsed in the late 80s and early 90s, he took over operation of the family farm, a 300-acre cow-calf operation in Erin Township, northwest of Toronto. His father, Malcolm Slack, a renowned mining engineer and executive, had bought the farm and, with John in charge, they transitioned it to certified organic production.

    Since they couldn t use conventional fertilizers, they focused their attention on carbonatite. Airborne geophysics performed by the Ontario Geological Survey originally found the 350-acre Spanish River deposit. When evaluating the site, Malcolm Slack viewed it as a potential source of metallurgical calcium for the mining industry and as fertilizer for organic agriculture.

    He was truly a visionary, said John. The concept that we re utilizing to this day is something that my father thought about for the better part of 25 years. Operating as Agricultural Mineral Prospectors Inc., the Slacks acquired the deposit in 1994 when organic agriculture was in its infancy, but growing very quickly.

    They licensed the quarry and found a market for their carbonatite without having to build an expensive calcine plant. We took the path of least resistance where we could finance this entirely ourselves and we started a family business, supplying this unique product to organic farmers. Boreal Agrominerals is a private company, formed by John Slack and partners in 2012.

    It secured a 25- year mining lease, quarry permit and the ongoing business from Agricultural Minerals Prospectors. Boreal employs a contractor to excavate carbonatite and truck it to a stockpile in Dowling, part of the Cityof Greater Sudbury. When Boreal gets an order, the carbonatite is simply screened and trucked directly to the farm.

    Most growers buy it in 40-tonne truckloads for $55 a tonne, and apply as much as 500 kilograms or more per acre. The company entered the consumer market last summer, selling 4.5 kilogram and 20 kg bags, branded as Volcanic Minerals Plus , at more than 60 retailers and nurseries in Canada and the United States. Because it didn t get its bags out until late June, it missed the start of the gardening season and is still assessing and adjusting its marketing strategy.

    It is currently developing a onekilogram bag to sell for less than $10, said Boreal president Paul Pitman, a geologist and resource consultant. Boreal outsources excavation, trucking and bagging of its product. The company estimates the Spanish River deposit holds a historical ore reserve of 2.8 million tonnes to a depth of 7.5 metres.

    With 2013 sales pegged at 50,000 tonnes, it aims to eventually sell 147,000 tonnes annually, 10 per cent of all fertilizer for certified organic acreage in the United States. At that rate, it could have enough ore to last 20 years. As part of its strategic plan, Boreal expects to confirm its ore reserve and build a plant in Sudbury.

    We re working with some fairly substantial distributors of organic rock dust products in the United States that are asking for specific mineral commodities. From this (Sudbury) facility, we ll be able to concentrate calcium, phosphorous, potassium and magnesium-bearing mineral species that fit into their proprietary fertilizers, said Slack. Although there are other carbonatite deposits mined for agricultural uses around the world, Slack does not view them as competition.

    The industry is growing exponentially, he said.

    Certified organic production is the fastest growing sector of agriculture, expanding 10 to 15 per cent annually for the past 20 years, he noted. Tagged Agricultural Mineral Prospectors Inc., Boreal Agrominerals Inc., geophysics, Haileybury School of Mines, John Slack, junior mining industry, Malcolm Slack, Organic food, Paul Pitman, Sudbury,

  • British soldier turned ice road trucker dies in Alaska Highway plunge ... A former British soldier turned ice road trucker has died following a crash on the reports the Calgary Sun. Brett Colley, a 45-year-old father from Bewdley, Worcestershire, when driving through the Pink Mountain area of northern B.C. on Nov.

    13 when his truck plunged off the highway. The fatal crash is still under investigation by the RCMP and his trucking company, H&R Transport, according to the Sun report. I knew him very well he was a great guy, absolutely.

    He was very dedicated to the company and to his family, said Mike Weir, safety boss at H&R Transport in Lethbridge. He ll be missed. According to the Sun, Colley became enthralled with the idea of trucking in the Great White North after watching the television show Ice Road Truckers, and ultimately moved to Lethbridge to realize his dream.

    Colley s funeral will take place this week back in England, after H&R Transport helped to return him to his family back home, including his Russian wife Svetlana and four-year-old son Misha.

  • C

  • California Drought Forces Fisheries to Truck Salmon Smolts to Sea ... Every year between late March and early June, roughly 30 million Chinook salmon make their way from five Central Valley hatcheries to the Pacific Ocean. This year, however, these young salmon called smolts face a perilous journey due to California s enduring drought. Drought conditions in California mean that there isn t much rainfall or snowmelt to convey young salmon to the ocean.

    Photo credit: Roger Tabor/ USFWS In order to ensure that the Chinook make it all the way to the sea, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) and the U.S.Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) have adopted a drought contingency plan to transport salmon smolts closer to the Pacific Ocean in tanker trucks. Trucking operations began yesterday. If you are a baby salmon, the name of the game is to get from the river where you were born to the ocean, explains John McManus, executive director of the Golden Gate Salmon Association, an organization that aims to protect and restore California s Central Valley salmon habitat.

    Well, these fish are not great swimmers when they are four inches long, so the way they have evolved in nature is they get flushed out to the ocean. How do they get flushed? They get flushed from the rainfall or the snow melt.

    Unfortunately, drought conditions in California mean that there isn t much rainfall or snowmelt to convey young salmon to the ocean. The drought also means less sedimentation in the rivers. Salmon rely on the murky water caused by sedimentation for camouflage and protection, and are left vulnerable to predation by larger fish and birds in clear water.

    According to McManus, these factors combine to create extremely hostile conditions in the river. CDFW and USFWS, which, combined, run five hatcheries for fall-run Chinook, will try to circumvent this hostile environment by loading young salmon into tankers and trucking them several hours downriver. This is not unprecedented for CDFW the state agency trucks between 8 million and 14 million fish on an average year but this year CDFW will truck an estimated 18.4 million fish. (The USFWS will truck another 12 million.) It has been done before, says Harry Morse, an information officer with the CDFW.

    The state Department of Fish and Wildlife has trucked up to 18 million or more salmon several times over the last two decades, but usually only during circumstances that are very severe like this drought. The USFWS, which runs the Coleman National Fish Hatchery in Anderson, California, rarely employs trucking to move salmon smolts, generally releasing them from the hatchery to swim downstream to the ocean. The severe drought, however, has forced their hand the Coleman hatchery is much further upriver than the state-run hatcheries, and hatchery managers are concerned the majority of fish wouldn t survive the in-river migration.

    Trucking 30 million salmon is no small undertaking. According to McManus, a tanker truck can hold anywhere from 100,000 to 140,000 smolts. Assuming that each truck transports an average of 120,000 fish, the effort will require 250 trips.

    When they arrive at San Pablo Bay, the salmon will be released into nets where they will spend a few hours recovering from the ride and adjusting to their new surroundings before being released with the outgoing tide. Though experts agree that trucking is the best option this year, the plan is not without its downsides. Salmon make a smell map as they exit the river system.

    This map imprints in their brain, and allows them to navigate back to their birthplace several years later to spawn. Without making the down-river migration as smolts, salmon never have a chance to develop this map and may have a harder time finding their way home. State-run hatcheries are not particularly worried about the loss of smell maps.

    They have relatively high return rates of salmon that are released in the Bay. The federally operated Coleman hatchery, however, is located higher upriver, which means salmon have farther to swim back to their spawning grounds and more opportunities to get lost on the way. The big concern is that when you truck them, you interrupt the imprinting cycle so when they return as adults, they can t find their way back to Coleman National Fish Hatchery, says Bob Clarke, fisheries program supervisor at the USFWS.

    Besides leaving the hatchery with fewer eggs in the spawning season, hatchery managers are also worried about the impact that fall-run hatchery Chinook may have on fall-run wild Chinook. One of the things we try to do as hatchery managers is minimize the impact of our hatchery fish on wild spawning fish, says Clarke. When hatchery fish don t find their way back to the hatchery to spawn, they may displace or breed with wild fish.

    Other hatchery managers, however, are less concerned. There has been a history of mixture of stocks for about as long as the hatcheries have been in existence, says Morse, from the state run hatcheries. None of these systems since we dammed all of them off are pristine.

    Given the severity of the drought, it seems that Californians will have to accept these risks and accept salmon trucking as the best option. You are almost guaranteed that you won t get your fish back if you release them at the hatchery because of the hostile conditions in the river, says McManus, underscoring this point. The best shot you have this year is to truck them.

    Related Content: Organic Standards Lowered for Livestock in Drought-Ridden California Hundreds of California Businesses Band Together in Face of Devastating Drought California Farmers Demand Fracking Moratorium

  • CALL FOR PAPERS: Alternative Clean Transportation Expo June 24 ... Home Requests for Speakers Proposals, Washington DC The goal of ACT Expo is to inspire increased implementation of alternative fuel and clean vehicle technologies in all vehicle markets from passenger vehicles to heavy-duty trucking. The conference will provide attendees with a keen understanding of the many economic and environmental opportunities created by the use of alternative fuels and advanced vehicle technologies. ACT Expo 2013 will again attract a national and international audience of key stakeholders across all areas of alternative fuels (electric drive, natural gas, renewable fuels, propane, hydrogen, biofuels) and clean vehicle technologies.

    Interested parties should submit presentation abstracts within the following categories: Funding programs Infrastructure planning and development Transportation policy and Planning Air quality management Vehicle, equipment, or component manufacturing and supply Emission control solutions SmartWay transport Telematics/GPS technologies Fleet operations and maintenance Renewable fuels (production and Policy) Purchasing and procurement strategies Case studies/best practices analysis Financial and operational modeling Conversion technologies Academic studies/initiatives Fuel supply and economics Engineering Funding or project finance Real world end-user success stories and project economic data are areas of particular focus for this summit.

    What to Submit Abstracts 1-2 pages in length should be submitted to ACT Expo organizers no later than December 14, 2012.

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  • Cartels only have negative impact upon the consumers benefit | Law ... Introduction: The object of the competition policy, which is adapted in India, is to create a business environment where the firm can compete with each other and there should be always enough opportunities for the new firm to join the competition with the existing firms. Such kind of policy always promotes efficiency, means it gives an opportunity to the firms to increase their efficiency to do better business and earn better profit and also maximize the welfare of the people of the society because in such type of market position the people have enough choice in their hand in buying goods or services. The main problem of a competition friendly market is some activities of the existing firms of the market.

    Very often these firms started to collude to their competitor or forcing the competitors to go out of the market or buying out the competitors. We can find all these activities of the firms in our Competition Act 2002. Section 3, 4 and 5 of this Act says about the anti competitive agreement, abuse of dominance and combination and merger respectively.

    I have divided project into six parts, like introduction with hypothesis and issue, historical background, what is cartel under Indian Law, examples of cartels in India, provisions in Indian Law to detect cartels and at last the suggestion and conclusion of my project. Hypothesis: Cartels only have negative impact upon the consumers benefit. Issue: How the cartels work in the Indian market?

    Chapter 2 Historical background: Before the present Competition Act 2002, The Monopolistic Trade Practice Act 1969 was there. The MRTP Act 1696 was enacted in pursuant of a report submitted by Monopolies Inquiry Commission , which was setup by the Govt. of India to review the economic condition of India with regard to the concentration of the economic power to some private entities and also to examine the affect of the monopolistic and restrictive trade practice in India.

    With the changing of time it is felt that some change should be to the MRTP Act, because many new concepts, like globalization, liberalization etc, are coming, for which India has to change its business policy within and also outside of its jurisdiction. So the Competition Act 2002 is come into force. This new law is mainly came into force by the recommendation of the Raghaban Committee report, a committee set up by the Govt.

    of India, headed by S.V.S Rghaban. A committee, called Competition Committee of India (CCI) is also constituted under the present Competition Act 2002. The main functions of this committee are as follows: To eliminate practices having appreciable adverse effect on the competition.

    To encourage and sustain competition. Preserve consumer welfare. Maintain freedom of trade carried on by the other traders in Indian market.

    Chapter 3 What is cartel under Indian competition law? I have restricted myself in section 3 of the Competition Act, because it deals with the anti competitive agreement and cartel is a special kind of the anti competitive agreement The word anti competitive agreement means an agreement entered by two or more firms of the market to prevent either directly or indirectly other firms from entering into the market or even try to exclude them. The effect of such kind of agreement is always to curve out the competition from the market.

    There are two categories of the anti competitive agreement, horizontal and vertical. Horizontal agreement: It is an agreement entered between competitors operating at the same level of the production process i.e, enterprises engaged broadly in the same type of activity, for example agreement between producers or sellers or retailers dealing with same kind of goods. In this kind of anti competition agreement, there shall be a presumption of Appreciable Adverse Effect on Competition (AAEC).

    Means it shall presume that whenever there is such type of agreement, there will always be an adverse effect on the competition. The burden of disproving is upon the defendant. These types of agreements include the followings: Agreement regarding price fixation.

    Agreement relating to market allocation. Agreement relating to bid rigging. Agreement relating to limiting or controlling the product and supply market, technical developments, investments etc.

    Vertical agreement: It is an agreement between non-competing undertakings operating at different level of manufacturing and distribution process, for example, agreement between producers and whole sellers or between producers, wholesalers and retailers. Here the irrebuttable presumption of the AAEC cannot be taken to be account; the rule of reason comes into play for determining the nature of the agreement of this kind. Means you have to apply your reason to determine the adverse effect of such agreement upon competition, it is also true that for vertical agreements, the test differ in case to case.

    As cartels are a kind of horizontal agreement, so to examine cartels, first we have to know about the characteristics of the horizontal agreements. No particular form is required for such kind of agreements, but results should be as such which is not permitted under the Act. So the circumstances of the agreement and word exchanged between the parties, telephones, messages etc are considered as evidence of the conspiracy.

    Whether the means used to accomplish the agreement is lawful or unlawful is not matter at all, the thing is to be taken into consideration is the object of the agreement should be unlawful, means it should prevent or restrict the competition in the market. Cause or likely to cause adverse effect is important for anti competitive agreements. Two things are important in this regard, one is adverse effect, means the consequence of the said agreement should be adversely affect the competition( U.S v.

    Griffith ) and second thing is the intention of the parties to the agreement, but alone intention is not enough, there should be some overt act to give effect to that specific intention ( Ashton v. CIR). Effect doctrine is the other characteristic of anti competitive agreement in Indian competition law.

    It means the anti competitive agreement should have some adverse effect in India. In Haridas export v. All India float gas manufacturers the commission says that It is immaterial in this regard that where the agreement is interred into by or who are the parties of the said agreement, if that particular agreement has some adverse effect on the Indian market that is enough for considering that agreement as anti competitive.

    An anti competitive agreement may be entered between the parties by concerted practises , such type of practise exists when there is a informal cooperation without having any formal agreement. In this regard one case called ICI Vs. Commission is really has great importance, which says about the difference between the parallel behaviour and the concerted practice.

    It also says that parallel behaviour is not amount to concerted practice, but it may act as a good evidence of the concerted practice. If there are some conditions in any competition, which, after giving due consideration to the nature of the market, considered as against the normal rules of the market, then it may presume the presence of the concerted practise . Section 2 (c) of this Act define cartel , it says that cartel includes an association of producers, sellers, distributers, traders or service providers who, by agreement amongst themselves, limit, control or attempts to control the production, distribution, sale or price of, or, sale in goods or provision of services.

    The main features of cartel are given below: There should be an agreement, including arrangement and understanding. The parties to this agreement should be engaged in trade of same or identical goods or services. The agreement should be aimed at to limit or control or attempt to control the production, distribution, sale or price of goods or services.

    Cartel is nothing but a formal association of manufacturers or producers, who tries to limit the competition or to impose restriction on trade or business. The definition of cartel given under this Act is very wide in nature; it includes both trade and competition, which have some anti competitive effects upon the market. Cartels may form for any or all of these given purposes: To share an agreed or uniform price of the goods or services in the market.

    For the market sharing arrangement. Both of these above mentioned objects. The main thing is that a cartel is always aiming at in improving the position of the profit of the members of it.

    Cartels are per se bad. It not only includes acts preventing or restraining the trade or competition, but also any attempt to do such type of restrains. To include attempts in the category of cartels, there are some conditions to be fulfilled, There should be some intention to commit such type of offences.

    Some over act should be done to accomplice that intention. The overt act must have some direct relation to the act intended. Chapter 4 Examples of cartels in India: Soda ash cartel: Alkali Manufacturers Association of India v.

    American Natural Soda Ash Corporation is very important. This cartel was related to soda ash. Before formation of this cartel, there were 6 producers of soda ash, they were acting independently, after formation of this cartel they started to produce soda ash and supply them throughout the world in a very cheap rate.

    For this reason the local producers of different nations started to face difficulties to survive in the competition. In Indian also the same problem occurred. The Government of India charged a very high rate of anti dumping duty upon this cartel.

    Cement cartel: Now a day, a great boost is going on in the real estate industry in India. In this event, a great cartel was formed in the cement industry, as cement is the most needed component of the real estate business. In the year of 2000-2001 near about cement industry of India like, Grasim, lafarze, birla and many more entered into a cartel resulting prise control in Indian market.

    A complaint was filed to the Competition Cpmmittee regarding this. According to this complaint mainly in the city of Jabbalpur, the price of the cement increased significantly. The complaint also alleged about a concerted practice among the cement giants regarding the price fixation and it also gave detail of a minute report of a meeting where this concerted practice was carried on.

    The MRTPC ordered the 9 cement giants and the CMA to refrain from such activity like price fixing. If we make a close look to the condition, we can find that in March 2006 the production exceed the demand and the quarterly cost of production was also decline. In the mean time there was a sudden increase of the price by more than 11% in a month.

    In the absence of any solid reason behind such increase, we can say that there was a tacit cartel between the cement manufacturer regarding price fixation during that time. ATF cartel: The RIL has filed a complaint to the competition commission of India against the Public Sector Undertakings dealing with aviation turbine fuel. RIL alleged that they formed a cartel at the time for bidding for the ATF.

    PSU like IOC, BPCL, HPCL all were engaged in that cartel. RIL wanted to enter into the business of supplying the ATF to the Jet Airways, but for this cartel it failed to do this. Cartel in Road Transport: Road transport is considered as lifeline of the economic growth of any country, so India is not the exception to this.

    We can take example of Germany s Autobhan, which makes a revolutionary change in the economic position of this country by connecting the major cities with the remote villages. At the beginning the road was considered as public matter and exclusively made by the Government, but with the changing of the time it is not possible for the Govt. to take all the responsibilities regarding the road transport, there is also a factor of investment.

    Particularly for the maintenance and for investing more fund with the increasing demand private and foreign investors come into the picture. Competition starts between them. There is no doubt that this road transport sector of India is huge and also very profitable, so the investors starts to inter into anti competitive agreements and also bid rigging, which are totally prohibited under the Competition Act 2002.

    There are also instances of entry barriers, resulting territorial allocation of contracts, which are also prohibited under the Act. Illegal competition is also going on with the raw materials needed for the road construction, like steel, roads, cement etc. Proper road transportation system is required for better implementation of the socio-economic policies of the country.

    It also affects the price of the goods. So, the CCI should make appropriate provisions to give a check and balance method to control the anti competitive activities in road transportation system. Railway cartel: In the very recent time it comes into picture that in Indian Railway a cartel is going on regarding the seats of the compartments.

    Previously foam was used to make these seats. Suddenly the RDSO, which is the research and development wing of Railway shifted to a new material called recron for making seats. It comes to know from an investigation that the recron seats take Rs.

    50000 for one compartment, whereas the foam made seats charged Rs 18000 per compartment, the investigation further says that this recron is not suitable for the Indian weather also. The whole supply of the recron is given to two suppliers, without calling a tender for that and these two suppliers charged near about 200% more than the market rate of the recron seats. So, there is no doubt that these two vendors of recron act as cartel and the RDSO would never make any doubt regarding this.

    Another type of cartel in Railway can be found in Competition Commission of India v Steel Authority of India Limited and another , this case was filed by one company against the SAIL, alleging that it entered into an exclusive agreement with Indian Railway for supplying of steel for the railway track. Trucking cartel: Trucks are considered as the lifeline for the transportation of goods in India. In a country like India, transportation of goods plays a vital role in determining the price of goods.

    In this sector also we can find a huge cartel, which was consisted by some of the truck operators. They fixed the fare of the truck transportation and restrained the other truck operators to compete with each other regarding the price fixation. As a result of this there was an abnormal increase in the transportation cost, which leads to increase the price of the respective goods, causing detriment to the consumers.

    The MRTP Commission gave a cease and desist order to some of the truck operator union but as there was no provisions regarding penalties, so there were no penalties for these operators . Vitamin cartel: It is an international cartel, but affected India also. During 1990s some pharmaceutical companies from Japan, France and Germany entered into a cartel regarding the fixation of the price of the vitamins throughout the world and also made some division of market for vitamin throughout the world.

    This cartel was continued for a period of near about 10 years. Then France came out from this and coordinates with the US to restrain this cartel. France paid a huge amount as fine for this.

    India also faced a great loss for this cartel, but in the absent of any provisions relating to the oversee jurisdiction, no penalty was imposed by India . Chapter 5 Harms caused by the cartels to the consumers: It is a worldwide accepted notion that cartels have negative effects to the consumers. If we take example of any of the international or national cartels, we can find that the effect of such cartels is an extraordinary price high of the respected goods or services.

    There are at least 30% to 40% price high occurs due to formation of any cartel. The people have to pay that high amount to avail that respected good or service, though actually that goods cost more less than what the consumers have to pay. So, it is considered as a great detriment to the consumer welfare.

    Busting a cartel: If we go through the provisions of the Indian Competition Law, we can find that there are many provisions relating to cartel detection. The related sections are as follows: Section 19 which says about the grounds of enquiry in certain agreements. Section 26 which says about the procedure of the inquiry.

    Section 27 says about the orders which may be passed by the Commission. Section 32 says about the extra territorial jurisdiction of the Act. Section 33 deals with the power to issue interim order.

    Section 36 gives a clear idea about the power of the commission to regulate its own procedure. For the rectification of orders you can go through section 38. Section 39 says about the execution of order of the commission imposing money penalty.

    Section 46 is one of the most important sections regarding cartel detection. It says about the lesser penalty process of the commission. It should be read with the regulation which gives minute detail of this system.

    Section 48 says about the liability of the company and its members regarding contravening of any of the provisions of the Act . Chapter 6 Conclusion and suggestion: For detecting a cartel, the competition authority should have some extraordinary power, such as: Most of the cartels are formed in secrecy, so the competition authority should posses some special features to detect a cartel, means, they have had something more than what a general investigation agency have. More units of Competition Authority should be formed, with a special wing for cartel detection.

    More importance should be given to the leniency programme and also to the whistle blowing system. Huge penalty should be imposed, with criminalization of the persons involved in a cartel. Focus should be given to the presence of any arrangement in the market, and not upon the consequences of such arrangement to the economy.

    The Director General of the present Competition Committee has given a very wide power, which includes all the power of a Civil Court and also all power of inspector under section 240 and 240A of the Company Act. The Director General now has a wide power regarding search and seizure; he can make a search even without prior notification to the person against whom the allegation has made. As most of the evidences of such type of cartels are kept in computers, so in the investigation committee, the persons should have good knowledge of .

    Among all these suggestions some are already included in the Competition Act 2002 in India and the rest should be included to get a better result for detecting cartel, as cartels are the main impediment in the way to perfect competition. How do you rate the quality of the essay above? Thanks for letting us know!

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  • Chevron CEO: Policies show risk of high energy prices is greater ... NEW YORK, N.Y. - Chevron CEO John Watson notices something important as he visits his company's operations around the globe: Governments everywhere find high energy prices much scarier than the threat of global warming. And that means the world will need a lot more oil and gas in the years to come. To meet that demand, Chevron is in the midst of an enormous cycle of investment aimed at extracting oil and gas from wherever it hides in the earth's crust.

    Chevron Corp., based in San Ramon, Calif., is the second largest investor-owned oil and gas company in the world, and the third largest American company of any type as measured by revenue and profit. Over the last year, Chevron has earned $24 billion on revenue of $231 billion. Every day, the company produces the equivalent of 2.7 million barrels of oil and gas, mostly outside the U.S.

    Next year Chevron will invest $33 billion more than it ever has to drill wells, erect platforms, build refineries and scan for undiscovered deposits of oil and gas. Among its biggest projects: A natural gas operation in Australia that will ultimately cost Chevron and its partners $65 billion to build. Also planned are three deep-water drilling and production projects in the Gulf of Mexico that will cost $16 billion.

    Watson, a 55-year-old California native and Chevron lifer, joined the company in 1980 as a financial analyst. Before becoming CEO in 2010 he was vice chairman in charge of strategic planning, business development and mergers and acquisitions. He also ran the company's international exploration and production business, led the company's integration with Texaco and was CFO.

    Watson has helped shape Chevron into the best performing major oil company in the world by several financial benchmarks, including the profit it makes for each barrel of oil it sells. In an interview at The Associated Press headquarters in New York, Watson discussed world energy dynamics, U.S. energy policy, hydraulic fracturing, and working abroad.

    Below are excerpts, edited for length and clarity. AP: Why do people and politicians dislike big oil companies that deliver the energy they rely on and benefit from? WATSON: They don't feel like they have the choices.

    Most products that you consume every day, you have a choice. In energy you have less choice. And as costs rise, it hits the family budget.

    It's a convenience that we like, but we'd rather pay less for it. AP: Is there anything you can do about that? WATSON: Invest in good projects around the world.

    Every drop of oil that we produce anywhere in the world hits world markets and, other things being equal, brings prices down. AP: What do you think is the biggest misunderstanding about your company or your industry? WATSON: Just how much we invest in the business and the risks that we take to deliver the oil and gas that we all expect every day.

    We literally go to the ends of the earth to bring this energy to consumers. AP: Can the industry continue to produce oil and gas at a price that can keep the world economy growing? WATSON: I think so.

    We want to produce at a price our customers can afford, and I think there's ample resource to do that for the foreseeable future. AP: Energy companies complain that the U.S. is over-regulated, but at the same time they are expanding here and cite its many advantages.

    Which is it? Is the U.S. a terrible place to do business, or is it terrific?

    WATSON: On balance it's a good place to do business. We always have to be aware of what other governments are doing, and we have to be sure that we stay competitive. When I met with the president with some of my colleagues a couple weeks ago, that was the first thing that people talked about.

    It wasn't about taxes per se, it was about staying competitive. AP: People on all sides of the energy debate have long complained about the lack of a comprehensive energy policy in the U.S. Are we wishing for something that just can't happen in this country?

    And if not, what would it look like to you? WATSON: Historically the United States has had a wonderful energy policy. We're blessed with a diversity of resources.

    We have oil. We have gas. We have coal.

    We have nuclear. And renewables. And as a result, one of our biggest competitive advantages has been affordable energy.

    You need a strong economy and you need affordable energy to fuel that economy. AP: Do fossil fuel producers bear the responsibility for curbing greenhouse gas emissions? WATSON: We have the responsibility to deliver our energy in an environmentally sound fashion.

    The greatest advancements in living standards in recorded history have taken place in the modern hydrocarbon era. I don't think that's coincidental. Our leaders have to make a decision.

    Do they want that to continue or do they have a better solution for us? So it's not my call. AP: How should society go about reducing greenhouse gas emissions?

    WATSON: If you look around the world, the countries with the best environmental practices are the wealthiest. There's a reason for that. If you're worried about where your next meal is going to come from or shelter over your head, your focus is on those things.

    AP: The U.S. is a wealthy country, how should we reduce emissions? WATSON: Well, we are a wealthy country.

    On the other hand, the economy is growing slowly. We have high unemployment. I think that's part of the reason why the president said now is not the time for a carbon tax, because he recognized that that would put pressure on the economy and put pressure on our energy prices, put pressure on manufacturing business, put pressure on consumers.

    AP: When it's time to address the carbon issue, how should we do it? WATSON: It's very difficult for the United States to go it alone. Watch what (other) governments do.

    The day-to-day decisions being made (show) that concern about climate change is less than other concerns that they have. China is racing by the U.S. in greenhouse gas emissions.

    Germany is shutting down their nuclear power, the only energy source with zero carbon emissions that can be produced at scale. Japan, much the same way. Governments around the world are making the choice that the benefits of lifting people out of squalor are very important.

    And affordable energy is the way to get there. And that currently comes through oil, gas and coal. That doesn't mean there's nothing we can do.

    First, we can do a lot more on energy efficiency in this country. There are a number of promising technologies to deliver lower carbon fuels. I would support (government funding) of pre-commercial activity to try to advance some of these breakthrough technologies, rather than putting big subsidies on technologies that we know are more expensive and won't necessarily solve the issue.

    AP: Will fracking be curtailed in this country? WATSON: I see very little obstacle to it, notwithstanding all the rhetoric. Now it's being done in some different areas.

    People aren't used to it, and there have been legitimate concerns expressed, like truck traffic at a simple level, but also concerns about water supplies. They're understandable anxieties. And so we have to work through those with the governments.

    I think in due course we'll do that because they'll see the advantages to it. AP: Will natural gas become a bigger part of the energy mix? WATSON: Natural gas will displace coal in power generation.

    Getting natural gas into the transportation fleet is harder. It works best for vehicles that work from centralized fueling facilities like trucking fleets or buses and cabs. That is happening.

    Before it can make big inroads beyond that, infrastructure is going to need to be developed. It will take some time. AP: A recent factory fire in Bangladesh killed more a hundred people, shining a spotlight on the connections between Western companies and overseas suppliers.

    What is the responsibility of a company like yours when you go into a developing area? WATSON: We have global standards for how we operate. And it's our responsibility to operate to those high standards everywhere.

    We use local labour in almost all cases and we spend an enormous amount of time training people. We provide half the natural gas in Bangladesh. I've been there a number of times.

    If you go to a construction site, you won't see hard hats. You won't see shoes in many cases. And so we teach people safety standards.

    Follow Jonathan Fahey on Twitter at .

  • Christmas Trucks! | Alltruck The Coca Cola advert is on the TV which must mean it is officially Christmas time! Image courtesy of Mancunian Matters The Coca Cola truck is a Christmas icon, so we thought we d have a look around to see what other festive trucks we could find to help get us in the Christmas mood! Here are some of the best we ve come across Here s a truck from Comox Valley, Canada; which each year has a Christmas truck parade.

    You can see more pictures and video on their website . MAN got into the festive spirit with their special MAN TGX Christmas edition which spread some Christmas cheer touring Germany giving out gifts. Read the full story on Trucks Planet Complete with reindeer and an explosion of fairy lights this truck we found on Wholesale Trucks Direct screams Christmas !

    American haulier Benny Whitehead Trucking Co. go all out every Christmas with their Merry Christmas truck decoration. See a video of this truck in its full glory here So, there you have it some of the most Christmassy trucks we could find but are there better ones out there?

    Have you decorated your truck? Seen any trucks that caught your eye? Any Christmas truck parades that we don t know about?

    If the answer is yes, then let us know!

  • Cin sthesia: Bee-havioural science: "More Than Honey" The issue of colony collapse disorder shouldn't be a new one on cinema audiences - it was given an urgent laying out in 2009's explanatorily titled The Vanishing of the Bees - but the German doc More Than Honey lends it a more personal slant. Director Markus Imhoof (whose narration has been dubbed into English, with just the right level of curiosity, by John Hurt) is the grandson of a beekeeper, and he's here set out on an idiosyncratic, at times downright eccentric quest to track down the opinions of all those professionals doing their darnedest to keep our apian friends alive. They are an eclectic bunch, to say the least: academics using tiny MRI machines to generate bee brainscans, through which they attempt to explain the insects' suddenly suicidal behavioural patterns; old dears who, in the bees' absence, have been obliged to undertake the painstaking business of pollination by hand; migratory beekeepers whose job involves trucking swarms from one coast of the US to the other, following the harvest.

    The crowd favourite seems likely to be Fred, an Alpine bee-shepherd who does all of his hive-handling with no greater protection than a lit cigar, and routinely squashes his queen bees in order to maintain the racial purity of his hives. Historians and feminist theorists could have a field day with this, of course, and the film actively encourages contributions from all parties, an acknowledgement that this is one of those issues that will affect everybody if left unresolved. Inevitably, it gets scattered, buzzing from one field to the next in the hope its diverse strands will cross-pollinate and produce a grand unifying theory - and I'm not so sure that the one Imhoof settles on (that killer bees are the way forward) isn't as eccentric as anything else here.

    Its strongest suit is some fascinating, microcosmic photography, which takes us inside both functioning and collapsing hives, and provides urgent, up-close evidence of the kind of swarming industry we're set to lose if we can't fix this problem.

    More Than Honey opens in selected cinemas from Friday.

  • Classic Movie Ramblings: The Long Haul (1957) The Long Haul is an excellent and unjustly neglected British film noir from 1957. It s a gritty and very dark movie concerning corruption and crime in the trucking industry. Victor Mature and Diana Dors are the stars.

    It was made by a small independent producing company and distributed by Columbia Pictures. Harry Miller (Victor Mature) drives trucks for the US Army in Germany. When he is discharged he plans to return to the States but his English wife Connie persuades him that they should spend a few months in England first.

    Her family lives in Liverpool and her uncle can get him a job in his long distance trucking business. Harry soon discovers that this industry is rife with crooked practices and gangsterism. Harry is an honest man and wants nothing to do with it but when his truck is hijacked he finds that no insurance company will touch him and that as a result he cannot get work.

    Then his friend Casey offers him a job. He tells Harry it s slightly illegal. In fact it s highly illegal and it all goes horribly wrong.

    The prime mover behind most of the crime in the industry is trucking boss Joe Easy (Patrick Allen). Harry has already had a run-in with Easy and he is about to become involved with Easy in an unexpected and potentially very messy way. Harry has already encountered Joe s beautiful young girlfriend Lynn (Diana Dors).

    When Lynn and Joe have a major fight Lynn takes flight in Harry s truck. Harry has no intention of doing anything other than drive Lynn somewhere where she will be safe but one thing leads to another and they spend the night together. Apart from causing Harry a lot of grief with both Connie and Joe Easy this also makes things difficult for Lynn s brother Frank (Peter Reynolds) who works for Joe.

    Harry is now sliding into the noir nightmare world. His one night stand with Lynn was bad enough but now she s fallen in love with him. And he is being drawn deeper into crime.

    He simply cannot get honest work and then he discovers something that shakes him so much that he longer cares what happens to him. Harry is however basically a nice guy and he has a kid about whom he cares deeply. He also has to admit that he s in love with Lynn.

    He thinks he s given up but he s not the kind of guy who really gives up. This is classic film noir with a decent guy who becomes entangled in dirty dealings against his will, and his downfall is brought about by a femme fatale in the person of Lynn. Lynn is not an evil spider woman, in fact she s basically decent as well, but fate has cast her in the role of the femme fatale.

    Victor Mature gave his best performances in film noir and he s superb here. He is tough but sensitive, he doesn t go over-the-top but his anguish is obvious as his life slips out of control. Diana Dors gives yet another fine performance confirming her position as the queen of British noir.

    Lynn has had a tough life and she is both hardboiled and vulnerable. She doesn t want to wreck Harry s life but she can t give him up - he s the first decent man she s met. Mature and Dors generate convincing chemistry.

    Patrick Allen makes a very nasty villain. The supporting cast is very solid. Writer-director Ken Hughes displays an instinctive feel for the world of film noir.

    The plot is nothing startlingly original but that could be said of most film noir. It s the way the material is handled that makes for great film noir and Hughes handles the material with considerable skill. Basil Emmott s black-and-white cinematography is another major asset.

    Columbia s region-free DVD presents this movie in an excellent anamorphic widescreen transfer. This would make a great double feature with Hell Drivers , another fine British trucking noir made in the same year. The Long Haul is highly recommended as a fine example of British film noir.

    The superb performances by Mature and Dors make it a must-see movie.

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  • Congestion pricing and transportation finance - Greater Greater ... Roads by David Alpert February 8, 2008 4:17 pm The panel at the New Partners conference on transportation finance featured NYC's congestion pricing hero Bruce Schaller, and Michael Replogle of Environmental Defense. As David Burwell of Project for Public Spaces said when he introduced the panel: The transportation trust fund is broke not just broken, but broke. Actually, the highway fund is broke now, and the transit fund has a few years left in it. (So the Bush Administration has decided, in its wisdom, to transfer the transit money to the highway fund.) In any case, we need to find innovative ways to fund transportation.

    There are a variety of strategies, like a VMT (Vehicle Miles Traveled) tax, congestion pricing, and more. Since the same committee that has to reauthorize the transportation fund also is the one considering the climate cap-and-trade proposal to auction off CO2 allowances. One program is bankrupt, the other will generate lots of money.

    Maybe we can use the CO2 revenue to finance the transportation system. Michael Replogle, Director of Transportation for Environmental Defense Fund: Scientists say we have about ten years to reverse the greenhouse gas emissions or face unpredictable climate change. Our economy is struggling and new economic powers are rising in countries like Asia.

    How do we align the ways we finance transportation with our public policy goals for performance? The highway trust fund is headed south, and a few years after that the transit trust fund is projected to go broke. The Transportation Study Commission just recommended a 40-cent gas tax.

    There's talk from that commission and another to call for more user fees and tolls. At the state and local level, there's an increasing reliance on sales taxes. Public-private partnerships?

    Shift transit money to highways as the President has recommended (which wouldn't help Smart Growth and climate change)? Or do we do nothing and let the system degrade? Public-private partnerships have led to new light rail lines, in Portland (where the cost of the new airport light rail was funded from a development project with Bechtel), or the Hudson-Bergen Light Rail.

    A toll road in Chicago was paid for by selling a 99-year lease to a private operator, while Indiana used money from that to fund a $100B expansion of its highways. The Beltway in Northern Virginia is adding new HOT lanes under an 80-year lease, and now Virginia wants to add even more lanes with its own money. These can cut either way, and it depends how the deals get done.

    Road tolls are growing, from Singapore which created a congestion charge in 1975 and financed better transit, and Oslo in the 1990s; New York congestion prices the Hudson River tunnels and is now considering a congestion pricing charge; and Minneapolis is turning HOV lanes into HOT lanes and using the money to finance a new transit line. Will this hurt or help Smart Growth? That depends on whether we use the money to manage the roads and transit for higher productivity, cut pollution, and generate revenue for public transportation?

    Or, will these funds just be used to built more roads faster and spur even more traffic and sprawl, which is the outcome of a lot of our public investment. If we just add toll managed lanes and use the money to pay for the lanes or for even more lanes, as the Washington Metropolitan Council of Governments wants to do, we just end up with more lanes, not better transit. On England's A1 highway, the private operator's contract ensures their revenue goes up if the congestion goes down, such as if they schedule maintenance during nighttime hours.

    Why not extend that here and link the operator's revenue to congestion and pollution? In Singapore, which is competing with America for the best and the brightest in biotechnology and other fields, after 30 years of congestion pricing the trasit share has gone from 40% to 67%. They adjust the charges four times a year to keep speeds at peak productivity.

    Traffic dropped 45% when they implemented the system and has stayed steady while incomes and auto ownership went up sharply. Germany is doing emission-based truck tolls, charging old dirty trucks, and cut CO2 emissions 7%. VMT fees were just successfully piloted in Oregon.

    Even the US Chamber of Commerce supports this, and it's a way to get beyond the gas tax. We protect privacy but charge people more to travel in congested corridors at peak times. Under the Urban Partnership Agreements, San Francisco is looking at congestion pricing on Doyle Drive (an approach to the Golden Gate Bridge); South Florida is using congestion pricing to clear congestion and raise funds for bus rapid transit to give people a choice.

    Follow the money, and we can help these instruments serve Smart Growth. Bruce Schaller, Director for Planning and Sustainability for NYC DOT: Joined NYC DOT in June of last year for implementation of the PlaNYC intiative. PlaNYC began with forecasts that NYC would add 1M new people over the next 30 years.

    They started by looking at land use, where to put the people, but quickly expanded the focus to a range of parts of the city's infrastructure including transportation. But PlaNYC includes adding housing within walking distance of subways and commuter rail (a change from the way the city has been growing since WWII); ensuring all NYers are within a 10-minute walk of a park; having the cleanest air of any big city. Congestion pricing is just one of 127 initiatives in PlaNYC, but has received most of the attention.

    Once you take the status quo out of the option list, then the discussion changes. It's how do you plan for growth, not whether or not you will have it. City's public space vision is that the streets and sidewalks aren't just about moving from Point A to Point B but that they are a public space as well.

    They prioritize more effective ways to get people around (transit) over driving, and for its effect on air quality. Finally, they aim to create a funding stream to finance transit improvements. Quick review of the proposal now on the table, from the congestion pricing commission: The congestion charge will be an $8 daily fee if you enter the zone below 60th Street between 6 am and 6 pm.

    Trucks pay $21, but clean trucks pay only $7. They removed the internal charge but added a $1 surcharge on taxi and livery fares, increase parking meter fees and partly eliminated the parking tax rebate. This is projected to create a 6.8% reduction in VMT and $491 million net revenue that would be devoted to transit improvements.

    Here are potential issues and objections raised with congestion pricing: Will the system work as envisioned? They've done extensive modeling on traffic demand and believe it will. Will it meet needs for improved transit?

    Absorbing drivers who shift, and the overall growth of the system? That's where detailed short-term transit improvements come in and a commitment to implement them before the start of pricing. Will the funds be used as intended?

    They've worked hard on the draft legislation to ensure this. Are there viable alternatives? Many were analyzed, both pricing and non-pricing alternatives including many modifications of the mayor's plan some of which made it into the commission recommendations.

    Cost to deploy the system? Recent changes by the commission reduce the cost by reducing the numbers of cameras. Is it unfair to those who must drive?

    80% of drivers have a viable transit alternative according to Schaller's research for TA. That has gone a long way to addressing this issue. Economic impacts?

    Partnership for NYC, the business group, did a study showing the high costs of existing congestion. Neighborhood impacts? They've made a commitment to neighborhood parking programs like Equity across income groups?

    Does this hurt the working people? Drivers have 30% higher income than transit users. The legislature may consider a low-income tax credit for low-income drivers into the CBD.

    Regional equity: are different parts of the region paying their fair share? This is interwoven with the offset because people from NJ will get the offset. Their position is that drivers from all areas will contribute to transit subsidies in proportion to the numbers of drivers from those ares, even if the contribution goes to the Port Authority instead of NYC.

    The legislature may revisit the NJ contribution. Burwell: I couldn't help thinking how far we've come. Just 20 years ago NYC was proposing a 8 or 12-lane highway underground along the West Side.

    From there to this new system is quite some progress. Question: How does the VMT tax pilot program work in Oregon? Replogle: They have a satellite-based GPS that tracks when you drive your car.

    It doesn't track exactly where you are but what zone you are in: if you are inside the State of Oregon, and whether you are inside or outside the Portland Growth Boundary. If you are inside, it's 10 cents, if outside, 1.8 cents. When you go to the gas station, a device communicates between your car's computer and the gas pump, and if you have the system, it deducts your gas tax from your gas charge and adds the mileage fees back in.

    The overall revenue is the same as the gas tax. Question: How did PlaNYC come up with the $8 per day level? Schaller: They looked at several levels, $8 and a couple above that.

    As you go above $8, you start to find an increased number of trips that aren't taken at all, which could have an economic impact. So part was a concern about suppressed trips. $8 is also the round-trip toll through the Queens-Midtown Tunnel and the Brooklyn-Battery Tunnel, so it's an existing level of charge, and thus more likely to be able to make it through approvals. Question: How does reducing the carbon footprint sell as an argument for congestion pricing?

    Schaller: Yes, it's a strong point. A number of fortuitous things brought us to this point, and one is the maturation of the discussion over global warming. In focus groups Schaller did for the Manhattan Institute, he was surprised how strongly received the environmental arguments were.

    In studies in the past, the environmental concerns have not weighed, but now people have gotten there. Replogle: climate is rising as an issue in public consciousness, but it's not the only issue. There are people motivated by asthma and the health impacts, and many are upset that the transit system isn't as good as it needs to be.

    Schaller: By itself, the environment is not sufficient, and perhaps none are sufficient on their own. Question: How does NYC plan to increase the transit infrastructure? Schaller: There are a number of large projects, 2nd Avenue Subway, East Side Access, that have been funded to an extent but not fully.

    There are also short-term improvements; they have two-page summaries of the transit benefits to every Council district, Senate district, and Assembly district in the city. Question: Strategies used to address equity issues? Burwell: Also what about in cities without alternatives unlike NYC?

    Replogle: A lot of work to make sure NYC transit improvements that go in place before pricing are ones that serve the neighborhoods without good transit alternatives now. The low-income tax credit Schaller mentioned has also come up in the Bay Area, to create a means-tested lifeline discount for congestion pricing fees. Studies show clearly, across the country, that our current system of financing is highly inequitable.

    If you introduce congestion pricing, will it help or hurt against the high degree of inequity? The answer depends on what you do with the revenues. If you put the revenues into expanding the roads, it exacerbates inequality and environmeental problems; if you put it into transit, it alleviates the inequity.

    Question: Does tolling really finance a whole system, or is it just 10% of the system? Replogle: This is a key public policy question in Congress and state legislatures. There's no single answer.

    It will be determined by our elected officials if we increase gas taxes or what. But we will need to be much more dependent on user fees if we're going to get control of the system, increase the productivity and effectiveness of the system. There's a growing role for private investment to transform the system into a more effective one.

    There will be a robust exploration of different options in the next few years. Question: How far are we from the VMT tax being applied in other communities? Replogle: the National Surface Policy Commission Report says 2025.

    The minority view signed by Secretary Peters says maybe 2015. He feels we need to be talking about a more rapid transition to VMT fees to measure the traffic on our networks. Now we don't even have a good way of measuring how much traffic there is.

    We need to know that to tackle reducing emissions. If you can't measure it, you can't manage it. It will also enable a host of market innovations to deliver new safety services like 911, managing traffic intersections to reduce red light running and reduce speeding, to enable pay-as-you-drive insurance, and other innovations.

    Schaller: It sounds like a good idea, but don't be too optimistic on how quickly you can move. In England, where London has congestion pricing, the national government moved toward a national road toll program and then backed right back off. People on both sides of the Atlantic need to think about what are the intermediate steps to move toward this in a more organic way, how do we move step by step and show people the benefits of additional pricing programs.

    Replogle: truck-based emission tolls could be a good intermediate option. We have a lot of old, dirty trucks; they run forever and you can keep rebuilding those engines, and we have no way to push for a replacement strategy. Germany got a buy-in from the trucking industry for their truck-only VMT program to better compete with dirty trucks coming from Eastern Europe.

    Question: How do you ensure that the transponders aren't used for surveillance, like enforcing speeding, or knowing who was in a high-crime area? Replogle: This is an important issue that needs to be explored. The Oregon pilot test was specifically designed to only track your zone, not the specific location.

    Whenever you use your Visa or cell phone your information is given out. We always come to live with a balance. Question: One opposition to congestion pricing comes from businesses.

    How did NYC get 135 businesses not to say they'll move to the suburbs? What has been the experience in other cities? Schaller: The business community was a leader in pushing for congestion pricing.

    Of those working int he CBD, only 16% drive to work, so the huge majority of employees aren't affected. At this point, if you're in business in Manhattan, you're not there by accident, you're there because you want to be in Manhattan, with real estate prices and the cost of doing business. Companies that are in the delivery business have not been as supportive.

    Replogle: The experience worldwide is that business leaders recognize that congestion and unreliability in transportation imposes a growing set of costs on their business and their operations that makes it harder to attract workers if they don't have good choices. Congestion pricing is a positive sell to the public and business if it delivers significant improvement in the quality of transportation, reliability, travel time and 2) better travel choices. Better performance and better choice.

    A lot of small businesses fear if fewer people drive past their shops. Experience in London, Stockholm, Oslo is that there has been no negative impact on commercial activity including small shops. The center city areas have become even more robust by becoming more attractive to pedestrians.

    Burwell: We used to have minimum parking requirements. In Boston there are now no minimums. In London, now there are maximums.

    New commercial real estate is limited to 1 space per 12,000 sq ft. Question: Congestion pricing, are there potential negative effects longer-term? Schaller: There aren't any anticipated; if one returns to basic economics, what congestion pricing is doing is internalizing the external cost people create when they drive.

    When one person drives they slow down other people behind them, and placing on everyone the cost. These programs are a plus by correcting what is now a missed price signal, and the economic studies have shown there's a large cost to the excess congestion. A certain amount is reflective of economic health; beyond that you have a cost.

    If you bring down the excess cost you have a better economic environment. Burwell: the trust fund is broken. There's a new transportation bill at the federal level to reauthorize next year.

    This is the time to think about transportation financing as a Smart Growth issue.

    Please get involved in this important debate for next year.

  • Corbett defends donor-funded vacation to Rhode Island. - Capitol ... Gov. Tom Corbett on Thursday defended his decision to let a businessman and campaign donor with ties to the Marcellus shale industry cover his and First Lady Susan Corbett's travel costs on a vacation to Rhode Island last year. In November, the Republican governor filed an amended version of his annual financial disclosure forms with the state Ethics Commission, showing that he d accepted $2,323 worth of travel and hospitality from John D.

    Moran Jr ., the president of Moran Industries, a trucking and logistics firm in Watsontown, Northumberland County. Moran serves as co-chair of the Team Pennsylvania Foundation , which is charged with luring private business including a new petrochemical planned for Beaver County to the state. He s also a member of the administration s privatization task force.

    When he was asked about the amended filing, which details a vacation to Rhode Island that Corbett and his wife took with Moran to Rhode Island last July, Corbett said I followed the law. Records show Corbett accepted $1,422 to cover airfare and hotel for the Rhode Island trip, which took place July 1 to July 5, 2011.Records also show that Corbett accepted $901 worth of travel on Moran s private plane and helicopter to travel to events in Williamsport and Pittsburgh on Sept.

    30, 2011. Read more and see Gov.

    Corbett's amended ethics filing after the jump. At a Capitol news conference Thursday where he unveiled a new government transparency website, Corbett bristled visibly when a reporter asked him about what he did on the Rhode Island trip. We took a trip to Rhode Island, he said.

    We stayed on a boat. News of the amended filing was first reported by State Impact Pennsylvania, a specialty natural gas news site maintained by public radio stations in Harrisburg and Philadelphia. In a story posted Thursday, State Impact also reported that Moran and his wife, Ann , a member of the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission , collectively donated $75,000 to Corbett s 2010 campaign for governor.

    In his role with Team Pennsylvania , Moran traveled with Corbett on a trade mission to France and Germany that was partly used to promote the state s burgeoning natural gas industry. In an interview with Moran posted to his company s website, Moran was credited with giving two presentations to foreign government officials and business owners updating them on the value of Marcellus Shale and the logistical advantages of operating a business in the commonwealth. Moran also credited Corbett for working to bring the yet-to-be built petrochemical plant that will be operated by Royal Dutch Shell to the state.

    Having the lowest cost and most stable energy source will go a long way to offsetting low-cost labor in other parts of the world, Moran said. There is plenty of opportunity in our country today, but we ve got to get in line. If we could go from a $14 trillion to a $21 trillion gross domestic product economy, we could grow ourselves out of our problems and fix our economy.

    On Thursday, Corbett said he d gotten to know Moran after entering public life and said he d been friends with the businessman for four to five years. Asked whether he believed the summer jaunt with Moran created the impression that a wealthy donor had access to government not afforded to a regular citizen, Corbett shot back, Are you saying that John Moran is not a regular citizen? A lot of people have access to me, he said.

    They are friends. Good government groups, including Common Cause of Pennsylvania , have pressed for a ban on gifts to elected officials, arguing that they interfere with effective policymaking. The reason other states have gift bans is to ensure that decisions are made on their merits, not on friendships and relationships, Common Cause Executive Director Barry Kauffman said.

    We need to remove, to the best degree possible, those incentives which may bias a public official s judgment, Here's Corbett's amended filing: PA Gov.

    Tom Corbett's amended 2011 ethics filing.

  • Crane Worldwide Has Taken a Foothold Crane Worldwide Has Taken a Foothold September 3rd, 2013 Recently DVZ, the leading trade magazine in Germany, featured Crane Worldwide in their August 30th edition. Below is the translated excerpt of the article written by Von Erwin Maruhn: It is very impressive, that Jim Crane started a company in 2008 with only 12 sales offices in 7 countries, and only 5 years later has established about 100 offices in 25 countries with about 1,200 employees, which was originally the goal for 2015. The company is represented in North-America, the developing Central & South Americas, Asia / Pacific as well as in Europe and Africa.

    A very modest start in Germany with 1 office and 1 employee in Frankfurt, has now 10 employees with Sven Matthes, as Managing Director. The 35 year old Sven studied Logistics in Dresden and gained experience at the Freight Company Schenker & Hellmann, for which he also worked some in the USA. By now he is also responsible for the Benelux-Business for Crane Worldwide.

    Two German-Offices. Crane s German offices are located in Cargo City S d at the Airport in Frankfurt, which handles all Airfreight, and in Hamburg, which handles all the Seafreight, and perhaps in the future an office in Nordrhein-Westfalen. Tim Zubradt explained: We are following our customers, which dictates where and when we are establishing new Sales-Offices.

    That is why Crane Worldwide has already reached the goal originally planned for 2015. On the other hand the sales forecast did not quite keep-up, due to the lousy world economy. Sales revenue grew to $425 million by 2011.

    After it, the growth was reduced and only grew to $475 million in 2012 behind expectations of $500 million. Therefore, the expectations given at the beginning of the decade of hitting $1 billion by 2015 is very unlikely to be achieved any longer. Three Legs.

    Crane Worldwide sales depends on three legs: International Airfreight 40%, US Home Business 33% and International Seafreight 27%.

    Crane Worldwide s Corporate Offices in Houston recently occupied a new location.

    Jim Crane is still CEO, John Magee is still President in charge of the daily business operations.

  • Cuba | Boycott Holland In 2005-2006 I worked on Cura ao, the Netherlands Antilles (NA). Back home I collected my analyses in the book The Political Economy of the Netherlands Antilles and the Future of the Caribbean (PENAFC, 2006), now out of print but the PDF is available on the web. The book is a supplement to the main analysis DRGTPE 2000 and now also CSBH 2012, see the About menu or the Video.

    PENAFC is relevant for e.g. these points: The NA appeared to have a social security system similar to that of Holland. By consequence it has the same welfare state diseases, even though the NA is partly a developing country.

    The same solution approach of DRGTPE applies, with the abolition of the tax void and so on. There had been a spectacular crash of the bridge across the harbour entrance. The historical picture is on the front page, with compliments to Wim ter Hart.

    In 1889 Dutch engineer / economist A.J. Cohen Stuart coined an analogy about income taxation and the ability to pay: A bridge must first bear its own weight before it can carry a load. My analysis agrees that tax exemption must be set at the level of the net minimum wage and that Value Added Tax (VAT) be around 1%.

    Traditionally there is the theory of Island Economies that regards islands as sea-locked. Nowadays, however, sea transport technology and logistics cause ships to have often comparative advantage over trucking and rail. See the book Transport Science for Operations Magagement .

    The idea of an Economic Supreme Court per nation allows countries to have forms of Union that are more intelligent than the traditional models. Let us learn from the mistakes of the European Union. Thus, the NA may find a better future not with Holland but within a Caribbean Union that avoids those mistakes. (See an earlier text on this weblog.) Just to be sure: PENAFC had no impact.

    On October 10 2010 the NA ceased to exist. It split into two new countries Cura ao and Sint Maarten and three special Dutch municipalities Bonaire, Saba and Sint Eustatius. The Island Economy still applies here: with more power to the local elite we already see a rise in corruption.

    Looking at the Caribbean, one cannot fail to see Cuba. It would be a prime partner in such a Caribbean Union. With the collapse of the Berlin Wall in 1989 and the end of the Cold War, one wonders why the boycott of Cuba continues now almost 25 years.

    Caribbean (Source: Wikipedia) There was the thesis van Peter van Bergeijk in 1991 that boycotts generally do not work and are counterproductive. This is an important thesis for this website Boycott Holland of course. A boycott does not affect the power elite much, who will tend to find ways around it.

    A boycott will affect the general population and reduce their means to resist against the power elite. A boycott could be effective for generally rich Holland when people get annoyed that the punch bowl is taken away and want it back. For Cuba it is counterproductive.

    This causes the question why the USA would continue to support Castro by a boycott that enhances his power over Cuba ? In PENAFC I speculated that Castro might have been involved in the assassination of JFK. Castro would have suffered so many assassination attempts upon his own person that he retaliated.

    The USA could not state this in the open since the popular anger to do something might cause a nuclear war with the USSR. These days the murder of JFK 50 years ago got general attention again. Of the various complot theories this Cuba option still seems the strongest to me.

    Why persist in boycotting Cuba 25 years after the end of the Cold War, while it is counterproductive in the first place ? However, my American correspondent writes: I agree with your assessment about what the US should do in respect to Cuba. But I think the US unwillingness to change has to do with Cuban exiles in Florida, who have resisted a softening of the approach.

    And Florida matters tremendously electorally. If they all lived in New York, they would have no impact. I think that is sufficient explanation for the US stance, but who knows if there is more?

    Yes, I did not think about that angle. Well, there is one way to test this: Let the good people in Florida study the Van Bergeijk thesis. If their objective is to get rid of the Castro regime, their best policy option is to end the boycott of Cuba.

    PM. I rely on Van Bergeijk s thesis in Dutch, 1991. I did not read the English version of 1994 but let me refer to (1994), Economic diplomacy, trade and commercial policy: positive and negative sanctions in a new world order.

    Edward Elgar.

    Most recent are the chapters in (2009), Economic Diplomacy and the Geography of International Trade .

    Edward Elgar.

  • Culture Shock In Vietnam: Chief, You Need Water | Kansas Movie Culture Shock In Vietnam: Chief, You Need Water "I lack water at work. Not for drinking but for watching. At least that the feng shui expert who has analyzed our new office in Ho Chi Minh City.

    Based on the birth dates he has calculated for each employee idelen the workplace, for me it was so on the water shortage. Others missing as wood or the color red has as immediate aid me my secretary a bowl of water placed on a desktop. For a few weeks, we now have a large saltwater aquarium in the office.

    The many companies here. There are external aquarium keepers who go from office to office, feed the fish, change the water and also get new fish when time one dies. I now live in Vietnam for 18 years, before I was five years in Beijing.

    In the beginning I Feng Shui not taken seriously, but now I find that really interesting. We had already more feng shui expert in the office, and the financial results have improved significantly each time. Maybe I should sometimes have someone analyze my home.

    I studied Sinology, which was in the eighties a very exotic subject and out after the 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre totally at once. Back then nobody wanted to have anything to do with China. I was tempted but the job prospects.

    Indeed, I found right after I graduated, 1989, a post in the German logistics company Schenker in lorus sportuhr Beijing to take care of the transportation for the then-new Lufthansa Center. So I have come to the logistics and stayed there. Only the Chinese Studies has come to me over the years somehow lost.

    When I took over in 1994 the office of Schenker in Ho Chi Minh City, we were three people, now there are more than 500 The country has changed in that time: to be the cheap production site, where mainly produced footwear and textiles, the site for quality work. Samsung and Intel have such factories. Myth dog roast Schenker belongs since 2002 to Deutsche Bahn.

    We offer the full spectrum of logistics, from the sea and air freight to move care. Meanwhile, there are at least 20 German haulage companies. Geostrategically Vietnam is very well located, it is fast in Bangkok or Singapore, it has also equidistant to Europe or Australia.

    And Vietnam since 2007, the World Trade Organization is a party, it can compete economically with many countries. This, however, prices have risen significantly. Vietnamese food you get at food stalls still very low, a supermarket shopping can be very expensive, more expensive than in Germany.

    Find exotic things like dog roast it here, too, but that's a subculture. Nine out of ten Vietnamese eat that either. Ho Chi Minh City is very international, foreign ghettos do not exist.

    I think ausgesprchen pleasant. The Vietnamese are very friendly to strangers, but unfortunately relatively noise insensitive. Are legally required rest periods, it is not, since it is ever in the middle of the night, a hole drilled in the wall.

    For a rather focused on the German peace is not always easy to bear. Rents have recently fallen back somewhat. For a three-room apartment in Saigon, the old city center of Ho Chi Minh City, you can expect about $ 1,000 to rent, there is no upward limit.

    Almost everyone here has a maid at home, cooking and taking care of the children, which is quite normal in Vietnam and not a privilege of the foreigner. Education and care for children here has a high priority. Nap under my desk, I underestimated the language.

    As Sinologist I learn Vietnamese but easy, I thought. Far from it. In Chinese, there are four tones in Vietnamese six.

    This makes it very difficult and incidentally I have to still work. After three attempts I gave up. The suffering is not big enough, with English you continue everywhere.

    That is also our home, the family language. My wife is from Russia, our sons grow therefore trilingual, with English, German and Russian. Vietnamese understand them, but rarely talk about it.

    Go here to the international school. We regularly holiday in Germany and are traveling in winter to Mittenwald for skiing. After nearly 25 years in Asia, I am always on it, if I can not sleep without air conditioning.

    I am originally from Cologne, my sons have already become real FC Cologne fans. Return to Germany at the moment but I can hardly imagine. I like Vietnam.

    It is perhaps not as exotic and interesting for tourists as Thailand or Cambodia, but for the people here are more on the ball, very diligent and agile. Only the daily nap I can not get used: Between 12 30 and 13 30 clock roll my employees their mattresses on the floor, turn the lights off and sleep under their desks. Then they get up and keep going.

    I could not do. " Romney Ignites A Shortcut Twitter We Are Energy!

  • D

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  • Daimler trucks unveils long-term plan for autonomous ... July 07, 2014 By Evan Lockridge Daimler Trucks' Future Truck 2025, disguised in black and white adhesive foil, obscuring the exterior contours. (PHOTO: Daimler Trucks) MAGDEBURG, GERMANY -- Daimler Trucks on Thursday shared its vision of the future of trucking trucks that can drive themselves. The autonomous truck project, called Mercedes-Benz Future Truck 2025, was demonstrated to around 300 members of the trucking press, along with German government officials, market analysts and others from more than 30 nations. After listening to presentations, attendees watched a demonstration on a section of the A14 Autobahn, as the parent to truck makers Freightliner and Western Star showed off what it calls its Highway Pilot system.

    It completed its first autonomous journey on the route, using a specially equipped Mercedes Actros tractor-trailer. A driver was inside the cab, but without hands or feet on the controls. The Future Truck drove itself in simulated real-world driving conditions.

    The truck is equipped with the extremely intelligent Highway Pilot assistance system, which enables it to drive completely autonomously at speeds of up to 85 kilometers per hour (52.8 mph), said Wolfgang Bernhard, head of Daimler Trucks and Buses. The Future Truck 2025 is our response to the major challenges and opportunities associated with road freight in the future. Wolfgang Bernhard, head of Daimler Trucks and Buses.

    Photo: Evan Lockridge Bernhard said self-driving trucks not only could lead to more efficiency, but also to better safety and connectivity. This, he said, results in a more sustainable transport system to the benefit of the economy, society and consumers. The goal of the event, according to Daimler, was to establish an ongoing dialogue with stakeholders about the conditions for transport in the future, in which it believes self-driving trucks will play a major role.

    Bernhard conceded the ambitious project, which it hopes to implement by the year 2025, raises a lot of questions that need to be answered, such as legal and liability issues, among many others. Daimler said current figures carry a clear message of the need for the Highway Pilot system. It pointed to a study showing a clear majority of road goods traffic as a proportion of total goods traffic in the six most populated European Union member nations.

    Truck transport volume in Europe is expected to grow dramatically over the next more than dozen years, and separate studies have shown much the same in the U.S. The EU study also found that, as in the U.S., investment in transportation infrastructure is regressive, with the transport business suffering from cost pressures and a shortage of drivers. According to Daimler the Highway Pilot will significantly upgrade the job profile of truck drivers by not only freeing them from having to perform monotonous tasks, but also by giving them time for tasks currently handled by other workers at trucking companies, making it possible for truckers to advance to new positions as transport managers, making truck driving a more attractive profession and helping to reduce the shortage of truck drivers.

    A view inside the cab of Future Truck 2025 while it is heading down the road during a demonstration, via a huge TV monitor at the event in Germany. Photo: Evan Lockridge Future Truck 2025 builds on Daimler s technological experience, with its Mercedes-Benz operation having already installed driver assistance in its trucks abroad, along with proximity cruise control, automatic braking, stability control and lane-keeping assistance systems. Future Truck includes Predictive Powertrain Control, which uses information about road topography and route characteristics to adjust the operation of the drivetrain in order to maximize fuel economy, according to Daimler.

    The Highway Pilot uses a combination of radar sensors at the front and sides of the truck, a stereo camera behind the windshield, three-dimensional maps and V2V/V2I communication (vehicle to vehicle/vehicle to infrastructure), which is the exchange of information between the truck and other vehicles and with the roadway. This system, according to Daimler, allows the truck to automatically respond to any situation ahead on the highway. Daimler expects additional and improved assistance systems in the coming years, which will communicate with one another and enable vehicles to operate without any driver involvement on highways and major roadways.

    However, they said, a driver would always be present in the truck, including driving it to and from major roadways manually. Once on the highway, the driver simply activates the Highway Pilot, with the rig continuing to travel at the set speed, while the driver s seat moves backwards and to the right, similar to sitting in an armchair at home. Other benefits of Future Truck 2025, according to Daimler, will include or allow: optimal vehicle acceleration and braking to keep traffic moving at an optimal pace while reducing fuel consumption and truck emissions; more precise transport scheduling; taking up less roadway and creating fewer traffic tie-ups and lessening the risk of accidents.

    Key to making Future Truck 2025 work are changes in laws and regulations, according to Daimler. If the legislative framework for autonomous driving can be created quickly, the launch of the Highway Pilot is conceivable by the middle of the next decade said Bernhard. He pointed to recent EU regulatory changes, which he said he have already helped get the ball rolling, with hopes it would spur development and implementation in North America.

    Daimler Trucks' autonomous truck project, called Mercedes-Benz Future Truck 2025, was demonstrated on a section of the A14 Autobahn near Magdeburg, Germany, in simulated real-world conditions.

    In this clip, the truck (disguised in black and white adhesive foil, obscuring the exterior contours) autonomously begins executing a passing maneuver in moving from the right to the left lane. (Video: Evan Lockridge)

  • Daimler Unveils 'Aerodynamics Truck and Trailer' in Europe ... Daimler's new Aerodynamics Truck and Trailer, introduced at the IAA show in Germany this week. Daimler s European business has strayed outside its normal comfort zone, designing a trailer optimized for maximum efficiency with the company s own Actros tractor. The Aerodynamics Truck and Trailer, unveiled at the International Motor Show this week, will reduce a semi-trailer s fuel consumption to less than 25 litres per 100 kilometres, officials said, representing a fuel savings of 4.5%.

    Wind resistance has been reduced by 18% through the design, which was developed in partnership with European trailer manufacturer Schmitz Cargobull. The fuel savings take into account a gross weight of 40 tonnes in a five-axle configuration that is representative of mainstream European road transport applications. When running 150,000 kms per year, the tractor-trailer combo could reduce fuel consumption by some 2,000 litres per year.

    At the same time, CO2 emissions into the environment are reduced by more than five tonnes - all with just one semi-trailer, said Georg Weiberg, head of truck product engineering with Daimler Trucks. Also introduced at the show was a solo (straight) truck for long-distance and distribution transport with purported fuel savings of 3% at highway speeds. Daimler's new Aerodynamics Truck and Trailer.

    The Aerodynamics Truck and Trailer spent more than 2,600 hours in the wind tunnel to validate Daimler s fuel-saving claims. Based on those projected fuel savings, Weiberg said that if the entire German trucking industry adopted the Aerodynamics Truck and Trailer, more than 300 million litres of diesel would be saved each year - equal to the amount transported by a full super-tanker and effectively reducing 800,000 tonnes of CO2 from the environment. The main contributor to the fuel savings is a 400-millimetre boat tail that s credited with a 7% improvement in aerodynamics.

    Weiberg said the European Union commission in Brussels - which oversees length restrictions - is recommending an increase to the maximum allowable length to be extended by 500 mm to accommodate such boat tails. Daimler plans to conduct on-road testing of the new concept in the coming months to measure real-world fuel consumption figures. It will be selecting customers to test the new semi-trailer on the road in 2013 and plans to roll out the combination commercially soon thereafter.

    While the specially-designed trailer could cost as much as 6,000 Euros more than today s designs, Daimler is projecting a payback of within two years. But don t expect to see this tractor-trailer combination on North American roads anytime soon. There are complications in applying the technology to our market, notably the rearward location of the trailer axles and the wider gap between the tractor and trailer.

    Still, the very idea of a truck manufacturer designing a trailer for optimum performance with its own vehicles is interesting and something that could conceivably be applied in North America should the European experiment pay off.


  • Daimler's success has led to a change in market dynamics in India ... Under the name BharatBenz, the entry of German truck manufacturer Daimler, into the Indian market, has already led to changes in the market forces. In July, within ten months of entering the country, Daimler has risen to become one of the top-five truck makers in India in the heavy duty category. Manufacturers such as MAN Trucks and AMW Trucks, have been left behind by the German giant.

    Between January and June 2013, Daimler India Commercial Vehicles sold over 3,200 BharatBenz truck units. During the same period, MAN Trucks sold 1000 units while AMW sold over 3000 units. Daimler India sold just 70-80 units fewer than Mahindra Trucks & Buses.

    Tata Motors currently holds 56 per cent of the market share, but Daimler India is likely to compete with Tata and Ashok Leyland within the next couple of years. There is no threat this year. From the third year, BharatBenz will make a difference.

    Tata Motors and Ashok Leyland will together lose 4-5 per cent market share , said research analyst, Surjit Arora. However, BharatBenz s competitors are confident they can hold off competition from the German brand. Vinod K.

    Dasari, Managing Director of Ashok Leyland said, We welcome competition. We have placed the customer at the core and all our efforts are aimed at making the customer more profitable. We have new products, new machines to construct with and a new network to reach our customers, which will combine to hold us in good stead going forward.

    A Tata Motor s spokesperson also said that the company was not concerned by Daimler India s growth. We knew very well that the Indian market will have the same characteristics of any developed market and had consciously developed products in the past decade to match people s expectations. We have also created new segments that were not present in India.

    We are fully ready to meet any competitor. Launched in September 2012, BharatBenz offered three units of heavy duty trucks. Light and medium range trucks were launched in February this year.

    In total, Daimler India has nine new models with three more scheduled by the end of the year, including a tractor trailer. A network of about 50 dealers has already been set by Daimler India, which the company plans to increase by 100 per cent by the end of 2014. Various dealerships and fleet owners are extremely pleased with the entry of Daimler in India.

    Kasturilal Wasan, Managing Director, Wasan Trucking said, I wanted to be associated with a premium brand and this is why I am here. We will make a difference. Fleet owner Daljit Singh Bal said that he would order Daimler trucks in bulk due to their performance standards.

    BharatBenz s offer is so attractive and any businessman will go to the best product. Daimler India has entered a falling truck market and has made tremendous progress in the initial stages. Having created space for the brand, the BharatBenz line of trucks pose an immense challenge to existing players.

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  • Daimlers India's BharatBenz opens new dealership in Panvel | Rush ... Show Your Love By Sharing Wasan Trucking is the new high-tech dealership of Daimler India Commercial Vehicles Pvt. Ltd., BharatBenz opened in Panvel. Through this dealership, the company will be able to offer customers an incomparable trucking experience, thanks to the all round services provided.

    Sales, service and spare parts will be available at Wasan Trucking which is located on the Mumbai Pune Highway No.4. The dealership boasts of highly trained manpower, a well stocked and covered workshop, ready availability of all spare parts besides an up to date showroom offering customers the very latest in BharatBenz offerings and expert advice to go with it. Speaking on the occasion of the inauguration of this new dealer base, Mr.

    V R V Sriprasad, Vice President Marketing, Sales and After Sales at Daimler India Commercial Vehicles said that it was the company's plant to set up a total of 100 such 3S facilities on major highways in the country. This will enable customers to have on hand services within easy reach. Mr K K Wasan of Wasan Trucking was also quick to add that his dealership was fully equipped to ensure customers super sales and services while offering them advice on choosing the exact truck best suited to their business needs.

    To make financing easier, Wasan Trucking has tied up with HDFC Bank, ICICI Bank, Sundaram Finance and Kotak Bank besides BharatBenz Financial. Read the news release below for more information. News Release BharatBenz unveils Wasan Trucking: State of the art trucking experience in Panvel Panvel: Daimler India Commercial Vehicles Pvt.

    Ltd. (DICV), the Indian subsidiary of the world's leading truck manufacturer Daimler AG, unveiled its state-of-the-art dealership in Panvel today. 'Wasan Trucking', as the dealership is named, will provide the customer a holistic trucking experience. Located near Palashpa Phata,Mumbai Pune National Highway - 4,. Wasan Trucking offers a 3S facility (Sales, Service & Spares).

    With highly trained manpower, a fully-equipped and completely covered workshop, supported with a full complement of Spares and a showroom providing focused Sales consulting, this dealership will ensure that BharatBenz customers receive all the attention under one roof. Mr. V.R.V.

    Sriprasad, Vice President, Marketing, Sales & After-Sales, DICV, said, "BharatBenz has set forth to provide the Indian Trucker a whole new experience in trucking. The inauguration of this dealership is part of our plans to provide a nation-wide network of over 100 3S facilities along the most important trucking routes in the country." "Our philosophy is to provide the customer with state-of-the-art after-sales service that ensures not just easy reach but pro-active service. Our dealerships, while providing focused sales consultancy will ensure that the customer's trucks are delivering maximum value to his business.

    Our goal is to ensure that our customers feel empowered by associating with BharatBenz," he added. Speaking on the occasion Mr.K K Wasan, Dealer Principal, Wasan Trucking said, "We are delighted to partner with BharatBenz. We are fully ready to ensure that our customers experience superior sales and after sales service and our facilities will become an extension of their business.

    We will focus on his trucks while our customer focuses in expanding his business." At the dealerships, the customer can experience a host of primary and value-added services. On the sales front, the personnel have been trained to provide tailor-made solutions depending on the specific needs of each customer. Thus purchasing BharatBenz trucks from Wasan Trucking ensures that every customer is able to choose the trucks most appropriately suited to his business needs.

    Customers will enjoy the benefits of a fully 'Pro-Active' service that ensures his trucks provide maximum productivity. On the After-sales front, the dealership has a 24x7 enabled workshop. It is manned by qualified & Daimler trained engineers/technicians and equipped with high productivity tools, advanced guided diagnostics & Mobile Service vans.

    The dealership will provide a host of value-added services viz., Cashless Zero-depreciation Insurance, Full Maintenance Contracts, Extended Warranty, 24x7 Roadside Assistance, Vehicle tracking systems, Driver Training and Express & On-site Service. Customers will also enjoy easy financing solutions. The dealership will provide financing solutions ably supported by Daimler's own captive financing brand BharatBenz Financial.

    Key financing partners like HDFC Bank, ICICI Bank, Sundaram Finance & Kotak Bank add substantial choice and value. This integrated approach will offer BharatBenz customers the combined benefit of Best-in-Class Products, Pro-Active after-sales service and easy financing under one roof, making ownership a powering experience. BharatBenz is the Indian truck brand of Daimler AG, the world's largest Commercial Vehicle manufacturer and inventor of the truck.

    Backed by 115 years of global trucking experience and an in-depth understanding of the Indian terrain, BharatBenz is here to transform the country's trucking industry. BharatBenz will offer Indian customers an entire truck portfolio in the 6 to 49 tonne range across various applications. The name BharatBenz - brings out the two most defining qualities of a brand that is being built exclusively for India. 'Bharat' carries the values, ideologies and spirit of the nation, and reinforces the brand's commitment to serve the Indian market. 'Benz' upholds the lineage of innovation, technological brilliance and engineering excellence that have given unparallel performance and great value to automobiles for generations.

    Powered by the synergy between global leadership in technology and local, deep rooted customer knowledge, BharatBenz is set to build robust, reliable, performance-oriented trucks to drive maximum productivity and deliver maximum value to customers across the country. With BharatBenz, the new era of Indian trucking has arrived. Daimler India Commercial Vehicles Pvt.

    Ltd. Daimler India Commercial Vehicles (DICV) is a 100% subsidiary of Daimler AG, Stuttgart, Germany. DICV will produce light, medium and heavy-duty commercial vehicles for the Indian volume market, under the brand name BharatBenz.

    BharatBenz stands for Indian engineering with German DNA. The products will be customized to serve all major customer segments, from owner-drivers up to large fleet operators. The efficiency of BharatBenz trucks will be an optimal fit for customers keen on efficiency, a low Total Cost of Ownership over the life-cycle and highest profit potential for their businesses.

    The state-of-the-art production plant at Oragadam, near Chennai, spreads over 400 acres (160 hectares). It includes a modern test track designed to simulate Indian conditions making it one of its kind in Asia. DICV has a total dedicated investment of over INR 4400 crs (approximately 700 million).

    Sustainability being a core of Daimler's corporate culture, DICV will focus on creating efficient, reliable and ecologically friendly products. The Company also handles Marketing, Sales and After Sales of Mercedes-Benz Actros Trucks in India. Liked This Story?

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  • Daniel S Bridger's Trucking Blog: Great Pizza in a Dangerous ... After living in Salt Lake City 19 years, one of the things I miss most about Milwaukee and Wisconsin is the great food available. Milwaukee was settled by many different ethnic groups (German, Italian, Polish, etc) and they brought their authentic recipes and ingredients with them. When it comes to pizza, it seems that out west, thin crust seems odd to the citizens.

    I miss the pizzas with a mouthful of great meat, (real) cheese and spicy sauce toppings instead of half tasteless crust. I last had Hup's on a visit to my brother's house a couple of years ago. Same great pizza, same great taste that we remember so well.

    What follows is a review of Hup s Pizza, from , which is located near our old house on Milwaukee s northwest side. I will always remember going with my dad in the 60's in the family car (a 1957 Chrysler New Yorker) to pick up our large cheese, sausage, mushroom and onion pizza and bringing it back home to our family. Looking at that picture below makes my mouth water!

    Started in the mid-60 s and still going strong today (with some much needed operational changes, to prevent robberies). Now, because of the neighborhood, you enter a small lobby, no windows, stand behind bulletproof glass, get your pizza through a sliding tray after passing your cash through (no credit cards)! I hope the author succeeds in getting an interview with the owner, Bobby Rodgers.

    I'll keep you posted. Link follows to another post I did about Milwaukee's current troubles. Thanks to and written by Rick Rodriguez , special to Link to their site follows: I honestly cannot remember how or when I heard about Hup's Pizza, 5400 W.

    Hampton Ave., but the name kept popping up online and among a few friends, so I thought it was time to try it. I called in my order, which was a challenge. I don't know if it was the phone or the guy on the other end, but everything he said was mumbled, so I had to ask him to repeat everything.

    Eventually, I ordered my usual sausage and pepperoni pie. When I arrived, the building looked a little smaller than I expected from the picture I saw online. It was about the size of my garage, painted in green and red.

    It certainly had a historic look to it. I later learned from the staff that Hup's Pizza has been in business for 45 years, and I'm guessing they've been in the same building. I entered the lobby and was surprised at how small it was, but I guess you don't need much space for carry-out orders.

    It must have been 6 feet by 6 feet. There were two of us in the lobby, and it felt crowded. There was a menu board on the wall next to the pick-up window.

    The menu was hand-written and listed the pizza sizes and prices by number of toppings, along with a few other items such as garlic bread and cheese bread. The window was about 12 inches by 18 inches in the middle of the wall. There were no doors in the lobby that led to the kitchen.

    The employees entered through a back door. I walked up to the window and looked to the right into the kitchen to try and make eye contact with one of the employees to let them know I was there. A young man greeted me and told me my pizza would be up in a couple of minutes.

    I slid my payment under the window and waited patiently. So far, this was an interesting experience. Eventually I arrived home ready to eat my pizza.

    I appreciated that it was wrapped in two pizza bags to help protect my car and clothes from stains. The first thing I noticed was that the toppings were loaded on. There was so much pepperoni, it almost completely covered the thick layer of cheese.

    The chunks of Italian sausage were also plentiful. Hup's clearly does not skimp on toppings. The crust was very thin throughout.

    It was crispy around the outer edge and softer toward the center. Slices were cut in squares of various sizes. The sauce had a subtle spiciness to it, but the seasoning created a great flavor. (Well done, Hup's!) Hup's pizzas are thin crust, and come in 12-inch or 14-inch sizes with prices starting at $10.99.

    There weren't any specialty pizzas listed, and the menu was simple. Low overhead has proven to be a good strategy for a successful business. I'm sure this also allows Hup's to focus on what they do best.

    The flavorful sauce and abundance of toppings certainly make Hup's worthy of another visit someday, and maybe I'll get to meet the owner, Bobby Rogers. I'd love to learn about the history of Hup's and its recipes, as well as how many generations of family have been involved. Unfortunately, he was not in the day of my visit, nor another day that I called and asked for him.

    All I was able to get was his name. With 45 years in business, there has to be a great story, or two, to share. Click here to link to My post on the troubled city of Milwaukee: Click here to link to milwaukee-gas-station-robbery-new-normal.html More links to great Wisconsin Food!

    Great Milwaukee Burger!

    Shaffer's Famous Chicken!


  • Davies Turner Expands German Road Haulage Operation ... May 1st in 3PL by Daksha . Davies Turner is boosting UK importers and exporters links with Bavaria and central Europe, building on its new twice-weekly trailer groupage service with the region. The UK freight forwarder has signed a co-operation agreement with Deutsche Transport Company, and now runs direct two-way services connecting its main hubs in the UK with Deutsche Transport s headquarters in Nuremberg.

    According to Davies Turner chairman Philip Stephenson, Germany continues to be one of the company s main trade lanes in Europe, with volumes continuing to grow. This The UK freight forwarder has signed a co-operation agreement with Deutsche Transport Company, and now runs direct two-way services connecting its main hubs in the UK with Deutsche Transport s headquarters in Nuremberg. According to Davies Turner chairman Philip Stephenson, Germany continues to be one of the company s main trade lanes in Europe, with volumes continuing to grow.

    This hub to hub trailer service follows the same pattern as we established last year with the development of daily services between the UK and near European countries such as France and Benelux as well as Germany, by connecting our five main UK depots in Glasgow, Manchester, Birmingham, Bristol and Dartford to the main gateway cities in the countries concerned, said Stephenson. He added that the new link builds on existing strengths and follows an established pattern, and the 48-hour transit times compete directly with the courier and express networks but at more cost-effective rates. With branches throughout Britain and Ireland, Davies Turner is already one of the leading groupage and full load operators for Germany and Central Europe.

    Established in 1946, Deutsche Transport operates a network of logistics services across Europe.

    The cooperation deal is the latest by Davis Turner, who in January signed an agreement with Hellmann Worldwide to improve on service offerings and door-to-door deliveries to Poland.

  • Dennison Trailers10 views September 3, 2012 in Europe, Freight Forwarders, Logistics and Transport, Promote Your Brand, United Kingdom Dennison Trailers is acknowledged as being one of the major players in commercial trailer manufacture, offering a broad range of market leading, innovative and superbly engineered products.

    Our business commenced trading nearly 50 years ago and since such time we have delivered over 40,000 units to clients who operate throughout the world .

    Tags: commercial trailer, manufacturer, road transport

  • DHL trucking firm launches carbon offsetting programme DHL Freight subsidiary Standard Forwarding is now offering two new environmentally-friendly shipping products in the United States. The less-than-truckload carrier is offering carbon dioxide emission reports for customers that request them, detailing the carbon footprint of their shipments on each route. And, the carrier is now also offering the option to offset the carbon emissions created during transport through Deutsche Post DHL s global GoGreen initiative.

    DHL said carbon dioxide emissions are calculated following principles from internationally recognized standards, such as the Greenhouse Gas Protocol from the World Resources Institute, and the CO2 and reporting norms for transport shipments method negotiated by the World Economic Forum. Standard Forwarding s customers can request a monthly, quarterly or yearly report detailing their carbon footprint for each route during the requested time period. Based on the CO2 report, customers can then opt to compensate for their carbon emissions through the GoGreen offsetting programme, which funds external climate protection projects that have a beneficial impact on climate change emissions.

    Offset funding could support projects like a biomass power plant in India, a wind park in Nicaragua, a landfill gas plant in Turkey, afforestation in Ugandaor and the distribution of ceramic water filter to replace the boiling of water. DHL said it uses the internationally established auditing company SGS (Soci t G n rale de Surveillance) to review and verify the carbon emissions of GOGREEN shipments, as well as the amount of emissions offset through the service, in line with the ISO 14064 standard. We are proud to be at the cutting-edge of environmental responsibility for an LTL carrier, said John Ward, president of Standard Forwarding.

    This will give our customers an option to reduce their carbon footprint and achieve their own green goals. Standard Forwarding and its customers are true partners in achieving a common good. SmartWay DHL acquired Standard Forwarding in June 2011.

    The company based in East Moline, Illinois, has been operating since 1934, with a fleet of around 300 trucks and 650 trailers. The company has been part of the US Environmental Protection Agency s SmartWay Transport Partnership for four years. The partnership is designed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and air pollution.

    With 40 new tractors purchased earlier this year and 35 new tractors expected to be delivered in late 2012, DHL said Standard Forwarding has made great strides in further reducing greenhouse gas and air pollutant emissions. The tractors are estimated to show a 17% reduction in CO2 emissions per year compared to the tractors they are replacing. Onboard computers that optimize driver behavior and a strong driver training program further contribute to reducing carbon emissions.

    Source: PostParcel/DHL Tags: carbon emissions, DHL, DHL Freight, GoGreen, Standard Forwarding, USA Article source:

  • Dog gone trucking - Discuss Pets @ PetLovers.Com Dog gone trucking I'm taking care of my son's little dog while he learns to drive a big ig, once that education is over the little guy will be going in the rig, and I know my son wants this ful. Hetrained, how can I do that when I'm so forgetful. he's a 1 1/2 year old Datson German shepherd and as sweet as they come.

    thinking of having a local teen help me out, but are there better ideas???

    Yes its good sense for a truckers dog to be well trained.

  • Download Commercial Trucking Bilingual ...Commercial Trucking Bilingual Dictionary: English/Spanish book download Maria Moya CLICK HERE. Dispatched from and sold by Amazon. She has a Bachelor of Arts from the University of New Mexico and a Doctorate from the University of Denver.

    Commercial Trucking Bilingual Dictionary : English / Spanish Written in English with Spanish translations, this versatile book is an essential glossary and tool for anyone within the commercial truck driving industry, as well as in industries that . Commercial Trucking Bilingual Dictionary: English/Spanish: Maria. Reference 2017: Commercial Trucking Bilingual Dictionary : English .

    Vertaalwoord: multilingual dictionary Dutch- English , German, Frison, Danish, Norwegian, Swedish, French, Italian, Spanish , Latin. Buy Book Commercial Trucking Bilingual Dictionary: English. A must-have dictionary and reference, the Commercial Trucking Bilingual Dictionary can be.

    A. Allwords: multilingual dictionary . Maria Moya is currently the sole owner of IAM Enterprisees.

    Books. Search dictionaries in Google books | Anglo Premier TranslationsRecently, there seems to have been an explosion in the number of bilingual and multilingual technical dictionaries available in Google Books . Commercial Dutch grammar, for private students, civil servants, business men, by Hubertus Elffers (1896).

    English/Spanish Dictionary is an Essential Tool for Anyone in the Commercial Truck Driving Industry - Written in English with Spanish translations, this versatile The Abs Diet for Women: The Six-Week Plan to Flatten Your Belly and Firm Up Your Body for Life read book Never Be Sick Again (Playaway Adult Nonfiction) Monetary Integration And Dollarization: No Panacea read e-book Life Assessment and Improvement of Turbo-Generator Rotors for Fossil Plants e-book Hungry Planet: What the World Eats ebook Find a Way or Make a Way: Checklists of Helpful Accommodations for Students download Kids Design Glass book Bazaar Politics: Power and Pottery in an Afghan Market Town (Stanford Studies in Middle Eastern and I) online Encounters with Melanie Klein: Selected Papers of Elizabeth Spillius (The New Library of Psychoanalysis) Canadian Flyer Adventures #3: Crazy for Gold online ebook The Defense Game:An Insider Explores the Astonishing Realties of America's Defense Establishment read The Marketing Plan

  • Download Euro Truck Simulator 2 (RUSENGROMMULTi34) (v1.2.5 ... Euro Truck Simulator 2 FULL-P2P Travel across Europe as king of the road, a trucker who delivers important cargo across impressive distances! With dozens of cities to explore from the UK, Belgium, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, and many more, your endurance, skill and speed will all be pushed to their limits. If you ve got what it takes to be part of an elite trucking force, get behind the wheel and prove it!

    Game info Transport a vast variety of cargo across more than 60 European cities. Run your own business which continues to grow even as you complete your freight deliveries. Build your own fleet of trucks, buy garages, hire drivers, manage your company for maximum profits.

    A varied amount of truck tuning that range from performance to cosmetic changes. Customize your vehicles with optional lights, bars, horns, beacons, smoke exhausts, and more. Thousands of miles of real road networks with hundreds of famous landmarks and structures.

    Minimum System Requirements: Windows XP/Vista/7, Dual core CPU 2.4 GHz 2 GB RAM, graphics card with 256 MB memory (GeForce 7600 GT-class equivalent or better) List of changes Changes in version Added a licensed truck DAF; Added a command line parameter - nodx9ex which disables DX9 compatibility with Xfire; Decode Unicode; Support Korean, Vietnamese and Chinese languages; Enter your name in the encoding ASCII; Improved auto-save / load; Fixed registration plates for SK, NL, FR, I, S, BE; Updated the light bulb of all trucks, trailers and AI vehicles; Adjusted modeling of fatigue; New transmission for each truck; Adjust the steering; Fixed over two hundred individual cards, fixed weather, added new lighting lamps at interchanges; Remove some inaccessible roads from GPS; Added a bus as the vehicle AI traffic; Improved traffic at intersections - the speed, acceleration and braking; Reduced the brightness of the on-board computer; Fixed a ticker in the Route advisor; Added an additional level of progress of history - the progress is now shown up to level 150; Added slider Rain in the settings; Added a slider the braking of the truck in the settings; Subtle improvements in HDR. Changes in version 1.1.3: Improved handling of fatigue. Fixed cboi navigator.

    Fixed possible crash. Changes in version 1.1.1: LED emergency gang operate with the engine off. Improve agility.

    Increased tone HDR. Cruise control is disabled for any action by the driver. Fixed missing sunshafts with MLAA enabled in certain situations.

    Dynamic force feedback is switched off when the game is paused. Truck plate control fixed. The lack of money in the UK version of "lite" route advisor corrected.

    Wrong characters cruise control panel fixed. Improper handling of double-clicking on certain UI elements, corrected. Lack of AI traffic at some low fixed installations.

    No load / save screenshots for long filenames profile fixed. Random trailer truck disappear after upgrade fixed. Lack of navigation route after the truck upgrade fixed.

    Parking bonus awarded correctly. The total distance calculation work corrected. Fixed bursts of sound environmental placed sounds.

    The parking brake stick animation updated after setting.

    Map: signs settings, AI speed settings on some problem areas.

    Fixed Majestic wipers.

  • drinkdrank: Take me Out to the BallgameI'm a baseball fan. In fact, I'd say baseball has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. While major league baseball is great take last night's All-Star Game, and the break in the game the entire stadium took to honor retiring Yankee-great Derek Jeter what I really find to be one of the great joys in my life, is watching minor league baseball at the park.

    There's something simple about a minor league game. For me, those games are where true baseball lies. The player's hearts are in the game, and minor league ball is far less big-business, and more, well just about baseball.

    I don't want to sound sappy, but there's a purity to minor league ballgames. There's just something perfect about packing the family up on a warm summer's afternoon and trucking to the ballpark to watch a game. Fortunately, minor league ballparks are also becoming a haven for some great beer.

    At home, in the Capital Region of New York, Brown's Brewing Company has a bar located along the first base line at Joe Bruno Stadium, home of the Valley Cats. Not only can you get some of Brown's regularly scheduled brews, they also make Iron Horse IPA, as part of Ales for ALS, in which all proceeds are donated to the ALS Therapy Development Institute (ALS TDI), the world s leader in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis or ALS research. For those who might night know, ALS is often called Lou Gehrig's Disease, named for the Hall of Fame Yankee first baseman, afflicted by the disease in the 1930s.

    Gehrig's nickname was the Iron Horse. In my last post I mentioned that Ashland, Virginia's Center of the Universe Brewing Co. produces Chin Music, an amber lager for the Richmond Flying Squirrels, but this beery baseball phenomenon is happening across the country.

    In Rochester, New York, Rohrbach Brewing Company makes Red Wing Ale for Rochester's International League team the Red Wings. Fans of the Indianapolis Indians can get Indian's Lager, a Vienna lager brewed by Sun King Brewing Company, at Victory Park. Papillion Nebraska's Omaha Storm Chasers offer an extra pale ale called Ale Storm made by the Nebraska Brewing Company.

    The team that seems like the most obvious choice for good beer at the ballpark has to be the Hillsboro Hops, the hometown team of Hillsboro, Oregon. For this beery team, Bridgeport Brewing Company makes a Golden Ale dubbed Long Ball Ale. This past Monday I had the chance to quaff a few Summer Tides--a hoppy wheat pale ale--made by New South Brewing Company for the Myrtle Beach Pelicans of the Carolina League.

    These are just a few examples of the growing number of local minor league parks partnering with locally made beer. Interestingly, many of these breweries are taking a session approach to their ballpark brews, ending up with lower in strength beers, topping out at around 5%. My guess is that these ballparks would rather not re-enact Cleveland's 10-cent beer night.

    All said and done, baseball and beer go hand in hand, like peanuts and cracker jacks.

    Although Bud and Coors Light are still available at all these ballparks, it's nice to see some good, local beer finally creeping into the upper deck.

    Many thanks to for help on this one.

  • E

  • Economic Roundup 7-9-13 General News: It s monthly PMI time again, so we ll be checking around to see how everyone is doing. Remember, with PMI data, 50 is the break-even point between contraction (less than 50) and expansion (greater than 50) in that area. + ISM Manufacturing report for the US is in and the June PMI is 50.9 This indicates a reversal from contraction to expansion, albeit at a very slow rate . New Orders rose to 51.9, indicating expansion from contraction.

    Production rocketed to 53.4, indicating great expansion from contraction. Employment fell to 48.7, showing contraction from basically even. Supplier Deliveries rose to 50.0, indicating no change from last month.

    Inventories rose to 50.5, indicating very slight expansion. Prices rose to 52.5, indicating increasing input prices. Backlog of Orders fell again to 46.5, showing declining backlogs.

    Exports rose to 54.5, and are growing at a healthy, faster rate. Imports rose to 56.0, and are growing faster. Of the 18 manufacturing industries, 12 reported growth.

    Industry leaders are (in order) Furniture & Related Products; Apparel, Leather & Allied Products; Paper Products; Electrical Equipment, Appliances & Components; Petroleum & Coal Products; Wood Products; Food, Beverage & Tobacco Products; Primary Metals; Fabricated Metal Products; Plastics & Rubber Products; Machinery; and Nonmetallic Mineral Products. Losers include Textile Mills; Transportation Equipment; Chemical Products; and Computer & Electronic Products. Jun 2013 50.9 May 2013 49.0 Apr 2013 50.7 Mar 2013 51.3 Feb 2013 54.2 Jan 2013 53.1 Dec 2012 50.2 Nov 2012 49.9 Oct 2012 51.7 Sep 2012 51.6 Aug 2012 50.7 Jul 2012 50.5 Jun 2012 50.2 PMI numbers show a turnaround, but with the overall trend flopping back and forth around the break-even point with no real trend up or down.

    The economy still seems stuck in neutral, driven by auto and aircraft sales. Foreign currency devaluation seems to be having its effects as imports are up, but then again, so are exports. I have a concern about the fact that backlogs are declining and inventories are increasing even in the face of decreased employment. + ISM Non-Manufacturing report for the US is in and the May NMI is 52.2 This registers an decrease of 1.5 from last month s adjusted 52.2, and indicates a general increase in non-manufacturing activity, at a decreasing rate.

    The Business Activity Index component plummeted to 51.7, down 4.8 points from last month, but is still showing expansion. The New Orders Component also dropped, falling to 50.8 from 56.0, also still showing expansion but at a much reduced rate. Employment Activity, however, rose significantly, registering a 4.6 point rise to 54.7.

    10 industries reported growth in employment while the other 6 reported decreased employment or no change. Supplier Deliveries fell slightly to 51.5, indicating expansion at a slower rate. Inventories rose to 54.5, indicating expansion at a sharply faster rate.

    Prices rose to 52.5, indicating faster growing input prices. Backlog of Orders rose slightly to 52.0, growing backlogs. Exports fell to 47.5, and are at an contracting rate.

    Imports rose to 53.5, and are growing. Of the 18 non-manufacturing industries, 14 reported growth. Industry leaders are (in order) Management of Companies & Support Services; Arts, Entertainment & Recreation; Transportation & Warehousing; Wholesale Trade; Retail Trade; Information; Accommodation & Food Services; Utilities; Real Estate, Rental & Leasing; Public Administration; Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing & Hunting; Finance & Insurance; Construction; and Professional, Scientific & Technical Services.

    Losers include Mining; Other Services; Educational Services; and Health Care & Social Assistance. Jun 2013 52.2 May 2013 53.7 Apr 2013 53.1 Mar 2013 54.4 Feb 2013 56.0 Jan 2013 55.2 Dec 2012 55.7 Nov 2012 54.8 Oct 2012 54.8 Sep 2012 55.2 Aug 2012 54.3 Jul 2012 52.9 Jun 2012 52.7 Non-Manufacturing PMI indicates a growing economy in this sector. Of concern is the increasing inventories, increasing backlog of orders, slowing deliveries and slowing exports, all coupling to register a sharp drop in production.

    Inventory sentiment indicates that businesses see their inventories are too high, so I would expect a continuing trend of slowing production and input purchasing so to reduce these inventories. Overall, I see the PMI trend to continue to be growing, but at a decreasing rate, over the next few months. > < The ADP National Employment report is in, and it indicates that 188,000 private sector jobs were added in June. While up from May's 135,000, it still is only a bit above the increases in population.

    Which means one shouldn't expect too much of a change in unemployment rates or opportunities. > < The Challenger, Gray, and Christmas employment report indicates that planned job cuts rose slightly in June, but is down roughly 9% from last year. The slowdown in job cuts last quarter was responsible for an overall decline in job cuts through the first half of 2013. Employers announced 258,932 job cuts through the six months of the year, 8.5% fewer than the 283,091 job cuts announced by the same point in 2012.

    The six-month total is the second lowest since 2000, when employers announced 223,421 cuts from January through June. While job cuts have declined overall, four of the five industries with the heaviest layoffs so far this year have seen job cuts increase by an average of 60%. Of the top five job-cutting sectors, financial service has experienced the heaviest downsizing and the largest year-over-year gain.

    Job cuts in this sector are up 82% to 36,762, including 1,671 in June. The second-ranked retail sector has announced 32,900 cuts this year, up 38% from 2012. Meanwhile, job cuts in the health care sector are up 62% to 22,951.

    Energy News: Production is still up, with very high levels of crude oil products. Crude is still trading higher than a year ago, and increasing because of the Egyptian violence. But supplies remain high, and prices are remaining fairly stable.

    Gasoline stocks are at way-above-average levels, and production has increased, but holiday and summer travel has more than compensated and inventory levels have declined. Diesel production and inventories both declined last week, likely as the refineries tried to shift to gasoline production in anticipation of the drawdowns there. Gasoline prices are currently coming down, but are currently trending above last year, as are diesel prices. + Production: According to the Petroleum Status Report: Crude oil inventories decreased 10.3 million barrels from last week, and continue to be well above the upper limit of the average range for this time of year at 383.8 million barrels.

    Gasoline inventories decreased 1.7 million barrels and are well above the upper limit of the average range. Gasoline production increased last week, but with finished gasoline inventories decreasing and blending components decreasing. Distillate (diesel and home heating oil) inventories decreased by 2.4 million barrels, and are near the lower limit of the average range.

    Distillate production decreased last week. Refineries operated at 92.2% capacity. Crude Imports were down by 891 thousand bbl per day from the previous week, and are down 1.1 million bbl per day from the same time last year. - Crude Oil (WTI) increased by $2.55 over last week and is at $96.36 per bbl, and $11.32 above a year ago. > < Gasoline & Diesel According to the AAA Fuel Gauge Report: The national average retail regular gasoline declined this week, to $3.474 per gallon ($3.487 per gallon last week; $3.381 a year ago).

    Diesel prices fell slightly to $3.817 per gallon ($3.823 per gallon last week; $3.674 a year ago). > < Propane According to the Petroleum Status Report and This Week in Petroleum: Propane inventories increased 1.5 million barrels, and are in the upper half of the average range. Mount Belvieu, TX propane spot pricing as of 7-2-13 was up at $0.863 per gallon from last week s $0.848 per gallon. It was $0.788 per gallon a year ago. (EIA Wholesale Propane average prices are generally $0.10 to $0.15 higher than the Mount Belvieu, TX spot price) > < Natural Gas According to the EIA Natural Gas Weekly update: They are off for the July 4th holiday, so no information was available this week. > < Heating Oil This Week in Petroleum indicates: No.

    2 Heating Oil, New York Harbor (7-2-13) was up slightly from last week, at $2.762 per gallon ($2.715 a week ago, $2.676 a year ago). (EIA Wholesale Heating Oil Prices are typically 20 cents higher) > < Coal According to the EIA Weekly Coal Report, US coal production totaled 18.5 million short tons (mmst), which is 4.9% higher than last week (19.4 mmst) and 2.3% higher than last year (18.1 mmst). Year to date coal production totaled 484.8 mmst, which is 4.3% lower than last year. Steel news: Steel prices and input prices seem to have stabilized over the last week. > < American Iron and Steel Institute reports that US raw steel production was 1,822,000 tons and 76.1% of capacity (week ending June 29), down 3.1% from the 1,881,000 tons 78.5% the previous week.

    This represents a 2.1% decrease from the same period last year, when production was 1,862,000 tons and 74.8% capacity. > < Year to date US production through June 22, 2013, was 47,832,000 tons and 76.8% capacity utilization, which is down 6.0% from last year s 50,902,000 and 78.8%. > < For the last 2 weeks, the prices remained static for #1 heavy melt scrap at $324 per ton and #1 busheling at $382 per ton. > < Iron fines rose last week to $119 per dry metric ton, but then fell back 1%-2%. > < Chinese steel prices rose a bit over the last week, with the Chinese Long Product Index rising 1.5% in a week (6061 on 7-5-13) and the Chinese Flat Products Index rising 0.9% in a week (5686 on 7-5-13). > < Indian steel prices stabilized last week, with the Indian Long Products and the Indian Flat Products both being unchanged (7-5-13). + Metals made gains this week, and Zinc, Tin, Nickel, Aluminum, and Copper all increased in trading value, with Aluminum and Copper making the greatest headway at about 3% week-on-week (London Metal Exchange). Automotive News: + Strong demand for vehicles in the US continued in June, as all brands posted significant gains in sales. + GM sales topped projections by climbing 6.5% compared to last year, selling a total of 264,843 vehicles in June, the company s highest monthly sales since September 2008. Cadillac s had sales rising 15% year-over-year.

    Chevrolet posted 7.4% growth, and GMC sales rose 4.5%. Buick was the lone GM brand to post a decline, falling 4.1%. The results were also fueled by continued demand for large pickup sales.

    Sales of the Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra increased 29% and 33%, respectively. + Ford posted a 13% increase in sales for June on strong consumer demand for small cars, selling 235,643 vehicles in the U.S., up from 207,759 a year ago. Truck sales were up 20%, while car sales rose 12% and sport utility vehicles saw 7.5% growth. Small cars had a particularly good month, as sales of the Fiesta, Focus, C-MAX and other small cars soared 39%.

    That reflects Ford s best small-car performance for June in 13 years. + Chrysler reported an 8.2% growth in June, selling 156,686 vehicles, up from 144,811 a year ago. Car sales were up 11% over last year, while trucks recorded growth of 7.2%. Sales at the company s Ram Truck brand rose 23%, leading all other Chrysler brands.

    Dodge sales climbed 12%, and Jeep trailed the pack with a slight 0.2% gain. + Toyota s preliminary sales report shows a 9.8% increase last month, selling 195,235 vehicles. Toyota tripled its net profit in the last fiscal year, thanks to better U.S. sales.

    It expects to record 42% growth this year. + Fellow Japanese automaker Honda also posted strong sales, reporting 9.7% growth to narrowly beat estimates. * The Corvette s initial production began June 30, 1953 at Flint, Mich, and to mark the birthday, Chevrolet is turning out a special edition of the redesigned 2014 Corvette. Just 500 will be built, loaded with nearly every option available on the 2014 Corvette. Transportation News: Rail traffic picked up over the last week, continuing its build-and-hold pattern of year-on-year growth.

    Trucking numbers are starting to come in for May, and tonnage hauled is up, indicating manufacturing and sales are increasing. And the airline industry seems to be continuing its own growth and moderation. + The Association of American Railroads reported mixed traffic for the week ending June 29, 2013. U.S.

    railroads originated 281,367 carloads, down from last week, but up 1% from last year. Intermodal volume for the week totaled 249,673 trailers and containers, down from last week, and down 1.5% from last year.

    2013 cumulative carload volume is down 1.5% from last year, while cumulative intermodal volume is up 3.6% from last year. Total cumulative 2013 US traffic is up 0.8% from last year.

    Five of the 10 carload commodity groups posted increases compared with the same week in 2012, led by petroleum products, up 26.6%. Commodities showing a decrease were led by grain, down 13.8%. Canadian railroads reported 75,038 carloads and 53,920 intermodal loads, down 3.8% and down 1.2% from the same period last year.

    Mexican railroads reported 17,077 carloads and 10,384 intermodal loads, up 13.9% and down 0.1% from the same period last year. Asia News: - The Markit Economics HSBC China Manufacturing PMI fell to 48.2 in June from May s 49.2, indicating contraction at a faster rate. New Orders and Output both fell, with new business from abroad falling the fastest since September with indicators suggesting that reduced demand from Europe and the US driving the decline.

    Employment declined the fastest in almost a year with some indicators falling the fastest in 4 years. Input costs decreased four the fourth month, driven by lower raw material costs. Purchasing activity fell slightly, accompanied by a depletion of stocks at the fastest rate in the past 5 months.

    After a brief spurt of expansion, China PMI data have fallen further into contraction territory. Troubling reports of major overcapacity and governmental tightening of lending to help control and cool certain sectors of its economy are indicators that the downward trend will continue for a while. Monetary expansion has been going on for quite some time, and monetary contractions, including simply stopping the expansions, can often trigger an economic correction.

    Chinese banks faced a cash crisis at the end of the second quarter as banks struggled to meet capital requirements, and the Chinese government has signaled a scaling back in lending to industries already suffering from too much capacity. + The Markit Economics JMMA Japan Manufacturing PMI rose to 52.3 in June from May s 51.5, indicating growth at an increasing rate. Manufacturing output and New Orders increased at an accelerated rate in June. Input prices increase while output prices rose only slightly as a weaker yen squeezed margins by increasing the prices of imports.

    Despite an increase in volumes, Backlogs of work were reduced, although at a small rate, indicating that the uptick in orders is beginning to test capacity. Employment grew, with the increase in employment indicators the sharpest in 13 months. Input buying was marginal in June, with stocks of raw materials and semi-manufactured good falling.

    Abenomics is having its initial sugar rush and the economy is motivated like it hasn't been in a while. The devaluation of the yen is boosting exports. However, I see that the increase in import prices will be a major factor in the Japanese economy in the near future.

    I find troubling that import prices are already squeezing margins, and input buying is only marginally increasing as manufacturers are drawing down current raw material stocks as opposed to bringing in new. This tells me that manufacturers are hesitant to bring in fresh, more expensive, production goods, as they will further constrict margins and result in a necessity to begin raising prices to compensate. Once the input price disadvantages begin to swamp out export advantages, things will reverse real quick.

    But the devaluation will be "permanent," and its consequences harder to undo. > < The Markit Economics HSBC India Manufacturing PMI rose to 50.3 in June from May s 50.1, indicating negligible growth, albeit at an increasing rate. This is the 51st consecutive month for the India PMI to be above the 50 point no-change threshold. New Orders fell for the first time since 2009, and even though exports rose at the sharpest rate since January, Output levels fell for the second month running.

    Input prices increased the fastest since February, but squeezed margins as competition limited the ability of companies to pass on the increases. Backlogs of work increased among reports of power, raw material, and water shortages. Employment hiring increased in response to the increasing backlogs, but a lack of labor availability limited the increases.

    I figured it would be interesting to include India to the list, as it would complement overseas information and provide insight to global prospects through looking at one of the bigger emerging manufacturing countries in the region. European News: - For the Eurozone, Retail PMI Data is in. The Retail PMI Index improves to 49.1 from 46.8 in May.

    49.1 is a 15 month high, but still shows contraction, albeit sales revenues fell the slowest since March 2012. Italy currently has the worst-performing retail sector of the three largest euro area economies, with a retial PMI of 40.7 Germany, however, had retail sales rise at the strongest pace since early 2012, and had the only expansion PMI, at 55.3 German retail employment continued its long record of increases, while modest job shedding continued in Italy and France. - The Markit Economics Manufacturing PMI for the Eurozone has risen again this month to 48.8 from May s 48.3. The PMI indicates continued manufacturing contraction, at a slower pace.

    The Eurozone PMI has been below the 50 mark since August of 2011 Ireland crawled back into expansion territory, while Spain broke even and Italy crawled to within sight of the break-even point. Germany was the only country to not have a rise in PMI, falling to 48.6. New Orders contracted, but dropped at the slowest pace in two years.

    Employment fell for the 17th straight month, with Ireland the only country to report employment gains, while Germany and the Netherlands had accelerating job losses. Overall, employment losses eased in the Eurozone. Inventories, purchasing activity, and backlogs of orders all dropped on concerns of the deteriorating retail situation.

    Ireland 50.3 (4 month high, expanding) Spain 50.0 (26 month high, even) Italy 49.1 (23 month high, contracting) Netherlands 48.8 (4 month high, contracting) Germany 48.6 (2 month low, contracting) France 48.4 (16 month high, contracting) Austria 48.3 (4 month high, contracting) Greece 45.4 (24 month high, contracting) The European situation is still dismal and still declining. Retail sales are still down and manufacturing is still in decline. Don't let the fact that they are no longer in free-fall fool you.

    All that the numbers are saying is that they are stabilizing, which isn't necessarily improving. The Eurozone is possibly nearing the bottom of a long flight of stairs, and has a very long climb to get back to where it was 2 years ago. Jobs are still being lost, which means incomes are still declining, which means that governments will continue to be hard pressed for financing, and which means that the trend will likely continue for some time to come. + The Markit Economics Manufacturing PMI for the UK rose again in June to 52.5 from May s 51.5, signaling continuing expansion, and at a faster rate.

    This is the third month of indicated expansion for UK manufacturing, with all subsectors of production showing increases. New Orders continued to increase, both domestically and overseas. Employment remained relatively unchanged Output prices fell for the first time in over three years, and the declines were linked to lower input prices and increased competition.

    Purchasing Activity also increased, although input inventories were allowed to decline and finished good inventories were pared away to satisfy new and existing orders. + The Markit Economics Manufacturing PMI for Russia rose to 51.7 in June, from May s 50.4, showing growth at an increasing rate. Other than for the period during the global crash in 2008-2009, the Russian manufacturing PMI has remained above 50 for most of the past 15 years. New Orders growth continued, at the fastest rate since February, along with Output.

    Employment levels increased for the first time since October, albeit marginally. Disclaimer: This report and a lot of its analyses have been created from a variety of source materials, some quoted directly. This report is intended as a pr cis of world activity for informational purposes only.

    While I may not have managed to acknowledge every source here, no attempt at plagiarism is intended.

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  • Edith's Streets: River Brent - Neasden River Brent The Brent flows south and is joined by the Wealdstone Brook from the west Post to the north Neasden Besant Way Estate boiler house now in other use as an office. Canal Feeder This is a feeder canal to the Grand Union Canal built around 1811 taking water from the River Brent to the main canal in what is now Park Royal. It was gravity fed and followed the natural contours.

    After the Brent Reservoir was built in 1835 the feeder was supplied through a tunnel in the dam. Having run underground for some distance through the railway works and industrial sites the feeder runs in the open alongside the IKEA store Fourth Way British Empire Exhibition. Amusement Park .

    This ran down between Fourth Way and the boundary having also been along the northern boundary. It featured among other things: Tut s Tomb - a reconstruction of the then recently discovered Tomb of Tutankhamen at Luxor. This was in the amusement section because Egypt was not in the Empire and allegedly Carter was not amused.

    Golden Glide . Sponsored by Pears Soap. Cars shaped like soap tablets travelled through an English lavender garden, into a cave-of-soap and to the brink of a waterfall cascading at the rate of 35,000 gallons an hour.

    Safety Racer , a double-track mountain railway switchback ride Scenic Railway this was built by Thompson & Iliffe. After the exhibition closed it was moved to Manchester s Belle Vue Park and remained in use there into the 1970s. It was demolished in 1979 Pyramid House and the Brent Car Pound Hallmark Trading Estate.

    Hallmark was the trade name of refrigeration equipment shown at the exhibition by J. & E Hall of Dartford. Engineering works can t read 1950s Great Central Way The road goes through an area of industry and trading sites. It appears to have been built since the 1950s through an area used as sidings by the Great Central Railway.

    Neasden Freight terminal lay north of the road. It was closed in 1965 Gresham Road The Great Central Railway built houses for its workers here Hannah Close Industrial and trading area, including waste processing and heavy haulage Hardie Close St Patrick s RC church St, Patrick s Community Centre Vernon House Special School Neasden Works Metropolitan Railway Works . In the1880s the Metropolitan Railway Co.

    built a new depot and repair shops here which would employ 500 men and replace its works in Marylebone. The original shed rebuilt for two lines was brought here from Harrow in 1893 and replaced by a roundhouse in 1898 which was itself demolished in 1909. Then a three line corrugated iron shed was built and also used for carriage cleaning and that closed in 1936.

    A brick built replacement for two lines closed in 1971 but is still there. There was a gas works on site. Locomotives and coaching stock were also manufactured here for the Metropolitan Railway.

    The final locomotive produced at the works was in 1898. The depot was later extensively rebuilt and became one of the main London Transport works. It is now the largest on the London Underground system, maintaining stock on the Metropolitan, Hammersmith and City, and Circle lines.

    The steam shed is now used as a training centre, The Great Central Railway established its depot south of the line, they had a six line shed built of brick which was there until closure in 1962. Neasden Power Station . Coal fired generating station built by the Metropolitan Railway as part of their electrification programme.

    It opened in 1904 and was adjacent to their depot. Power was fed to a network of sub stations around the Metropolitan s area. The station later contributed to the general underground power supply after the setting up of London Transport.

    It ceased production in 1968. North Circular Road Radiation House . Office block built 1962 the factory was opened in 1924 and known for making Ascot Gas Water Heaters.

    The firm was founded by a German called Dr Bernard Friedman and sold heaters made by Junkers of Germany. In 1933 it became Ascot Gas Water Heaters. It went through several take overs becoming part of Radiation in 1958.

    Radiation. Based in Birmingham but had a factory here in 1937 From GracesGuide IKEA . The store, on the site of the Ascot works, dates from the mid-1970s.

    Scandinavian home wares Railway Lines Chiltern Railways . In 1905 the Great Central railway opened a route for freight trains between Neasden and Northolt. It was used for passenger services from Marylebone from 1906, serving stations to Northolt Junction, Metropolitan Line .

    This line was laid as an extension to Harrow by the Metropolitan Railway in 1880. The line is now paralleled through this section by the Jubilee Line to Stanmore. St.Raphael Estate.

    Built in 1965 for the London Borough of Brent Willesden Sewage works in the area covered by new housing and north of St. Raphael Way. By 1875 some drainage works had been constructed at Stonebridge Park and in 1880 the Local Board bought land for a sewage outfall near the Brent at Stonebridge.

    A sewage farm at Stonebridge was built in 1886 and a new one was built in 1904. Village Way New housing , initially for railway workers, was built by the Metropolitan Railway with all the streets named after their Metropolitan stations in Buckinghamshire Woodheyes Road Cottages 1899 for Great Central Railway Sources British History. Middlesex, Willesden.

    Web site Field. London place names GLIAS Newsletter Graces Guide, Web site Jackson. London Metropolitan Railways London Encyclopaedia London Railway Record McCarthy.

    London North of the Thames Metroland Metropolitan Railway. Wikipedia Web site. Thames Basin Archaeological Group Report Walford.

    Village London

  • Egis Projects acquires Transpass, truck toll specialists French-headquartered infrastructure and services developer Egis Projects, whose subsidiaries manage over 1.2 million toll tag subscribers across Europe, has acquired Transpass, which provides trucking companies in over 20 European countries with toll registration and payment systems. Transpass, headofficed in Holland has contracts with TollCollect (Germany), Asfinag (Austria), Telepass (Italy), ViAxxes (France and Spain) and viaTOLL (Poland) involving both transponders and bankcard accounts. The Transpass service covers the new TOLL2GO initiative, launched in September 2011, which enables truckers to pay tolls in both Germany and Austria using a single TollCollect tag.

    Transpass systems also handle the complexities of gaining refunds of sales taxes and duties paid in foreign countries. In 2010Transpass collected around EUR100 million (USD133 million) in toll charges and tax refunds from a client list of some 5000 companies. It plans expansions into the Republic of Ireland (ROI), Portugal and Romania.

    On the Transpass buy Egis Projects CEO Rik Joosten comments: "This acquisition complements the traditional value chain of the company in the field of ETC". Its objective is to play a key role within the framework of the European Electronic Tolling Service (EETS), which aims to allow drivers to travel on toll roads, tunnels and bridges across Europe using a single on-board unit and one single charging account. The company's Easytrip brand tag issuing and account management service is already operational in the ROI (since 2005) and the Philippines (since 2008).

    In Ireland where Egis Road Operation has a majority interest in three toll motorway operations - NorthLink (56 km, 35 miles); MidLink (43km, 27 miles) and SouthLink (23 km, 14.5 miles) - Easytrip Services Ireland's major clients include the Dublin Port Tunnel and the company's 185,000 issued tags are accepted at all the country's toll plazas. In the Philippines, the Easytrip Services Corporation has a 15-year contract with the Manila North Tollways Corporation (MNTC) to supply tags and tolling management on the North Luzon Expressway (NLEX). Easytrip CEO Eugene S Antonio sees the deal as paving the way for further expansion in the Philippines, where the government is under business pressure to double its present 300km (187.5 miles) of toll roads within five years. - by David Crawford TOLLROADSnews 2011-10-19

  • Energy Policy in a Renewable Future Flood myths are common to human culture. Swollen rivers, tidal storms, and tsunamis make their appearance frequently in literature. But Hurricane Sandy, which has drawn newly etched high-water marks on the buildings of lower Manhattan (and Brooklyn), has shifted the discussion from storytelling to reality.

    Volatility in climate has drawn the attention of policy makers for a decade. But as so often is the case, a dramatic event like superstorm Sandy the largest storm to hit New York since the colonial era has punctured the psyche of the densely populated East Coast, including the New York-Washington, DC axis where U.S. policy is made.

    Not surprisingly, in the weeks since the historical hurricane made landfall, new attention is being paid to the mounting costs that coastal world megacities may face. Intriguingly, however, this new conversation about climate, energy policy, and America s reliance on fossil fuels comes after a five-year period in which the U.S. has dramatically lowered its consumption of oil and seen an equally dramatic upturn in the growth of renewable energy.

    America s production of CO2 in the first quarter of 2012 fell to twenty-year lows. The country is using less coal, increasing its use of natural gas, and (like the rest of the OECD) is seeing its transportation demand migrate from cars and trucks to rail. While Europe is often cited as being at the forefront of renewable power, the U.S.

    has also started to produce very strong growth rates for wind and solar power: The combination of declining oil use and a greater reliance on the global powergrid is going to shape energy and climate policy. Especially at a time when the concerns of climate change or, rather, rising seas and the greenhouse dangers of fossil fuel dependency are being increasingly raised. This will make for a rather muddled and complex array of diverging policy initiatives.

    Moreover, as the oil-based economy (which was harder to meter) gives way to the electricity-based economy, policy makers will find there are more levers to shape energy demand in their economies. The Oil Age was a more natural fit for free-spirited individualism. The Electricity Age will see an era more comprehensively dominated by policy, as the powergrid becomes the mechanism for governments to shape the future of energy demand.

    Rebounding to the Grid The oil age went into decline roughly ten years ago. Oil s share of total global energy demand, which had been on the rise since the 1930s, peaked in the mid-1970s but held steady for over twenty years until the new millennium. But starting early last decade, through a combination of oil s repricing and the industrialization in the Non-OECD, oil s market share in the global energy mix retreated.

    This decline of oil in the global economy explains perfectly why the weak rebound since the 2008 financial crisis has grown along the contours of the powergrid. It s not just the United States. In Japan, and especially in Europe, oil use has continued to decline right through the recovery, as increasing numbers of car drivers are taken off the road, as jet travel declines, and as trucking has given way to higher deployment of freight rail.

    However, this opens up a number of new constraints as well as new opportunities, because while there is high growth in solar and wind power, the growth of global electricity is largely driven by coal. That means awareness of coal s role is going to widen among populations, and governments are going to be drawn into action over coal. Carbon Taxes, Renewable Portfolio Standards, and Feed-In Tariffs Global coal markets have recently sputtered in the face of slower growth in China as well as the rise of natural gas in the United States, which has dislocated consumption of its own coal.

    If glanced at quickly, this looks like an interruption in the supertrend. Alas, no such interruption is taking place. Related Article: Don't Fall for the Hype - China's Renewables Sector is in Disarray Instead, the coal which Americans are no longer consuming is being exported to the rest of the world.

    Even Europe is taking greater volumes of U.S. coal, which in 2012 is on pace to see the highest level of exports in U.S. history.

    But a more important phenomenon to understand regarding global energy consumption is that much of the upswing in Asian coal demand over the past decade, especially in China, is really just an offshoring of OECD manufacturing capacity. In other words, an increasing proportion of goods purchased by Westerners since the year 2000 is the result of goods made in Asia. And these goods are made in factories powered by coal-fired electricity generation.

    Clothing, appliances, electronic devices yes, iPhones, too are made in facilities powered by coal. This is why, as policy is increasingly driven either by concerns about climate, increased distaste for dependency on fossil fuels, or both, the clamor for carbon taxation is going to grow. In a recent essay, Forget Kyoto: Putting a Tax on Carbon Consumption, the author takes note of the emerging emphasis on the global trade of energy use: China s phenomenal economic growth has been based on exports, notably of energy-intensive goods, from steel and petrochemicals to a host of manufactured products.

    These have been bought largely by the U.S. and Europe, which together account for nearly 50 percent of world GDP. It is carbon consumption that measures the carbon footprint and hence responsibility, not the carbon production in particular geographical areas.

    Yet remarkably the Kyoto framework does not take consumption into account. Instead it focuses on carbon production, and mostly in Europe, where deindustrialization and the collapse of the former Soviet Union make compliance with the targets easy. Politically speaking, carbon taxation has been a very tough sell, especially in the United States.

    Interestingly, there have been trial balloons since the election that the Obama Administration may even tie together (or try to tie together) new carbon taxes as a way to lower the U.S. budget deficit. That, too, is unlikely to have much political appeal, though it does signify the shift coming in the wake of Hurricane Sandy and this summer s extraordinary drought.

    However, there are interesting divergences about the effectiveness of carbon taxation among those who work in the areas of energy and climate policy. Chris Nelder, writing in Smart Planet, Why America Needs a Feed-in-Tariff, makes the case that a carbon tax policy will not necessarily spur construction of renewable energy. Essentially, if getting renewable energy infrastructure built is the ultimate goal shared by both climate policy and energy policy, then why not pursue a national FiT (feed-in tariff), of the kind deployed in Europe?

    Related Article: New Technology could Double the Efficiency of Wave Energy Systems Given the obvious success of FiTs as a policy tool in Europe, one must wonder why the U.S. has not embraced them. Germany already tried all the incentives that we re using in the U.S., such as aspirational targets like renewable portfolio standards (RPS), rebates, and low-interest loans, and eventually turned to FiTs because they proved to be far more effective, simple, low-cost, and efficient.

    But while it s true that growth of wind and solar power is already growing at a very strong rate in the U.S. (as discussed previously), it s not clear this will continue at the same rate. California s RPS (renewable portfolio standard) has triggered the construction of a great deal of new utility-grade solar power. However, this is small in comparison to California s overall energy challenge, as it sees its own dependency on out-of-state power supply continue to expand.

    As I have addressed previously, California s energy production from all sources is at 50-year lows. This comes at a time when, just as in the rest of the country and the world, transportation demand is switching over from cars and trucks to the grid as light rail is built out in its cities. New Energy, Climate, and Urban Infrastructure (image: Thames Flood Barrier, Greater London, UK) Western cities are aging, and the forecast for rising sea levels may hold true regardless of any climate policy.

    In a recent post, Roger Pielke Jr notes that mitigation of rising sea levels through aggressive CO2 reduction may not change the current trajectory all that much: One of the more reasonable discussion points to emerge from efforts to link Hurricane Sandy to the need to reduce carbon dioxide emissions focuses on the role that future sea level rise will have on making storm impacts worse. Logically, it would seem that if we can "halt the rise of the seas" then this would reduce future impacts from extreme events like Sandy. The science of sea level rise, however, tells us that our ability to halt the rise of the seas is extremely limited, even under an (unrealistically) aggressive scenario of emissions reduction.

    If cities like New York are compelled instead to construct tidal barriers, and other coastal cities in the U.S. follow, then changes in global energy consumption and in the public's perception of climate issues may see governments drawn in more closely than ever before to such policy making. After all, the construction costs for mitigation through infrastructure will come through state and federal partnership.

    Indeed, the discussion about tidal barriers for New York has already begun. Given the extent of recent flooding, this is no surprise. And subsequent storms will only push such initiatives along further.

    The New Policy Era The decline of oil s share in the global economy marks the end of a kind of free-ranging era in which individual discretion over energy use reached spectacular heights. Cheap oil gave rise to cities such as Los Angeles, where the freedom to drive all distances was a luxury enjoyed by most people. It s not surprising that the cultural adjustment to a new era, where individual choice in energy use will be redefined, is proving cantankerous.

    Moreover, as new oil supplies emerge from domestic American sources, the dream of resurrecting this cheap oil era will no doubt come back around several more times. But none of these new resource plays will change the trajectory of global oil supply much, nor will they lower the price of oil. So far, new oil supply mostly offsets declines elsewhere but at substantially higher marginal cost.

    This should now be clear. In Part II: Investing Strategies for the New Energy Era, we take a look at some of the risks but also opportunities that will present themselves to investors, as the global powergrid rises and comes under heavier scrutiny from government regulation. While renewable energy is growing almost exponentially, coal still remains the global anchor for many of the most important electricity networks, especially in the developing world.

    The inevitable switch to the powergrid will draw two competing forces: 1) massive new investment, with many losers and winners, and 2) the attention of governments who will see the grid as a way to implement climate policy and to raise revenue.


    Gregor MacDonald

  • ethiXbase Germany: Trucking bus executive sentenced for ... A German regional court sentenced the former head of MAN SE s Truck & Bus division to a 10-month suspended jail sentence on Wednesday for aiding and abetting bribery in connection with the sale of commercial vehicles in Slovenia. Joachim Eckert, the court s ruling judge, said that the ex-MAN SE management board member, Anton Weinmann, had agreed to admit guilt in the case. The ruling comes as the former chief executive of MAN SE, Hakan Samuelsson, and its ex-head of finance Karlheinz Hornung are also under investigation for allegedly aiding and abetting bribery.

    The original article can be found at

  • Euro 6 the challenge was to win For a number of years, the trucking industry has struggled to fulfil the exacting emission legislation that came into force at the end of last year. Scania is the manufacturer that has been able to present competitive solutions sooner and better than anyone else. Scania now offers its customers no less than 18 Euro 6 engines for all types of applications and is setting international records in low fuel consumption with their latest Euro 6 diesel engine.

    Euro 6 has been a challenge for the entire industry, says Joel Granath, Head of Product Management for Scania trucks. Many predicted increased fuel consumption with increased complexity. Now the jury is in at the end of last year, for example, a Scania Streamline G 410 set two undisputed records for 40-tonne trailer combina tions when German and French trade press journalist s tested it on well-established and de manding test tracks.

    According to the media, no equivalent rig, regardless of emission class, had previously passed the demanding route* north of Munich in just over 24 litres/100 km. Former concerns about Euro 6 have proved unfounded. Despite this, it seems as if both Scania and other manufacturers had a strong influx of customers during the autumn of 2013, many customers wanting to lock in a Euro 5 truck order before the new year.

    Our customers are living with tough competition and I understand that some chose security over the unknown. But whoever chooses Scania also chooses proven tech nology with Euro 6, emphasizes Joel Granath. Three years have passed since Scania delivered the first-generation Euro 6 engines.

    Today, there is indisputable evidence in the form of operating data from our customers that Scania made the right choices in development. Joel Granath declines to go into the extent of the resources Scania has invested in its Euro-6 programs but emphasizes instead the achievements in terms of, for example, the breadth of the engine range using alternative fuels: Scania has presently eleven diesel engines, two gas engines and five engines for 100 percent biodiesel in the Euro-6 engine range. We can offer solutions for all applications and needs.

    I am especially proud of the low consumption figures we reach with Scania Streamline.

    Our 13-litre, inline six with 410 horsepower and SCR only, was developed with European long-haulage operators in mind and has exceeded all expec tations.

    It is a typical example of Scania s main focus, to reduce our customers total operating costs. * Link to the German trade magazine Trucker : Scania s present Euro 6 engine range: DC09 DC13 DC16 DC09 Gas DC09 Biodiesel DC13 Biodiesel DC16 Biodiesel 250 hk 370 hk 520 hk 280 hk 320 hk 450 hk 580 hk 280 hk 410 hk 580 hk 340 hk 360 hk 490 hk 320 hk 450 hk 730 hk 360 hk 490 hk

  • Euro Truck Simulator 2 This weekend you can get the popular Euro Truck Simulator 2 for 60% OFF . Normally $29.99, you can get it for as cheap as $12. The total discount on Euro Truck Simulator 2 comes from combining two different offers.

    It s already discounted by 50% OFF , and you can get the rest of the savings when you use coupon code GMG20-GGN5D-FC3NA . Pick this up soon as the discount will only be around for this weekend only. Merge is pleased to announce that we ll be partnering with Excalibur Publishing and developer SCS Software once again to publish Euro Truck Simulator 2.

    SCS are the leading experts in the trucking sim genre and have developed such hit titles as UK Truck Simulator , SCANIA Truck Driving Simulator The Game and of course the original Euro Truck Simulator . Euro Truck Simulator 2 offers an unrivalled trucking experience with a massive amount of content that will keep you playing for many months or even years! Prove your skills in manoeuvring these impressive vehicles and take on a selection of delivery contracts across an incredible amount of European cities!

    A phenomenal amount of work has gone into this title from the creation of a European map that has taken years to create, an in depth business management section and high quality graphics that are a feast for the eyes! Key Features: More than 60 cities set across Europe including England, Belgium, Italy, the Netherlands, Germany, France and more! Thousands of miles of real road networks.

    Hundreds of famous landmarks and structures that can be seen when touring Europe. A Varied amount of truck customisation that range from performance to cosmetic changes. Licensed trucks from several real life truck manufacturers.

    Run your own business which continues to grow even as you perform your own deliveries. Earn experience to unlock new delivery missions. A working GPS to help you reach your delivery destination.

    Explore the map to discover new truck dealerships.

    Expand your own delivery fleet by purchasing more powerful trucks.

    An expansive map that takes around two hours in real time to drive from the north to south of Europe!

  • Euro Truck Simulator 2 Now Available on Steam Pixel Perfect ... January 17th, 2013 at 9:08 am - Euro Truck Simulator 2 is a good example of a game that was in Greenlight for the long haul. First posted in August, accepted in December, and now going live today! The Greenlight community has embraced the idea of cruising around in an 18 wheeler while avoiding running up a giant petrol bill.

    Travel across Europe as king of the road, a trucker who delivers important cargo across impressive distances! With dozens of cities to explore from the UK, Belgium, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, and many more, your endurance, skill and speed will all be pushed to their limits. If you ve got what it takes to be part of an elite trucking force, get behind the wheel and prove it.

    Euro Truck Simulator 2 is 10% off if you buy it before January 23rd. Key Features: Transport a vast variety of cargo across more than 60 European cities. Run your own business which continues to grow even as you complete your freight deliveries.

    Build your own fleet of trucks, buy garages, hire drivers, manage your company for maximum profits. A varied amount of truck tuning that range from performance to cosmetic changes. Customize your vehicles with optional lights, bars, horns, beacons, smoke exhausts, and more.

    Thousands of miles of real road networks with hundreds of famous landmarks and structures.

    Steam 10% off: Trailer: Screenshots:

  • Euro Truck Simulator 2 FULL-CRACKED | Skidrow Games - Crack ... Travel across Europe as king of the road, a trucker who delivers important cargo across impressive distances! With dozens of cities to explore from the UK, Belgium, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, and many more, your endurance, skill and speed will all be pushed to their limits. If you ve got what it takes to be part of an elite trucking force, get behind the wheel and prove it!

    Game info Transport a vast variety of cargo across more than 60 European cities. Run your own business which continues to grow even as you complete your freight deliveries. Build your own fleet of trucks, buy garages, hire drivers, manage your company for maximum profits.

    A varied amount of truck tuning that range from performance to cosmetic changes. Customize your vehicles with optional lights, bars, horns, beacons, smoke exhausts, and more. Thousands of miles of real road networks with hundreds of famous landmarks and structures.

    Minimum System Requirements: Windows XP/Vista/7, Dual core CPU 2.4 GHz 2 GB RAM, graphics card with 256 MB memory (GeForce 7600 GT-class equivalent or better) Euro Truck Simulator 2 FULL-CRACKED SIZE: 600 MB - SINGLE LINK rapidshare-netload-uploaded-putlocker-sockshare-billionuploads-turbobit - RAR PASS -

  • Euro Truck Simulator 2 Game Climb into the cab and start your European trucking business in Euro Truck Simulator 2 for PC download. Start out driving one of eight highly detailed trucks taken from real models by manufacturers such as Scania, Volvo and Mercedes-Benz. Then deliver your cargo across a truly massive map that covers most of Europe, includes more than 60 cities and takes more than two hours to drive across at top speed.

    Unlock new missions, hire drivers, buy and customize new trucks and you could become a transport mogul!

    2 Euro Truck Simulator 2 full game features: Enjoy incredible scenery. Stunning visuals capture the majesty Charm of Europe in a map that stretches Hundreds of famous landmarks and structures. Get the real driving experience.

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  • Europe will rebound The European market has started a little better than expected. There were concerns before 2014 about how demand would be affected by last year s pre-buys of Euro 5 trucks, but the pre-buy effect was shorter than feared. We are now seeing a gradual return to more normal levels of demand, says Bengt Thorsson, Executive Regional Director, European Region at Scania.

    During the second and third quarters of last year, many European hauliers took their final chance to order trucks before the transition to the new Euro 6 emission standard, which went into effect at year-end. This contributed to a 38 percent surge in European deliveries during the fourth quarter of 2013 compared to the same quarter of 2012. After this pre-buy effect, we expected a period of lower demand, which we have also noticed although it has not been as lengthy as initially feared, says Thorsson.

    How do you view the European market outlook in 2014 and 2015 considering the transition from Euro 5 to Euro 6? The blip in the trend caused by pre-buys in 2013 may now have passed. The European market has performed better than we expected, due to a more stable economic situation with improved GDP growth and a pent-up replacement need.

    Our conclusion is that we are now already seeing a gradual return to more normal levels of demand, which bodes well for the rest of 2014. How does the trend look in the various markets? Northern and central Europe generally look stronger than southern Europe.

    In Germany, with its strong exports, freight volume has been relatively unaffected in recent years, unlike many other markets in Europe. Great Britain which is usually early in the economic cycle and where we have some major deliveries in progress has recovered well. A structural transformation is also under way, driving growth for transport companies in central Europe.

    The trend is that hauliers in Denmark and the Benelux countries are relocating operations to Poland, Romania and Slovakia. The downward trend in southern Europe has levelled out. A recovery is under way, but from very low levels.

    How has the industry received Scania s Euro 6 vehicles? We have a strong position, since we offered Euro 6 vehicles earlier than most of our competitors, so we have a large reserve of goodwill to build on. Today we have a broader Euro 6 range than our competitors with robust, tried and tested, cost-efficient trucks.

    We also recently received the Green Truck 2014 award from the respected German transport trade magazines VerkehrsRundschau and Trucker for one of our Euro 6 models, a great acknowledgement that we offer the truck with the lowest environmental impact in the heavy tractor class. People in the industry say there is a replacement need due to the ageing vehicle population what is your view? During the peak years 2006 2008, we delivered very high truck volume.

    These vehicles are now late in their service life, which means there is an underlying replacement need. The average age increased from 4.1 to 5.3 years between 2001 and 2013, which means that quite a lot of vehicles will be gradually replaced in the next few years. The trend we have seen is that many hauliers are letting their vehicles operate for longer than normal in long-haulage normally they used to shift trucks from long-haulage to regional traffic a few years into their life cycle.

    Meanwhile, this means service needs are increasing.

    Scania has shown a stable and positive trend there in recent years.

  • European Haulage Professional Haulage, Removals and ... By admin on Jun 23, 2014 with Comments 0 Man and Van 2 Go is an independent firm that offers experienced and professional removals, haulage and transport throughout Europe. The company provides European haulage and removal services, as well as shipping and haulage to addresses in Europe and to the UK. The firm is available to carry customer cargo to UK addresses, transport cargo from pick up points in the UK to European destinations, or move loads between addresses in the UK or in Europe.

    European freight The rates for any of the company services are excellent. The European freight loads can be of any size and do not have to be palletised. Emergency shipments are no problem and the delivery is on time and on budget.

    Logistical solutions Whether the loads are large or small, the company has the solutions to deliver the load to locations throughout Europe and the United Kingdom. The fleet of vehicles provides import and export solutions on a daily basis. The loads can full-sized, or a single small sofa.

    In either case, Man and Van 2 Go is able to do the transport tasks. Hauling trucks and articulated lorries is well within the experience range of the company. Truck sizes of 3.5 tonnes, 7.5 tonnes and 12 or 18 tonnes are moved efficiently and economically.

    Removals As a leader in removals to Europe, Man and Van 2 Go can transport several pallets in a cost-effective manner. With years of experience in moving small or large items, the firm offers services in Spain, Portugal, Italy, Germany and elsewhere in Europe. The portfolio of services makes the setup of pick up and delivery points worry and hassle-free.

    Items that are handled efficiently include house, office, student and furniture removals, The firm can ship or move motorcycles and household items. Small vehicles can be moved to some locations Timing Arrangements to collect as many as 36 pallet spaces of material on short notice is handled smoothly and economically by the company staff. Full truck loads can be collected for both domestic and international shipments on short notice.

    Procedures The European haulage firm is set up to provide the necessary information to customers quickly and professionally. A service quotation is based on the information provided by the customer. Determining factors are the destination and the volume of goods to be shipped.

    A shipping date is arranged, according to the needs of the customer.

    Once the deposit is received by the company, the job is confirmed.

    Filed Under : Business Services

  • European road recovery pains A survey carried out by Finished Vehicle Logistics revealed a sense of cautious optimism, but many points of contention among Europe s automotive road hauliers. European car hauliers are still fragile from years of operating in a declining market for new vehicle deliveries across most of Europe and dealing with volatility in emerging markets like Russia. Indeed, they could struggle to cope with further market shocks or cost rises, but after making difficult cuts and adjustments, many providers now have stronger expectations for financial stability, with plans to at least maintain fleet levels if not expand.

    Making any sort of blanket statement about Europe as a whole is difficult, but for the most part the industry can be said to be enduring, rather than thriving. A cautious optimism can be found in a Finished Vehicle Logistics survey carried out this autumn among European road carrier fleets, which drew responses from a variety of hauliers in Europe and Russia, as well as input from OEMs and trailer manufacturers. While carriers in the survey point to some improvements in their business environment, many also reveal significant challenges in the sector, some of which may be more endemic than cyclical.

    For example, most carriers comment that OEMs tend to contract with road hauliers for little more than a year, rather than committing to long-term contracts. Regulatory issues across the European Union and the Russian Customs Union (Russia, Kazakhstan and Belarus) are another main point of contention for car hauliers, including the lack of universal standards for truck dimensions and loading lengths across the 28 EU member states, as well as complex licensing and toll roads in the Customs Union. Increasing costs for transport also remain difficult for carriers, with many operators reluctant or unable to invest in new equipment.

    Fleet and capacity Sales for new vehicles in Europe started to show signs of overall improvement towards the end of 2013, however the impact of such a recovery, if it lasts, may come later for vehicle logistics providers. Of the 14 car carriers who have given their respective companies statistics, the prevailing tendency seems to be one of slow, piecemeal improvement, with revenues increasing marginally or not at all in 2013 and similar outlooks for 2014 (see chart above). This situation appears to have weighed upon carriers plans for current and future fleet sizes, with few or modest plans to add capacity.

    The fleet size of carriers in the survey ranged from fewer than 50 trucks to more than 500, with Groupe CAT s 800-unit capacity the exception. Comparisons with ECG data from 2011 reveal that most carriers have shed capacity. With the exception of Groupe Cat, whose fleet has expanded dramatically thanks to a number of company acquisitions, the remaining providers in the survey exhibited an average 6% decrease over the past two years, with Mosolf s fleet diminishing from 800 to 500 units, Vega s from 120 to 100 units and BLG s from 500 to 320 units (see chart on p30).

    However, the part played by subcontractors may shed some light on these figures. Mosolf did not report hiring a subcontracted fleet in 2011, but now boasts one of 250. BLG tells a similar story, now hiring 200.

    This may demonstrate the continued efforts of carriers to mitigate risk on their balance sheets (see data here). These adjustments appear to have helped carriers improve their fleet utilisation, as most in the survey claim their fleets are nearly completely active, with few to no trucks in lay-up. There may even be cases where current capacity levels have not met demand for vehicle sales and production.

    Thomas Cullen, senior analyst at Transport Intelligence, says providers may need to shed more capacity in struggling southern European countries, as well as France and the Netherlands, however the strength in exports from Germany, as well as out of Spain and the UK more recently, may have left some OEMs with shortages in vehicle logistics capacity. Looking at the production figures from JLR Jaguar Land Rover, it s hard to believe it is making half a million cars a year. The growth in the UK is explosive and their system must be creaking, says Cullen.

    Yet overcapacity remains an issue in some regions. Drops this year in the Russian market follow several years of increases and appear to have caught out some who invested heavily in new equipment. As Russian Transport Lines sales specialist Anastasia Chupina comments, There s an overcapacity problem across the market, with a lack of new trucks and trailers, and the cost of fuel and equipment isn t reducing; only increasing.

    A careful expansion European carriers have been relying upon subcontracted fleets to meet short-term rises in demand, rather than making new investments, the survey suggests. Carriers including Adampol, ARS Altmann, Autologistics Group, BLG, Vega, Vectura, Rolf and Mosolf say that between 10-20% of their fleets are made up of subcontracted transporters. In the UK, for example, a recent change in the law allows car carriers, such as ECM, to subcontract foreign road carriers during the country s peak March and September registration periods.

    Despite this steady use of subcontracters, not all logistics providers use outsourced drivers for this equipment. Groupe Cat, Mosolf, BLG and ARS Altmann said they did, while others use their own drivers in the rented trucks. Some providers also incorporate subcontractors directly into their branded fleets.

    At BLG, for example, the 200 subcontracted carriers used by the group are designed specifically for the company, meaning that it would be impossible to identify on the road whether a trailer belonged to BLG or its subcontractors. Although it has increased its use of subcontractors, BLG has also expanded its fleet, adding a further 20 trucks in 2013 to its current set of 500. Serving many east European countries, the company plans to invest in new trucking equipment on its home turf and also in Russia, according to managing director Michael B nning.

    However, BLG has been careful about adding new capacity. B nning reveals that the company has also maintained its fleet by refurbishing existing vehicles. We re running a project called body swap , which means taking six- to seven-year-old trucks, purchasing a new chassis, renovating the body and trailer including sand blasting, new paint, new hydraulics, and allowing the almost new truck to be operational for another six or seven years.

    Helicar operates a similar policy of fleet renewal, according to V t Hrab nek, general and sales manager. We continuously renew one truck a month, he says. Some providers have gone for outright expansion, including the acquisition of new companies and subsidiaries as well as trucks.

    Groupe CAT s purchase last year of the Toquero Group added a large number of trucks to the company s fleet on the Iberian Peninsula and in France, making it one of the largest for vehicle logistics on the continent. We added a further 250 trucks to our operations, to serve the Spanish and Portuguese markets, says communications manager Fr d rick Vaglio. Bureacracy abounds European road carriers often cite red tape as a major issue, including EU regulations and those for Russia and its neighbours, such as Belarus and Ukraine.

    With rules and restrictions on European carriers often in flux, logistics providers must be quick to amend their operations when authorities make a decision in Brussels or anywhere else at national or municipal level (such as cities restricting the movement of larger trucks). Adampol s commercial director, Barbara Koncewicz, says her company tries to adjust immediately to regulatory conditions and to search for opportunities to improve business operations within the changes. Our policy concentrates on giving OEMs and importers the opportunity to be more competitive.

    They are very sensitive to any political changes in the economy, which is why we carefully follow the news and react quickly, finding solutions to keep the flow of cars smooth and make the logistics invisible for our customers, she says. Weights and dimensions Regular changes cited by carriers include those made to restrictions on load weight, which increase the overall cost of transporting cars to their final destination. The lack of standardisation prevalent across the EU relating to the maximum authorised dimensions of loaded car carriers remains challenging for operators.

    As noted consistently by the Association of European Vehicle Logistics (ECG), maximum allowable loaded lengths in Europe range from as low as 18.75 metres in Greece and certain east European countries, to greater than 25 metres in countries that allow the European Modular System (notably Sweden and Finland). Most countries allow a range in between, but carriers encounter problems moving between countries with different allowances. The ECG has recommended a minimum allowable loaded length of 20.75 metres as the Euoprean Commission reviews weights and measures laws.

    But the EC has not been supportive and there are risks that border crossing limits could be imposed more strictly. "Drivers always follow market trends, changing industries and companies. We focus on careful selection and avoid having a huge pipeline of new drivers" - Anastasia Chupina, Russian Transport Lines Some countries have pushed for wider access for EMS trucks, for which there have been trials in the Netherlands and parts of Germany. However, this length remains controversial in many countries and would be impractical for vehicle deliveries in a number of European cities.

    The ECG has also pointed out that the EMS would be untenable for car carriers unless restrictions on weight were also lifted. A history of tolls Europe s toll roads, motorway charges and vignettes often impact desired travel routes. Similar to the issues of allowable lengths, the amount of taxation that countries impose varies widely.

    Italy s roads, for instance, are almost exclusively tolled, as is France s autoroute system. Since 2005, the German maut system has charged trucks using the autobahn based on distance travelled, axles and emission category. However, Nordic countries, such as Denmark, Finland and Iceland, remain largely open-access and charge-free.

    The landscape for road tolls is consistently changing across Europe, although the trend has generally been towards user pays systems, wherein the end customer foots a heavier bill depending on weight and cargo, partly in return for a faster service. In July 2013, Belarus introduced the Beltoll , an automated toll for trucks from within the Customs Union that are laden with cargo weighing more than 3.5 tonnes; trucks from outside the Customs Union pay for goods lighter than 3.5 tonnes as well. France will also apply more charges to delivery trucks with its Ecotax , although its implementation was recently delayed.

    The Russian government recently announced that it would introduce 3,000km of toll roads by the end of 2016 in a bid to raise revenues for the country s poor road conditions. Fuel remains the most expensive component of transport for car hauliers. With prices on the rise across Europe and new vehicles expected to increase in value, a number of carriers in the survey say that the relationship between transport costs and the cost of the transported vehicle in question should be more mutually beneficial.

    For example, if fuel prices continue to rise along with the price of a new vehicle, yet logistics costs remain the same, carriers will inevitably encounter a financial bottleneck. A dearth of drivers Another issue for carriers in Europe has been the lack of fully qualified drivers. It is expected that in Germany alone, 250,000 truckers will retire over the next decade, and only 10% of the resultant gap is expected to be filled by new drivers.

    According to Ananth Srinivasan, team leader for off-highway market research at consultancy firm Frost & Sullivan, there is a big driver shortage in the trucking industry despite high unemployment rates in Europe. Srinivasan points to a combination of demographic factors and the job s low appeal as contributing to the trend. Consequently, major hauliers are looking to retain the current population of drivers and are increasingly adopting driver-friendly measures in their operations, says Srinivasan.

    It is expected that trucks with advanced comfort and convenience features, such as seat system designs, advanced noise and vibration cancellation, in-cabin infotainment and cabin air-conditioning will gain prominence in the industry. Not all carriers are facing driver shortages, however. Barbara Koncewicz says that Adampol does not currently have any problems hiring drivers.

    Most of the driving candidates already took appropriate qualification courses, but each new driver hired by Adampol takes three months training on loading and unloading procedures, she says. Koncewicz cites trouble filling driver vacancies back in 2003, when transport regulations were changing and many drivers didn t possess the necessary qualifications, but Mosolf has reduced its owned fleet size since 2011, but replaced most of the reduction with subcontractors. A similar approach has been taken by other carriers, including BLG this problem was partly solved by using foreign workers, after which the Polish government introduced incentives to train drivers.

    Training and drivers courses were expensive, adds Koncewicz. At the time, the way we solved this problem was through hiring foreign drivers from Belarus and Ukraine; later still, the Labour Office financed training courses and the market was flooded with experts, and the problem disappeared. Other providers cite different strategies for recruiting and training drivers.

    Russian Transport Lines Anastasia Chupina says much of the issue in Russia is related to high turnover among drivers. Drivers always follow market trends, changing industries and companies, she says. We focus on careful selection and avoid having a huge pipeline of new drivers.

    Latvian carrier Kurbads notes that it spends approximately three to four weeks intensively training new drivers, while Russia s Rolf claimed to spend an annual Rb80,000 ($2,445) on the training and recruitment of each of its drivers. Systemic problems Carriers point to a number of perennial problems that they face, including a tendency toward short-term commercial arrangements, as well as high levels of empty backhauls. Adampol s Barbara Koncewicz says contracts between carriers and OEMs or lead logistics providers (LLP) are rarely longer than one year.

    Together with the high requirements of investments and quality offering required of the car carriers, such a short period of co-operation points only to one goal: cost savings on the OEM or LLP s side. However, BMW s Matthias Wellbrock, general manager for plant dispatch and vehicle distribution, maintains that the carmaker does have long-term partnerships with many of its 30 different carriers, a list that includes ARS Altmann, BLG, WWL, Bertani, Groupe CAT, Hodlmayr, Walon and DB Schenker. A high sense of co-operation and strategic partnership definitely exists between OEMs and carriers, he says, which is shown through long-term contracts to ensure future investments in equipment and extended support during critical situations, such as strikes.

    Solution-based co-operation is generally shown by our suppliers. Empty backhauls are also a common issue across the European industry, and this situation appears to have worsened with a growing split between domestic sales and exports for some parts of the continent, such as Spain, or even Germany in some cases. Wellbrock cites the imbalance of truck trades that have resulted from economic stagnation, particularly in west-east routes, such as between Germany and France or Spain, with the declines in those markets meaning there is less cargo for return loads.

    Groupe CAT s European fleet director, Patrice Grosset, claims there has been an increase in unbalanced flows across Europe in recent years, which he feels will lead to further consolidation among logistics players. There will be a drop in players within the market specifically the smallest providers, led by growing expectations for productivity and quality control from OEMs. Regarding empty loads, Bill Pawluk, of Convertible Trailer Manufacturing, says that there is no reason why carriers should be running any empty miles in the industry, especially with the use of more flexible equipment and technology.

    Pawluk s company, for example, has developed a car carrier that can switch between carrying vehicles or general cargo; the equipment is currently being tested in various European markets. IT potential Insufficient utilisation of vehicle carrier loads can be as problematic for vehicle logistics provider and carmakers as can empty miles, says DB Schenker s rail automotive expert Christian Lang. For truck transportation it is a prerequisite to achieve a so-called network utilisation share, Lang says.

    This needs to be at a level of at least 70% in order to achieve cost coverage. Higher costs from increasing legislation and rising fuel prices, together with short-term contracts, have made it more difficult for some European carriers to invest One possible answer to low utilisation and backhauls could lie in IT software that increases tracking capabilities. The advantage of GPS tracking for trucks and the ability of drivers to communicate with each other have long been a point of agreement among ECG members.

    Another concept discussed both in the industry and among policymakers has been e-Freight , which includes automating more transport and billing procedures in the supply chain. A project for e-Freight has been funded by the European Commission together with industry stakeholders. While industry players express interest in such paperless processes, it remains challenging to implement a universal paperless exchange across so many separate countries with their own individual regulations.

    However, creating some level of standardisation and uniformity in which information can be converted across different providers and transport modes would be important in a European context. The GS1 system, for example, operates within many countries and provides carriers with ID numbers, barcodes, radio frequency identification, electronic data interchange (eCom), and a global data synchronisation network (GDSN). Similar to sending an e-mail, though with added security, sharing information electronically emerged as the defining point of agreement among carriers keen to witness greater harmonisation between OEMs, trailer builders and providers.

    This is one example of attempts at progress: an alternative, more universal system of tracking, which is something that ECM s managing director Ray MacDowall feels is necessary. New equipment designed to reduce carbon dioxide emissions and increase fuel efficiency could result in extra costs for carriers and manufacturers As the largest privately owned UK-based car carrier, with a fleet of over 400 vehicles, MacDowall claims the main challenge for all carriers is the same, regardless of country: surving in an industry where transport levels are declining and operating costs continue to increase. Many companies have invested in IT in a bid to gain efficiencies, he says, but the general lack of confidence has stifled investment, including developments in IT.

    It s not easy going green Carriers have also expressed concern over emissions, especially environmental legislation that could influence costs. The European Commission has noted that heavy-duty vehicles contribute to around one quarter of all carbon dioxide emissions from road transport across member states 6% of total EU emissions. As the economy recovers, this is only set to increase.

    Regulations for emissions and fuel efficiency for commercial vehicles are already tight and tightening in the EU, with Euro VI requirements coming into force in 2014-2015, but carriers and trailer manufacturers such as major players Lohr and Rolfo within Europe will also be affected by European-wide plans to install equipment designed to reduce CO2, as such equipment could raise investment and production costs. This issue extends to problems relating to fuel, where legislation is also set to increase costs. In 2012, a new directive stated that, by 2020, one in every ten litres of fuel sold in the EU must eschew fossil fuels in favour of sustainable alternative biofuels .

    Carriers point to ever-more stringent methods of controlling vehicle exhausts across Europe, which produce further costs for vehicle logistics providers trying to adhere to environmental pressure. Some examples of fuel-saving technologies include diesel catalysts, which reduce the levels of nitrogen oxide produced by a truck, as well as particulate traps. Each new piece of mandatory legislation brings further costs for truck OEMs.

    Fuel-saving technology and eco-driving are now commonplace, says ECM s Ray MacDowall, although he feels that carriers aren t benefitting from any of the cost savings. It seems all the cost-saving benefits that could be made from such activities have been passed on to OEMs and absorbed into the rate reductions of recent years. However, during this process, investment by LSPs has been stifled and the continuing lack of it is starting to impact upon capacity, especially in markets like the UK where economic recovery is now well established.

    This sense of being stifled is an important one on which to conclude. There are, given the many issues facing European car hauliers today, some signs of growth. However, the shortfall in levels of new equipment remains a concern for carriers and OEMs alike.

    As the demand for new cars increases, even gently, it should follow that the European market for hauliers invests as well.

    Yet with rising fuel prices and carriers unwilling to invest substantially in new models, as well as increasing legislation surrounding hauliers movements, it may yet be a further decade or more before the industry returns to form.

  • European stock close: In a quiet news day, stocks keep on trucking ... Copyright 2013 ForexLive | Advertise With Us | Login To Comment | Sitemap HIGH RISK WARNING: Foreign exchange trading carries a high level of risk that may not be suitable for all investors. Leverage creates additional risk and loss exposure. Before you decide to trade foreign exchange, carefully consider your investment objectives, experience level, and risk tolerance.

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  • European urban freight conference The Award winning Tyne and Wear Freight Partnership, managed by AECOM, on behalf of the Tyne and Wear Local Transport Plan Team, is running a free European Urban Freight Conference on 22 February 2011 at NewcastleCivic Centre. The conference, which includes organised site visits, is intended to provide a platform for transport operators, industry experts, trade associations and other stakeholders from across Europe to share best practice and innovations in urban freight transportation. Confirmed speakers include: * Brian Simpson MEP and Chair of the European Parliament Transport Committee * Thomas Kirpal from the city of Bremen, Germany * Magnus Jaderberg from the city of Gothenburg * Professor Tom Zunder from Newcastle University * Jonathan James from AECOM * Sally Herbert from Newcastle City Council To register or for more details of the conference please go to the Partnership s new look website and click on events .

    Tags: Tyne and Wear Freight Partnership

  • Even in bad economy, truck driver jobs are hard to fill - Worldnews ... A truck driver (commonly referred to as a trucker or driver in the United States and Canada; a truckie in Australia and New Zealand; a lorry driver or driver in Ireland and the United Kingdom), is a person who earns a living as the driver of a truck, usually a semi truck, box truck, or dump truck. Truck drivers provide an essential service to industrialized societies by transporting finished goods and raw materials over land, typically to and from manufacturing plants, retail and distribution centers. Truck drivers are also responsible for inspecting their vehicles for mechanical items or issues relating to safe operation.

    Others, such as driver/sales workers, are also responsible for sales and customer service. Types of truck drivers There are three major types of truck driver employment: Owner-operators (also known as O/Os, or "doublestuffs" ) are individuals who own the trucks they drive and can either lease their trucks by contract with a trucking company to haul freight for that company using their own trucks, or they haul loads for a number of companies and are self-employed independent contractors. There are also ones that lease a truck from a company and make payments on it to buy it in two to five years.

    Company drivers are employees of a particular trucking company and drive trucks provided by their employer. Independent Owner-Operators are those who own their own authority to haul goods and often drive their own truck, possibly owning a small fleet anywhere from 1-10 trucks, maybe as few as only 2 or 3 trucks. Job categories Both owner operators/owner driver and company drivers can be in these categories.

    Auto haulers work hauling cars on specially built trailers and require specific skills loading and operating this type of specialized trailer. Boat haulers work moving boats ranging in size from bass boats to full-size yachts up to using a specialized low boy trailer that can be set up for each size of boat. Boats wider than wide or high have to have a permit to move and are an oversize load.

    Dry Van drivers haul the majority of goods over highways in large trailers. Contents are generally non perishable goods. Dry Bulk Pneumatic drivers haul bulk sand, salt, and cement, among other things.

    They have specialized trailers that allow them use pressurized air to unload their product. Flat Bed drivers haul an assortment of large bulky items. A few examples are tanks, steel pipes and lumber.

    Drivers require the ability to balance the load correctly. LTL drivers or "less than truck load" are usually local delivery jobs where goods are delivered and unloaded by the driver at multiple locations, usually involving the pulling of double or triple trailer combinations. Reefer drivers haul refrigerated or frozen goods.

    Local drivers work only within the limits of their hometowns or only to nearby towns. They return home nightly. Household Goods drivers, or Bedbuggers haul personal effects for families who are moving from one home to another.

    Regional drivers may work over several states near their homes. They are usually away from home for short periods. Interstate drivers (otherwise known as "over the road" or "long-haul" drivers) often cover distances of thousands of miles and are away from home for a week or more.

    To help keep drivers, companies can employ team drivers. Team drivers are two drivers who take turns driving the same truck in shifts (sometimes husband and wife), or several people in different states that split up the haul to keep from being away from home for such long periods. Tanker drivers (in truck driver slang tanker yankers ) haul liquids, such as gasoline (petrol), diesel fuel, milk, & crude oil, and dry bulk materials, such as plastics, sugar, flour, & cement in tanks.

    Liquid tanker drivers need special driving skills due to the load balance changing from the liquid movement. This is especially true for food grade tankers, which do not contain any baffles and are a single compartment (due to sanitation requirements). Vocational drivers drive a vocational truck such as a dump truck, garbage truck, or cement mixer.

    Drayage drivers move cargo containers which are lifted on or off the chassis, at special intermodal stations. Bullrack haul livestock locally around their hometowns, or haul regionally all over the USA. The term bullrack comes from a double deck trailer used strictly to haul cattle.

    Drivers working hours Australia In Australia, drivers of trucks and truck and trailer combinations with gross vehicle mass greater than 12 tonnes must rest for 30 minutes every 5 hours and stop for 10 hours of sleep for every 14 hours of work (includes driving and non-driving duties). After 72 working hours (not including time spent resting or sleeping) a driver must spend 24 hours away from his/her vehicle. Truck drivers must complete a logbook documenting hours and kilometres spent driving.

    Canada In Canada, driver hours of service regulations are enforced for any driver who operates a "truck, tractor, trailer or any combination of them that has a gross vehicle weight in excess of 4,500 kg or a bus that is designed and constructed to have a designated seating capacity of more than 24 persons, including the driver." However, there are two sets of hours of service rules, one for above 60th parallel north, and one for below. Below latitude 60 degrees drivers are limited to 14 hours on duty in any 24 hour period. This 14 hours includes a maximum of 13 hours driving time.

    Rest periods are 8 consecutive hours in a 24 hour period, as well as an additional 2 hour period of rest that must not be taken in less than 30 minute blocks. Additionally, there is the concept of "Cycles." Cycles in effect put a limit on the total amount of time a driver can be on duty in a given period before he must take time off. Cycle 1 is 70 hours in a 7 day period, and cycle 2 is 120 hours in a 14 day period.

    A driver who uses cycle 1 must take off 36 hours at the end of the cycle before being allowed to restart the cycle again. Cycle 2 is 72 hours off duty before being allowed to start again. Receipts for fuel, tolls, etc., must be retained as a DOT officer can ask to see them in order to further verify the veracity of information contained in a driver's logbook during an inspection.

    European Union In the European Union, drivers' working hours are regulated by EU regulation (EC) No 561/2006 which entered into force on April 11, 2007. The non-stop driving time may not exceed 4.5 hours. After 4.5 hours of driving the driver must take a break period of at least 45 minutes.

    However, this can be split into 2 breaks, the first being at least 15 minutes, and the second being at least 30 minutes in length. The daily driving time shall not exceed 9 hours. The daily driving time may be extended to at most 10 hours not more than twice during the week.

    The weekly driving time may not exceed 56 hours. In addition to this, a driver cannot exceed 90 hours driving in a fortnight. Within each period of 24 hours after the end of the previous daily rest period or weekly rest period a driver must take a new daily rest period.

    United States In the United States, the Hours of service (HOS) of commercial drivers are regulated by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). Commercial motor vehicle (CMV) drivers are limited to 11 cumulative hours driving in a 14-hour period, following a rest period of no less than 10 consecutive hours. Drivers employed by carriers in "daily operation" may not work more than 70 hours within any period of 8 consecutive days.

    Drivers must maintain a daily 24-hour logbook Record of Duty Status documenting all work and rest periods. The record of duty status must be kept current to the last change of duty status and records of the previous 7 days retained by the driver in the truck and presented to law enforcement officials on demand. Electronic on-board recorders (EOBR) can automatically record, among other things, the time the vehicle is in motion or stopped.

    The FMCSA is considering making EOBRs mandatory for all motor carriers. Special licences Australia In Australia heavy vehicle licences are issued by the states but are a national standard; there are 5 classes of licence required by drivers of heavy vehicles: A Light Rigid (LR class) licence covers a rigid vehicle with a gross vehicle mass (GVM) not more than 8 tonnes, with a towed trailer not weighing more than 9 tonnes GTM (Gross Trailer Mass). Also buses with a GVM up to 8 tonnes which carry more than 12 adults including the driver.

    A Medium Rigid (MR class) licence covers a rigid vehicle with 2 axles and a GVM of more than 8 tonnes, with a towed trailer not weighing more than 9 tonnes GTM. A Heavy Rigid (HR class) licence covers a rigid vehicle with 3 or more axles with a towed trailer not weighing more than 9 tonnes GTM. Also articulated buses.

    A Heavy Combination (HC class) licence covers semi-trailers, or rigid vehicles towing a trailer with a GTM of more than 9 tonnes. A Multi-Combination (MC class) licence covers multi-combination vehicles like Road Trains and B-Double Vehicles. A person must have a C class (car) licence for 1 year before they can apply for an LR or MR class licence and 2 years before they can apply for an HR, to upgrade to an HC class licence a person must have an MR or HR class licence for 1 year and to upgrade to an MC class licence a person must have an HR or HC class licence for 1 year.

    Canada A driver's licence in Canada, including commercial vehicle licences, are issued and regulated provincially. United Kingdom In the UK, one or more of the categories of Large Goods Vehicle (LGV) licenses is required. Medium Sized Vehicles: C1 Lorries between 3500 kg and 7500 kg with a trailer up to 750 kg.

    Medium Sized vehicles with trailers: C1+E Lorries between 3500 kg and 7500 kg with a trailer over 750 kg - total weight not more than 12000 kg (if you passed your category B test prior to 1.1.1997 you will be restricted to a total weight not more than 8250 kg). Large Vehicles: C Vehicles over 3500 kg with a trailer up to 750 kg. Large Vehicles with trailers: C+E Vehicles over 3500 kg with a trailer over 750 kg.

    In Australia for example a HC licence covers buses as well as goods vehicles in the UK and most of the EU however a separate licence is needed. Minibuses: D1 Vehicles with between 9 and 16 passenger seats with a trailer up to 750 kg. Minibuses with trailers : D1+E Combinations of vehicles where the towing vehicle is in subcategory D1 and its trailer has a MAM of over 750 kg, provided that the MAM of the combination thus formed does not exceed 12000 kg, and the MAM of the trailer does not exceed the unladen mass of the towing vehicle.

    Buses: D Any bus with more than 8 passenger seats with a trailer up to 750 kg. Buses with trailers: D+E Any bus with more than 8 passenger seats with a trailer over 750 kg. United States The United States employs a truck classification system, and truck drivers are required to have a Commercial Driver's License (CDL) to operate a CMV with a gross vehicle weight rating in excess of 26,000 pounds.

    Acquiring a CDL requires a skills test (pre-trip inspection and driving test), and knowledge test (written) covering the unique handling qualities of driving a large, heavily loaded commercial vehicle, and the mechanical systems required to operate such a vehicle (air brakes, suspension, cargo securement, et al.), plus be declared fit by medical examination no less than every two years. For passenger bus drivers, a current passenger endorsement is also required. A person must be at least 18 years of age to obtain a CDL.

    Drivers under age 21 are limited to operating within their state of licensing (intrastate operation). Many major trucking companies require driver applicants to be at least 23 years of age, with a year of experience, while others will hire and train new drivers as long as they have a clean driving history. The U.S.

    Department of Transportation (US DOT) stipulates the various classes of CDLs and associated licensing and operational requirements and limitations. Class A - Any combination of vehicles with a GVWR (gross vehicle weight rating) of 26,001 or more pounds provided the GVWR of the vehicle(s) being towed is in excess of 10,000 pounds. Class B - Any single vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 or more pounds, or any such vehicle towing a vehicle not in excess of 10,000 pounds GVWR.

    Class C - Any single vehicle, or combination of vehicles, that does not meet the definition of Class A or Class B, but is either designed to transport 16 or more passengers, including the driver, or is placarded for hazardous materials. A CDL can also contain separate endorsements required to operate certain trailers or to haul certain cargo. These endorsements are noted on the CDL and often appear in advertisements outlining the requirements for employment.

    T - Double/Triple Trailers (Knowledge test only) P - Passenger (Knowledge test; skills test may be required for some operations. Required for Bus drivers.) N - Tank Vehicle (Knowledge Test only) H - Hazardous Materials (Knowledge Test only, also requires fingerprint and background check since the 9/11 terrorist attacks) X - Combination of Tank Vehicle and Hazardous Materials Other endorsements are possible, e.g. M endorsement to transport metal coils weighing more than , but are tested and issued by individual states and are not consistent throughout all states (as of this writing, the M endorsement is peculiar to the state of New York).

    The laws of the state from whence a driver's CDL is issued are considered the applicable laws governing that driver. If a driver either fails the air brake component of the general knowledge test or performs the skills test in a vehicle not equipped with air brakes, the driver is issued an air brake restriction, restricting the driver from operating a CMV equipped with air brakes. Specifically, the five-axle tractor-semitrailer combination that is most commonly associated with the word "truck" requires a Class A CDL to drive.

    Beyond that, the driver's employer (or shipping customers, in the case of an independent owner-operator) generally specifies what endorsements their operations require a driver to possess. Truck regulations on size, weight, and route designations U.S. Truck drivers are responsible for checking the axle and gross weights of their vehicles, usually by being weighed at a truck stop scale.

    Truck weights are monitored for limits compliance by state authorities at a weigh station and by DOT officers with portable scales. Commercial motor vehicles are subject to various state and federal laws regarding limitations on truck length (measured from bumper to bumper), width, and truck axle length (measured from axle to axle or fifth wheel to axle for trailers). The relationship between axle weight and spacing, known as the Federal Bridge Gross Weight Formula, is designed to protect bridges.

    A standard 18-wheeler consists of three axle groups: a single front (steering) axle, the tandem (dual) drive axles, and the tandem trailer axles. Federal weight limits for NN traffic are: # 20,000 pounds for a single axle. # 34,000 pounds for a tandem axle. # 80,000 pounds for total weight. The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) division of the US Department of Transportation (US DOT) regulates the length, width, and weight limits of CMVs used in interstate commerce.

    Interstate commercial truck traffic is generally limited to a network of interstate freeways and state highways known as the National Network (NN). The National Network consists of (1) the Interstate Highway System and (2) highways, formerly classified as Primary System routes, capable of safely handling larger commercial motor vehicles, as certified by states to FHWA. State weight and length limits (which may be lesser or greater than federal limits) affect only operation off the NN.

    There is no federal height limit, and states may set their own limits which range from 13 feet 6 inches to 14 feet. As a result, the height of most trucks range between 13' and 14'. Truck driver problems (U.S.) Turnover and driver shortage In 2006, the U.S.

    trucking industry as a whole employed 3.4 million drivers. A major problem for the long-haul trucking industry is that a large percentage of these drivers are aging, and are expected to retire. Very few new hires are expected in the near future, resulting in a driver shortage.

    Currently, within the long-haul sector, there is an estimated shortage of 20,000 drivers. That shortage is expected to increase to 111,000 by 2014. Trucking (especially the long-haul sector) is also facing an image crisis due to the long working hours, long periods of time away from home, the dangerous nature of the work, the relatively low pay (compared to hours worked), and a "driver last" mentality that is common throughout the industry.

    Employee turnover within the long-haul trucking industry is notorious for being extremely high. In the 4th quarter of 2005, turnover within the largest carriers in the industry reached a record 136%, meaning a carrier that employed 100 drivers would lose an average of 136 drivers each year. Time off Due to the high demands of the job, drivers are known to work for months at a time, without taking any days off to go home.

    Some even prefer to forgo a traditional house, and take up permanent residence within the truck, usually with a large and well-equipped sleeper berth, equivalent to a small RV. Long-haul company drivers typically earn as little as one day off for every week of work, such as working for four weeks and taking four days off. Regional drivers (who often drive dedicated routes between the same locations) usually work five days a week, and receive weekends off.

    LTL (Less Than Truckload) drivers often work normal hours and do not sleep in their trucks, having nights (or days, depending on the shift worked) and weekends off. Safety From 1992 1995, truck drivers had a higher total number of fatalities than any other occupation, accounting for 12% of all work-related deaths. Truck drivers are five times more likely to die in a work-related accident than the average worker.

    Highway accidents accounted for a majority of truck driver deaths, most of them caused by confused drivers in passenger vehicles who are unfamiliar with large trucks. |Occupational Safety and Health Administration}} The safety of truck drivers and their trucks is monitored and statistics compiled by the FMCSA or Federal Motor Carriers Safety Administration who provides online information on safety violations. If a truck is stopped by a law enforcement agent or at an inspection station, information on the truck is complied and OOS violations are logged. A violation out of service is defined by federal code as an imminent hazard under 49 U.S.C.

    521(b)(5)(B), "any condition likely to result in serious injury or death". National statistics on accidents published in the FMCSA Analysis and Information online website provides the key driver OOS categories for year 2009 nationally: 17.6% are log entry violations, 12.6% are speeding violations, 12.5% drivers record of duty not current, and 6.5% requiring driver to drive more than 14 hours on duty. This has led to some insurance companies wanting to monitor driver behavior and requiring electronic log and satellite monitoring.

    In 2009 there were 3380 fatalities involving large trucks, of which 2470 were attributed to combination unit trucks (defined as any number of trailers behind a tractor). In a November 2005 FMCSA report to Congress, the data for 33 months of large truck crashes was analyzed.

    87 percent of crashes were driver error. In cases where two vehicles, a car and a truck, were involved, 46 percent of the cases involved the truck's driver and 56 percent involved the car's driver.

    While the truck and car in two vehicle accidents share essentially half the burden of the accidents (not 70 percent as stated above), the top six driver factors are essentially also the same and in approximately equivalent percentages: Prescription drug use, over the counter drug use, unfamiliarity with the road, speeding, making illegal maneuvers, inadequate surveillance. This suggests that the truck driver makes the same errors as the car driver and vice versa. This is not true of the vehicle caused crashes (about 30 percent of crashes) where the top failure for trucks is caused by the brakes (29 percent of the time compared to 2% of the time for the car).

    Truck drivers often spend their nights parked at a truck stop, rest area, or on the shoulder of a freeway ramp. Sometimes these are in secluded areas or dangerous neighborhoods, which account for a number of deaths due to drivers being targeted by thieves for their valuable cargo or money. Drivers of trucks towing flatbed trailers are responsible for securing and strapping down their cargo (which often involves climbing onto the cargo itself), and if the load requires tarping necessitates climbing on the load to spread out tarps.

    Tarps can weigh up to 200 lbs each and the cargo can require up to 3 tarps per load which accounts for a number of deaths and injuries from falling. Drivers spend long hours behind the wheel, which can cause strain on the back muscles. Some drivers are responsible for unloading their cargo, which can lead to many back strains and sprains due to overexertion and improper lifting techniques.

    The prevalence of sleep apnea among commercial drivers Truck drivers are also sensitive to sleep disorders. Driver fatigue is a contributing factor in 12% of all crashes and 10% of all near crashes. Traffic fatalities are high and many of them are due to driver fatigue.

    Drivers with obstructive sleep apnea have a sevenfold increased risk of being involved in a motor vehicle crash. It is estimated that 2.4-3.9 million licensed commercial drivers in the US have obstructive sleep apnea The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration says that as many 28 percent of commercial driver's license holders have sleep apnea. Total costs attributed to sleep apnea-related crashes: *2000: $15.9 billion and 1,400 lives Treatment: *Cost: $3.18 billion with 70% effectiveness of CPAP treatment *Savings: $11.1 billion in collision costs and 980 lives annually (national safety council) Research sponsored by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and American Trucking Associations found: Almost one-third (28%) of commercial truck drivers have some degree of sleep apnea 17.6% have mild sleep apnea 5.8% have moderate sleep apnea 4.7% have severe sleep apnea Compensation/wages Truck drivers are paid according to many different methods.

    A driver who owns and operates a dump truck locally and works casually or contractually may be paid per hour, and/or per load or ton hauled. Few if any opt to be compensated per mile. A company driver who makes a number of "less than truckload" (LTL) deliveries via box truck or conventional tractor-trailer may be paid an hourly wage and/or a certain amount per mile, and/or per stop (aka "drop" or "dock bump"), and/or per piece delivered, unloaded, or "tailgated" (moved to the rear of the trailer).

    LTL are most always paid more than long hauled or dedicated drivers in the US and they get to be at home at night and on the weekends. This article is oriented toward the majority of truck drivers who operate "long haul", aka "over the road" (OTR) who are most often paid according to 4 major criteria, 3 of which are directly related to mileage, more or less. The main advantage of being paid per mile may be that a driver is rewarded according to measurable accomplishment.

    The main disadvantage is that what a driver may accomplish is not so directly related to the effort and, perhaps especially, the time required for completion.) Household Goods Miles Household goods (HHG) miles, from the Household Goods Mileage Guide (aka "short miles") was the first attempt at standardizing motor carrier freight rates for movers of household goods, some say at the behest of the Department of Defense for moving soldiers around the country, long a major source of steady and reliable revenue. Rand McNally, in conjunction with the precursor of the National Moving & Storage Association developed the first Guide published in 1936, at which point it contained only about 300 point-to-point mileages. Today, the 19th version of the Guide has grown to contain distances between more than 140,000 cities, zip codes, or highway junctions.

    Therein, if you ask many drivers, lies the inherent unfairness of HHG-based mileage pay; miles are driven point-to-point, not from "city" to "zip code" or "highway junction". Occam's Razor may suggest it is safe to assume that distances provided by the HHG Guide have been thoroughly examined to ensure drivers are not "overpaid" for miles not driven. Given the obvious accuracy limitations of computing mileage between fewer than 150,000 points and the availability of less expensive consumer-grade map and routing software such as Microsoft Streets & Trips many magnitudes more inclusive and therefore accurate than such a crude method, it may also be safe to assume HHG miles are shorter than those of a "real world" practical route.

    most companies do not use streets and trips but use a program called PC*MILER as it is set up for trucking using truck routes and tends to be more accurate than the HMG or Microsoft streets and trips. The U.S. Department of Defense (DoD), the General Services Administration (GSA) and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Association (FMCSA) rely on PC*MILER as their worldwide distance standard.

    How much shorter is a matter of contention, but it is not uncommon to hear drivers report 5-12 percent, and carriers to claim the miles vary from shorter to longer and it all works out in the end to be a wash, or that drivers are paid more per mile to compensate. Drivers may then point out that not only do they drive more miles, those additional miles require additional time which is extracted from the hours available to the driver for driving permitted by the federal hours of service. The argument continues, but drivers are always free to seek another employer who calculates compensation by the preferred method of the driver, and many do not simply because all major and most minor carriers use this less than accurate method for computing miles.

    Practical Miles "Practical miles" are where the company of the driver gives them a certain route to follow and will only pay them for those miles. This is usually the shortest route from start to finish. One version of practical miles includes routing shorter toll roads.

    Trucking companies sometimes route trucks through toll roads while using an electronic device to bypass paying straight up. This later comes out of the driver's paycheck. Hub Miles Odometer miles. "Hub" refers to hubometer, a mechanical odometer mounted to an axle.

    Pays the driver for every mile; generally limited to no more than 3-5% above the estimates of mileage by the carrier before red flags appear, depending on the generosity of the carrier or how it rates the mileage estimation capabilities of the software used. One version of hub miles includes only those per carrier designated route, i.e., a set number of miles. "Out of route" miles of any incentive are provided by the driver to the carrier for free. Percentage of Load Pays the driver a set or variable percentage of whatever the carrier says was their quoted rate.

    Parking A study published in 2002 by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) division of the U.S. Department of Transportation (US DOT) - "shows that parking areas for trucks and buses along major roads and highways are more than adequate across the nation when both public (rest areas) and commercial parking facilities are factored in." A 2000 Highway Special Investigation Report by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) forwards the following statistics: # Parking spaces at private truck stops- 185,000 (estimate) # Number of trucks parked at private truck stops at night- 167,453 (estimate) # Private truck stops that are full on any given night nationwide- 53 percent # Shortfall of truck parking spaces- 28,400 (estimate) # Public rest areas with full or overflowing parking at night 80 percent One challenge of finding truck parking is made difficult perhaps not because there are insufficient parking spaces "nationwide", but where the majority of those spaces are not located, and most needed; near the most densely populated areas where demand for trucked goods is greatest. As urban areas continue to sprawl, land for development of private truck stops nearby becomes prohibitively expensive and there seems to be an understandable reluctance on the part of the citizenry to live near a facility where a large number of trucks may be idling their engines all night, every night, or to experience the associated increase of truck traffic on local streets.

    Exacerbating the problem are parking restrictions or prohibitions in commercial areas where plenty of space exists and the fact that shippers and receivers of freight tend to prefer to ship and receive truckloads in the early and late portions of the business day. The end result is an increase in truck traffic during the morning and evening rush hours when traffic is most dense, commuters exhibit least patience, and safety is compromised. Adding to the challenge of finding parking are: # A driver can only become familiar with locations of public and commercial parking spaces and their capacity and traffic by visiting them. # The parking shortage, real or perceived, nearest the most dense urban areas incites drivers to arrive early and many of those truck stops are full by 7pm leaving even drivers who carefully plan their trips in detail few if any options.

    Idling restrictions Idling restrictions further complicate the ability of drivers to obtain adequate rest, as this example from California may illustrate: Commercial diesel-fueled vehicles with a GVWR greater than 10,000 pounds are subject to the following idling restrictions effective February 1, 2005. You may not: idle the vehicle s primary diesel engine for greater than five minutes at any location. operate a diesel-fueled auxiliary power system which powers a heater, air conditioner, or any additional equipment for sleeper-berth equipped vehicles during sleeping or resting periods for greater than five minutes at any location within 100 feet of a restricted area.

    Drivers are subject to both civil and criminal penalties for violations of this regulation." DAC Reporting A truck driver's DAC Report refers to the employment history information submitted by former employers to HireRight & USIS Commercial Services Inc. (formerly called DAC Services, or Drive-A-Check ). Among other things, a truck driver s DAC Report contains the driver s identification (Name, DOB, SSN), the name and address of the contributing trucking company, the driver s dates of employment with that company, the driver s reason for leaving that company, whether the driver is eligible for rehire, and comments about the driver s work record (e.g. good, satisfactory, too many late deliveries, etc.).

    It will also indicate whether the company stored drug and alcohol testing information with USIS. A separate section of the DAC report contains incident/accident information as well as CSA 2010 Pre-Employment Screening Program (PSP) Reports. False reports The DAC report is as critical to the livelihood of a professional truck driver as the credit report is to a consumer.

    When a trucking company reports negative information about a truck driver, it can ruin the driver s career by preventing him or her from finding a truck driving job for several years or more. It is widely known that trucking companies often abuse this power by willfully and maliciously reporting false information on truckers DAC reports, either in retaliation for seeking better paying trucking jobs elsewhere, or for any number of other fraudulent, anti-competitive reasons. As long as truck drivers can be threatened with a false DAC report for standing up to management or leaving their company for a better job elsewhere, working conditions at truck driver jobs will not improve.

    Satellite tracking Many companies today utilize some type of satellite vehicle tracking or trailer tracking to assist in fleet management. In this context "tracking" refers to a location tracking and "satellite" refers either to a GPS or GLONASS satellites system providing location information or communications satellites used for location data transmission. A special location tracking device also known as tracker or an AVL unit is installed on a truck and automatically determines its position in real-time and sends it to a remote computer database for visualizing and analysis.

    An "in cab" communication device AVL unit often allows a driver to communicate with their dispatcher, who is normally responsible for determining and informing the driver of their pick-up and drop-off locations. If the AVL unit is connected to a Mobile data terminal or a computer it also allows the driver to input the information from a bill of lading (BOL) into a simple dot matrix display screen (commonly called a "Qualcomm" for that company's ubiquitous OmniTRACS system). The driver inputs the information, using a keyboard, into an automated system of pre-formatted messages known as macros.

    There are macros for each stage of the loading and unloading process, such as "loaded and leaving shipper" and "arrived at final destination." This system also allows the company to track the driver's fuel usage, speed, gear optimization, engine idle time, location, direction of travel, and amount of time spent driving. Werner Enterprises, a U.S. company based in Omaha, Nebraska, has utilized this system to implement a "paperless log" system.

    Instead of keeping track of working hours on a traditional pen and paper based logbook, the driver informs the company of his status using a macro. Health issues Working conditions Most truck drivers are employed as over-the-road drivers, meaning they are hired to drive long distances from the place of pickup to the place of delivery. During the short times while they are in heavily polluted urban areas, being inside the cab of the truck contributes much to avoiding the inhalation of toxic emissions, and on the majority of the trip, while they are passing through vast rural areas where there is little air pollution, truck drivers in general enjoy less exposure to toxic emissions in the air than the inhabitants of large cities, where there is an increased exposure to emissions from engines, factories, etc., which may increase the risk of cancer and can aggravate certain lung diseases, such as asthma in the general public who inhabit these cities.

    However, the few drivers who are hired to drive only within urban areas do not have this advantage of spending more time away from toxic emissions that is enjoyed by over-the-road drivers. In order to address the hazards relative to driver fatigue, many countries have laws limiting the amount of time truck drivers can work. Many underdeveloped countries either lack such laws or do not enforce them.

    Australia health requirements A new law was passed in Australia requiring that all "over the road" drivers carry their medical information with them when they "are on the clock". This will help drivers comply with this new law and can also help deliver quick, accurate medical assistance if and when needed. Obesity Obesity in the truck driver population is an important issue to address.

    According to a 2007 study in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association, 86% of the estimated 3.2 million truck drivers in the United States are overweight or obese. Some key risk factors for obesity in truckers are poor eating habits, lack of access to healthy food, lack of exercise, sedentary lifestyle, long work hours, and lack of access to care. Eighty percent of truckers have unhealthful eating patterns as a result of poor food choices and food availability at truck stops is partially to blame.

    The options at truck stops are generally high calorie and high fat foods available through restaurants, fast-food, diners and vending machines. Fresh produce and whole grain items are few and far between. Though 85% of mini-mart items are categorized as extremely unhealthy, 80% of these meals are considered a truck driver s main meal of the day.

    Also, most of the foods carried by drivers in their trucks, whether or not stored in a refrigerator, are purchased from truck stops. Research suggests that drivers value quality and taste much more than nutrition when selecting food. Another issue is the pattern of extensive and irregular snacking while on the road and consumption of one large meal at the end of day.

    The daily meal is often high in calories and may be the highlight of the trucker s day. Food intake varies during working hours compared to days off and truckers eat meals at the wrong circadian phase during the day. Lack of exercise is another contributing factor to the obesity epidemic in the truck driver population.

    Almost 90% of truck drivers exercise only sometimes or never and only 8% exercise regularly. This is largely determined by long work hours and tight deadlines, the adoption of a sedentary lifestyle and a lack of a place to exercise. Though some fitness resources are available for truckers, most are scarce.

    Available areas are truck stops, highway rest areas, trucking terminals, warehouses, and the truck cab. However, there are many parking restrictions and safety concerns in trying to incorporate exercise into the daily routine. Studies have found the risk of obesity increases in high demand, low control jobs, and more so in jobs with long work hours; the truck driving industry falls under these categories.

    Also, daytime sleepiness and night disturbances are associated with obesity, and are, therefore, common among truck drivers. Long haul drivers have tight schedules, so they tend to drive longer and get less sleep. The U.S.

    Department of Transportation (DOT) Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) does have Hours of Service (HOS) regulations. Under the old rule, drivers could work up to 82 hours in 7 days. These regulations were modified in 2011; but the new rule only permits drivers to work up to 70 hours in 7 days.

    There is now an 11 hour per day limit with 10 hours off required after the weekly shift. Fines for companies which allow work beyond 11 hours are up to $11,000 and for drivers up to $2,750. Though these fines exist, there is minimal enforcement of the law.

    Obesity prevalence is affected by access to care for truckers. Company drivers often have issues with insurance, such as necessary pre-approval if out of network. Most owner-operator drivers do not have any kind of medical insurance.

    Moreover, truckers have difficulties making an appointment on the road and often do not know where to stop for assistance. Many self-diagnose or ignore their health issue all together. Some are able to be seen at doctor s offices or private clinics while a large percentage depend on emergency rooms and urgent care visits.

    The Department of Transportation has Convenient Care Clinics across the U.S., but those are hard to find and are few and far between. Health care costs are substantially higher for overweight and obese individuals, so obesity in the truck driver population puts a greater financial demand on the industry. Implementation of drug detection U.S.

    In the 1980s the administration of President Ronald Reagan proposed to put an end to drug abuse in the trucking industry by means of the then-recently developed technique of urinalysis, with his signing of Executive Order 12564, requiring regular random drug testing of all truck drivers nationwide, as well as employees of other DOT-regulated industries specified in the order, though considerations had to be made concerning the effects of an excessively rapid implementation of the measure. Making sudden great changes in the infrastructures of huge economies and the industries crucial to them always entails risks, the greater the change, the larger the degree. Because of the U.S.

    economy's strong dependence on the movement of merchandise to and from large metropolitan population centers separated by such great distances, a sudden shortage of truck drivers could have far-reaching and devastating effects on the economy. After the 1929 stock-market crash, for example, the chain reaction of reduction in sales due to consumers' prioritizing and reducing purchases of luxury items, with companies responding by reducing production and increasing unemployment, exacerbating the cycle of reduction or elimination of production, sales and employment, had the ultimate result of plunging the nation's economy into the Great Depression. Likewise, it had to be considered that a sudden halting or stunting of the movement of merchandise, as would occur with a large and sudden vacating of the cargo-trasportation workforce, would have similar consequences.

    Even the 1974 nationwide speed-limit reduction to 55 mph, which merely slowed the movement of merchandise, was followed by the recession of the late 1970s. In the years and decades following Executive Order 12564, efforts to begin random drug testing and pre-employment drug screening of truck drivers were not expedited, leaving the change to occur gradually, out of concern for the dangers of excessively rapid change in economic infrastructure. Since then, a large number of tractor-trailer operators have left the industry in search of other employment, and a new generation of drivers has come in.

    It is now extremely difficult for truck drivers to engage in drug abuse and remain undetected. Truck driver slang U.S. Truck drivers once had a highly elaborate and colorful vocabulary of slang for use over their CB radios, but with the high turnover in the industry in recent decades, due largely to the Reagan-era drug purge, this has all but vanished.

    Most of the newer generation of drivers in the U.S. today speak to one another over their CB radios (or other similar communication devices) in more or less standard English (as understood in the various regions of the country), although a few of the slang words and phrases have remained, and many of these have passed into use in the colloquial language of the general public. "Smokey" and/or "bear" are still used to refer to police officers, especially state patrolmen, and sometimes "diesel bear" for a DOT officer, though many new-school drivers merely say "police," "policeman" and "cop." "Hammer" refers to the accelerator pedal, and "hammer lane" the left lane or passing lane on a freeway, in which traffic generally travels faster. "Handle", meaning a nickname, was once exclusively truck-driver slang, but has now passed into common use by the public, especially for pseudonyms used on Internet forums. Most of the "ten codes" have fallen nearly or completely into disuse, except "10/4," meaning "message received," "affirmative," "okay," "understood," and occasionally "10/20," referring to the driver's location, (e.g., "What's your 20?") Often old-school truck drivers speaking over their CB radios are frustrated at new-school truck drivers' lack of understanding of the trucking slang of the '60s, '70s and '80s, and grudgingly resort to standard English when communicating with them.

    Some truck-driver slang: alligator/'gator - a section of tire casing constituting a hazard barbershop - a bridge lower than 13' 6" 4m 11 cm (standard minimum height on all Interstates and state highway systems with controlled-access designation) that could scrape off the top portions of a tractor-trailer rig big sign - the "Closed" sign for weigh stations bull wagon - truck and trailer hauling live stock bobtail - tractor with no trailer city kitty - a city police. cab-over - truck designed with the cab positioned over the motor, instead of behind it Comeback? - What? I beg your pardon?

    Could you repeat that, please? coop - (re: "chicken coop") a weigh station, due to the resemblance of the small offices to chicken coops county mountie - a constable, county sheriff or sheriff's deputy (from earlier slang for "mounted policeman", a policeman on horseback) deadhead - a tractor pulling an empty trailer; miles covered while pulling an empty trailer are called "deadhead miles" double-nickel - 55 mph 90 km/h (in more common use during the 1974-87 era of the National Maximum Speed Law; the U.S. five-cent coin is popularly though not officially called a "nickel" because of its metallic content) dummy book - a pamphlet or brochure explaining truck-driver slang, usually distributed at truckstops in the 70s and 80s and in a few bookstores (this list would be called a "dummy book") four-wheeler - a passenger vehicle, even a pickup truck full grown - state trooper or DMV officer Freightshaker - a truck designed by Freightliner Trucks granny lane - the lane farthest to the right usually designated for slower traffic hammer lane - the lane farthest to the left.

    hammer down - traveling extremely fast. in the middle - parked on the median, usually the location of a speed trap or broken-down vehicle in the face - associated with a police pointing your direction (shooting you) using radar. little sign - the "Open" sign for weigh stations, also referred to as "the little word".

    lot lizard - a prostitute, especially one that frequents truck stops. on your back door - a vehicle behind you, commonly referred to as "on your tail". parking lot - an auto-transport truck, usually referred to as a "portable parking lot".

    piggy bank/cash box - a toll plaza pickle park - a state highway rest area plain wrapper - unmarked law enforcement vehicle, most commonly referred to with the color of the wrapper such as a "plain brown wrapper". seat cover - a young woman or girl accompanying a truck driver Smokey Bear - a police officer, used because of the resemblance between police officer's campaign hat, and that of the Forest Service's Smokey Bear mascot, commonly just referred to as a bear. shooting you - a law-enforcement officer using any speed-detection device or radar gun, example: "shooting you in the face", or "shooting you up the exhaust" (from the rear).

    six wheeler - any vehicle with single rear axle with duel tires. skateboard - a flatbed trailer taking pictures - a law-enforcement officer using any speed-detection device or radar gun, but most commonly when using a camera radar. tanker yanker - a tanker rig or its driver train - a rig pulling double/triple trailers yardstick - a mile marker the zipper - the dashed lane markings Australia candy car Highway Patrol police car, usually with high-visibility police decals dollar - 100 kilometres per hour (60 mph) Evel Knievel a police motorcycle flash for cash speed camera (not to be confused with a manned radar gun) hot plate weigh station the scalies or coneheads Transport Safety inspectors who man checking/weigh stations Sesame Street - Hume Highway (Sydney to Melbourne) turd herder - carrier of stock (animal freight) tyregator - tyre stripped off the rim and usually left lying on the road Visual signaling Vehicle-light signaling U.S.

    One form of unspoken communication between drivers is to flash headlights on or off once or twice to indicate that a passing truck has cleared the passed vehicle and may safely change lanes in front of the signaling vehicle. Flashing of the high beams is discouraged, since the driver is looking in the mirror to see if it is clear to move over and the bright light of the high beams can temporarily blind the driver. The passing driver may then flash the trailer or marker lights to indicate thanks.

    This signal is also sometimes used by other motorists to signal truck drivers. Continual flashing of headlights or high beams after emerging from around a corner beside a high wall or from any roadway out of sight to oncoming traffic will alert a truck driver in the oncoming lanes to an accident or other obstruction ahead, and will warn him to reduce speed or to proceed with caution. Since truck-driver language has no signal for "Do not move in front of me," nor has any understood length of time for turning headlights or high beams on or off, flashing the high-beams to say "Do not move in front of me" may be misinterpreted to mean that the truck is clear to proceed with the lane change in front of the vehicle giving the signal.

    Once a New Mexico DOT officer-in-training turned on his high beams attempting to stop a Covenant truck that had begun crossing into the lane in front of him on Interstate 40 near Grants, New Mexico. The driver interpreted it as clearance to proceed and continued the lane change. Before he could thank him by flashing his trailer lights, the police trainee, furious, accelerated alongside the 53-foot trailer to try to push it back into the right lane, which by then was blocked by a vehicle on the right.

    The squad car ended up swept into the median. On May 30, 2007, in State of New Mexico vs. John Doe, M-61TR200601627, Judge Manuel Lujan of Cibola County Magistrate Court summarily dismissed the reckless-driving case being made by officer-in-training Adrian Molina against the truck driver (which would effectively have ended his career), stating he "couldn't believe how childishly" the police trainee had responded to the situation.

    The judge stated, "If he was on police business at night, he should have used his police lights to warn the truck not to move in front of him." The case still cost the driver a four-figure sum of money in attorney's fees, transportation, accommodation and time away from work. Judge Lujan reprimanded the officer-in training "harming the economy by needlessly harassing the trucking industry". Officer Molina returned to training.

    Europe As a rule, "thanks" is signaled to the vehicle behind by switching between the left- and right-turn signal several times, whereas turning on the hazard-warning lights (both turn signals) means "Slow down; danger ahead". As cars would normally use the hazard-warning lights for "thanks", in trucks distinction is necessary. The truck blocks the view of drivers behind it, hence a distinction must be made between "Thanks for letting me pass" and "Danger in front, I may brake hard!" Turning on the left-turn signal (in a right-hand traffic country) when a vehicle behind attempts to overtake means "Back off; lane not clear", and turning on the right-turn signal means "Go ahead; lane clear".

    Truck drivers also use flashing headlights to warn drivers in the oncoming lane(s) of a police patrol down the road. Though not official, two consecutive flashes indicate a police patrol, whereas a rapid series of flashing indicates DMV or other law-enforcement agency that only controls truck drivers. During the day time, the latter is sometimes accompanied by the signaling driver making a circle with both hands (as if holding a tachograph ring).

    Flashing headlights to the vehicle in front (intended for the other driver to see in their mirror) has two meanings. Long flashes are used to signal a truck driver that they are clear to return to the lane. A series of rapid flashes generally means "You're doing something stupid and/or dangerous" as in "Do not move in front, trailer not clear!" or "I'm overtaking, move aside".

    Truckers also use their 4 ways flashing up a steep hills, mountain roads and on ramps on express ways to let others know that they are traveling at a slow speed and to be cautious approaching them. Greeting In Europe the general rule for truckers in a right hand driving country is to raise the left hand and to simply open the hand with all finger extended without waving it at all. Or a shorter version is to simply extend the fingers while still keeping the palm in contact with the steering wheel.

    Raising the right hand is also used in the same way but very rare. "V" greeting Additionally, there is variation in the meanings of hand gestures within the industry. In the U.S., for example, it is common for truck drivers while passing to greet one another by lifting a hand off the steering wheel, backhand facing the other driver, with the index and middle fingers extended (similar to the "peace sign" or V sign, only reversed). In the UK, however, the same gesture is equivalent to the raising of the middle finger in the U.S.

    As the British interpretation of the "backwards peace sign" is generally unknown in America, it is intended only as a friendly greeting amongst U.S. truck drivers. In popular culture Truck drivers have been the subject of many films, such as They Drive By Night (1940), but they became an especially popular topic in popular culture in the mid-1970s, following the release of White Line Fever , and the hit song "Convoy" by C.W.

    McCall, both in 1975. The main character of "Convoy" was a truck driver known only by his CB handle (C.B. name), "Rubber Duck." Three years later, in 1978, a film was released with the same name.

    In 1977, another film Smokey and the Bandit , was released, which revolves around the escapades of a truck driver and his friend as they transport a load of beer across state lines. Smokey and the Bandit spawned two sequels. The 1978 film F.I.S.T.

    was a fictionalized account of the unionization of the trucking industry in the earlier 20th century, while the future of truck driving was speculated on in the 1996 film Space Truckers in which trucking has gone beyond planetary loads to interplanetary ones. One episode of Cowboy Bebop , "Heavy Metal Queen", also features space-faring "truck" drivers. Truck drivers have also been villainously portrayed in such films as Duel , Joy Ride , Breakdown , The Hitcher , Thelma & Louise , and Supergirl .

    B.J. and the Bear was a television series depicting the exploits of a truck driver and his chimpanzee companion. Another was Movin' On , starring Claude Akins and Frank Converse.

    On 17 June 2007, the History Channel began to air Ice Road Truckers , a documentary-style reality television series following truck drivers as they drive across the ice roads in the Northwest Territories in Canada, as they transport equipment to the oil and natural gas mines in that area.

    Trucking organizations (U.S.) Teamsters Union Owner-Operator Independent Driver Association American Trucking Association See also Trucking industry in the United States CB slang Convoy Truck stop Road Transport Teamsters Union Semi-trailer Tarcutta, New South Wales Dial-a-truck (DAT) References External links Drivers Working Hours in Vehicle Routing and Scheduling Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration To Understand Truckers, Two Photographers Become Truckers - slideshow by NPR Idling Compendium - Idling Ordinances Adopted Since 9/2004 (2009-01-22), American Transportation Research Institute (ATRI) PDF Category:Trucks Category:Transport occupations Category:Commercial item transport and distribution cs: idi kamionu de:Fernfahrer es:Camionero fa: fr:Chauffeur de poids-lourd it:Autotrasportatore nl:Vrachtwagenchauffeur pt:Camionista ru: fi:Kuorma-autonkuljettaja

  • Expected Price Gains in Transportation Stocks (CSX, NSC, UNP, CP ... Transportation stocks get a lot more attention as economic bellwethers than they do as market participants. Railroads, ships, and trucks are not particularly glamorous, and the industries are so entrenched that they most resemble utility stocks. The companies included in today s overview are CSX Corp. (NYSE: CSX), Norfolk Southern Corp. (NYSE: NSC), Union Pacific Corp. (NYSE: UNP), Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd. (NYSE: CP), Diana Shipping Inc. (NYSE: DSX), DryShips, Inc. (NASDAQ: DRYS), Excel Maritime Carriers Ltd. (NYSE: EXM), Frontline Ltd. (NYSE: FRO), JB Hunt Transport Services Inc. (NASDAQ: JBHT), and LandStar System Inc. (NASDAQ: LSTR).

    Of the ten stocks we re looking at today, only one trades more than 10 million shares a day and most of the others trade less than 3 million. On the surface, it would seem that all these stocks would more or less trade in parallel. In practice, though, railroads and trucking companies are faring far better than sea-borne shippers.

    Railroads are hauling more coal, and trucking companies are having trouble meeting demand for their services. Shippers overbuilt their fleets, and the resulting collapse in day rates has been punishing for their top and bottom lines. Cargo traffic is closely watched at this time of year as a predictor of holiday retail sales.

    Typically, ocean container shipping headed to the US tips the coming strength of retail sales. This year, container shipments have been somewhat lower, and this month s totals will really tell the tale. Rail and truck traffic has been strong though, although the shortage of available trucks is diverting more container (intermodal) traffic to the railroads.

    All data from Yahoo! Finance, and share prices were collected shortly before noon today. CSX Corp. (NYSE: CSX) has a median target price of $27.00 from 24 brokers.

    Shares are trading today at $22.66, for an implied gain of $4.34, or 19%. CSX s forward P/E is 11.73 and the company pays a dividend yield of 2.3%. The stock s 52-week trading range is $17.69-$27.06, and at today s price that s about 28% above its 52-week low, posted earlier this morning, and 16% below the 52-week high.

    CSX met analysts expectations when it reported third quarter earnings about 10 days ago. The company noted a 15% jump in intermodal freight revenue, although volume was essentially unchanged from the same period a year ago. CSX said at the time that it does not expect significant growth in the US, but neither does it predict a double-dip recession.

    Norfolk Southern Corp. (NYSE: NSC) has a median target price of $82.00 from 23 brokers. Shares are trading today at $74.74, for an implied gain of $7.26, or 10%. Norfolk Southern s forward P/E is 12.91 and the company pays a dividend yield of 2.5%.

    The stock s 52-week trading range is $57.57-$78.40, and at today s price that s about 30% above its 52-week low, posted earlier this morning, and 5% below the 52-week high. Norfolk Southern hauled 23% more coal in the third quarter than it did a year ago, and its intermodal traffic volume increased by 13%. Like CSX, the company expects modest economic growth in the US going forward.

    The company s implied stock price gain is about half that of CSX, but with both coal and intermodal traffic up and growing, Norfolk Southern is more likely to bust through its current target price than the other railroads we ve looked at today. Union Pacific Corp. (NYSE: UNP) has a median target price of $110.00 from 25 brokers. Shares are trading today at $102.35, for an implied gain of $7.65, or 7.5%.

    Union Pacific s forward P/E is 13.15 and the company pays a dividend yield of 2%. The stock s 52-week trading range is $77.73-$107.89, and at today s price that s about 32% above its 52-week low, posted earlier this morning, and 5% below the 52-week high. Union Pacific posted third quarter earnings a week ago, and its international intermodal shipments were down -12% year-over-year.

    That implies that retailers are buying less in anticipation of a slower holiday shopping season.

    24/7 Closing Bell (F, NFLX, ITRI, V, RRC, PG, CL, XOM, OXY, ABX, JCI, BMY, MO, QUIK, KELYB, LDK, CENX, MDR, AVP) Read more: Transportation, analyst calls, international markets, shipping, CP, CSX, DRYS, DSX, EXM, FRO, JBHT, LSTR, NSC, UNP

  • Express-online optimizes freight-vehicles' reloading across Europe ... SESAME ACTIVE SYSTEM has developed the pan-European Express-online platform to optimize the loading rate of light commercial vehicles. The company s multi-criteria search engine identifies matches between vehicle journeys and demand for express freight deliveries across 30 European countries in real time, and then puts the interested parties in touch with one another. Express-online represents a win-win innovative solution for both haulage companies and freight forwarders.

    Following the development of international goods traffic across Europe and the integration of new member states into the European Union, the road transportation of goods has grown threefold in Europe over the past 40 years (from 1970 to 2010). In light of rising energy and environmental costs, it is more important than ever to maximize load rates in utility vehicles. Close to 60% of all light commercial vehicles carrying out urgent deliveries come back empty on the return leg of their long-distance journeys: this represents more than 200 million miles travelled in Europe every year.

    In order to address this environmental and economic aberration, SESAME ACTIVE SYSTEM has developed the Express-online platform. The platform offers an online matching service whereby its multi-criteria search engine identifies matches between vehicle journeys, on the one hand, and requests for express freight deliveries, on the other, across 30 European countries. The Express-online service is delivered in real time, putting the interested parties in contact with each other.

    As SESAME ACTIVE SYSTEM points out, this represents a winning formula for both haulage contractors and freight forwarders. Haulage companies often use light vehicles with limited loading capacity. This means that they are unable to find cargos at good rates on the standard freight exchanges for their return journeys.

    In turn, this results in the light vehicles having to go back to base empty. The Express-online platform is particularly well-suited to the needs of haulage companies: it can help them get their reloading requirements met. The platform puts hauliers in contact with freight forwarders with urgent freight-transport needs needs that, more often than not, only involve a few pallets, and which can be addressed easily, as soon as the haulage company s vehicle arrives on site for collection.

    Via the website, the express-freight haulage company gives details of the unladen journey that its light vehicle will be making; the haulage contractor must provide all the vehicle s specifications. The haulage company can then quickly view any reloading opportunities that fit in with its spare capacity and with the route that the vehicle will be following. When the Express-online system identifies a freight/vehicle match, it immediately alerts both the haulage company and the freight forwarder via their respective dashboards, as well as by email if required.

    Each player is then free to contact the other party or not. Unlike traditional freight exchanges, the Express-online servers automatically calculate how far each vehicle has moved in terms of both time (i.e. the length of a journey) and space (i.e.

    the distance covered). The haulage company can also adjust this by itself, in the event of its vehicles being ahead (or behind), as compared with the initial estimates. Because calculations are carried out dynamically, the haulier is able to find suitable reloading opportunities (i.e.

    requests for picking up freight items) in the middle of a journey. Conversely, a warning system alerts freight forwarders of the passage of a suitable vehicle at the required time: then, ordering customers get directly in touch with the carriers. By ensuring that the light commercial vehicles used for deliveries are loaded on their return journeys and not only on their outward journeys Express-online helps to reduce congestion on roads and to cut CO2 emissions.

    Furthermore, the freight forwarders and haulage companies negotiate the reloading tariffs between them, which represent another benefit for both parties. As a result, the light haulage firm can reload its vehicle (instead of the vehicle going back empty) and the express freight-forwarding company pays between 40% and 50% less than it otherwise would for a standard urgent delivery. Express-online covers all of Europe and the platform interface has so far been made available in English, French, German, Italian and Spanish.

    The website is for freight forwarders as well as hauliers whose paperwork is fully up to date and who specialise in urgent long-distance transport. The specialist haulage companies are also rated for each of the journeys that they make. Their ratings are then posted up on their profile pages, assisting potential customers in their choice of haulage contractor.

    Both the Centre Francilien de l Innovation, i.e. the Paris Region s centre for innovation, and OSEO Innovation, which supports innovative businesses and technologies in France, provided the Express-online website with their support during its development. A patent has been registered for the website by SESAME ACTIVE SYSTEM.


  • F

  • First POST: Trucking Despite the late opposition of a coalition of tech companies including Facebook, Google, Microsoft, and Yahoo, the US House voted overwhelmingly in favor of the watered down USA Freedom Act, 303-121. Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner (R-WI), the bill's main sponsor, said the vote shows "Congress does not support bulk collection" of Americans' metadata.

    But, as Alex Byers of Politico noted, during floor debate he added, "I wish this bill did more To my colleagues who lament the changes, I agree with you. The privacy groups who are upset about lost provisions, I share your disappointment. Rep.

    Zoe Lofgren (D-CA), said that she didn't believe that the bill would end bulk collect, noting, "Regrettably, we have learned that if we leave any ambiguity in the law, the intelligence agency will run a truck through that ambiguity." It's perhaps worth recalling that Lofgren was one of a handful of representatives who requested a private briefing from independent security analyst Bruce Schneier back in January because the NSA wasn't being forthcoming about its activities. For some reason, The New York Times Book Review assigned Glenn Greenwald's new book No Place to Hide to noted contrarian stylist and opinionist Michael Kinsley, and the result is a confused mishmash that probably says more about Kinsley's biases (he thinks the government should ultimately "have the final say over the release of government secrets") than Greenwald's. Barry Eisler's response, "'Journalist' Argues in NY Times That Publishing Decisions Should Ultimately Be Made by Government" is priceless.

    Edward Snowden, Glenn Greenwald, Laura Poitras, and David Miranda just had a reunion somewhere in Russia. Shared with a selfie. Julian Assange says in a WikiLeaks statement that Afghanistan is the second country, in addition to the Bahamas, where the NSA is collecting and storing nearly all the domestic and international phone calls, claiming in a statement that this is based on an unidentified source and can "be independently verified through forensic scrutiny of imperfectly applied censorship on related documents released to date and correlations with other NSA programs." On TechCrunch, Josh Constine reminds readers that Facebook's new switch to default news feed posts to "friends only" is hardly the result of the company's sudden enlightenment (the initials FTC had something to do with it).

    Meanwhile the Pope is staying off of Facebook because of concerns about abusive comments, reports Zachary Seward for Quartz. On the Open Knowledge blog, Rufus Pollock explains why the recent European high court ruling on the so-called "right to be forgotten" also "appears to have the potential for significant (unintended) negative consequences for the publication and availability of key public interest information--the kind of information that is central to government and corporate accountability." Net neutrality is not a topic for newspaper or TV coverage, Pew Research found, after studying news stories since the beginning of the year. That's not for a lack of interest, judging from the number of Twitter mentions of the topic, nearly 650,000, Pew notes.

    That's nearly as many as on the KeystoneXL pipeline, which has gotten much more print and TV coverage. Don't miss Model View Culture's "An Open Letter on Feminism in Tech" from nine leading women techies. Mother Jones' Brett Brownell sings the praises of the Internet Archive and its Wayback Machine.

    Philadelphia's CityPaper's Arielle Pardes reports that civic hackathons, "which have been popular here since the early 2000s, are becoming less about trendy apps and more about solving real-world problems." Amen to that. Thailand's military has summoned Internet service providers to a meeting, likely to discuss how to carry out new censorship directives following Wednesday's coup, Steven Millward reports for TechinAsia. Meanwhile, some Thais are taking to Twitter to mock their new rulers, sharing their own version of events using the hashtag #CoupMovies.

    Some examples: "Usurpico," "Kindergarten Coup," and "Good Will Junta." (h/t Mark Pesce) We're taking off Memorial Day--see you on Tuesday!

  • Fitting Floors - Solar Water Heater - Carpets Reviews 2012 elastilon underlay engineered reviews , wall divider separator panels Green energy, especially solar energy, is the future. With the convergence of climate change evidence and changing consumer demand, businesses are forced to consider environment friendly solutions to the real world problems. Effective collection and distribution of solar energy, which opens the door for modern home and business to use renewable energy, this is the core concept of green revolution.

    Modern living and business are not possible without power, with clean and renewable energy we will have real long term advantage. Effective solar solution is both economically and environmentally sound. In the past, solar collectors were a novelty, only the rich people can afford them, it was effectively out of reach for the mainstream consumer.

    Make technologies which makes sense affordable is our mission, regardless of the size of your business or residence. Moving from old power tech to new solar energy is a big leap, make no mistake we will have to employ strict quality control at all levels. From all quality control certifications, to customization, whoever wants to have business in green energy needs to take quality control serious, and do their best to provides peace of mind throughout the product life cycle.

    Even with a diverse product line, we have to make each product really great as if it was the only product we have: Heat-Absorbing The German-engineered TINOX solar collectors achieve heat-collecting efficiency over 95%. Wherever you want to installed your solar collector, Our assemblies can go anywhere, such as on the floor, wall, balcony, canopy, roof, garage roof etcetera. Heat-transfer The state-of-the-art heat transfer material provides heat transfer to super sonic and exchanging speed within five seconds.

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    Now you can see, not only these products have high quality, they are made to last, you have to remember that green products have to be of high quality, otherwise we are just wasting precious resource. Green living is not limited to making use of solar energy, in fact you can go green with anything, with emerging technology, old way of doing business can benefit from going green, such as trucking industry, vendors are acquiring tie down made from recycled materials to satisfy customer demand, this way we can avoid wasting precious resources. Let s look at one specific tie down product, such as tie down strap, whenever it s possible we should ask for the green ones, this way we re doing our part in green living.

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  • Four-wheelers should 'learn from truck drivers' Truck drivers, as we know, have a unique perspective on the on-highway behaviors of the motoring public, a point hammered home over the weekend by Con-way Freight s Tom Clark, writing as a guest blogger at New Jersey-based website, which aggregates news from several local newspapers. The reason is in some ways simple, akin to Shaquille O Neal s advantages over his hoops counterparts of lesser stature. Their vantage point allows them to take in America s landscape from another point of view, Clark writes.

    Unfortunately, what that view often includes is motorists doing everything but paying attention to the road. While Clark stops short of calling for a nationally legislated solution to distracted driving among motorists, his message is clear, and it reflects what so many commenters on Overdrive s coverage of the distracted driving issue have been saying since Obama s DOT made it priority number one: greater importance needs to be placed on enforcing or really convincing four-wheelers to self-enforce bans on all texting/handheld-cell use, such as they exist, while driving among the general motoring public. Looking for compatriots in the effort to improve four-wheeler behavior?

    In future, look to the two-wheeled community. As someone who also gets a unique perspective on the behavior of four-wheelers given I spend a lot of time traveling around Nashville on this low-speed two-wheeler and, following years of being pulled out in front of by them in Chicago and Birmingham and now here, am well-attuned to just which driver (never, I think I can say with good certainty, a truck driver) up ahead is probably not going to see me before he/she makes a terrible decision to make his/her turn mid-text or ratchet-jawed on the phone I wholeheartedly concur. Here s Clark s point, ultimately: Take a lesson from a professional truck driver.

    When you get behind the wheel, put down the phone. If you have to make or take a call, do it hands-free. Focus on the road.

    Don t text. Most of all, don t become a statistic, or the cause of a tragedy that you ll regret for the rest of your life. Remember, truck drivers have a unique point of view.

    We re watching, and we will continue to be advocates for safety until distracted driving disappears.

    Read his full argument here.


  • France mulls plan to tax foreign truck drivers Will foreign truck drivers soon be charged to take to French roads? Photo: Philippe Huguen/AFP Published: 16 Apr 2014 10:32 GMT+02:00 Updated: 16 Apr 2014 10:32 GMT+02:00 France s much-maligned eco-tax charge on lorries that was scrapped late last year, could make a return, this time targeting foreign truck drivers, who could be asked to pay up at the border or even forced through the country's motorway tolls. French officials have long been irritated by the fact that foreign trucks can pass through France without paying their way for the upkeep of the country's roads.

    But the new environment minister S gol ne Royal is planning to change all that. After the contentious eco-tax on HGVs was scrapped following violent protests last year, Royal suggested this week that it could return in a new form specifically targetting foreign haulage companies. Essentially Royal's goal is to prevent foreign trucks from clogging up French national roads without them paying their way.

    Speaking to French media this week Royal said one of the options they were considering was to make truck drivers buy a toll pass or vignette as it is known, at the border, that would be based on the model currently enforced in Switzerland. 'It's legitimate to target foreign companies' It would be absolutely legitimate to that a foreign truck that crosses the country contributes towards the upkeep of the roads that they use, Royal told RMC BFM TV on Tuesday. Royal is unhappy that foreign truck drivers fill up their petrol tanks in Belgium, drive across France and then fill up again in Spain, to avoid paying the famous TIPP tax on petrol, which is used for maintaining roads. The minister, who was brought into the government in a reshuffle earlier this month, also wants to force foreign trucks onto France s motorway network, where hefty tolls are levied on HGVs, to free up the often-clogged national roads.

    This would lead to greater profits for the French motorway companies, which manage the network, and as a result the state would be entitled to a slice of that extra revenue, Royal says. France s controversial HGV eco-tax was originally planned to apply to all French and foreign vehicles transporting commercial goods weighing over 3.5 tons which use the 15,000km of national and municipal roads. But after several violent protests, notably in Brittany former French PM Jean-Marc Ayrault suspended its introduction indefinitely at the end of October.

    Critics say the ecotax would seriously damage Brittany's farming and food sectors by increasing transportation costs - driving some companies out of business and leading to major job losses. Hitting foreign trucks would prove popular move The government insists the tax, has been only been put on the back burner, but it s clear that if it were to target only foreign trucks, it would no doubt prove far more popular. The federation of French haulage drivers "congratulated" for the proposal which it says reflects what they have been proposing for a long time.

    Jean Vincent Plac head of the Greens in the Senate, who stressed the importance of bringing in the ecotax said: "It appears a bit of a fantasy to make foreigners pay, but nevertheless it's an interesting idea." UMP former Paris mayoral candidate Nathalie Kosciuscko-Morizet also welcomed the notion of hitting foreign haulage companies in the pocket: Today foreign trucks do not pay anything because they don t take the motorways. You can have a foreign truck that drives right across France and pays nothing, not even the tax on petrol," she said. But NKM, as she is known, also warned that the plan might run aground in Brussels.

    However there is also European laws. We cannot charge differently for the same service or for the same use of road, she said. In principle it s a good idea but you can t just do what you want in reality.

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  • Freakonomics Hitchhiking Lives On at Least for Cargo Photo: Digital Vision Okay, so hitch-hiking has plainly faded away at least for human beings. But what about for cargo? German trucking companies are facing a big problem, according to ScienceDaily : Around 20 percent of trucks on German roads are traveling empty, at a huge cost to the transportation companies concerned.

    Fortunately, researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Industrial Mathematics ITWM have proposed a solution: a prototype software platform that will enable freight service providers to set up a collective organization with shared access to orders. The existing online freight exchanges can only handle single shipments, which does little to solve the problem. A single shipment might be too small to justify the extra mileage, but if it can be combined with a second shipment, the trip could be worthwhile after all, says Dr.

    Heiner Ackermann , one of the researchers. Our auction platform allows multiple offerers and takers to communicate in real time. It enables them to pick the most suitable offers to fill their spare capacity, which in turn reduces costs.

    A pilot study using data from a major German freight carrier indicates that the platform has cost-saving potential. (HT: Eric Jones )

  • French eco tax mobilises new generation of Breton red caps News Source: World news and comment from the Guardian | ( Disgust at rising tax burden crystallises in thousands-strong protests in north-west, recalling 17th-century bonnets rouges When Claudie Le Bail joined tens of thousands of Breton red cap demonstrators protesting in Carhaix at the end of November to oppose regional job losses and a green tax on road freight, she took her 79-year-old mother with her. It was her first demonstration. She said the disappearing jobs will affect her children.

    Every generation is affected, says Le Bail, a 55-year-old educational worker with disabled children who lives in a small village in the far-flung and economically-depressed Breton department of Finist re. The town of 15,000 is ground zero in the revolt of the red caps named after Breton bonnets rouges who led an anti-tax protest in the 17th century. The red caps mobilised in a wave of nationalist fervour at the end of last year, bringing together bosses, farmers and workers in a single cause, and crystallising the French disgust at their rising tax burden.

    It s rekindled Breton pride, says Le Bail s husband, Daniel Caillavec, who has watched the competitors to his plant nursery vanish one by one in the recession. We re now taking our destiny in hand. But the protests against the eco tax turned violent and scores of traffic cameras and portals set up to monitor the passing lorries which would be liable for the tax have been burned and vandalised across Brittany.

    The Socialist government has announced the suspension of the tax, which had been due to come into force on 1 January, but the red caps have continued their campaign, demanding its cancellation altogether. The most recent attack on a motorway radar was last weekend, and their first action of 2014 will come on Sunday, when members are to occupy bridges straddling the motorways throughout Brittany. The red caps are led by Christian Troadec, a stocky former journalist who has been mayor of Carhaix on a leftwing ticket for 12 years.

    Troadec says that although he founded the local committee which called for Sunday s protests, he had not expected such an initiative so early in the new year. Committees are popping up all over the place, like mushrooms after rain, he says in an interview in his ground floor office at the town hall. He plays down the violent incidents as isolated acts by people taking advantage of the situation .

    He is organising a meeting on 11 January of all the local groups, which he says total about 40, to structure them within a federation. But his main focus now is preparing for the second act of the revolt with a big congress in March which will formally take up Breton grievances. Some Bretons are wary of the red caps movement, which was orchestrated by haulage companies and business leaders, while others see anti-government political manipulation by the extreme-left and extreme-right parties which took part.

    The movement has also been marked by political infighting, a trades union split, and personal rivalries behind the surface unity. Detractors of Troadec, who put Carhaix on the map by co-founding the Vieilles Charrues (Old Ploughs) music festival that now attracts international stars, accuse the mayor of crushing dissent to further his own regional political ambitions. But, says the mayor, if I were that much of a dictator, how come I was re-elected with 68% of the vote?

    Troadec, 47, links the emergence of the red caps to the aftermath of President Nicolas Sarkozy s defeat in May 2012 by Socialist candidate Francois Hollande. Things went pear-shaped very quickly. The election was a rejection of Sarkozy.

    But because Hollande didn t promise anything, the bitterness grew, says Troadec, who points to a rise in support for the extreme-right National Front in Carhaix, where the unemployment rate has risen to the national average of 10%. He identifies the loss of 8,000 jobs across the region over the past 18 months, mostly in the food processing industry, as the principal cause for local concern. The community also took to the streets in 2008 over plans to close the maternity wing at the Carhaix hospital, a decision which the protesters managed to reverse.

    Troadec was active in that struggle too. Then came the government s decision last year to enforce the eco tax, approved under Sarkozy, from 1 January 2014 it became the last straw for the Bretons, who worried that the haulage companies would pass on the taxes to consumers, further undermining the local economy. But Troadec is not stopping with the campaign to abolish the eco tax.

    He is pressing for the transfer of real economic clout to Brittany. We want devolution like you have in the UK. France is the most centralised state in Europe, he says.

    Although there is a regional parliament which sits in Rennes, we have no institutional power over our own economy or culture . He dismisses as recycling a pact announced by the prime minister, Jean-Marc Ayrault a former Breton mayor last month to defuse the red caps protests, providing for ' 2m of investment in the region. Behind the town hall is a restaurant called Ar Bonnedou Ruz , or red caps in the Breton language.

    Its Marxist owner, Matthieu Guillemot, who is a spokesman for the Anti-Capitalist party, says a real battle is starting now. The Ayrault plan can t be imposed on us. In his restaurant, he serves beef from cattle raised and slaughtered in Brittany, which costs him more than the meat from Breton cattle slaughtered in Germany.

    It highlights the fundamental problem at the root of the job losses across the region: despite receiving European subsidies to modernise and restructure, the food processing industry failed to recognise the challenge from globalisation and has been hard hit by competition from abroad. There are the ingredients here for a mini-revolution, we can frighten the government, says Guillemot. Is the government scared of the red caps?

    In France, we are used to social spasms, especially in agriculture, says the Socialist deputy for the Finist re constituency which covers Carhaix, Richard Ferrand. Ferrand acknowledges the great distress in the local community. But he says that green shoots of recovery are appearing, notably thanks to a Chinese company s ' 100m investment in a factory to produce milk powder for export to China.

    The ground-breaking ceremony in Carhaix takes place on 10 January. Asked how the government plans to react to the red caps conference in March, Ferrand shrugs. But he adds diplomatically: We are not the red caps.

    We keep the red caps inside our heads, not on our heads.

    Anne Penketh 2014 Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies.

    All rights reserved. | Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions | More Feeds Article URL: CLICK HERE to read disclaimer

  • Friday Texas Motor Speedway Notebook: Featuring Jeb Burton ... Jeb Burton (Photo Credit: Patrick Smith / Getty Images) Jeb Burton Raising Eyebrows Again At ThorSport Racing: Jeb Burton has no doubt experienced his highs and lows thus far in 2014. Burton, the son of former Daytona 500 winner Ward Burton had an exceptional rookie season at Turner Scott Motorsports, but after losing his sponsor to financial difficulty before the start of the 2014 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series season, one the sport s future stars suddenly found himself homeless. To their credit, ThorSport Racing stepped up to the plate and put Burton in their third No.

    13 Toyota Tundra entry. While Daytona went off quietly with a top-10 finish, their Martinsville performance was forgettable. With a talented and frustrated driver on-hand and a team who won the championship in NCWTS 2013 with Matt Crafton, the two clearly had work to do.

    A private test session at Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway after Easter put some grounding into the Sandusky, Ohio-based race team showcasing one of the best times in the two-day test session. Still, many were left asking the question, if they would be able to back It up in the third race of the season at Kansas Speedway? They did.

    While they didn t contend for the win, a strong and season-best sixth place finish. The speed carried to Charlotte, but a last-lap incident derailed another top-10 finish. But, Burton s season may just be taking off.

    In Dover last weekend, Burton and ThorSport Racing announced a new partner in Estes, a Richmond, Virginia based trucking company. While the team suffered multiple mechanical gremlins, they salvaged a 18th-place run. Friday night, Burton returns to the site where everything is bigger and no doubt it would be indeed be bigger if Burton was able to defend his WinStar World Casino & Resort 400 with the No.

    13 team to Victory Lane. It would be huge to get a win for ThorSport and Estes and for my whole family, said Burton. This new tire is throwing everyone for a loop.

    I m kinda worried about that. I don t know exactly what I have. We re going to try and repeat though.

    German Quiorga (Photo Credit: Sean Gardner / Getty Images) German Quiorga Standing Strong: Red Horse Racing s German Quiorga is showing that he can be a title contender in 2014. Through the first five races of the 2014 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series season, Quiorga has yet to finish outside the top-10. Quiorga, the only three-time NASCAR Mexico champion has yet though been able to maneuver a top-five finish.

    Despite the consistency, the driver of the No.

    77 Net10 Wireless / Otter Box Toyota Tundra sits fourth in the championship standings, just six markers behind teammate Timothy Peters. Maybe more important though, Quiorga is searching for his first NASCAR Camping Word Truck Series victory. Could that come in Friday night s WinStar World Casino & Resort 400?

    Possible. Quiorga rolled off the truck eighth quickest, but adjustments made to his Japanese nameplate during the short half-hour break paid off. In final practice, Quiorga hustled to the top of the charts early and never relinquished.

    Some would say that time may be running short for the Mexico City, Mexico native with Daniel Suarez being bred through the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East and even a few NASCAR Nationwide Series starts, but the 34-year old is focused on making his mark. Tonight, he could continue to do that in a big way. He starts eighth.

    NTS Motorsports Logo Justin Lofton Earns Second Career NCWTS Pole At Texas Motor Speedway: Justin Lofton surprised many on Friday afternoon at Texas Motor Speedway by winning the pole for Friday night s 18th annual WinStar World Casino & Resort 400. Lofton in his second race of the 2014 season with NTS Motorsports whipped his No.

    20 sponsorless Chevrolet Silverado around the 1.5-mile track in second amounting to a speed of miles per hour. This is Lofton s second-career pole.

    He also started at the point at Chicagoland Speedway in 2012 driving for Eddie Sharp Racing. He finished 21st. It feels awesome to be on the pole here at Texas, said Lofton.

    I gotta thank everyone at NTS Motorsports. I don t get very many opportunities, which makes this very special. Looking forward to the race tonight.

    Lofton made his 2014 debut in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series last month at Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway where he qualified 14th and finished 10th. Matt Crafton will start second followed by Ryan Blaney, Johnny Sauter and graduate Erik Jones. Joe Nemechek, Darrell Wallace Jr., German Quiorga, John Wes Townley and Ron Hornaday Jr.

    rounded out the top-10.

    Points leader Timothy Peters will roll off 15th.

    Follow Chris Knight on Twitter @Knighter01.

  • fuel efficiency in transportation | Car With Best Gas Mileage Efficiency can be expressed in terms of: distance per vehicle per consumption volume (mile per gallon: mpg us or imp) distance per vehicle per consumption weight (km per kg) 1 consumption per unit distance per vehicle (European measure in litre per hundred kilometer: l/100 km or km/litre), consumption per unit distance per passenger consumption per unit distance per unit mass of cargo transported. Energy efficiency is important as it affects the cost of transportation and the range of the vehicle. Some may also see it as a relevant concept to increase autonomy and reduce environmental impact.

    edit Transportation types For freight transport, rail and ship transport are generally much more efficient than trucking, and air freight is much less efficient.

    2 3 ^ edit Walking A 68 kg (150 lb) person walking at 4 km/h (2.5 mph) requires approximately 210 kilocalories (880 kJ) of food energy per hour, or 4.55 km/MJ.

    4 One 1 US gallon (~3.7854 liter) of gasoline contains about 114,000 BTU 5 (120 MJ) of energy, so this converts to roughly 360 miles per US gallon (0.65 l/100 km). edit Velomobile Velomobiles like WAWt seem to have the highest energy efficiency in transportation. At a speed of 31 mph (50 km/h) they need only 0.5 kWh of food energy per 100 km to transport the passenger, which is around a 1/5 of a normal bicycle, and one 1/50 of an average fossil or electric car.

    This corresponds to 4700 miles per gallon (2000 km/l or 0.05 l/100 km).

    6 edit Bicycling A relatively light and slow vehicle with low-friction tires and an efficient chain-driven drivetrain, the bicycle is one of the most efficient forms of transport. A 140 lb (64 kg) cyclist riding at 16 km/h (10 mph) requires about half the energy per unit distance of walking: 43 kcal/mi or 3.1 kWh (11 MJ) per 100 km.

    4 This figure depends on the speed and mass of the rider: greater speeds give higher air drag and heavier riders consume more energy per unit distance. This converts to about 732 miles per US gallon (0.321 L/100 km; 879 mpg -imp ).

    7 A motorized bicycle such as the Velosolex allows human power and the assistance of a 49 cm 3 (3.0 cu in) engine, giving a range of 160 200 mpg -US (1.5 1.2 L/100 km; 190 240 mpg -imp ). citation needed Electric pedal-assisted bikes run on as little as 1.0 kilowatt-hour (3.6 MJ) per 100 km, citation needed while maintaining speeds in excess of 30 km/h (19 mph). citation needed These best-case figures rely on a human doing 70% of the work, with around 3.6 MJ (1.0 kWh) per 100 km coming from the motor.

    edit Human power Including the human energy dramatically changes the efficiency of cycles quoted above. As with walking, this would include the increase in food consumption due to caloric efficiency of human muscle and cardio vascular efficiency. However, only the rise in food consumption above the diet of a non-cyclist should be considered.

    To be thorough, a comparison must also consider the energy costs of producing, transporting and packaging of fuel (food or fossil fuel), the energy incurred in disposing of exhaust waste, and the energy costs of manufacturing the vehicle. This last can be significant given that walking requires little or no special equipment, while automobiles, for example, require a great deal of energy to produce and have relatively short life-spans. Also any comparison of electric vehicles and liquid-fuelled vehicles must include the fuel consumed in the power station to generate the electricity.

    In the UK for instance the efficiency of the electricity generation and distribution system is around 0.40. ^ edit Automobiles Automobile fuel efficiency is often expressed in volume fuel consumed per one hundred kilometres (i.e., L/100 km) but in distance per volume fuel consumed (i.e., miles per gallon) in the US. This is complicated by the different energy content of fuels (compare petrol and diesel). The Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) states that the energy content of unleaded gasoline is 115,000 BTU per US gallon (32 MJ/L) compared to 130,500 BTU per US gallon (36.4 MJ/L) for diesel.

    8 A second important consideration is the energy costs of producing energy. Bio-fuels, electricity and hydrogen, for instance, have significant energy inputs in their production. Because of this, the 50-70% efficiency of hydrogen production has to be combined with the vehicle efficiency to yield net efficiency.

    9 A third consideration to take into account is the occupancy rate of the vehicle. As the number of passengers per vehicle increases the consumption per unit distance per vehicle increases. However this increase is slight compared to the reduction in consumption per unit distance per passenger.

    We can compare, for instance, the estimated average occupancy rate of about 1.3 passengers per car in the San Francisco Bay Area 10 to the 2006 UK estimated average of 1.58.

    11 Finally, vehicle energy efficiency calculations would be misleading without factoring the energy cost of producing the vehicle itself. This initial energy cost can of course be depreciated over the life of the vehicle to calculate an average energy efficiency over its effective life span. In other words, vehicles that take a lot of energy to produce and are used for relatively short periods will require a great deal more energy over their effective lifespan than those that do not, and are therefore much less energy efficient than they may otherwise seem.

    Compare, for example, walking, which requires no special equipment at all, and an automobile, produced in and shipped from another country, and made from parts manufactured around the world from raw materials and minerals mined and processed elsewhere again, and used for a limited number of years. edit Example consumption figures Two American Solar Cars in Canada Solar cars use no fuel, charging the batteries entirely from built-in solar panels, and typically use less than 3 kWh per 100 miles (67 kJ/km).

    12 The four passenger GEM NER uses 169 Wh/mile or 10.4 kWh/100 km, 13 which equates to 2.6 kWh/100 km per person when fully occupied, albeit at only 24 mph (39 km/h). The General Motors EV1 was rated in a test with a charging efficiency of 373 Wh-AC/mile or 23 kWh/100 km 14 (translates approximately to 2.6L/100 km).

    Chevrolet Volt in full electric mode uses 36 kWh per 100 miles (810 kJ/km), meaning it may be more energy-efficient than walking for 4 or more passengers. Note that the energy at the power station is more than this by approximately 2.5 times. The Daihatsu Charade 993cc turbo diesel (1987 1993) won the most fuel efficient vehicle award for going round the United Kingdom doing an average 100MPG.

    It was only surpassed recently by the VW Lupo 3L which gives about 102 mpg. Both cars are rare to find on the popular market. The Daihatsu had major problems with rust and structural safety which contributes to its rarity and the quite short production run.

    The Volkswagen Polo 1.4 TDI Bluemotion and the SEAT Ibiza 1.4 TDI Ecomotion, both rated at 3.8 L/100 km (74 mpg -imp ; 62 mpg -US ) (combined) were the most fuel efficient cars on sale in the UK as of 22 March 2008.

    15 16 17 dated info Honda Insight achieves 48 mpg -US (4.9 L/100 km; 58 mpg -imp ) under real-world conditions.

    18 Honda Civic Hybrid- regularly averages around 45 mpg -US (5.2 L/100 km; 54 mpg -imp ). Toyota Prius According to the US EPA s revised estimates, the combined fuel consumption for the 2008 Prius is 46 mpg -US (5.1 L/100 km; 55 mpg -imp ), 19 making it the most fuel efficient United States car of 2008.

    20 In the UK, the official fuel consumption figure (combined) for the Prius is 4.3 L/100 km (66 mpg -imp ; 55 mpg -US ).

    21 2012 Cadillac CTS-V Wagon 6.2L Supercharged, 14 mpg -US (17 L/100 km; 17 mpg -imp ).

    22 2012 Bugatti Veyron, 10 mpg -US (24 L/100 km; 12 mpg -imp ).

    22 edit Aircraft ^ A principal determinant of energy consumption in aircraft is drag, which must be opposed by thrust for the aircraft to progress. Drag is proportional to the lift required for flight, 23 which is equal to the weight of the aircraft.

    As induced drag increases with weight, mass reduction, with improvements in engine efficiency and reductions in aerodynamic drag, has been a principal source of efficiency gains in aircraft, with a rule-of-thumb being that a 1% weight reduction corresponds to around a 0.75% reduction in fuel consumption.

    23 Flight altitude affects engine efficiency. Jet-engine efficiency increases at altitude up to the tropopause, the temperature minimum of the atmosphere; at lower temperatures, the Carnot efficiency is higher.

    23 Jet engine efficiency is also increased at high speeds, but above about Mach 0.85 the airframe aerodynamic losses increase faster. Compressibility effects: beginning at transonic speeds of around Mach 0.85, shockwaves form increasing drag.

    For supersonic flight, it is difficult to achieve a lift to drag ratio greater than 5, and fuel consumption is increased in proportion. Concorde fuel efficiency comparison (assuming jets are filled to capacity) Aircraft Concorde 24 Boeing 747-400 25 passenger miles/imperial gallon 17 109 passenger miles/US gallon 14 91 litres/100 passenger km 16.6 3.1 Passenger airplanes averaged 4.8 l/100 km per passenger (1.4 MJ/passenger-km) (49 passenger-miles per gallon) in 1998. citation needed Note that on average 20% of seats are left unoccupied.

    Jet aircraft efficiencies are improving: Between 1960 and 2000 there was a 55% overall fuel efficiency gain (if one were to exclude the inefficient and limited fleet of the DH Comet 4 and to consider the Boeing 707 as the base case).

    26 Most of the improvements in efficiency were gained in the first decade when jet craft first came into widespread commercial use. Compared to the most advanced turboprop aircraft of the 1950s, the modern aircraft is only marginally more efficient per passenger-mile. Between 1971 and 1998 the fleet-average annual improvement per available seat-kilometre was estimated at 2.4%.

    Concorde the supersonic transport managed about 17 passenger-miles to the Imperial gallon; similar to a business jet, but much worse than a subsonic turbofan aircraft. Airbus states a fuel rate consumption of their A380 at less than 3 l/100 km per passenger (78 passenger-miles per US gallon).

    27 As over 80% of the fully laden take-off weight of a modern aircraft such as the Airbus A380 is craft and fuel, there remains considerable room for future improvements in fuel efficiency. The mass of an aircraft can be reduced by using light-weight materials such as titanium, carbon fiber and other composite plastics.

    Expensive materials may be used, if the reduction of mass justifies the price of materials through improved fuel efficiency. The improvements achieved in fuel efficiency by mass reduction, reduces the amount of fuel that needs to be carried. This further reduces the mass of the aircraft and therefore enables further gains in fuel efficiency.

    For example, the Airbus A380 design includes multiple light-weight materials. Airbus has showcased wingtip devices (sharklets or winglets) that can achieve 3.5 percent reduction in fuel consumption.

    28 29 There are wingtip devices on the Airbus A380. Further developed Minix winglets have been said to offer 6 percent reduction in fuel consumption.

    30 Winglets at the tip of an aircraft wing, can be retrofitted to any airplane, and smooths out the wing-tip vortex, reducing the aircraft s wing drag.

    30 NASA and Boeing are conducting tests on a 500 lb (230 kg) blended wing aircraft. This design allows for greater fuel efficiency since the whole craft produces lift, not just the wings.

    31 The blended wing body (BWB) concept offers advantages in structural, aerodynamic and operating efficiencies over today s more conventional fuselage-and-wing designs. These features translate into greater range, fuel economy, reliability and life cycle savings, as well as lower manufacturing costs.

    32 33 NASA has created a cruise efficient STOL (CESTOL) concept. Fraunhofer Institute for Manufacturing Engineering and Applied Materials Research (IFAM) have researched a shark skin imitating paint that would reduce drag through a riblet effect.

    34 Aircrafts are a major potential application for new technologies such as aluminium metal foam and nanotechnology such as the shark skin imitating paint. Propfan propulsors are a more fuel efficient technology than jets or turboprops, but turboprops have an optimum speed below about 450 mph (700 km/h).

    35 This speed is less than used with jets by major airlines today. However, the decrease in speed reduces drag. With the current dated info high price for jet fuel and the emphasis on engine/airframe efficiency to reduce emissions, there is renewed interest in the propfan concept for jetliners that might come into service beyond the Boeing 787 and Airbus A350XWB.

    For instance, Airbus has patented aircraft designs with twin rear-mounted counter-rotating propfans.

    36 NASA has conducted an Advanced Turboprop Project (ATP), where they researched a variable pitch propfan that produced less noise and achieved high speeds. Related to fuel efficiency is the impact of aviation emissions on climate. edit Small aircraft Motor-gliders made of composite materials can reach an extremely low fuel consumption for cross-country flights, using thermal air currents and winds.

    At 160 km/h, a diesel powered two-seater Dieselis burns 6 liters of fuel per hour, 1.9 liters per 100 passenger km.

    37 at 220 km/h, a four-seater 100 hp MCR-4S burns 20 liters of gas per hour, 2.2 liters per 100 passenger km. Under continuous motorised flight at 225 km/h, a Pipistrel Sinus burns 11 liters of fuel per flight hour. Carrying 2 people aboard, it operates at 2.4 liters per 100 passenger km.

    Ultralight aircraft Tecnam P92 Echo Classic at cruise speed of 185 km/h burns 17 liters of fuel per flight hour, 4.6 liters per 100 passenger km (2 people).

    38 Other modern ultralight aircraft have increased efficiency; Tecnam P2002 Sierra RG at cruise speed of 237 km/h burns 17 liters of fuel per flight hour, 3.6 liters per 100 passenger km (2 people).

    39 Two-seater and four-seater flying at 250 km/h with old generation engines can burn 25 to 40 liters per flight hour, 3 to 5 liters per 100 passenger km. The Sikorsky S-76C++ twin turbine helicopter gets about 1.65 mpg -US (143 L/100 km; 1.98 mpg -imp ) at 140 knots (260 km/h; 160 mph) and carries 12 for about 19.8 passenger-miles per gallon (11.9 litres per 100 passenger km). citation needed edit Ships edit Queen Elizabeth Cunard states that the RMS Queen Elizabeth 2 travels 49.5 feet per imperial gallon of diesel oil (3.32 m/l or 41.2 ft/US gal), and that it has a passenger capacity of 1777.

    40 Thus carrying 1777 passengers we can calculate an efficiency of 16.7 passenger miles per imperial gallon (16.9 l/100 p km or 13.9 p mpg US ). edit Emma Maersk Emma Maersk uses a W rtsil -Sulzer RTA96-C, which consumes 163g/kWh, 13,000 kg per hour. Suppose it carries 13,000 containers, then 1 kg fuel transports one container for one hour, 45 km.

    The ship takes 18 days from Tanjung (Singapore) to Rotterdam (Netherlands), 11 from Tanjung to Suez, and 7 from Suez to Rotterdam, 41 which is roughly 430 hours, and has 80 MW, +30 MW.

    18 days at 24 hours at 25 knots gives 10,800 miles, roughly 20,000 km. edit Trains ^ Trains can be an efficient means of transport for freight and passengers. Efficiency varies significantly with passenger loads and, losses incurred in electricity generation and supply (for electrified systems), 42 43 and, importantly, end-to-end delivery, where stations are not the originating final destinations of a journey.

    Actual consumption depends on gradients, maximum speeds, loading and stopping patterns. Data produced for the European MEET project (Methodologies for Estimating Air Pollutant Emissions) illustrate the different consumption patterns over several track sections. The results show the consumption for a German ICE high-speed train varied from around 19 33 kW h/km (68 120 MJ/km; 31 53 kW h/mi).

    The data also reflects the weight of the train per passenger. For example, TGV double-deck Duplex trains use lightweight materials, which keep axle loads down and reduce damage to track and also save energy.

    44 ^ edit Freight Energy consumption estimates for rail freight vary widely, and many are provided by interested parties. Some are tabulated below.

    edit Passenger edit Braking losses Stopping is a considerable source of inefficiency. Modern electric trains like the Shinkansen (the Bullet Train ) use regenerative braking to return current into the catenary while they brake. A Siemens study indicated that regenerative braking might recover 41.6% of the total energy consumed.

    The Passenger Rail (Urban and Intercity) and Scheduled Intercity and All Charter Bus Industries Technological and Operational Improvements FINAL REPORT states that Commuter operations can dissipate more than half of their total traction energy in braking for stops. and that We estimate hotel power to be 35 percent (but it could possibly be as high as 45 percent) of total energy consumed by commuter railways.

    55 Having to accelerate and decelerate a heavy train load of people at every stop is inefficient despite regenerative braking which can recover typically around 20% of the energy wasted in braking. Weight is a determinant of braking losses.

    edit Other references AEA study of road and rail for the United Kingdom Department for Transport: Final report edit Buses In July 2005, the average occupancy for buses in the UK was stated to be 9.

    56 The fleet of 244 40-foot (12 m) 1982 New Flyer trolley buses in local service with BC Transit in Vancouver, Canada, in 1994/95 used 35,454,170 kWh for 12,966,285 vehicle km, or 9.84 MJ/vehicle km. Exact ridership on trolleybuses is not known, but with all 34 seats filled this equates to 0.32 MJ/passenger km. It is quite common to see people standing on Vancouver trolleybuses.

    This is a service with many stops per kilometre; part of the reason for the efficiency is the use of regenerative braking. A commuter service in Santa Barbara, California, USA, found average diesel bus efficiency of 6.0 mpg -US (39 L/100 km; 7.2 mpg -imp ) (using MCI 102DL3 buses). With all 55 seats filled this equates to 330 passenger mpg; with 70% filled, 231 passenger mpg.

    57 At an average load of 9 people the efficiency would be 54 passenger mpg and could be half of this figure when many stops are made in urban routes. In 2011 the fleet of 752 buses in the city of Lisbon had an average speed of 14.4 km/h and an average occupancy of 20.1 passengers per vehicle.

    58 edit Rockets Unlike other forms of transportation, rockets are commonly designed for putting objects into orbit. Once in sufficiently high orbit, objects have almost negligible air drag, and the orbits decay so slowly that a satellite can be still orbiting decades after launch.

    For these reasons rocket and space propulsion efficiency is rarely measured in terms of distance per unit of fuel, but in terms of specific impulse which gives how much change in momentum (i.e. impulse) can be obtained from a unit of propellant. NASA s space shuttle fires its engines for around 8.5 minutes, consuming 1,000 tons of solid propellant (containing 16% aluminium) and an additional 2,000,000 litres of liquid propellant (106,261 kg of liquid hydrogen) to lift the 100,000 kg vehicle (including the 25,000 kg payload) to an altitude of 111 km and an orbital velocity of 30,000 km/h.

    With a specific energy of 31MJ/kg for aluminum and 143 MJ/kg for liquid hydrogen, the vehicle consumes around 5 TJ of solid propellant and 15 TJ of hydrogen fuel. Once in orbit at 200 km and around 7.8 km/s velocity, the orbiter requires no further energy: it has kinetic energy of about 3 TJ and potential energy of roughly 200 GJ. Given the energy input of 20 TJ, the shuttle is about 16% energy efficient at launching the orbiter and payload just 4% efficiency if the payload alone is considered.

    citation needed If the Space Shuttle were used to transport people or freight from a point to another on the Earth, using the theoretical largest ground distance (antipodal) flight of 20,000 km, energy usage would be about 40 kJ/km/kg of payload. edit Other NASA s Crawler-Transporter is used to move the Shuttle from storage to the launch pad. It uses diesel and has one of the highest fuel consumption rates on record, 150 US gallons per mile (350 l/km; 120 imp gal/mi).

    59 edit International transport comparisons edit UK Public transport Rail and bus are generally required to serve off peak and rural services, which by their nature have lower loads than city bus routes and inter city train lines. Moreover, due to their walk on ticketing it is much harder to match daily demand and passenger numbers. As a consequence, the overall load factor on UK railways is 35% or 90 people per train: 60 Conversely, Air services work on point-to-point networks between large population centres and are pre-book in nature.

    Using yield management overall loads can be raised to around 70-90%. However, recently intercity train operators have been using similar techniques, with loads reaching typically 71% overall for TGV services in France and a similar figure for the UK s Virgin trains services.

    61 For emissions, the electricity generating source needs to be taken into account.

    62 63 64 edit US Passenger transportation The US Transportation Energy Data Book states the following figures for passenger transportation in 2009: 53 Transport mode Average passengers per vehicle BTU per passenger-mile MJ per passenger-kilometre Rail (Intercity Amtrak) 20.9 2,435 1.596 Motorcycles 1.16 2,460 1.61 Rail (Transit Light & Heavy) 24.5 2,516 1.649 Rail (Commuter) 32.7 2,812 1.843 Air 99.3 2,826 1.853 Cars 1.55 3,538 2.319 Personal Trucks 1.84 3,663 2.401 Buses (Transit) 9.2 4,242 2.781 Taxi 1.55 15,645 10.257 edit US Freight transportation The US Transportation Energy book states the following figures for freight transportation in 2010: 53 65 66 67 Transportation mode Fuel consumption BTU per short ton mile kJ per tonne kilometre Domestic Waterborne 217 160 Class 1 Railroads 289 209 Heavy Trucks 3,357 2,426 Air freight (approx) 9,600 6,900 From 1960 to 2010 the efficiency of air freight has increased 75%, mostly due to more efficient jet engines.

    68 1 US gal (3.785 l, 0.833 imp gal) of fuel can move a ton of cargo 857 kilometres (533 mi) by barge, or 337 km (209 mi) by rail, or 98 km (61 mi) by truck.

    69 Compare: Space Shuttle used to transport freight to the other side of the Earth (see above): 40,000 kJ per tonne kilometre. Net energy for lifting: 10,000 kJ per tonne kilometre.

    edit Canadian transportation Natural Resources Canada s Office of Energy Efficiency publishes annual statistics regarding the efficiency of the entire Canadian fleet. For researchers, these fuel consumption estimates are more realistic than the fuel consumption ratings of new vehicles, as they represent the real world driving conditions, including extreme weather and traffic. The annual report is called Energy Efficiency Trends Analysis.

    There are dozens of tables illustrating trends in energy consumption expressed in energy per passenger km (passengers) or energy per tonne km (freight).

    70 edit Caveats Comparing fuel efficiency in transportation has several challenges: All transportation methods require a different infrastructure. The building, repairing and renovation of this must also be considered, and heavy usage of infrastructure will require earlier maintenance, which will also be energy consuming. Road transport requires an extensive network of well-maintained paved roads and trains require railroads and stations along the whole length of the track.

    Meanwhile, ships and aircraft only require a more limited amount of harbours or airports, without any en route infrastructure except for the occasional navigation beacon. Some types of transportation can take shorter routes, thereby (partly) offsetting an increase in energy consumption per unit of distance travelled. For example, a trip from the UK to Italy would take a boat an enormous detour via the Strait of Gibraltar, while cars need to travel much less distance and aircraft can (theoretically; in reality it s going from good to better) take by the shortest route or, in case of favourable winds, a more efficient route.

    There is a distinction between vehicle MPGe and passenger MPGe. Most of these entries cite passenger MPGe even if not explicitly stated. It is important not to compare energy figures that relate to dissimilar journeys.

    An airline jet cannot be used for an urban commute so when comparing aircraft with cars the car figures must take this into account. If the issue is rapid investment in new electric mass transit it is important to use emissions associated with the most polluting fuel because increased demand for electricity increases the use of polluting fuel used in generation for the immediate future, as well as low emissions fuels in the case of some countries. Systems that re-use vehicles like trains and buses can t be directly compared to vehicles that get parked at their destination.

    They use energy to return (less full) for more passengers and must sometimes run on schedules and routes with little patronage. These factors greatly affect overall system efficiencies. The energy costs of accumulating load need to be included.

    In the case of most mass transit distributing and accumulating load over many stops means that passenger kilometres are inherently a small proportion of vehicle kilometres see Transport Energy Metrics, Lessons from the west Coast Main line Modernisation and figures for London Underground in transport statistics for Great Britain 2003. Lessons from the west coast mainline modernisation suggest that long passenger rail should operate at less than 40% capacity utilisation and for London underground the figure is probably less than 15%. Most cars run at less than full capacity, with the usual average load being between 1 and 2.

    Cars are also subject to inefficiencies because of congestion and the need to negotiate road junctions. The impact of transport road building to reduce congestion should always be considered as should the improving efficiency of cars see, Vehicles are not isolated systems. They usually form a part of larger systems whose design inherently determines energy consumption.

    Judging the value of transport systems by comparing the performance of their vehicles alone can be misleading. For instance, metro systems may have a poor energy efficiency per passenger kilometre , but their high throughput and low physical footprint makes the existence of high urban population densities viable. Total energy consumption per capita declines sharply as population density increases, since journeys become shorter.

    71 See also Logistics and Transport Focus (the Journal of the Charter Institute of Transport) vol 9 number 10 through volume 10 number 6 for a series of articles debating the general issues of fuel efficiency in transportation in the context of impact on climate change. ^ Aeroplane Efficiency, F d ration A ronautique Internationale , FAI The World Air Sports Federation ^, graph ^ David Strahan, Green fuel for the airline industry , New Scientist, 13 August 2008, pp.

    34-7. ^ a b Energy expenditure for walking and running ^ EPA (2007). Appendix B, Transportation Energy Data Book . Retrieved 16 November 2010 . ^ ^ Calculation of conversion from dietary calories per mile to miles per gallon gasoline, using the energy density of gasoline listed by Wolfram Alpha .

    2011 . Retrieved 19 Jul 2011 . ^ Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) ^ Hydrogen Internal Combustion Engine (ICE) Vehicle Testing Activities ^ Maps and Data Metropolitan Transportation Commission for the nine-county San Francisco Bay Area, California ^ Transport trends: current edition . UK Department for Transport.

    8 January 2008 . Retrieved 23 March 2008 . ^ MIT Unveils 90 MPH Solar Race Car ^ NEV America US Department of Energy Field Operations Program 2005 Global Electronic Motorcars e4 4-Passenger ^ ^ Best on CO 2 rankings . UK Department for Transport .

    Retrieved 2008-03-22 . ^ Vehicle details for Polo 3 / 5 Door (from Nov 06 Wk 45> ) 1.4 TDI (80PS) (without A/C) with DPF BLUEMOTION M5 . UK Vehicle Certification Agency . Retrieved 22 March 2008 . ^ Vehicle details for Ibiza ( from NOV 06 Wk 45 > ) 1.4 TDI 80PS Ecomotion M5 .

    UK Vehicle Certification Agency . Retrieved 22 March 2008 . ^ Jerry Garrett (2006-08-27). The Once and Future Mileage King .

    The New York Times . ^ 2008 Toyota Prius . EPA . Retrieved 2007-12-25 . ^ 2008 Most and Least Fuel Efficient cars (ranked by city mpg) .

    United States Environmental Protection Agency and United States Department of Energy . Retrieved 2007-12-25 . ^ Vehicle details for Prius 1.5 VVT-i Hybrid E-CVT . UK Vehicle Certification Agency .

    Retrieved 2008-03-22 . ^ a b 2012 Most and Least Efficient Vehicles ^ a b c Barney L. Capehart (2007). Encyclopedia of Energy Engineering and Technology , Volume 1.

    CRC Press. ISBN 0-8493-3653-8, ISBN 978-0-8493-3653-9. ^ Powerplant. .

    Retrieved: 2 December 2009. ^ Technical Specifications: Boeing 747-400 . Boeing . Retrieved 11 January 2010 . ^ National Aerospace Laboratory ^ The A380: The future of flying .

    Airbus. Archived from the original on 2007-12-14 . Retrieved 2008-03-22 . ^ ^ ^ a b ^ Ecogeek Article ^ Boeing to Begin Ground Testing of X-48B Blended Wing Body Concept.

    Boeing , October 27, 2006. Retrieved: April 10, 2012. ^ Lorenz III, Phillip. AEDC testing brings unique blended wing aircraft closer to flight.

    AEDC, U.S. Air Force , July 3, 2007. Retrieved: April 10, 2012. ^ ^ Spakovszky, Zoltan (2009).

    Unified Propulsion Lecture 1 . Unified Engineering Lecture Notes . MIT .

    Retrieved 2009-04-03 . ^ US application 2009020643, Airbus & Christophe Cros, Aircraft having reduced environmental impact , published 2009-01-22 ^ Contact, Experimental Aircraft and Powerplant Newsforum for Designers and Builders, Issue 55, March April 2000 ^ Tecnam P92 Echo Classic . Tecnam costruzioni aeronautiche s.r.l . Retrieved 22 May 2012 . ^ Tecnam P2002 Sierra De Luxe .

    Tecnam costruzioni aeronautiche s.r.l . Retrieved 22 May 2012 . ^ Queen Elizabeth 2: Technical Information (PDF). Cunard Line .

    Retrieved 2008-03-31 . ^ Emma M rsk schedules M rsk , 5 December 2011. ^ Fuel Efficiency of Travel in the 20th Century, Appendix ^ Fuel Efficiency of Travel in the 20th Century) ^ Commission for integrated transport, Short haul air v High speed rail ^ ^ ^ Environmental Goals and Results, JR-East Sustainability Report 2005 ^ Estimating Emissions from Railway Traffic, page 74 ^ Colorado Railcar: DMU Performs Flawlessly on Tri-Rail Service Test ^ SBB Facts and Figures Traffic ^ European Environment Agency Occupancy Rates, page 3 ^ Combino Low Floor Light Rail Vehicles Tests, Trials and Tangible Results ^ a b c Davis, Stacy C.; Susan W. Diegel, Robert G. Boundy (2011).

    Transportation Energy Data Book: Edition 30 . US Department of Energy. pp.

    Table 2.12. ORNL-6986 (Edition 30 of ORNL-5198) . Retrieved 2012-02-22 . ^ ^ Bus and Rail Final Report ^ Passenger Transport (Fuel Consumption) .

    Hansard . UK House of Commons.

    2005-07-20 . Retrieved 2008-03-25 . ^ Demonstration of Caterpillar C-10 Duel-Fuel Engines in MCI 102DL3 Commuter Buses ^ ^ NASA Crawler-Transporter statistics ^ ATOC ^ Delivering a sustainable railway White paper, p43 ^ Energy & Emissions Statement ^ Defra 2008 Guidelines to Defra s GHG Conversion Factors ^ Kilograms of CO2 per passenger kilometre for different modes of transport within the UK ^ US Environmental protection, 2006 ^ Energy Efficiency Transportation sector (from the United States Department of Energy s Energy Information Administration) ^ Energy Table 2.15 ^ Trend in Aircraft Fuel Efficiency ^ Transportation and Energy ^ 2009 data ^ Newman, Peter; Jeffrey R.

    Kenworthy (1999). Sustainability and Cities: Overcoming Automobile Dependence . Island Press.

    ISBN 1-55963-660-2.

    edit See also edit External links This article uses material from the Wikipedia article fuel efficiency in transportation , which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.

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  • T600 Modular by Jorgillo Trucking | 18 WOS ...
  • Games of 2013: Euro Truck Simulator 2 Articles PC It started off as a joke. Have you heard the one about Farming Simulator, a game in which you plough lonely fields in a tractor? Well, how about Chemical Spillage Simulator, the one in which you get to sample the glamour of life in a hazmat suit?

    And hey, get this, there's even a series called Euro Truck Simulator in which all you do is haul freight across the motorways of Europe. Yet somewhere along the A63 just beyond the borders of Grimsby, I realised Euro Truck Simulator 2 was more than just a throwaway curio. Hauling timber from Rotterdam to Sheffield, rain trickling down the windshield as a local radio station cheered me through the night with the strains of Labi Siffre's Something Inside So Strong, some rare and intoxicating video game magic shimmered into focus.

    It runs seriously deep. Czech developer SCS Software's been pursuing its mundane art for well over 15 years, and by the time Euro Truck Simulator 2 launched late in 2012 (with a worldwide release earlier this year - hence a little leniency that allows it to feature here), the formula had been polished to a sheen. There's driving - there's lots and lots of driving - but it's backed up by a squall of systems any other game in any other genre would be proud to host.

    You start off your venture with nothing to your name but a thirst for the open road and an ambition for a trucker's life, and SCS sets ahead of you a swarm of paths upon which you can pursue your goal. The joy of an open road - rumour has it that next year SCS's empire will stretch to America. Euro Truck Simulator 2 is an RPG, then, that's about levelling up your trucker as you explore the wilds of central Europe and beyond.

    Just set your truck in any direction and see where it takes you, unlocking new dealerships and locations on the way, or pick up jobs that ferry you across the sizeable map. It's Fallout or Skyrim, only Whiterun has been swapped out for Rotterdam, Megaton for Portsmouth. Earn enough money and you can buy a truck of your own.

    You can start running your own jobs, picking up lumber or oil in Felixstowe and escorting it to Bremen for a better payout, and stacking up the cash. Bring some more in and you can start hiring other drivers, and acquiring other trucks, setting up an empire that spreads across Europe. It's like Total War where you get to be Eddie Stobart instead of Caesar.

    Have enough surplus and you can even customise your fleet, decking out the cabin or painting the exterior and lavishing it with accessories. Or you might want to hold on and save up for a better ride, anyway: in Euro Truck Simulator 2, you'll likely start in a Renault Magnum, with its top speed of a rippling 68mph, while having your heart set on the 111mph Volvo FH16 750, the trucking world's equivalent of a Pagani Huayra. It's like playing a Forza that's just ingested a full English breakfast, fried slice, black pudding and all.

    So Euro Truck Simulator 2 isn't a joke: it's a swirl of compulsion loops that gracefully grip you, an RPG that runs deep with empire building that runs as long and far as the countless roads it features. There's a craft in the single-player progression that I sincerely hope other, more widely respected games take note of: a Gran Turismo or a Forza could learn much from how SCS makes its driving meaningful. Even without all of its exquisite stuffing, Euro Truck Simulator 2's got something else; it's got driving , and it boasts a purity that so many other games have strived for.

    The dream of an open-world driving game that bottles a little of the excitement of the open road - a thrill that's captivated people for centuries, well before digital roads were first laid down - has been a recurring dream in recent years that's only fleetingly been fulfilled. The illusion of the endless road, and the impeccable journey, was what propelled OutRun to legendary status, and later Need for Speed would borrow that formula for its inaugural outing, as resurrected in Criterion's excellent 2011 Hot Pursuit. I desperately want to take this around the 'ring.

    It's a dream half-remembered in Eden's Test Drive Unlimited games, and one more fully brought to life in Playground's exquisite Forza Horizon. In Euro Truck Simulator 2, it's a dream brought to scuzzy, all-too-real life: there's no glamour to be found in port towns and A roads. Speeding tickets and traffic offences are a constant threat, but none of that dims the allure of the open road.

    Quite the opposite, in fact - even when the rain beats down in the grimmest backwaters of northern France, and when roadworks inspire slow tails of queuing cars, there's still something intoxicating about the conquest of the road, no matter how miserable it may be. Within a world of commerce and everyday road laws, away from the race track and the stopwatch, there's a certain sedateness to Euro Truck Simulator 2's driving too. Journeys are slow and ponderous - those speed limits are easy to obey when it takes a good stretch of tarmac to even tickle them - ensuring that, after a short while, it's a meditative experience.

    Driving for driving's sake, and for just slowly exploring a world of bleak authenticity, it's enough to put you in a soothing, reflective mood. At times like this, Euro Truck Simulator 2 is Proteus for men with hair on their chests, and quite possibly their shoulders too. And so SCS's sim is so many things: an RPG, an empire builder and a hymn to the grit, grime and glory of the open road.

    It's everything, in fact, but a joke.

  • Gaming Nexus - Euro Truck Simulator 2 - Review - by Travis HuinkerEuro Truck Simulator 2 from Czech developer SCS Software follows a series of previously-released truck and driving simulation games with a reworked and highly-improved engine that foremost focuses on realism, yet while also incorporating entertaining and rewarding gameplay. As most simulation games often suffer from lackluster gameplay, I was most surprised with with the game's wide variety of content in addition to the stellar gameplay and presentation. In Euro Truck Simulation 2, players are tasked with transporting cargo to more than 60 different European cities in countries ranging from the United Kingdom and Belgium to Germany and the Netherlands.

    The ultimate objective is for players to manage the operation of their own cargo business and additional tasks such as hiring employees and purchasing more garages and trucks. As players begin their business, they must first take quick jobs before entering the freight market as they don't own an actual truck. In quick jobs, players are provided a specific type of truck and cargo and requested to arrive at the destination in a given amount of time.

    Once enough money has been earned, players can then purchase a truck of their own to customize. Truck role-playing simulator With no experience of trucking or the transportation of cargo, I was a little worried that I would surely end up as a failed trucker. However, I was surprised with the game's simple introduction in how it teaches players the basics of transporting cargo from one destination to another.

    Even the game's control setup is highly-intuitive in how it explains the various methods such as mouse and keyboard in regards to difficulty for beginner players. I opted for the keyboard control method as I found the mouse a bit too sensitive for turns and such. The game even has built-in support for players that own an entire steering wheel and pedal setup.

    As players complete quick jobs and freight requests, they earn experience points that can be spent on various skills from better gas management to the unlocking of additional hazardous and fragile cargo for hauling. Cargo can range from a variety of objects and containers from construction equipment to frozen peas. Each cargo will also have its own handling mechanics that depend on both the length and weight.

    Players are continually tasked with earning money to run their business operations, in addition to gaining experience points to advance in career status. I enjoyed the added incentive to drive just one more trip to either unlock new items for my truck or gain status to haul more lucrative cargo. Before switching from the quick jobs to purchasing my first truck, I ensured that I saved enough money for a vehicle that would include all the fancy parts from chrome rims to a powerful engine.

    Spread across the game world are dealerships in which players can enter and view trucks that are available for purchase. Trucks, parts, and cosmetic items at dealerships are unlocked as players advance in career status levels. The amount of customization options for trucks is staggering from parts like the engine and exhaust pipes to additional cosmetic tweaks such as paint jobs and placement of lights.

    The game also features trucks from licensed brands including MAN, Renault, and Scania to name a few. From selecting my freight missions and hiring additional drivers to customizing trucks and exploring the massive road network, Euro Truck Simulator 2 successfully combines various role-playing elements with the simulation genre. Open world of exploration The game's world is absolutely massive in scope.

    From scenic countrysides to tunnels curving through mountain hills, driving your truck to and from each destination is always an opportunity to see more of the many included countries. Iconic cities and landmarks populate the world in addition to gas stations, rest stops, and toll booths. While some of the cities either feel rather small or closed off to prevent further exploration such as London, the game's world is often vibrant with life from cars, buses, and trucks going about their business.

    I only wish that cities would have been populated with more people walking around as they often feel rather drab. I was also impressed by the game's attention to details such as the side of the road in which vehicles drive based on the particular country and even other trucks that stop at gas stations for a fuel refill. The diversity of each country's landscape ensures that each trip is paired with an addictive incentive to explore every city and road in the game's world.

    Fortunately, the game keeps track of the roads traveled by changing their color on the in-game map, in addition to an overall percentage counter of the world that has been explored. Once players purchase their first truck, they have ultimate freedom in exploring the entirety of the game's world with the only limitations of paying for fuel refills and toll booth fees. A truly believable trucking experience As I don't have the money or desire to begin my own trucking business, I'll have to suffice for now with the spectacular experience that's presented in Euro Truck Simulator 2.

    Most simulation games gain a reputation of realistic gameplay mechanics combined with poor presentation of both visuals and sound. Not only was I surprised by the varied amount of content and realistic gameplay mechanics, the game surprised me yet again with beautifully-rendered landscapes and cities. The game's world also supports a day and night cycle that is complete with various weather effects from rain to fog.

    The most noteworthy aspect of the game's presentation is the highly-detailed truck exterior and interiors. The truck's dashboard interiors with dynamic speedometers and digital screens, which are even unique to each vehicle model, are some of the best I've seen in any simulation game. The sound of trucks in both exterior and interior views contain that distinct rumble as they throttles through gears.

    Sound effects from horns to turning signals are all top-notch and as with the game's visuals. In relation to both the overall presentation and especially the game's sound is the addition of an in-game radio feature that supports the streaming of actual stations from European countries. I was completely sold on the virtual trucking experience as I was hauling my cargo of frozen peas from London to Brighton, at the same while blaring a radio station mixed with American chart toppers and French hosts laughing over a completely unknown topic to me.

    Simulation genre reborn As someone that has always been interested in the simulation genre, I was continually surprised by the new standards set by Euro Truck Simulator 2. The developers at SCS Software have proved that the often lackluster simulation genre can be brought back to life with games that deliver both realistic and entertaining gameplay. Elements of the game's design ranging from the varied content to the customization ensure that beginner players and simulation enthusiasts will discover their desired virtual trucking experience.

    While a few spots of inconsistency exist with game's cities, the majority of content is presented with the utmost polish and detail that few games are able to achieve. Put simply, Euro Truck Simulator 2 sets a new standard for the simulation genre. Euro Truck Simulator 2 is available now for Windows PC.

    Visit the Euro Truck Simulator 2 website for further information and a free trial version. * The product in this article was sent to us by the developer/company for review. Euro Truck Simulator 2 from SCS Software combines a realistic trucking experience with rewarding and most importantly, entertaining gameplay. Both beginner players and simulation enthusiasts will appreciate the massive game world to explore, never-ending supply of cargo trips to complete, business tasks to manage, trucks to customize, and career experience to earn.

    With its stellar gameplay and presentation, Euro Truck Simulator 2 sets a new standard for the simulation genre.

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  • GAO: Mileage Fee Could Be More Equitable and Efficient Than ... How drivers' taxes would change under a VMT system, based on three scenarios for three different revenue targets. Image: GAO While governors debate raising (or eliminating) their states gas taxes, buzz is building about mileage-based fees, or a vehicle-miles-traveled charge. A House provision to ban U.S.

    DOT from studying such a fee has gone away (along with its sponsor), while Rep. Earl Blumenauer is trying to get the Treasury Department to look into how it could work. And a new report from the Government Accountability Office says that would be a good idea.

    The House Transportation Appropriations Subcommittee requested the report. Subcommittee Chair Tom Latham is dead-set against a VMT fee, as many rural representatives are, fearing that long distances between destinations in the heartland will end up costing them a lot if charged by the mile. Latham should take a look at the GAO s conclusion: Mileage- based user fee initiatives in the United States and abroad show that such fees can lead to more equitable and efficient use of roadways by charging drivers based on their actual road use and by providing pricing incentives to reduce road use.

    That s the first line of the GAO s 81-page report, and it s a ringing endorsement of the idea of a mileage-based fee, implying that it is not just a way to collect revenue but also an effective mechanism to make better use of existing roads. The impetus behind the desire to study VMT fees, of course, is the fact that current receipts don t match spending levels (which, in turn, don t match the need) due to the fact that the gas tax hasn t been raised in 20 years, and fuel-efficient vehicles are consuming less gas. While the gas tax was equal to 17 percent of the cost of a gallon of gas when it was set at its current level in 1993, it is now only 5 percent.

    The GAO noted that funding for surface transportation is on the agency s High Risk List. But it s not all about revenues. The GAO thinks that a VMT fee would also reduce congestion and lead to more efficient roadway use, which in turn could lead to fewer calls for very expensive road-building projects: For example, mileage fees and other forms of road pricing such as tolling send clear price signals to road users, and provide incentives to drivers to consider alternatives such as public transit or carpooling which can reduce congestion, vehicle emissions, and overall spending on fossil fuels.

    The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) reported that most drivers currently pay much less than the full cost of their highway use, and that mileage fees could provide a better incentive for efficient highway use than fuel taxes do because the majority of highway costs are related to miles driven. In addition, we have reported that if those who benefit from a program do not bear the full social cost of the service, they may seek to have the government provide more of the service than is economically efficient. Several states have tested VMT fees, and the GAO drew on their findings, as well as those of other countries that have implemented similar fees.

    The agency identified three distinct systems, and each comes with its own drawbacks (political or otherwise): those involving GPS tracking attract howls of protest from people fearing invasion of privacy; a pay-at-the-pump system, which still leaves out electric vehicles that never need to visit a pump; and a prepaid manual system based on odometer readings with a high potential for fraud and evasion. While this last option is the least sophisticated, it s also the only one the GAO studied with a real-world national example that includes passenger vehicles. In New Zealand, the program has been operational for 35 years.

    The GAO found that, if privacy concerns could be overcome, a GPS-based system was the most versatile, since it could be configured to charge variable rates based on place and time of day. A major drawback to a VMT fee, no matter what method it uses to track mileage, is that implementation will cost a lot more than fuel tax collection and could eat up the additional revenues collected. Installing on- board units in 230 million U.S.

    passenger vehicles could cost in the range of roughly 8 percent to 33 percent of the revenues generated over a 20- year period, the GAO estimates. In Germany, the GPS units cost about $240 each, not including installation. Similarly, retrofitting thousands of gas stations to support a pay-at -the-pump system would be costly and challenging, the GAO states.

    For example, the Oregon and Nevada pay- at-the-pump pilot programs cited difficulties finding and recruiting gas stations to participate in their pilot programs. In the 12-state study, nearly a quarter of participants had trouble with their on-board units a rate that would be disastrous in a real nationwide rollout. Mileage fees for commercial trucks are easier and less costly to implement and less controversial than for passenger vehicles, and they would go a long way toward getting trucks to pay for the damage they cause to roads.

    FHWA estimates that heavy trucks only pay for about half the costs they create in terms of wear and tear, though the report notes the need for updated estimates on the amount of damage caused by these vehicles. Germany charges heavy trucks to drive on the autobahn. About half are equipped with on-board units; the rest pay manually.

    Not only did it raise revenues, it achieved its second goal of creating incentives for operators to invest in lower emission vehicles, which has resulted in reduced emissions across the German and European trucking fleet. Since fee rates were variable based on the truck s emission class, number of axles, and distance traveled, trucking companies started investing in the lower-emission trucks that are charged less money. In 2005, the lowest emission commercial truck classes comprised less than 1 percent of the commercial trucking fleet.

    By the end of 2011, those classes comprised about 70 percent of the commercial truck fleet, reported the GAO. The GAO looked at where the VMT fee would have to be set to attain three different revenue targets. The first would match current gas tax receipts (though the goal of any new program would, logically, be to supercede those), which came out to an average charge of 0.9 cents-per-mile for passenger vehicles and 3.2 cents-per-mile for commercial trucks.

    The second option would match current spending (though current spending is based roughly on receipts), which would require an average passenger car fee of 1.5 cents-per-mile, 5.4 for trucks. And the third scenario would raise what the GAO estimates is needed to maintain existing conditions and performance, through an average fee of 2.2 cents-per-mile for cars, 8.4 for trucks. Three scenarios for a mileage-based user fee.

    Source: GAO VMT models do run the risk of eliminating one incentive for driving a more fuel-efficient car. James Whitty, who manages the Oregon DOT office in charge of that state s VMT fee pilot, said he thinks they ll never replace the gas tax with a mileage fee for all vehicles. Vehicles below the midpoint, about 20 miles per gallon, are already paying a load of gas tax, he told Streetsblog earlier this year.

    It just doesn t make economic sense to include them in this. Plus, he said, drivers of fuel-efficient cars would revolt if a VMT system ended up providing a financial break for drivers of inefficient vehicles. Indeed, even in the third scenario, with the highest VMT fees, SUV drivers would only pay 88 percent more than they pay now.

    Hybrid drivers would pay 369 percent more.

    Still, under any envisioned system, the fee would remain a small percentage of the total cost of gas far lower than in many other countries.

  • German Federal Patent Court: HEADF*CK - MARQUES ... MONDAY, 18 FEBRUARY 2013 German Federal Patent Court: HEADF*CK Every now and then courts have to assess marks that are of questionable taste, such as in the following case. Just before Christmas the German Federal Patent Court had to decide on the fate of the word and device mark HEADF*CK (see above left) covering goods and services in classes 16, 25, 35 and 38. The specification did include the limitation not relating to immoral or pornographic content .

    It may not come as much for a surprise that the judges took the view that the mark did not comply with Article 8(2) No.

    5 German Trade Mark Act finding that the mark was contrary to accepted principles of morality. The court stressed that marks that are of poor taste could be registrable but drew a line in this case. The sign HEADF*CK was part of vulgar language and could be seen as a reference to sexual practices which a considerable part of public, whose sense of morality had to be respected, could regard as against contrary to accepted principles of morality.

    The court also took the opportunity to explain that in contrast to the registrable sign FICKEN (English: to fuck; see a post on the IPKat regarding this mark here), the word HEADF*CK was clearly not a last name. The judges also stressed that the font used for the letters CK reinforced the immorality of the sign becaused it showed a penetration . As such, the mark had to be removed from the register.

    The rather entertaining - decision (case reference: 27 W (pat) 22/12 of 18 December 2012) can be read here (in German). Posted by: Birgit Clark @ 19.13 Tags: immoral marks, German Federal Patent Court, FRIDAY, 15 FEBRUARY 2013 General Court: Metro v. Mero Kids Company 1989 In Case T-50/12, the General Court upheld the finding of likelihood of confusion between the following marks: Contested CTM Earlier International Mark Class 24: Fabrics ; Class 25: Articles of clothing ; Class 39: Transport, packaging and storage of leatherware, jewellery, clothing and footwear .

    Class 24: Woven fabrics, textile products, namely, textile fabrics, curtains, roller-blinds, household linen, table and bed linen; bedspreads and tablecloths, furnishing fabrics and fabrics for decoration purposes ; Class 25: Clothing, including shoes, boots, slippers and headgear ; Class 39: Transport services, in particular delivery of parcels and goods, services of a forwarding agent (transport of goods), a freight agent, a haulage business (transport of goods) and a transport agent, delivery of mail 'order goods, packaging and storage of goods; organisation of travels and services of a travel agency; replenishment of sales racks and shelves; provision of information on storage; parking space services . The relevant territory is Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Romania, Slovenia and Slovakia and consists of the public at large in those States displaying an average level of attentiveness. Next, the goods in Classes 24, 25 and 39 covered by the trade mark application and by the earlier trade mark are identical.

    The Board of Appeal correctly found, with regard to the visual similarity between the signs, given its complete lack of meaning in relation to the goods and services concerned, the element metro is distinctive, whereas the other word elements which form the mark applied for namely kids , company , est. , 1989 and trade mark are elements with low distinctiveness, since they contain information about the target public, namely children, in the word kids ; the date on which the undertaking was set up, in the words company , est. and 1989 ; and the fact that the mark is, allegedly, protected, in the words trade mark . In addition, the coat of arms, which contains various emblems, is not particularly imaginative and will rather be perceived as a decorative element, although it is easily discernable due to its size Regarding the aural similarity between the signs, it should be noted that the consumers targeted will also tend not to pronounce the last elements of the expression metro kids company simply to economise on words, since those elements, which are not distinctive in relation to the goods covered, are easy to separate from the most distinctive element of the mark applied for, namely the word metro .

    Lastly, in view of the visual and aural similarities between the signs at issue and despite the inappositeness of any conceptual comparison, the Board of Appeal rightly concluded that there was a likelihood of confusion and, mainly, a likelihood of association between the signs at issue. Posted by: Laetitia Lagarde @ 17.37 Tags: General Court, likelihood of confusion, metro, metro kids company, THURSDAY, 14 FEBRUARY 2013 Nfun in General Court In Case T-283/11, nfon AG (Germany) had applied for registration of the word mark NFON for goods and services in Classes 9 and 38 which was opposed by Fon Wireless (UK) on the basis of earlier marks registered in classes 9, 38 and 42 namely the figurative CTM represented on the right and the earlier UK mark FON. The relevant public is composed both of the average and the professional consumer in the telecommunications sector.

    The goods and services are highly similar regarding Class 9 and identical for Class 38 services. OHIM held that this comparison was however counterbalanced by the low degree of similarity between the signs, in particular taking into account the weak character of the signs which will be easily understood by the consumer as referring to a telephone or its well-known abbreviation phone , except for the Finnish consumer. The GC annulled the contested decision because it found, contrary to the BoA, that the signs were highly similar from a visual and aural point of view even if the earlier signs have a weak distinctive character.

    Fun article on Love and Trademarks "Made in Alicante" Posted by: Laetitia Lagarde @ 17.46 Tags: General Court, likelihood of confusion, nfon, fon, WEDNESDAY, 13 FEBRUARY 2013 General Court: Ram pushes Bellram ..and nothing could stand before it In Case T-237/11, the General Court had to review the assessment made by OHIM in the comparison between the following signs on the grounds of Article 8(1) (b) CTMR. CTM Applicant Lidl (Germany) Lactimilk SA Earlier Spanish marks BELLRAM RAM in yellow and blue Class 29 Cheese Class 29, among others Fresh milk, condensed milk and powdered milk, cheese, butter, yoghurt, kefir, and other derivatives of milk The GC upheld the findings that the likelihood of confusion between the marks at issue must be assessed with regard to the average Spanish consumer. As only proof of registration of the earlier word mark had been adduced by the opponent, the assessment of the likelihood of confusion could be undertaken only with respect to that mark, to the exclusion of the two earlier figurative marks.

    Second, in the context of the assessment of the likelihood of confusion between the mark applied for and the earlier word mark, the proof of the genuine use of the earlier word mark had been adduced only for milk, cream, milk drinks in which milk is the predominant ingredient , so that that mark could be deemed to be registered only for those goods. Next, there is a similarity between milk, cream and milk drinks in which milk is the predominant ingredient covered by the earlier word mark and cheese covered by the mark applied for, and they have the same distribution network, that is to say in the same sections of those supermarkets as milk products. In the light of those findings, the OHIM correctly that there was a likelihood of confusion between the mark applied for and the earlier word mark, even though the earlier word mark had only average distinctiveness.

    Posted by: Laetitia Lagarde @ 19.52 Tags: GEneral court, bellram, ram, milk, cheese, TUESDAY, 12 FEBRUARY 2013 Some disputes end too soon Bayerischer Brauerbund e.V. from Germany requested the Polish Patent Office to invalidate the right of protection for the international word-figurative trade mark BAVARIA IR-1051133 registered goods in Class 32 such as beer and non-alcoholic beverages for the Bavaria N.V. from the Netherlands.

    Bayerischer Brauerbund e.V. claimed infringement of the right to a geographical indication, and noted that the questioned trade mark is misleading, and it was applied in bad faith. However, the PPO has not had the opportunity to comment substantively on the matter, because during the hearings, Bavaria N.V.

    waived its right. In these circumstances, the Adjudicative Board of the PPO in its decison of 22 January 2013 case no. Sp.

    407/12 discontinued the proceedings as irrelevant. Posted by: Tomasz Rychlicki @ 12.21 Tags: geographical indications, geographical name as trade mark, Polish Patent Office, trade mark invalidation, TUESDAY, 12 FEBRUARY 2013 Trade mark protection in Europe's dependencies: guide now updated The new edition of Brandstrike s Guide to Protecting Trademarks in European Dependent Territories has now been published. It's a hefty 150 pages long these days, and costs 48.

    If you are unfamiliar with this fascinating compendium, which also doubles as a guide to unusual places to try out on your next holiday, Damian Croker at Brandstrike will be happy to send you a sample. You can email him at [email protected] Posted by: Jeremy Phillips @ 10.33 Tags: European dependent territories, MONDAY, 11 FEBRUARY 2013 A matter of Class: BABIDU gets benefit of IP Translator ruling Case T '66/11 , Present 'Service Ullrich GmbH & Co.

    KG v OHIM , Punt-Nou SL , a judgment from the General Court on 31 January 2013, represents the first occasion in which the General Court has had to consider the controversial and much-discussed ruling of the Court of Justice in Case C-310/10 Chartered Institute of Patent Attorneys (the 'IP Translator' case).

    Posted by: Jeremy Phillips @ 05.39 Tags: Class headings,

  • German Guns Person Operator Truck Driver CDL stands for Commercial Driving Licence. But if you are uncomfortable working that way, you can invariably choose to work for home truck driving job which enables you to be with your household members more often. Finally, make sure that the character you re working with is choosing to at least provide anybody with a full bill regarding sale.

    Without this many of sale, you won t sometimes be able to register your moped in Colorado and consequently all the other work an individual done comes to nothing. You shouldn t have to commit anything extra for this. Some dealers will even go ahead and so far as to robust your 3-year registration tags to work with you through the Colorado Department of motor vehicles.

    Cdl trucking jobs baltimore md, as their names suggest, require individuals who are accredited and deserving to handle potent and heavy trucks. Negelect can lead to various despite having and disasters. Make certainly sure that you get all some trainings and knowledge that you have need about the trucking business world before apply because you re don t you only preparing to be good for the jobs.

    Most people also need to promote security for you and your consultant. You are working to succeed a living and not to assist you to destroy your future and using everyone else s lives. Ponder of safety always before what else and you ll be o .

    k . in any industry. Show out of Search locomotive marketing: For a teaching, Cash flow from their home does carry most while having more perception about network marketing and precisely to generate income online.

    Give consideration to fresh you can brink of bankruptcy this ll be reputable step up each of our ideal purpose since teaching they are to target audience on our own web are an surprisingly demanding topic at first. The info contained in the set ready will well crafted since in keeping with make, for all those realized up, trucking jobs az choice money all of this once per month members credit price and additionally sign shifting upward at this man s provider of which intend a lot of supplies and additionally strategies. Together with trucking industry hitting an historical high, the CDL truck owner jobs are hugely in appeal.

    CDL stands for commercial driving driving license. If you are keen to try to get a job as a trucker then the CDL certification may add value to your resume. You may have gained loads of experience over the years however there are certain transport providers who will only recruit anybody if you have CDL authorization.

    Fuel efficient trucks help to simultaneously by going green and gas. Trucking jobs have acquired great reputations this is especially true in our age of i . t ..

    You can either examination about them or learn all the way through experience.

    Always remember that particular the trucking industry is ordinarily available to offer you per career.

  • German Guns The Best Way To Get A Truck Driver's Undertaking Although women are still the latest small percentage in this industry, still their number is gradually increasing. Due to many of us, we definitely will obtain our state driver s driving license when we are sixteen years old old. Sort of idea on what s going that occurs if the trucking industry is not in its role?

    A comprehensive economy considers the trucking information mill as one of the significant aspects in order to pull through. In the United States alone, more than 80 % of freight is being taken by using trucks. We therefore say that the truck industry performs a great factor in the economy because excluding it, businesses and commercial organizations would never survive.

    Is actually because one of the main good reason that trucking jobs are in demand at this moment. And this is a good opportunity to aspiring trucker. There s also varied driver jobs in Abu Dhabi, which include mainly local trucking jobs austin tx and cab driving jobs.

    These jobs have always visited demand, which is unstoppable and as well , ever-growing. The driver work opportunities in Abu Dhabi also manifest luring and attractive perks as well as , incomes with them. In reserve from a regular pay structure, Illinois local trucking jobs dfw also include designated pays to their drivers this as shag pay for getting up and delivering loads as well as , compensation for layover (only when its due to operational reasons).

    Trucking jobs also include cost for loading/unloading in case shipment is not drop-trailer type. Dubai jobs have become the address itself to for anyone who is searching for better lifestyle and higher covering salaries. Listed below are one of the lucrative career options which should be known before a job hunter looks for jobs in you see, the Gulf region.

    Trucking prospects are usually grouped depending on kind of trailer and even the region that is serviced. Truck drivers are further named as local drivers and in size route drivers. Typically neighbourhood drivers have regular schedules and so return home at the avoid of the day.

    Might deliver goods to stores actually homes from different sites. They cover the same tracks daily or weekly. Regarding as long-distance truck drivers in most cases are on the road for very long stretches of time.

    Or even trips vary from an over-night stay to a week or even more.

    Truck driving involves advanced technologies to go with drivers and carriers so that you re walking the finest job with info about the subject company.

  • German Shepherd Dog - Zane - Large - Young - Male - Dog | Union ...German Shepherd Dog - Zane - Large - Young - Male - Dog Zane is a fun loving boy that is up for any adventure. He is into trucking, farming, biking, hiking or any other fun filled day you can come up with. He likes to help and explore and not fearful of things.

    He is 1 yr old and about 45 lbs. He is active but still likes a good nap in the afternoon with the rest of the boys. He likes other dogs and will play nice.

    Zane likes people and children. He would fit well in most any family. If you would like to meet Zane or have any questions about him please call 262-496-3552 or email email removed.

    His adoption fee is $300.00.

    CHARACTERISTICS: Breed: German Shepherd Dog Size: Large Petfinder ID: 24018414 ADDITIONAL INFO: Pet has been spayed/neutered CONTACT: Tiny Paws Small Dog Rescue | Union Grove, WI | 262-496-9324 For additional information, reply to this ad or see: Brought to you by

  • german soccer team blog Career Ways to get your Dream Truck ... > > Career Ways to get your Dream Truck Driving Job 2012 9 16 admin Ways to get your Dream Truck Driving Job by ARMIL VELOS Article Posted: 10/15/2010Article Views: 1Articles Written: 51 - MORE ARTICLES FROM THIS AUTHORWord Count: 780 Article Votes: 0Ways to get your Dream Truck Driving JobCareer Truck driving job as we already know is one of the most in demand job at this time,la liga shirts, it pays well and has got lots of benefits. But even if some are already into this business or career, still they are looking for a better truck driving job. Some become unhappy in the long run due to poor career decisions.

    This happens because some don't make a thorough thinking before doing a career move. This article might help you land on your dream truck driving job and get a best deal with your compensation package and at the same time get a job satisfaction for yourself. Here are some tips that you might use in order to get the truck driving job that you dreamed of and be happy with you decision.

    Just be reminded that you should implement it well,manchester city football, be wise and think thoroughly. Have a plan This is the first thing that you should have in your mind. Plan.

    But don't just keep it as a plan. Make sure that you will be working to make this plan happen. In making a plan, you should be realistic with your expectations and you should have a clear goal/objective and strategies in order to achieve your short and long term goals.

    Having a target or a goal will help you become more motivated and will help you in prioritizing the things that you have to accomplish. It will also help you improve your self esteem. Have a List of your Goals It will be great if you will take some time writing down your goals.

    You should include in your list your short and long term goals. It will help you in deciding which job to do. Do you plan to be an owner-operator in the future or just work for a trucking company?

    Whatever it is,barcelona home kit, you should have a clear goal about it and work on it. Do a Pre-Employment Research Usually, the primary reason why some truck drivers become unhappy with their new job is the inadequate pre-employment research. They become impulsive in changing one company to another especially if the other offers higher compensation even if the other treats their employee better.

    This kind of move is just for short term gain and will ruin your career in the long run because you will become unhappy with your employer. This is why, having a research about the trucking company that you are planning to work with is important to make sure that you will get a good company with good compensation and benefits for their drivers and treated their employees well. Have your Current Job satisfaction Evaluated It will be helpful and beneficial for you if you will make a journal about your daily experiences and reactions on your job for about a month.

    This will help you determine which part of your current job has positive and negative impact on you. This will help you determine if you are still happy with your job or already have the need to look for another one. It will also give you an idea of what are the things you should consider and look for in your future job or in the next trucking company that you will be working with.

    Have a Contract with a Reputable and Professional Truck Driving Job Recruiter A reputable truck driving job recruiter already have a good business establishment with good truck driving companies thus they will be a great help in your search for a truck driving company that will suit to your need and likings. They will connect you with these reputable trucking companies. They will also make sure that they will make you a professionally prepared resume and will provide you a customized cover letters.

    You will need to invest some amount with their services but it will definitely worth it and will give you better result in your job search. In order to get the most out of it, make sure that you will discuss to your recruiter the results that you get from the previous steps that you made. It will be better as well if you could contact at least 2-3 professional truck driving job recruiters.

    Try to consider those steps and your chance in landing to the best trucking job that you dreamed of is more than possible.

    Just be wise, patient and determined. --------------------------- If you are looking for the best cdl truck driving jobs Driving Force want to be sure that the best of the best trucking jobs are available for the picking, and turn around and present to these companies the best of the best drivers out there. ');

  • German traffic stoppers - Humor and bitch slapping The German artists are at it again, displaying their genius and talents in the German trucking industry. Here are 7 pictures of German trucks whose trailers are decorated to look like the sides are missing and the products they are hauling are painted on the sides and back. The first one is of a bottle of beer and looks so real, like it is coming out the side of the trailer...

    The second is of canvas tote bag. The third is of Pepsi cases and they are all stacked on the ceiling, and the bottom of the trailer is empty... The fourth is of another truck with the windshield facing the back and there has been a driver painted in the driver's seat looking back over his shoulder to appear like he is driving backwards. (Now this one is just plain scary, even when the German reads 'On the wrong way?') The fifth one is of an aquarium with fish swimming in it.

    The sixth one is of a bookshelf with books lined up in it and a post-it-note with an advertisement on it, probably for the company that sells the books.

    The last one is for Pringles-Hot & Spicy.

    The 'inside' of the trailer has the appearance of having been through a fire.

  • German Truck Art German Truck Art @ the site, pictures Submitted July, '08.

    Nothing since??

    Posting Permissions You may not post new threads You may not post replies You may not post attachments You may not edit your posts Forum Rules

  • German Truck Simulator German Truck Simulator German Truck Simulator is a popular Windows computer game that lets you drive one of several European cargo trucks. The object of this trucking game is to move goods from one part of Germany or Austria to another. You will encounter highways, autobahns and about 20 major cities.

    This game is very realistic, so the trips can be rather lengthy. When you begin playing German Truck Simulator, you work for a trucking firm. You can eventually decide to start a transport company and buy trucks, offices or garages.

    The game even lets you make choices about maintenance and hiring. However, the primary focus of GTS is driving. This is especially true during the one-hour free trial that SCS Software provides.

    German Truck Simulator features realistic graphics that illustrate the cities and rural areas of Germany. Some of the highways are a bit bland, but that is to be expected. You can even adjust the display resolution and the level of detail.

    This game also features maps of Germany and highly accurate truck designs. The audio in GTS isn t nearly as impressive. This free demo of German Truck Simulator runs under XP and more recent editions of Windows.

    It also expects one gigabyte of memory, a 2.4 gigahertz processor and DirectX version 9.0. Considering that it has a file size of over 250 megabytes, you ll want to use a fairly fast Internet connection when downloading this program. An upgrade to the full version is relatively inexpensive.

    Although it may not appeal to players with short attention spans, almost anyone can easily learn to play German Truck Simulator. It includes a helpful tutorial that explains how to drive and defines the objectives. Overall, GTS is a highly sophisticated game that attracts players who prefer realistic experiences and exploration to arcade-style action.

    VN:F 1.9.20_1166 Rating: 0.0/ 5 (0 votes cast)

  • German Trucking is an Art Form | Lenathehyena's Blog Posted on October 4, 2011 at 7:43 pm in Uncategorized | RSS feed | Respond | Trackback URL One Comment to German Trucking is an Art Form
  • German Trucking || In the past it has been difficult to find a road freight service to export shot guns and rifles to Germany. However we are now working with a new company that run their own vehicles and who are happy to carry these goods to Germany. Call us on 01628 824503 today for a quote to send your items.

    You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 Both comments and pings are currently closed.

  • Germany Freight Transport Report 2013 - New Market Research ... Boston, MA -- (SBWIRE) -- 01/18/2013 -- 2013 will see the German freight industry slowly returning to some semblance of healthy growth as it seeks to put an abysmal 12 months behind it. Following 2012's estimated 0.61% year-on-year (y-o-y) contraction in growth in the road freight sphere, 2013 will represent a welcome return to growth, albeit at a muted 0.49%. The outperformer in the freight mix will be air freight, slightly ahead of rail, while the Port of Bremerhaven will lead the way in terms of both tonnage and box throughput in 2013.

    Germany's Bremerhaven and Bremen ports registered a 17.3% y-o-y rise in total throughput to 80.6mn tonnes in 2011, compared with 68.7mn tonnes in 2010. In terms of ocean freight throughput, the year was the ports' most successful to date. View Full Report Details and Table of Contents In the same period, Bremerhaven Container Terminal recorded a 21% y-o-y rise in container throughput to 5.92mn twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs), exceeding its competitors in the north range.

    The loading and discharging of vehicles registered a 30.4% y-o-y rise to 2.13mn units during 2011, while total freight volume grew by 22% y-o-y to 67.7mn tonnes, compared with 55.5mn tonnes a year earlier. Meanwhile, the Port of Rotterdam is the largest container port in Europe but faces growing competition from Hamburg and Antwerp. Hamburg Port Authority (HPA) has entered into a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Linde Group.

    The MoU is aimed at promoting the use of liquefied natural gas (LNG) as an alternative fuel for shipping and other freight modes, such as road haulage. The primary objective is to prepare a feasibility study in a bid to assess the economic viability of LNG. The initial results of the study are scheduled to be released by mid-2012, after which concrete infrastructure projects, such as the building of an LNG terminal at the Port of Hamburg, may be started.

    Jens Meier, the chairman of the port authority management board, said that the authority aims to develop sustainable long-term solutions, taking into account economic framework conditions as well as a greater emphasis on green technologies. The risks to our core forecasts have clearly shifted downwards as the eurozone crisis has escalated. In the near term, the biggest risks are an unfavourable election result in Greece and a failure to contain the banking crisis stirring in Spain.

    In the case of the former, the election of an anti-bailout government would elevate the prospect of Greece leaving the eurozone. Despite murmurings among some politicians in the bloc that this scenario would be manageable, the risk of such a development severely destabilising the currency union would be high in our view. Spain, meanwhile, is in need of immediate relief in the form of financial support for the banking system.

    Headline Industry Data - 2013 air freight tonnage is expected to grow by 2.60% - 2013 rail freight is forecast to grow by 2.46% About Fast Market Research Fast Market Research is an online aggregator and distributor of market research and business information. Representing the world's top research publishers and analysts, we provide quick and easy access to the best competitive intelligence available. Our unbiased, expert staff will help you find the right research to fit your requirements and your budget.

    For more information about these or related research reports, please visit our website at or call us at 1.800.844.8156.

    Browse all Transportation research reports at Fast Market Research You may also be interested in these related reports: - Kazakhstan Freight Transport Report 2013 - Serbia Freight Transport Report 2013 - Spain Freight Transport Report 2013 - Hungary Freight Transport Report Q1 2013 - France Freight Transport Report 2013 - Colombia Freight Transport Report 2013 - Poland Freight Transport Report Q1 2013 - Croatia Freight Transport Report 2013 - Belgium Freight Transport Report Q1 2013 - Vietnam Freight Transport Report Q1 2013

  • Glenn Beck Trucking Supplies to Border for Illegal Immigrants ... Blaze TV The influx of unaccompanied children crossing the border illegally and surrendering themselves to border patrol agents more than 50,000 have reportedly crossed since October, three times the number in 2011 has turned the border into a political lightning rod. Migration to America, illegal or otherwise, is relatively constant. During the recession, as job opportunities decreased so did immigration.

    In the meantime President Obama ramped up deportations. Before redeploying Department of Homeland Security (DHS) assets closer to the border, border patrolling involved document checkpoints as far as a hundred miles from the border. Since his re-election, the president s made a half-hearted attempt to negotiate immigration reform with Congress.

    The process was loaded with giveaways to build legislative support but ultimately died anyway, just as the process eight years ago during the tail end of the Bush administration died too, that time with the help of then-Senator Obama. Reports indicate the increase in children crossing the border, many coming from Central America, has to do with rumors there that unaccompanied minors that make it across the border can stay the legal process to remove them often takes years but it does not look like the law is being changed anytime soon to allow them to stay. Nevertheless, the security and economic situation in Central America is getting progressively worse in part thanks to the U.S.

    s aggressive war on drug policies as well as a hundred and fifty years of off-again on-again intervention in the region. The influx has attracted pro- and anti-immigration protesters in Murietta, California, where the feds have been busing the children for detention and processing. President Obama has used it as cover to ask for $3 billion in funding, even though what s happening is something the Department of Homeland Security ought to be able to manage given the funding and resources they already have.

    Jesse Jackson wants to use the fact that the president is looking for that kind of money to argue Obama should be spending that kind of money on Chicago too (because Chicago has a crime problem). Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, formerly President Obama s chief of staff, joined in. Unlike Jackson he won t blame Obama but did blame Congress for not spending money on Chicago (seriously).

    In the midst of this all comes Glenn Beck and his plan to send truckloads of water, food, clothing, and toys to the children at the border who through no fault of their own are caught in political crossfire. The conservative television host insists people have to keep putting pressure on DC to stop the lawlessness at the border but that his viewers should also help. We have to be active in the political game and we must open our hearts, he said.

    It shouldn t be that surprising that faced with the suffering of humans a human would act, well, human. Yet President Obama refused to go to the border to see the problem for himself calling it a photo opportunity, as if he s never taken advantage of one and Beck appears to be the only prominent figure, left or right, interested enough in the crisis at the border to do something himself and not just use it as a political opportunity to push for his preferred policy solutions. It shouldn t surprise anyone who s paid attention to Beck over the years.

    Conservatives concerned about illegal immigration aren t all frothing-at-the-mouth nationalists like the ones who showed up in Murietta. Beck s heart comment in fact mirrors Jeb Bush s recent comments on why Republicans need to soften up on illegal immigration actual people are involved in the problem and a political stance based on them s the breaks isn t a winner at the polls nor a foundation for sound policy. Supporting limited government means supporting government policies that allow humans to flourish.

    Demanding tougher immigration rules and that the government hunt down and forcibly remove people who took the risk and made the sacrifices necessary to cross the border illegally a misdemeanor and try to start a new life here has nothing to do with limited government. Meanwhile at Breitbart John Nolte argues that Glenn Beck is wrong, his acts of charity could be exploited by drug smugglers and that because the children face a risk of sexual assault during their trek the compassionate thing to do would be to ensure you re not doing anything that might encourage more parents to send their unaccompanied children. Given what Obama s policies have done to this economy in the last six years, and what Bush did before him, that there s still an interest in migrating to the U.S., illegally or otherwise, speaks volume to how much freer and wealthier we are than most of the rest of the world.

    As long as this is the land of opportunity and the home of the free, people seeking opportunity and freedom will keep wanting to come here.

    The compassionat act is to allow them.

  • Goodyear LEGO truck raises over 4,800 for charity | HGV Ireland The Goodyear 1:1 scale LEGO truck built for the IAA Commercial Vehicle show in Hanover, Germany earlier this year has sold on eBay for over 4,800. All the money will go to Doc Stop for Europeans eV, the charity set up to provide medical assistance to commercial vehicle drivers. It is the aim of Doc Stop to enable every truck driver in Europe to get fast and easy access to a doctor if required.

    The model measures 2.5 meters wide, 3.5 meters high and 2.5 meters in length, weighs about 740 kg and is one of the largest LEGO models in the world.

    It was sold to Dutch company Hobma Modelbouw ( Goodyear s charity auction was supported by numerous well-known figures: German Transport Minister Peter Ramsauer; President of the Association of the Automotive Industry Matthias Wissmann; Minister President of Lower Saxony David McAllister; Mayor of Hanover Stephan Weil; and the German entertainer J rgen Drews all of whom signed the LEGO truck at the IAA Commercial Vehicle Show in Hanover.

    Get this week's top trucking story direct to your mobile phone for less than 50 cent per week Subscribe Now Tags: Goodyear truck tyres

  • Green Car Congress: EEA report suggests road charges for heavy ... EEA report suggests road charges for heavy-duty goods vehicles should reflect varied health effects of pollution in different countries A new report from the European Environment Agency (EEA) suggests that new road charges for heavy goods vehicles (HGVs or lorries) should reflect the varied health effects of traffic pollution in different European countries. This means charges should be much higher in some countries compared to others, according to the (EEA). The amended Eurovignette Directive (2011/76/EU) relating to the charging of HGVs for use of major European motorways prescribes that from 2013, Member States may include air pollution costs in any charging structure for roads under the Trans European Network (TEN-T) and for comparable domestic motorways.

    The revenue from such schemes should be invested in sustainable transport, the Directive states. However, adoption of road user charges depends on a decision by individual countries. With the use of advanced electronic systems, traffic can flow while being subject to road user charges that in addition to the infrastructure costs levy for the external costs of air pollution, the EEA points out.

    Overall, air pollution is estimated to cause 3 million sick days and 350,000 premature deaths in Europe. Such health effects also have a heavy economic cost the report s authors estimate that the air pollution from HGVs alone costs EEA member countries ' 43-46 billion (US$56-60 billion) per year, making up almost half of the approximately ' 100 billion (US$130 billion) cost of air pollution from road transport. European economies rely on transporting goods long distances.

    But there is also a hidden cost, paid in years of reduced health and lost life. This cost is especially high for those living close to Europe s major transport routes. By incorporating these costs into the price of goods, we can encourage healthier transport methods and cleaner technologies.

    Jacqueline McGlade, EEA Executive Director While air pollution in Europe has fallen significantly in recent years, it is still a problem in some parts of Europe, where HGVs can be a major factor, the report notes. Diesel, used by most HGVs, causes more air pollution per kilometer than other fuels such as petrol. Exhaust emissions from diesel engines were recently labelled as carcinogenic by the International Agency for Research on Cancer.

    Heavy goods vehicles are responsible for 40-50% of nitrogen oxide (NO x ) pollution from road transport in countries covered by the EEA. Both NO x and fine particulate matter (PM 2.5 ) are considered in the report, as they can cause respiratory diseases, cardiovascular illnesses and other health problems. The cost of air pollution from HGVs is up to 16 times higher in some European countries compared to others, the report notes.

    The average cost of pollution from a 12-14 tonne Euroclass III lorry is highest in Switzerland, at almost ' 0.12 (US$0.16) per kilometer. Costs are also high in Luxemburg, Germany, Romania, Italy and Austria, at around ' 0.08/km (US$0.10). This is because the pollutants cause more harm where there are high population densities, or in landlocked regions and mountainous areas where pollution cannot disperse so easily.

    At the other end of the scale, the same truck driving in Cyprus, Malta and Finland causes damage of around ' 0.005 (US$0.01) per kilometer. In some regions the cost is also much higher than others. Zurich in Switzerland, Bucarest in Romania, Milan in Italy, the Ruhr Valley in Germany and Barcelona in Spain had some of the highest health costs compared to other large urban zones.

    The calculations show that newer trucks would have a reduced impact, and therefore a lower cost. Euroclass IV trucks, which are up to six years old, or Euroclass V, up to three years old, would cause 40-60% less external costs on the same transport corridors. Charging haulage companies for the external costs of air pollution would incentivize newer and cleaner technologies, the report says.

    The scheme would also create a level playing field, by internalizing the costs that road freight currently imposes on the rest of society. The positive effects of such a scheme have been noted in Switzerland after the country adopted similar legislation. The EEA analysis attempts to capture the complexity of different geographical influences on air pollution across Europe.

    The report includes the average costs of pollution for 66 separate classes of vehicles, with the cost of each estimated on three different types of road (suburban, interurban and highways) in 30 countries and 108 cities. Estimates of cost per kilometer, depending on the vehicle and its surroundings, range from virtually nothing to more than ' 0.30 (US$0.39) per km for a non-Euroclass lorry more than 20 years old. European Union Member States must report to the Commission by October this year on how they will implement road charging, if at all.

    The detailed figures released by EEA are intended to help Member States decide on individual schemes.


  • Grid power: How electric lane technology from Europe could ... The prong-shaped pantograph wand relay system makes contact with the power lines and acts as a conduit for the electrical power flowing from the lines and directly to the vehicle s electric motor. The abundant supply of natural gas in the United States has been driving the demand for alternative-fuel trucks. What s also showing some promise, though in limited applications, is the all-electric truck.

    FedEx and UPS are experimenting with all-electric vans in urban applications. These vans already are used in Europe. The main concern in the United States is the relatively short range of the vehicles.

    On the other hand, the vans consume no fossil fuels and produce no emissions particularly attractive benefits in smog-plagued cities such as Los Angeles or Houston. If a driver needs to pass a slower truck in the eHighway lane, the system automatically disconnects from the power grid, and the prong-shaped pantograph wand lowers. The system automatically re-engages the power grid when the driver returns to the eHighway lane.

    Now experiments in Germany and California with another type of electric truck could lead to a radically new way for trucks as heavy as Class 8 to move freight in the United States. The Siemens company, a longtime leader in railroad technology, is rethinking many of its proven rail concepts with an eye toward a highly efficient low-emissions commercial vehicle. Siemens, based in Munich, Germany, feels its sophisticated eHighway Project has the potential to succeed in what would be dedicated eHighway corridors in the United States.

    At the heart of the concept is a diesel-electric hybrid truck. Unlike existing hybrid trucks in the states, this vehicle uses a constant-state diesel engine to drive a high torque-output electric motor the same principle used to drive diesel-electric locomotives around the world. In this mode, the Siemens hybrid drive system allows the truck to behave much like a conventional diesel truck: The driver can maneuver on freeways and in urban surroundings as he would in any truck.

    The benefit comes when the vehicle pulls into a dedicated eHighway lane that features overhead electrical lines powered by substations. The technology is common on trains in some European and Asian cities. Once the truck is in an eHighway lane, a monitoring sensor in the truck s nose detects the overhead power lines and automatically deploys a prong-shaped wand, called a pantograph.

    This acts as a conduit for the electrical power to flow to the electric motor. Holger Sommer, eHighway project manager for Siemens, says the company decided from the outset that its concept would have to share eHighway lanes with conventional truck traffic. That s partly because building exclusive electric truck lanes would be too expensive.

    The pantograph not only moves up and down to make connection with the power lines, it also can move side-to-side to maintain contact and counteract normal steering input from the driver. Most importantly, the system is highly flexible: Trucks are not stuck in position as if they were on a slot car track. The driver also retains full control of all braking functions.

    Any kinetic energy generated by a truck connected to the wires is put back into the grid automatically, where it can be used by other trucks. If the sensor in the truck s nose is not functioning, the driver can disengage the system manually with the push of a button. Since the vehicle essentially is an electric truck with a constant-rate diesel engine, it can produce immediate high torque outputs without fuel consumption spikes.

    Lower-displacement diesel engines power the trucks and run continuously in their most efficient modes, drastically reducing fuel costs and dramatically cutting vehicle emissions, Sommer says. Siemens has been testing the system extensively in Europe with modified Mercedes-Benz Actros trucks. Preliminary work has begun on building lanes in California to test the system for use in the United States.

    The plan is to develop a one-mile stretch near the Port of Long Beach. The cost is $14 million, for which the California Air Resources Board is seeking funding. In addition to validating the eHighway concept in real-world conditions, the tests also will seek to determine vehicle and infrastructure costs.

    Siemens stresses that the overall infrastructure impact in terms of investment and construction is relatively minimal, and that the system can be installed easily on existing roads.

    However, the Los Angeles Times estimated it would cost $5 million to $7 million a mile to convert roads to eHighway use.

  • Guido Dumarey takes over French GM factory and its 1 000 workers ... Flemish businessman Guido Dumarey has reached agreement on the takeover of the General Motors transmission factory in Strassbourg. The site, which also boasts a research and development division, accommodates almost 1 000 employees. Dumarey, who has gained a reputation for taking over ailing technology businesses, has bagged a deal to produce new energy-efficient 8-speed gearboxes for the German powerhouse ZF.

    General Motors, ZF and Dumarey's holding Punch Metals International remain tightlipped until they have clinched the deal. The next hurdle to take is the approval of the GM Strasbourg works council. The staff will be informed during an extraordinary works council tomorrow.

    The unions, which have meanwhile received information, are pleased with the prospect of a new industrial project in view of the threatening closure of the factory. A few years ago GM walked out on a deal with Punch Metals International. Now, just over two years later, it seems that Dumarey is geared for success.

    If all goes well, the deal will be in the bag by 21 December. The takeover agreement stipulates that all employees will retain their jobs and wages. This is partly thanks to GM's guarantee that it will take 200 000 transmission systems each year for the next two years.

    This translates as just over 70% of the production capacity of 280 000.As from 2014 the company can look forward to a new 10-year contract for the manufacturing of 8-speed gearboxes at the Strasbourg factory for ZF, a leader in the field of gear wheels. According to Roland Robert of the CGT trade union an additional 150 million euro investment will be needed for this contract. It remains to be seen how Punch Metals International manages to finance this sum.

    Union reports suggest that Dumarey may take over the factory at a symbolic one euro price tag. He may also use a 10 million euro capital increase and the cash GM left in the business, which is better than the alternative of a closure that, according to the unions, could cost well over 200 million euros. If the takeover takes place, France will become the hub of the new business cluster Dumarey is building.

    Last year he acquired the family business JUY, a supplier to the sector of heavy-duty machinery such as bulldozers, excavators and steeplejacks in northern France. Some months ago he also bought a forklift truck factory in the same region from Still, a division of the German Kion Group. The production of forklift trucks was stopped and staff production capacity was used to produce metal components for the trucking and vehicle industry.

    Thanks to these two takeovers, Punch Metals International, which also has outfits in Slovakia, Hamont in Limburg and Roeselare in West Flanders, earns a consolidated turnover of more than 73 million euros.

    The group employs a permanent staff of about 440.

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  • High-Speed Rail: the future of freight The first cargo train from Zhengzhou to Hamburg highlights the need to develop HSR networks to unite Eurasian trade The solar panel trade dispute between Brussels and Beijing finally came to an end at the end of July and with it both powers have managed to steer clear of a potential trade war over a plethora of other goods ranging from Chinese steel to French wine. The positive news continues with the first freight train from the eastern city of Zhengzdou arriving in Hamburg-Billwerder the European bloc s third largest trading hub after traversing over 10,000km across Eurasia, passing through Kazakhstan, Russia, Belarus and Poland. The trip was supervised by the Zhengzhou International Land Port Development and Construction Company, while the logistics for the European leg of the journey were handled by German rail operator Deutsche Bahn Schenker.

    The growing Chinese goods traffic, together with the ongoing shift from production-intensive industries to the Chinese hinterland, offers a lot of potential, said Deutsche Bahn CEO R diger Grube. DB Schenker in Asia is in an excellent starting position. The crossing was completed in just 15 days, which completely eclipses the 30 40 day wait for goods required by container vessels to cover the same distance.

    It is not only the type of goods that are changing but also the means of transport, Grube told Bloomberg reporters at the arrival ceremony in Hamburg. If you look at the ' 66bn worth of goods exported to China from Germany per year and the ' 77bn imported from China and compare it to the zero-point something of market share Bahn has, you can see what kind of potential there is. There is considerable demand throughout Europe for governments to spend money developing high-speed rail (HSR) to alleviate congestion in busy city centres and improve trade links between the 28 member states.

    China on the other hand continues to outspend the rest of the world with a $300bn ( ' 224bn) investment to lay 17,000 miles of new HSR, which it claims will be fully operational by 2020. With all the obvious benefits for both trade and passenger transport, rail looks to be the solution to bridging the gap across Eurasia and reviving the historic Silk Road trading routes of the past. But if this dream is ever going to become a reality it will require Russia to show willing and be prepared to strengthen ties with China.

    In a recent article for Voice of Russia Dmitry Mikheyev, a former senior fellow at the Hudson Institute expressed the need for his country to take the lead in the development of a trans-continental HSR network. The Trans-Siberian Railway (TSR) is already quite a beneficial cargo transportation route today, but the journey takes time. The route is capable of transporting around 100m tonnes each year, but without further investment to develop the network greater capacity is impossible.

    China has already expressed its willingness to foot the bill for the expansion in exchange for the natural resources which the country is in desperate need of if it wants to continue growing at its current rate. Russians sit on an immense treasure trove of natural resources that they cannot properly use, explains Mikheyev. Europe moreover has excess industrial capacities and some 25 million skilled workers currently unemployed and craving for real jobs.

    With the recession in Europe continuing to worsen, for Italy, the next member state creeping ever closer to going the way of Greece, a long term investment in a such a project could provide the stimulus the region needs. Russia on the other hand depends too heavily on Europe and the economic climate there is having a knock-on effect on the country. Mikheyev s colleague at the Hudson Institute Jun Isomura argues that Eurasia is a dream.

    In his opinion there are too many obstacles facing the project, which was originally drafted by the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific back in 1999. Problems like the standardisation of the loading gauge, which varies from region to region. Russia currently uses a 1.52mm gauge, while Europe and China both use a 1.435mm.

    Neither is likely to want to make the switch, especially Russia, which still holds huge influence in Central Asia and standardisation could lead to Russia being by-passed.

    The real problem is not a lack of means, but a lack of motivation.

    For the project to be realised it will require cooperation, something which is in short supply.

  • History in motion at Wings & Wheels Wings & Wheels has an interactive, explosive Military Zone this year as the Show brings over 80 military vehicles, re-enactors, a living history zone and 1940s DJ and dancers together for visitors entertainment. Displaying on Saturday 24th and Sunday 25th August at Dunsfold Aerodrome near Guildford, Surrey is an incredible line-up of military history. Amongst the vehicles is a 1942 Diamond T Wrecker brought to the Show by Peter and Lyn Read and boasting an incredible pedigree.

    It was one of many trucks involved in the Red Ball Run, a famous World War II truck supply route that originated in Normandy in the autumn of 1944. The Red Ball continually re-supplied allied troops advancing swiftly across France toward the Siegfried Line in Germany. This trucking supply mission ran around-the-clock for some 90 days.

    During that period the Red Ball delivered over 412,000 tons of much needed supplies to the allied troops that ultimately overwhelmed the enemy. Brian Irving s Chevrolet Town Sedan was used by Rear Admiral Richard Evelyn Byrd, an American naval officer who was the recipient of the highest honour for heroism given by the United States the Medal of Honour. Byrd used this vehicle between 1947 and 1952.

    Only one of 18 built and in service until 1996, John Bailey s Landrover FC101 Intercept and Comms Trailer was used by the British Army 14 Signals Regiment. The vehicle is a rare example of the electronic warfare Vampire body variant of which less than half survive today. And finally, Nick John s US Military Officers Staff Car, a Dodge D11 Luxury Liner, was imported from Kentucky USA for the Marvel Comics Hollywood blockbuster Captain America.

    Nancy Edwards, Event Manager comments: These vehicles are just a tiny sample of what we have on display at Wings & Wheels. The Military Zone is shaping up to be really exciting thanks to the overwhelming support of military vehicle owners and re-enactors. The Zone is set to make a real impact this year with battles, trenches, air raid sirens and tours of the DC-3 a part of the Show visitors won t want to miss.

    Visitors to Wings & Wheels can also enjoy the world famous Red Arrows, Wildcat Helicopter, Typhoon, Vulcan, Team Breitling Wingwalkers and a host of other modern and historic aircraft during the 5 hour flying displays. For four and two wheeled fans, supercars and both classic and vintage icons put on an awe inspiring display of power and speed on the Top Gear track in a 2 hour auto spectacular from Brooklands Museum. The 9th annual Wings & Wheels will be held over the August Bank holiday weekend; Saturday 24th & Sunday 25th August 2013, at Dunsfold Park near Guildford, Surrey, and is open to spectators from 09:00 until 20:00.

    Tickets start from 20 for adults, 45 for a family (2 adults and 3 children aged 5 15yrs), 6 for children aged between 5 and 15yrs and under 5s are free. Hospitality packages start from 150 per person, weekend passes, grandstand tickets and camping are also available. For more information visit or to book standard tickets call 08712 305 572.

    Wings & Wheels is promoted by Dunsfold Park Limited and in 2013 will be assisting fundraising efforts for Brooklands Museum Trust and Help for Heroes.

  • How safe are your emails and phone calls? The 21st-century surveillance industry is hi-tech, sophisticated and terrifyingly pervasive, it is revealed in more than 200 brochures, presentations and other marketing materials published by WikiLeaks and Privacy International. The gear on sale falls into four categories: location tracking of mobile phones and vehicles; hacking into computers and phones to monitor every keystroke; recording and storage of what s being said on an entire telecommunication networks; and the analysis of vast swathes of data to track individual users. Location tracking A popular mobile phone tracking technology is an IMSI catcher, which allows the user to intercept mobile phones.

    These highly portable devices which can be as small as a fist can mask as a cell phone tower and emit a signal that can dupe thousands of mobile phones in a targeted area. The user of the catcher can then intercept SMS messages, phone calls and phone data, such as unique phone identity codes that would allow them to track phone users movements in real-time, without having to request location data from a mobile phone carrier. Companies that offer this equipment include Ability in Israel, Rohde & Schwarz in Germany and Harris Corp in the US.

    The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), which uses these devices to track suspects, says it can do so without a court order. Many police forces around the world have also bought or are considering buying IMSI catchers including the Metropolitan Police. Other companies offer passive surveillance devices that can be installed at phone exchanges, or even standalone equipment that can vacuum up all the mobile phone signals in an area without anyone knowing.

    Specialised gadgets can be attached to a vehicle to track where it goes. While logistics and trucking companies have long used these devices to ensure on-time delivery of goods, Dorset-based Cobham sells Orion Guardian covert devices that can be secretly attached to the bottom of a car. Hidden Technology, based in Essex, sells similar devices.

    For years, there has been a gentleman s agreement on how these technologies are used. The US and the UK know that the Chinese and the Russians are using IMSI catchers but so are we, says Chris Soghoian, a Washington DC-based fellow at the Center for Applied Cybersecurity Research. Each government believes that the benefit of being able to use it abroad outweighs the risk to their own citizens.

    But today, anyone a stalker or a private company can show up in Chelsea or Tottenham Court Road and listen to everyone else, adds Soghoian. It is time to switch to more encrypted systems that keep everyone safe. Hacking Several companies offer Trojan software and phone malware that allow the user to take control of a target s computer or phone.

    The software can be installed from a memory stick, or delivered remotely by disguising itself as an an email attachment or software update. Once in place, a user can rifle through a target s files, log every keystroke a target makes, and even remotely turn on phone and computer microphones and cameras to spy on the target in real-time. Hacking Team of Italy, Vupen Security in France, Gamma Group in the UK and SS8 in the US each offer such products, which they variously claim can hack the Apple iPhone, BlackBerry, Skype and the Microsoft operating system.

    Hacking Team is probably the most public of these companies, advertising its Remote Control System which can monitor a hundred thousand targets . California-based SS8 claims its Intellego product allows security forces to see what they see, in real time including a target s draft-only emails, attached files, pictures and videos. These types of technologies often rely on software vulnerabilities.

    While major software manufacturers claim to fix these vulnerabilities as soon as they are discovered, at least one company Vupen claims to have dedicated researchers in its Offensive Solutions division who are constantly looking to exploit new security holes in popular software. Hacking systems have recently surfaced in countries with repressive governments. A raid in March by democracy activists on the intelligence headquarters of Hosni Mubarak s regime in Egypt uncovered contract documents for a hacking program called FinFisher that is marketed by Gamma Group, a company based in Hampshire.

    FinFisher is also marketed by Elaman, a German company with close links to Gamma. Gamma Group said it did not FinFisher to Egypt. A brochure from Elaman says governments can use its products to identify an individual s location, their associates and members of a group, such as political opponents .

    Massive surveillance While hacking software is used to target individuals, other companies offer the ability to monitor and censor an entire country s data or telecommunications network. Massive surveillance of this kind works by capturing everyone s activities whether you are a suspect or not and then sifting through it for valuable information. For example, US companies Blue Coat Systems and Cisco Systems offer corporate and government buyers the technology to filter out certain websites.

    This could potentially be utilised for other than commercial reasons, such as as political or cultural repression. The same technologies can also be used to block social networking websites like Facebook, multimedia services like Flickr and YouTube, and internet phone services like Skype in repressive countries ranging from China to the United Arab Emirates. An extension of this technology is deep packet inspection .

    This allows the user to scan web and email traffic and to search huge volumes of data for keywords or phrases. Companies including ipoque in Germany and Qosmos in France offer the ability to peer inside email traffic and block specific users. Datakom, a German company, sells a product called Poseidon that offers the capability to search and reconstruct web, mail, instant messaging etc .

    The company also claims Poseidon collects, records and analyses VoIP calls , such as Skype conversations. Datakom, which offers monitoring of a complete country , says it has sold two large IP monitoring systems to unnamed buyers in the Middle East and North Africa. South African VASTech sells products including one called Zebra.

    This gives governments the ability to compress and store billions of hours of phonecalls and petabytes (a billion megabytes) of information for future analysis. In August, the Wall Street Journal reported that some VASTech devices had been installed at Libya s international phone exchanges. Data analysis The ability to capture vast swathes of Internet traffic, the locations of individuals and their phone conversations has also created demand for sophisticated analysis tools by intelligence agencies, the military and the police, to use in criminal investigations and even in the battlefield.

    For example, Speech Technology Center, based in Russia, claims to be capable of sifting through these huge quantities of information. Czech Republic-based Phonexia says it has developed a similar voice-recognition program with the help of the Czech military, while Loquendo, based in Italy, uses voice-prints the unique signature of the human voice to identify targets and tell you when they are on the phone. Copyright The Bureau of Investigative Journalism.

    Content licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

  • Hydrogen fuel could lead to sustainable trucking in the EU ... Hydrogen fuel could lead to sustainable trucking in the EU Posted on 31 July 2013. Tags: aerospace center, ce delft, clean transportation, Europe, fuel cell energy systems, fuel cells, hydrogen fuel, hydrogen fuel cell, hydrogen fuel cells, hydrogen fuel news, hydrogen fuel trucks, hydrogen powered trucks, hydrogen transportation, international council on clean transportation Hydrogen fuel could curb the emissions produced by trucks in Europe A new report from the International Council on Clean Transportation has found that hydrogen fuel cells could unlock a bright new future for trucking in Europe. Hydrogen fuel has become a staple in the realm of clean transportation, gaining a great deal of support from automakers around the world.

    The fuel produces no emissions and can be used to power various kinds of vehicles, making it an attractive alternative to fossil-fuels, especially for organizations looking to align themselves with emissions reduction efforts coming from European governments. Report highlights the capabilities of fuel cells According to the report , hydrogen-powered trucks could be considered feasible in Europe by 2030. The report includes research conducted by the Netherlands CE Delft and Germany s Aerospace Center.

    These organizations surveyed a variety of clean technologies, including fuel cells, and determined that hydrogen fuel may be the best option for clean trucking. The report found that if a serious effort is not made to curb the emissions produced by trucks, these emissions could grow exponentially over the coming years. Emissions from trucks slated to increase over time The report suggests that carbon emissions produced by trucks throughout the European Union will increase by 25% by 2050 if these trucks do not begin using sustainable fuels in lieu of fossil-fuels.

    Hydrogen fuel is, thus far, one of the most prominent of these sustainable fuels when it comes to the matter of transportation. Fuel cells are capable of producing significant amounts of electrical power without producing any emissions on their own. The report suggests that fuel cells could be an effective solution to the emissions problem, but a major challenge in adopting these energy systems has to do with their cost.

    Cost proves to be a problematic issue for hydrogen fuel cells Hydrogen fuel cells are notoriously expensive. While hydrogen fuel has managed to win the adoration of the global auto industry, fuel cells have been significantly more difficult to sell due to their high cost. These costs have slowed the adoption of fuel cells in numerous industries.

    The report from the International Council on Clean Transportation shows that conventional hydrogen fuel cells for trucks are 140% to 200% more expensive than diesel engines for these vehicles.

  • I

  • ICIS Top 50 chemical third-party logistics list 2012 AGILITY Liverpool, UK President and CEO, chemicals sector, Andrew Jackson 2011 Sales: Kuwati Dinar (KWD) 1.33bn ($4.78bn) 2011 Chemical sector sales: NA Geographies: Europe, US, Asia, Middle East Agility's Specialty Chemicals business delivers value to its chemical and petrochemical industry customers by implementing practical, impartial and, most importantly, cost-saving supply chain solutions. Agility has a range of freight management and procurement services, in addition to operations outsourcing and systems capabilities. With both asset light and asset appropriate solutions to fit the needs of mature as well as rapidly growing markets, Agility is placed to meet the evolving requirements and challenges of this specialist sector AHLERS Antwerp, Belgium Chairman and CEO Christian Leysen 2011 Sales: ' 250m ($324m) 2011 Chemical Sector Sales: NA Geographies: Benelux, Russia, Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), China, India, Singapore, Indonesia, Vietnam, Dubai, Africa Services: Warehousing; value-added logistics; freight forwarding; distribution; customs brokerage; consulting; special projects Key facts: 103-year-old family-owned company; 1,800 employees; presence (own operations) in 20 countries; hazardous goods warehouse (Seveso upper tier) in Ghent, Belgium; repacking facility in Antwerp, Belgium; warehouses in Russia, Ukraine, China, Indonesia, India A.N.

    DERINGER St. Albans, Vermont, US President and CEO Jake Holzscheiter 2011 Sales: NA 2011 Chemical Sector Sales: NA Geographies: North America, Europe, Pacific Rim Services: Freight forwarding; supply chain management; transportation management; warehousing; customs brokerage; logistics consulting; North American ground transportation Key Facts: More than 425 employees; 30 offices; 98 US Customs brokers on staff; agents worldwide ALFRED TALKE LOGISTIC SERVICES Huerth, Germany Group managing director Alfred Talke 2011 Sales: NA 2011 Chemical Sector Sales: NA Geographies: Europe, CIS, Middle East, India, China Services: Road and intermodal land transport of dangerous and harmless liquids, bulk and packed goods; warehousing; value-added services such as bagging, filling, transferring, and sampling of dangerous and harmless goods; temperature-controlled storage; customized transport solutions (eg. for clean room requirements) including design of dedicated equipment and loading points, as well as customized modification of standard equipment; logistics facilities consultancy, design, and construction project management; supply chain consultancy Key facts: More than 2,000 tank and dry bulk containers and vehicles; 1,600 employees and partners in 14 countries on three continents APL LOGISTICS Singapore President Jim McAdam 2011 Sales: $1.41bn ( ' 1.09bn) 2011 Chemical Sector Sales: NA Geographies: 56 countries in North Asia, Southeast Asia, Australia, Middle East, Africa, Europe, Mediterranean region, North America, Latin America Services: Global freight solutions; freight consolidation; air-sea services; time-definite services; intermodal transportation; highway services; managed transportation services; warehousing and order fulfilment; inbound logistics; manufacturing support; vendor-managed inventory; distribution management; engineering solutions; information technology solutions; vendor management Key facts: 162 offices in 56 countries; 191 logistics facilities; 26m ft2 of warehousing space; 4,500+ employees BALTRANSA Ciudad Real and Barcelona, Spain General manager Jose Luis Ruiz Heras 2011 Sales: ' 22m ($29m) 2011 Chemical Sector Sales: ' 22m ($29m) Geographies: Spain, Portugal, France, UK, Italy, Benelux, Germany, Poland, Czech Republic Key facts: Chemical transport by road (ADR) in Europe; cleaning station in Barcelona; moving around 200 tanks; 120 owned trucks and 170 owned tanks BARRETT DISTRIBUTION CENTERS Franklin, Massachusetts, US President Arthur Barrett 2011 Sales: NA 2011 Chemical Sector Sales: NA Geographies: US Services: Supply chain management, transportation management, and warehousing for the chemical industry Key Facts: More than 2m sq ft of warehouse space in the US BDP INTERNATIONAL Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, US President and CEO Richard Bolte 2011 Sales: NA 2011 Chemical Sector Sales: NA Geographies: North America, Latin America, Europe, Middle East, Asia, Africa Services: Ocean, air and ground transportation; lead logistics process analysis, design and management; export freight forwarding; import customs clearance and regulatory compliance; project logistics; warehousing/consolidation/distribution; web-based shipping transaction/tracking management systems Key Facts: Privately held; freight logistics centers in more than 20 cities throughout North America and a network of subsidiaries, joint ventures and strategic partnerships in 122 countries BERTSCHI Duerrenaesch, Switzerland Hans-Jorg Bertschi, President and CEO 2011 Sales: ' 520m ($673m) 2011 Chemical Sector Sales: ' 510m ($660m) Geographies: Europe, Russia, CIS countries, Asia, America, Australia, Middle East, Africa Services: Bulk liquid and dry bulk logistics in tank and box containers; intermodal rail; deep-sea transport; supply chain management; transportation management; rail terminals; tank cleaning stations; tank container storage locations Key facts: 16,000 tank and dry bulk containers; 1,200 road trucks, 44 subsidiaries on global scale; 21 owned intermodal rail terminals in Europe; 2,100 employees BOWKER GROUP Preston, UK UK operations director Bill Bowker; sales director Neil Bowker 2011 Sales: NA 2011 Chemical Sector Sales: NA Geographies: Europe Services: Contract hiring; UK and European distribution, freight forwarding and warehousing CARDINAL LOGISTICS MANAGEMENT Concord, North Carolina, US CEO Tom Hostetler; chief operating officer Jerry Bowman 2011 Sales: NA 2011 Chemical Sector Sales: NA Geographies: US Services: Customized transportation solutions including specialized equipment and handling, and integrated technology; dedicated contract carriage, home and jobsite delivery; transportation management; supply chain consulting; warehousing; distribution; bulk and chemical transport; industrial and manufacturing logistical support services Key Facts: 1,550 power units; 5,000 trailers; 1,800 employees CHEMLOGIX Blue Bell, Pennsylvania, US President and CEO J Steven Hamilton 2011 Sales: NA 2011 Chemical Sector Sales: NA Geographies: North America, Europe, Asia, Middle East, Latin America Services: Transportation management technology; managed logistics services; intermodal transportation and management; international trade management; freight benchmarks and procurement; rail fleet management; freight audit and payment; supply chain consulting Key Facts: Founded in 1997; supports more than 1,500 carriers, 2m shipments, and $1bn in freight spend annually across all clients C.H.

    ROBINSON WORLDWIDE Eden Praire, Minnesota, US Chairman and CEO John Wiehoff 2011 Sales: $10.3bn ( ' 13.3bn) 2011 Chemical Sector Sales: NA Geographies: North America, Europe, Asia, South America, Australia, Middle East Services: Freight and transportation logistics; outsource solutions; information services Key Facts: More than 230 offices worldwide; 10m shipments handled in 2011; more than 8,350 employees; more than 53,000 contract transportation carriers; more than 37,000 customers worldwide CT LOGISTICS Cleveland, Ohio, US President Allan Miner 2011 Sales: NA 2011 Chemical Sector Sales: NA Geographies: North America, Central America, South America, western Europe, eastern Europe, Middle East, Africa, Asia Pacific Services: Audits and validations focused on cost savings, freight analysis, reporting, logistical efficiency, management controls, accounting codes application and invoice standards Key Facts: Since 1923, CT Logistics has been providing transportation freight audit services to hundreds of shippers, including chemical organizations; operates in more than 27 countries DAMCO Copenhagen, Denmark Global head of chemicals Anthony Elwine 2011 Sales: $2.8bn ( ' 2.2bn) 2011 Chemical Sector Sales: approx $420m ( ' 324m) Geographies: Europe, Asia Pacific, Middle East, Africa, North America, Latin America Services: Specializing in the chemical industry with customized end-to-end freight forwarding and supply chain solutions covering all modes of transportation; integrated IT solutions Key Facts: 10,800 employees in more than 300 offices across 90 countries and representation in another 30 countries; in 2011, managed more than 2.5m TEU (20ft equivalent units) of ocean freight and supply chain management volumes, and air freighted more than 110,000 tonnes; part of the A.P. Moller - Maersk Group DB SCHENKER BTT Mainz, Germany Managing directors Jorg Hilker, Berthold Jesse 2011 Sales: ' 4.5bn ($5.8bn) (for DB Schenker Rail) 2011 Chemical Sector Sales: approximately ' 650m ($842m) (BTT together with DB Schenker Rail) Geographies: Europe Services: Forwarding for liquid, gaseous and pourable goods; intermodal and wagonload transport - organizes the main leg by rail, trans-shipment at the terminal, and pre-carriage and onward carriage by truck for all European routes; full management of customers' rail tank cars Key Facts: 100% subsidiary of DB Schenker Mobility Logistics DE RIJKE GROUP Spijkenisse, the Netherlands CEO Kees de Rijke (Europe) 2011 Sales: ' 400m ($158m) 2011 Chemical Sector Sales: ' 320m ($414m) Geographies: Europe, Middle East Services: Focus on petrochemicals and packaging Key facts: Privately held; owns facilities in nine countries, more than 28 locations; active in the Middle East through joint venture MDR Logistics, as service provider to local industry, enabling logistics between the Middle East and Europe; 1,900 employees DHL Bonn, Germany CEO Frank Appel 2011 Sales: ' 52.8bn ($68.4bn) 2011 Chemical Sector Sales: NA Geographies: Europe, Middle East, Africa, Americas, Asia Pacific Services: Integrated supply chain management; freight forwarding; courier and parcel services; transportation management; warehousing; customs brokerage DUPRE' LOGISTICS Lafayette, Louisiana, US CEO Reggie Dupre; President Tom Voelkel 2011 Sales: $151m ( ' 117m) 2011 Chemical Sector Sales: $115m ( ' 89m) Geographies: US Services: Logistics consultation; bulk; dry van; refrigerated; flatbed; information services; supply chain management; site and private fleet services, strategic capacity services; energy distribution services Key Facts: More than 900 drivers; carrier partners; supply chain management process; 2010 American Trucking Associations President's Trophy winner EVANS DISTRIBUTION SYSTEMS Melvindale, Michigan, US President John Evans 2011 Sales: NA 2011 Chemical Sector Sales: NA Geographies: US Services: Warehousing; asset-based transportation services in US Midwest, transportation and supply-chain management, logistics staffing services, Key Facts: Founded in 1929; family-owned and operated; employs 500 associates and operates more than 1.7m sq ft of space in six states in the US; multi-client hazmat facility in Detroit, Michigan, US; 100 trucks and 300 trailers FORT STORAGE WAREHOUSING & DISTRIBUTION Winnipeg, Canada Manager Alan Smith 2011 Sales: NA 2011 Chemical Sector Sales: NA Geographies: Canada Services: Industrial warehousing; logistics and distribution; handling hazardous materials for the agribusiness, chemical compounding, manufacturing, mining, forestry, oil and gas, paints, coatings, aerospace and construction sectors Key Facts: Certified by the Agrichemical Warehousing Standards Association for safe storage and handling of a hazardous materials FW Warehousing Sauget, Illinois, US President and CEO Mark Cusumano 2011 Sales: NA 2011 Chemical Sector Sales: NA Geographies: US Services: Hazardous chemical storage; distribution; fulfilment; secondary contract packaging; pick and pack; hand stacking; drop shipping; cross docking; rail transloading; intermodal transport; trucking including Midwest shuttle program, national drayage and low-cost less-than-truckload Key Facts: ISO 9001:2008 certified; certified by FedEx and UPS for small package chemical shipping and fulfilment; certified to handle flammables, corrosives, oxidizers and other environmentally sensitive chemicals (Classes 2, 3, 5, 6 and 8); family owned; more than 25 years' experience in the 3PL industry; warehousing and distribution centers in Missouri, Illinois and Indiana totaling 2.5m sq ft; climate-controlled environments; 200+ truck dock doors; 20 rail sidings; material handling equipment for carloads, drums, pallets, ISO tanks and totes GEBRUDER WEISS Lauterach, Austria CEO Wolfgang Niessner 2011 Sales: ' 1.07bn ($1.39bn) 2011 Chemical Sector Sales: NA Geographies: North America, South America, Europe, Asia Services: Overland transport; air and sea freight and logistics; subsidiaries provide logistics consultancy (x|vise), high-tech business services (tectraxx), software solutions for transport management systems (inet-logistics), railway transport (Railcargo) and parcel service (GWP) Key Facts: 4,650 employees; 158 company-owned locations; family-owned; history going back 500 years GEODIS WILSON Amsterdam, Netherlands Global vertical market director Martin Svantesson Geographies: Europe, North America, Latin America, Africa, Asia Services: A global logistics provider and wholly owned subsidiary of SNCF Group, Geodis is part of France-based Geodis group with a worldwide scope, ranking number four in its field in Europe. The group's ability to coordinate all or part of the logistics chain enables it to support its customers in their strategic, geographical and technological developments, providing them with solutions to optimizing their physical and information flows THE HAZCHEM NETWORK Rugby, UK Managing director Ali Karim; sales director Nada Marinovic 2011 Sales: 6.7m ($10.4m) 2011 Chemical Sector Sales: 6.7m ($10.4m) Geographies: UK, Ireland with links to Europe Services: Next-day ADR palletized and parcel distribution with track and trace Key Facts: In 2011, trans-shipped 190,000 pallets, 33,000 parcels; established in 2004; 2005 Logichem Award for "Best Supply Chain Project in Europe" HW COATES Cosby, UK Chairman Gerald Coates 2011 Sales: 25m ($39m) 2011 Chemical Sector Sales: 17m ($26m) Geographies: UK Services: Warehousing and transport of packaged chemicals Key Facts: 15 locations including six COMAH (Control of Major Accident Hazards); 100 vehicles - all ADR INLAND EMPIRE DISTRIBUTION SYSTEMS Spokane, Washington, US Vice president of business development Matt Ewers 2011 Sales: NA 2011 Chemical Sector Sales: NA Geographies: US Services: Inventory control; warehousing; repack; case pick; logistics consultation; freight management; rail served for packaged chemicals only Key Facts: Hazmat chemical warehouse facilities with primary and secondary containment in Pasco, Washington, US; multi-modal transportation access; computerized inventory control system with web access for real-time data; Designated Foreign Trade Zone; US Customs Container Freight Station; INTERBULK GROUP East Kilbride, UK CEO Koert Van Wissen 2011 Sales: ' 362m ($469m) 2011 Chemical Sector Sales: ' 350m ($453m) Geographies: Europe, North America, Latin America, Asia, Middle East, Africa, Australia Services: Intermodal logistics for dry bulk and liquids; terminal logistics; supply chain management solutions; fleet management Key Facts: 450 employees; 9,800 containers; 9,500 tank containers; eight logistics terminals; variable cost model; no owned transport capacity ISC GLOBAL Basel, Switzerland and Singapore CEO Bernhard Frauendoerfer 2011 Sales: NA 2011 Chemical Sector Sales: NA Geographies: Europe, Middle East, Asia Pacific, North America, South America, Africa Services: 4PL, including freight forwarding and warehousing for the chemical industry; 220 staff JACOBSON COMPANIES Des Moines, Iowa, US President and CEO Brian Lutt 2011 Sales: NA 2011 Chemical Sector Sales: NA Geographies: North America, Latin America, Europe, Africa, Asia, Middle East Services: Solutions design and project management; procurement services; consolidation/origin services; freight forwarding; international transportation; customs brokerage; deconsolidation; contract manufacturing; manufacturing plant support; warehousing and distribution; contract packaging; staffing solutions; freight management; transportation services; dedicated contract carriage Key Facts: Founded in 1968; 195 facilities worldwide operating 35m sq ft of warehouse space; offshore legal entity Jacobson Global Logistics Ltd (JGL) in Hong Kong KATOEN NATIE Antwerp, Belgium President Fernand Huts; vice president Fabian Leroy 2011 Sales: ' 830m ($1.07bn) 2011 Chemical Sector Sales: ' 440m ($570m) Geographies: Europe, North America, Latin America, Africa, Asia, Middle East Services: Integrated and tailor-made logistics and engineering services; storage on a variable basis; packaging; blending; grinding; sieving; onsite operations LESAINT LOGISTICS Romeoville, Illinois, US President Jeff Pennington 2011 Sales: NA 2011 Chemical Sector Sales: NA Services: Supply chain management; transportation management; brokerage; warehousing; fulfilment; engineering consulting LOGISTICS MANAGEMENT SOLUTIONS (LMS) St.

    Louis, Missouri, US President and CEO Dennis Schoemehl 2011 Sales: NA 2011 Chemical Sector Sales: NA Geographies: North America Services: Supply chain management and technology; customized solutions; freight management and optimization; transportation management system Key Facts: Clients include Fortune 500 chemical companies; $1.5bn in freight managed annually LOGI TRANS Atlanta, Georgia, US President Jeff McDaniel 2011 Sales: $10m ( ' 7.7m) 2011 Chemical Sector Sales: $4m ( ' 3.1m) Geographies: US Services: Supply chain management and consultation; transportation management; warehousing; asset trucking Key Facts: Asset warehouse with established fleet of tractors and trailers; fully integrated transportation management system for 3PL division; vertical integration of supply chain management MATERIAL LOGISTICS & SERVICES Appleton, Wisconsin, US CEO Robert Schroeder 2011 Sales: NA 2011 Chemical Sector Sales: NA Geographies: US Services: Bulk transfer capabilities; flammable storage; climate controlled rooms; blending and dilution services; custom packaging; contract labor and management services at customer facilities; transportation brokerage; freight forwarding; reverse logistics; fulfilment services Key Facts: A division of WSI; serving the chemical industry for more than 40 years; facilities catering to the chemical sector with specialized containment, training and infrastructure MENLO WORLDWIDE LOGISTICS San Mateo, California, US President Robert Bianco 2011 Sales: $1.6bn ( ' 2.1bn) 2011 Chemical Sector Sales: NA Geographies: North America, Europe, Asia, Latin America Services: Transportation management; warehousing; freight brokerage; supply chain management; 4PL Key Facts: More than 130 warehouses in 20 countries on five continents; 6,500 employees MONTREAL CHEMICAL LOGISTICS (MCL) Montreal, Quebec, Canada President A.K. Pattee 2011 Sales: NA 2011 Chemical Sector Sales: NA Geographies: Canada Services: Warehousing; chemical and hazmat specialization; transportation and delivery Key Facts: Division of Vaudreuil Storage NORBERT DENTRESSANGLE Lyon, France Francois Bertreau, CEO 2011 Sales: ' 3.6bn ($4.7bn) 2011 Chemical Sector Sales: ' 324m ($420m) Geographies: Europe Services: Transportation (FTL, LTL, packed, bulk); warehousing; transport management; 4PL Key facts: 909 dry bulk tipping tankers; 231 liquid chemical tankers; 189 hydrocarbons tankers; 6,391 trailers and boxes ODYSSEY LOGISTICS & TECHNOLOGY Danbury, Connecticut, US President and CEO Bob Shellman 2011 Sales: NA 2011 Chemical Sector Sales: NA Geographies: North America, South America, Europe, Middle East, Africa, Asia Services: Lead logistics; supply-chain network evaluation and design; operational processes; volume aggregation; 3PL services including truck brokerage, intermodal transportation, customs brokerage Key Facts: Patented, web-based information technology infrastructure ORIENTAL LOGISTICS HOLDINGS Hong Kong Managing director Gilbert W.K. Lau Geographies: Greater China and Asia, North America, South America, Europe Services: Records management; warehousing; repacking and value-added services; international freight forwarding; transportation and distribution; IT consulting and solutions; chemical logistics Key Facts: Asset-based PACIFIC COAST WAREHOUSE Chino, California, US President Jim Marcoly 2011 Sales: NA 2011 Chemical Sector Sales: NA Geographies: US Services: Storage; handling; transportation of hazardous materials in rack and bulk; shared and dedicated operations for industrial and retail industries Key Facts: Since 1927, privately owned; NACD member PACKWELL La Porte, Texas, US President Al Duran 2011 Sales: NA 2011 Chemical Sector Sales: NA Geographies: US, China Services: Plastics packaging; flexible intermediate bulk containers; seabulk containers; form fill seal bagging; sewn open mouth bagging; supply chain management; warehousing; customs service; packaging and re-packaging logistics services Key Facts: Railcar facility/yard for more than 150 railcars in Houston, Texas, US; 350 employees; capacity to re-pack over 1.35m tonnes/year of plastic resin; facilities in Houston, US and Shanghai, China PALMER LOGISTICS Houston, Texas, US Executive vice president Brett Mears 2011 Sales: NA 2011 Chemical Sector Sales: NA Geographies: US Services: Warehousing; distribution; packaging; import/export; transportation (shuttle and drayage) Key Facts: 1.5m sq ft of chemical distribution space (public and contract); hazardous materials, cGMP, ISO 9001 certified; NACD member; 91% year-on-year retention rate PEOPLES SERVICES Canton, Ohio, US President and CEO Doug Sibila 2011 Sales: NA 2011 Chemical Sector Sales: NA Geographies: US Services: Warehouse management; contract warehousing; transportation; transloading; bulk packaging; milling; blending; hazardous materials storage; temp controlled storage; order fulfilment; Foreign-Trade Zone services Key Facts: 400 employees; 4.5m sq ft of warehouse space; 15 locations; 100 powered units; ISO 9001, OSHA SHARP certification POTTER GROUP LOGISTICS Melmerby, UK Managing director Matthew Lamb 2011 Sales: 14.9m ($23.0m) 2011 Chemical Sector Sales: 6.1m ($9.4m) Geographies: UK Services: Warehousing; distribution; rail freight; regulated services Key facts: 1.6m sq ft of warehousing space; five distribution centers; three rail freight terminals; 220 staff; family owned RINCHEM Albuquerque, New Mexico, US CEO Bill Moore; President Charles Breinholt 2011 Sales: NA 2011 Chemical Sector Sales: NA Geographies: North America, Europe, Asia, Middle East Services: Lead logistics services, including segregated, temperature-controlled warehousing of chemicals and gases; over-the-road transportation; local delivery; on-site services; empty container return management; freight forwarding; cross docking; port logistics and drayage services; contract warehousing and logistics; training and consulting services; supply chain planning and optimization and logistics simulation; inventory visibility and oversight through warehousing and transportation-management system Key Facts: ISO 9001 certified; stores, transports and handles more than 1.2bn lb of chemicals and gases annually.

    More than three decades of experience developing and managing chemical supply chains; 24 customized warehousing locations worldwide; asset-based lead logistics provider; chemical logistics services to 20 Fortune 500 corporations SEAWAY Thessaloniki , Greece Managing director Isidoros (Sakis) Printezis 2011 Sales: ' 2.4m ($3.1m) 2011 Chemical Sector Sales: ' 1.9m ($2.5m) Geographies: Greece, Bulgaria, Romania, other Balkan region countries Services: Freight forwarding; supply chain management; transportation management; warehousing; customs brokerage; fiscal representation Key facts: 25,000m2 of warehouse space; three locations in Thessaloniki and Athens, Greece; one cross-border office SUTTONS GROUP Cheshire, UK Group managing directors Andrew Palmer, John Sutton 2011 Sales: 138m ($213m) 2011 Chemical Sector Sales: N/ Geographies: Americas, Europe, Middle East, Asia Services: Transportation, packaging and storage of bulk products, hazardous and non-hazardous liquids, powders, gases Key Facts: Road tankers and ISO tank containers TRANSPLACE Dallas, Texas, US CEO Tom Sanderson 2011 Sales: $1.2bn ( ' 927m) 2011 Chemical Sector Sales: $350m ( ' 270m) Geographies: US Services: Transportation management system; brokerage; supply chain consulting; intermodal; ocean and air; cross-border services TRANSPORT & LOGISTIK Turkheim, Germany General manager Klaus Finsterwalder 2011 Sales: ' 120m ($155m) 2011 Chemical Sector Sales: ' 78m ($101m) Geographies: Europe, Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) Services: Freight forwarding; in-house logistics; outsourcing projects; dangerous goods handling; supply chain management; consignment stock handling; production process support; transportation management; warehousing top 3pls ranked by disclosed sales to the chemical sector EXCHANGE RATES Rates on December 31, 2011: ' = $1.2949 = $1.5453 C$ = 0.9804

  • In general german shipping for low prices?

    Coming Down The Pike We also offer very best International Freight services, Air Freight Services in UK and worldwide freight delivery services. That s right a good air freight shipping partner can actually help your company do more business. There is merchandise that is easily packaged and sent via postal mail or other delivery services and then there is bulkier merchandise that is more difficult to transport.

    The problem with using such services on a regular basis is that it can prove to be quite costly. There are a multitude of freight companies who will be eager to earn your business. Safety and Security Another advantage to using freight companies to transport commercial furniture is that you are leaving it to the experts.

    Not all companies offer international shipping and shipping services to move in Tanzania and Liberia. If your household goods, electrical items, which are quite natural, really, you will have the size, make, model and serial numbers. When shipping in Tanzania, you will also need to look at the household, which is described under the prohibited articles.

    Most of all, peace of mind is the sole factor that allows you to contract out deliveries to other companies. In order to be successful in multi-country trade, besides creating a product, a company should also focus on safe transport of goods in a timely manner. Taking more time for delivery than promised exemplifies a negligent attitude.

    The mass of shipping material depends on choosing a packaging material. Who sells freight to germany can be found online easily. Ensure to choose a package material that not only ensures secure packaging but also can ship the product without wasting empty space.

    Generally, road and rail transports are useful for delivering freight to local destinations. There are many factors that can affect freight shipping rates. Packaging and Weight are important factors that affect the cost of shipping.

    Besides weight, fragility also influences the cost of shipping as fragile items have to be handled with special care and thereby increase the shipping cost. Generally, road and rail transports are useful for delivering freight to local destinations. Airways is the fastest mode and can assure prompt delivery.

    Most of the leading and reputed companies providing international freight services are known for their quick delivery and haulage, overnight parcel delivery, international courier and freight services. For instance, air freight is useful for transport of goods between locations of two different states. If your answer is affirmative, then you can heed for companies involved in providing courier delivery services.

    The cost of the service depends upon a wide selection of things like weight, size of parcels, distance of the receivers and so on. A leading company satisfies its customers by providing high quality services at affordable rates. Comments:- Louis Cornely: If your company ships orders to customers, it s especially important that you have a service provider that offers reliable, economical shipping solutions for your business.

    To get a quote, you should provide details such as its destination, its dimension, weight, mode of transport, time of delivery etc.


  • In Trucking History Len Dubois is Part of - Len Dubois Trucking Inc. The first motor truck was created some time between 1885 and 1896. There are conflicting stories as to whether it was invented by someone in England or in Germany. But most agree that Len Dubois Trucking owes its beginnings to German automotive pioneer Gottlieb Daimler.

    Daimler s first truck had a four-horsepower engine, and it premiered in 1896. Today s trucks are much different than Daimler s first. Today s standard tractor trailers are six-cylinder turbodiesels.

    They produce between 350 and 550 horsepower and utilize a 10-speed manual transmission or a manual one that is computer-controlled. Trucking History in North America Prior to the development of the motor truck horse-drawn vehicles, waterways and eventually the rails were used to haul loads. Throughout World War I, trucks helped European nations revolutionize battlefield supply lines and the transportation of troops.

    Improvements made to trucks during the war years continued into the 1930s. Bigger more powerful vehicles allowed for the transport of larger loads over longer distances. Though this had a big impact on the trucking industry, it was not until major freeway systems were built in the 1950s through the 1970s that the industry gained a huge amount of influence with trucks often being favored over rail transport.

    The popularity of trucking was evident in the 1960s and 70s, as songs and movies focusing on the industry made there way into our culture. In the latter part of the 20th and into the 21st century, trucks have dominated the hauling industry. Len Dubois Trucking Len Dubois Trucking found its way into trucking history in 1977 when Len Dubois informally started his trucking company by purchasing a truck that he used to haul gravel through southern Manitoba.

    From that time on he was always a part of trucking and trucking was always a part of him. In 1986, Len took a major step as he purchased his own running rights and, with one truck travelling to Saskatchewan and back, began hauling for Domtar Packaging (presently Norampac Inc.). He was then able to buy another truck and about a decade after he first informally started his company Len Dubois Trucking Inc.

    became a formal reality.

    To learn more about the history of Len Dubois Trucking, click here.

  • In Trucking History Len Dubois is Part of a Longer Road | Len ... The first motor truck was created some time between 1885 and 1896. There are conflicting stories as to whether it was invented by someone in England or in Germany. But most agree that Len Dubois Trucking owes its beginnings to German automotive pioneer Gottlieb Daimler.

    Daimler s first truck had a four-horsepower engine, and it premiered in 1896. Today s trucks are much different than Daimler s first. Today s standard tractor trailers are six-cylinder turbodiesels.

    They produce between 350 and 550 horsepower and utilize a 10-speed manual transmission or a manual one that is computer-controlled. Trucking History in North America Prior to the development of the motor truck horse-drawn vehicles, waterways and eventually the rails were used to haul loads. Throughout World War I, trucks helped European nations revolutionize battlefield supply lines and the transportation of troops.

    Improvements made to trucks during the war years continued into the 1930s. Bigger more powerful vehicles allowed for the transport of larger loads over longer distances. Though this had a big impact on the trucking industry, it was not until major freeway systems were built in the 1950s through the 1970s that the industry gained a huge amount of influence with trucks often being favored over rail transport.

    The popularity of trucking was evident in the 1960s and 70s, as songs and movies focusing on the industry made there way into our culture. In the latter part of the 20th and into the 21st century, trucks have dominated the hauling industry. Len Dubois Trucking Len Dubois Trucking found its way into trucking history in 1977 when Len Dubois informally started his trucking company by purchasing a truck that he used to haul gravel through southern Manitoba.

    From that time on he was always a part of trucking and trucking was always a part of him. In 1986, Len took a major step as he purchased his own running rights and, with one truck travelling to Saskatchewan and back, began hauling for Domtar Packaging (presently Norampac Inc.). He was then able to buy another truck and about a decade after he first informally started his company Len Dubois Trucking Inc.

    became a formal reality.

    To learn more about the history of Len Dubois Trucking, click here.

  • investment-auto-motives: Macro Level Trends US Transportation ...Though investment-auto-motives obviously focuses directly upon the car industry and its players, an overtly narrow and blinkered view must be avoided given the inter-sector connectedness of companies such as Daimler, FIAT, TATA etc, the cross-fertilisation of technology and of course the major macro PESTEL trends and accordant sector schisms that highlight investment opportunities. Such opportunities come either within a sector as a result of conventional dynamics or, as importantly, promote opportunity within an alternative sector as a consequence or by-product. Such investment-auto-motives believes adds to the weight of Berkshire Hathaway's full purchase of BNSF (nee Burlington Northern Santa Fe), at $100 per share (approx $44bn).BH already had substantial interest in the second largest freight-railroad company in the USA, and appreciates the convention of a slow but stable yield through dividends and MktCap growth; the rational core of a 'utilities' orientated enterprise.

    However, Buffet and Munger also recognised that an opportunity was arising as a result of the perfect storm appearing over the horizon for trucking sector. The harsh US recession has sharply curtailed road-freight shipping, the obvious consequence of now misaligned supply and demand curves generating a substantial slack in the trucking system that has driven down prices as competition became fierce and as a consequence has forced the one-man 'owner-operator' truckers and small-scale 'independent' firms to either exit or consolidate. Moreover, the combination of essentially frozen credit markets frozen to small business and SME's and the 2010 legal requirement (as of 01.01.2010) for the sale of only new emissions compliant semi-trailer tractor units (as part of the US's efforts to cut CO2), means that large chunks of the trucking sector's capacity will effectively disappear.

    Taking Class 7 as a sector median, new truck sales peaked at 131,000 units in 1999, with the 2008 low of 49,000 (see pictorial graph). Daimler highlighted the ongoing situational drag in its Q309 results presentation reletive to its Class 8-10 tractor units which have performed worse than even Class-7 trucks, portending the 'pull-forward' 2010 North American truck sales into 2009, so undermining 2010/11 production and therefor by virtue US and Canadian 2010/11/12 shipping capacity. This then leaves a short-fall in cross-country shipping capacity when the economic recovery begins proper.

    And given the scale of the down-turn economic data-sets urging financial analogies to the Great Depression & WW2 it is no surprise that the BH duo see today's present circumstances as a re-run of their formative experiences in the 1950s. Hence, whilst these new Burlington Berties like to convey the conventional, conservative 'slow and steady' typical nature of rail-road investment to the outside world and BH's own mom & pop and institutional stock-holders who themselves garner risk-aversity, the sector's own metaphorical 'train' that has had to date grind uphill against the pricing pressures of trucking and other rail sector competitors nears the headwind summit. The other side a theoretical case of a much improved downhill progress assisted with tailwinds such as declined competition, infrastructure grants from the US and Federal governments, greater pricing power and over the next decade (and possibly beyond) much improved 'sustainable' margins.

    Furthermore, BNSF has tried encourage 'railfans' to effectively patrol portions of its track. This appears to be part of psychological shift for the younger demographic toward rail relative to an expected reduction in car reliance the 17m TIV unit production of 2007 seen as a historical peak so promoting rail as a form of near-point intra-regional leisure travel with overtones of yesteryear glamour via streamlined stainless-steel Burlington Zephyr locomotives pulling upmarket carriages and observation cars with on-board entertainment. Such a possible initiative could be related to an important broader contextual agenda.

    investment-auto-motives also believes that US industry could well undertake a greatly increased level of commercially-led philosophical & practical integration something akin to spectrum of interactivity - from 'arms-length' collaboration to direct M&A. That could see Berkshire Hathaway and similar other large PE holding companies act as a powerful 'rationalising forces' that encourage sector cross-fertilisation, innovation, efficiency-seeking and new business models to enhance concomitant ROI. Moreover, given the increasing level of corporate social responsibility relative to 'under-the-umbrella' workforces, unemployment and housing dilemmas, there could feasibly be a return of 'Guardian Corporations' which through a modern equivalent to yesteryear 'garden-factories' and company-build villages actually house and possibly educate.

    Such efforts also have the benefit of reducing inherent labour costs and offer holding companies the ability to buy real-estate and acreage and build at below par values, to latterly sell-off the housing stock as the economic shape of the country itself re-evolves over time. Hence, figures such as Buffett, Munger, those with honourable reputations on Wall Street and Industrialists like BNSF's & GM's Whitacre acting as enabling 'Generals'. The 'Burlington' name itself was re-appropriated across various areas of the USA in the mid 19th century, and of course originates from the historic links to Britain; specifically the fashionable commercial ('Society') 'Arcade' built beside the Lord of Devonshire's home Burlington House in London's Piccadilly.

    The house itself became home to the Royal Academy, itself a philosophical cornerstone for the Arts and Science that underpinned Britain's own industrial revolution. Hopefully Berkshire Hathaway's own paradoxical 'Burlington Berties' given their modesty, humbleness & bee-like activity - have such similar grand ambitions for a much needed 21st century US industrial revolution. Post Script...


    Belief in the forthcoming strength and resultant reward of rail-freight container transport on the back of continued strong economic growth has been the raison d'etre for Blackstone GPV Capital Partners to buy 37.5% of Gateway Rail Freight Ltd in India.

  • J

  • Jailbreak: Durham to Dusseldorf On a dark and cold morning on Saturday 9 th November 2013 Tom Eaton and myself, along with 90 or so participants, descended upon the Durham Courthouse for a weekend of genuinely spontaneous adventure. Having donned our animal onsies, newly acquired yellow DUCK t-shirts and with our cardboard signs in hand we set off. Our original plan was to blag our way onto a train to Newcastle, find the airport and charm our way on to a flight to some exotic, far-flung corner of the world.

    However, the fear of getting no further than the end of the A1(M) led us to abandon this idea as foolish. So, hitched back down south. Thus, our first morning of our adventure consisted of us spending two hours travelling from Durham to Durham!

    At this point, we were wondering what on earth possessed us to attempt this daft adventure. A further seven lifts, including a lift from a very talkative Romanian truck driver called Alex, some lunch, and a near arrest, for illegally hitchhiking on the motorway later, and we were suddenly just outside London! The ride with Alex was particularly entertaining, as we were bombarded with his life story.

    We were told a vast array of stories, ranging from his childhood in Romania, to his ambitions to own his own trucking company, to some more fantastical ones. Whether they were all true is something that could be debated, but they were certainly entertaining. Another lengthy lift from an incredibly interesting middle-aged man, who had spent over 30 years as a cameraman, and we were suddenly on the cusp of the fabled M20: the hitchhikers yellow brick road to Dover.

    Unfortunately, we still had about 20 or so miles to make it to the motorway. The following four or five hours was a serious test of our resolve, as we were really tested by The Borough Green Debacle . Having walked for an hour in the rain to find a spot from where we could hitch a lift to Dover, we were disappointed as we spent about two hours there in vain.

    At this point we thought about calling it a night. However, a stroke of luck led to us speaking to Chris, a manager at the local Beefeater who was heading toward Maidstone at the end of his shift: a perfect place to launch our advance on Dover in the morning. Not only did Chris offer us a lift, we were also treated to a free pint and plate of chips.

    Having made it to Maidstone, we were soon to find that we were not the only ones to have got that far, particularly in the morning when there seemed to be an influx of teams descending upon it. However, Tom and I had gone mad at this point, so were dancing, singing and acting for the passers-by. I think we forgot that we were trying to get a lift rather than entertain people!

    Luckily one passer-by was taken by our silliness and offered to take us to Dover. Once at the port it took only a moment of courage to approach a group of men buying tickets for the ferry for us to get our 14 th and final lift. It turned out that they were a group of German entrepreneurs from Dusseldorf who had been at a 3D printing expo in London demonstrating their product.

    Needless to say, we were baffled by this technology and proceeded to interrogate them for the next couple of hours. Fortunately the conversation drifted away from printing and towards more pressing concerns: getting my flat mates back for pranking me the night before Jailbreak. Luckily these guys were evil, so I now have some incredible pranks lined up for my unsuspecting flat mates!

    Once in Dusseldorf, we were forced to say an emotional farewell to our new friends, yet a warm hello to the hotel that our sponsors had kindly paid for as a reward for getting so far. At this point, we thought the adventure was over. How wrong we were.

    The following morning was tense from the start. It consisted of leaving my phone at the hotel, failed air miles and a security wrangle over Tom s darts! However, we raced through the airport and made it to the gate just in time for our flight.

    Sweaty, out of breath and sad that our adventure had come to an end, we were treated to the German tradition of a complimentary beer and sandwich aboard the flight: thank you Lufthansa! Having had time to reflect on this weekend, I can truly say that I would recommend it to anyone. I feel so lucky to have been able to meet so many interesting people, many of whom I haven t been able to mention in such a short space.

    It was an eye-opening experience, as we were touched by so many acts of kindness and generosity. All in all, it was an emotional, rewarding and incredibly fun weekend. Rowan is a first year student at Josephine Butler College studying Philosophy, Politics and Economics.

    Jailbreak is organised by Durham University Charities Kommittee (DUCK) and Challenges Durham University students to gets as far away from Durham without any money within 36 hours to raise money for charity.

  • Just a Car Guy: Truckers not getting anywhere on the 15 North into ...So the truckers slid over and blocked the shoulder and trucking lane We were stuck for no apparent reason for 2 hours on the 15, and never did see anything that caused the free way to become a parking lot.
  • Just bought my first Excursion! - Ford Truck Enthusiasts Forums Sign in using an external account Welcome to Ford Truck Enthusiasts Forums Welcome to Ford Truck Enthusiasts Forums You are currently viewing our forum as a guest, which gives you limited access to view most discussions and access our other features. By joining our community, at no cost , you will have access to post topics, communicate privately with other members (PM), respond to polls, upload content and access many other special features. Registration is free, fast and simple, so please join our community today !

    Just bought my first Excursion! Hi everyone, I've just bought my first Excursion - a 2002 7.3 Limited 4x4, 65,000 miles - I'm in the UK, and haven't ever seen one on the road here, or ever driven one, but have owned a 2003 Expedition for the last few years to haul my front garage toy hauler/travel trailer. I've got to wait a week or two until it gets delivered to me, so I thought I'd look on here to find out some information on the Ex.

    Any pointers or links where to look would be appreciated for things that would be worth me knowing - obviously it will be a big learning curve and will take me a while to get the truck suited to me, and when I finally get to try driving it at least I will know more! I wasn't sure about buying an Excursion, as I really do like my Expedition and I've only just finished getting it how I want it to look and drive, but as I mainly use it for hauling my TT, it just uses too much fuel as it's on it's limit with the weight - and I think the Excursion will be a good long term truck that I can mod over time. Main things I will want to acheive are more torque for pulling my TT, getting the ride right and level, and making sure it's as reliable as possible (that's why when I saw this 7.3 for sale with low miles I had to buy it!) Should be a pic of it, and pics of my Expedition nice find!

    congrats! __________________ 03 Excursion Eddie Bauer 4x4 , V10, Quad Captains, 4.30s, 285/70/17s 17x9 Raceline Raptors, 05 Grill and a Saggy Bumper!

    07 Expedition Eddie Bauer EL 2wd all stock w Factory 20s ^ ^ What he said...^ ^ You scored on that one and welcome. Tim M Really nice low mileage truck. Best of luck with it and you will soon find yourself wondering how you lived without it.

    Jealous, I thought I did good when I found my 7.3 EX with 82K on the clock __________________ 00' 7.3 EX- X/B codes all else stock 97 F350 CrewCab LB 4x4 7.3 PSD-sold and missed 07 Cummins 5.9-totalled by transit bus, too many mods to list Congrats, 7.3s under 100k are really rare now! I'd get rid of those Bridgestone Duelers as soon as you can and put some Michelins on there. That 7.3 is already plenty loud, and besides, I'd want to hear it and not the tires.

    The Bridgestones aren't bad tires, but they do get really noisy later in life. Thanks guys, I kind of feel better for buying it over the phone now! (it's a dealer so I don't have to hand over the cash until it's delivered to me) I've always liked the Ford pick ups, and love diesels (I have a trucking company so have been used to diesel engines for years) but a pick up just isn't suitable for taking my 3 kids and theor friends or grand parents etc..... Thanks for the info on the tyres - the noise was one of the main reasons I ditched my standard rims with Hercules Tera Trac on the Expedition - I want to hear the engine, not road noise!

    I notice a lot of you keep the smaller rims on the Excursion, and have read on here that after market rims might not be a good idea if having a lot of weight on the axle? If so, I may just try different tyres to start with, and I can't spend too much to start with as I wont sell my Expedition until I am happy with the Excursion! Quote: I notice a lot of you keep the smaller rims on the Excursion, and have read on here that after market rims might not be a good idea if having a lot of weight on the axle?

    If so, I may just try different tyres to start with, and I can't spend too much to start with as I wont sell my Expedition until I am happy with the Excursion! Just remember that the bigger you go the more you compromise the handling, which isn't something you want to do with a car full of kids and a camper on the back. Just my opinion though...

    Is this gonna being on a "Wheeler Dealer" episode in the future!? Sounds like a great deal - best of luck.. __________________ 2005 EB Excursion 2wd 6L PSD 3.73/LS Mich LTX M/S, Diesel Kleen (gray bottle), scangaugeII w/Blendmount, SPAtechnique gauge (Fuel Pressure & Volts), blue spring, Air Lift 1000 air springs, Interior Dome Override, DieselSite Coolant Filter, BPD Oil & EGR coolers, Rancho RS9000, Hellwig, Diehard Platinum x2 (mine) 2004 EB Explorer 4x4 stock (hers) 2000 Jeep Sahara 4x4 2" lift, Warn winch, detroit lockers front and rear (ours) __________________ 2005 Excursion Limited 4x4, 6.0 PSD ARP Studs, BPD EGR, Oil Cooler and Remote Oil Filter, BPD 6 Phase FICM, DC Power 270XP Alternator, New Duralast Gold Batteries, 4" MBRP Exhaust, Rancho 9000s, V/Modded B Springs, 30mm Rear Sway Bar, Air Bags, MT 285s, SCT Touch Screen Xtreme Tuner w/ GearHead Custom Tunes. To be installed...

    Coolant filter and More... Congratulations on an excellent find. You have a nice Expedition, so I am sure we will see good things from you on this new rig.

    Welcome to the group, we are glad to help and support you. Try reading old threads, as a lot of ground has been covered over the years. There is a search function that can help you find anything specific.

    By the way, you are not our only member on that side of the pond! We have a member of this group who resides in Germany. His screen name is "German Mike".

    So you may see him on here as well! Good luck, I look forward to reading about your ownership experience. Sincerely, Karl __________________ His......2004 Excursion Limited 6.8L V10 4x2 Hers...2003 Expedition Eddie Bauer 5.4L V8 4x2 Quote: Just remember that the bigger you go the more you compromise the handling, which isn't something you want to do with a car full of kids and a camper on the back.

    Just my opinion though... i have to kindly disagree, mine handles 10x better with my 20x9 summer wheels on doing some high speed cornering. verses stock 16s and 265/75s.

    great looking excursion..hell of a score with the low miles and very nice expedition!

    i own and drive one of each them! __________________ Russ- 2002 Excursion Limited V10 4x4, daily driver 1998 Expedition XLT 5.4 4x4, daily driver 1998 Explorer XLT 5.0 AWD 1996 Explorer Limited 4.0 4x4 totaled 1991 F-250 lairat 4x4 5.0, plow/work truck Posting Rules You may not post new threads You may not post replies You may not post attachments You may not edit your posts HTML code is On Forum Jump All times are GMT -5.

    The time now is 03:13 PM .

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  • Keep on Trucking . - Chantenay Truckers have been identified to take part in latest research to uncover the truth about British snacking habits. The UK snack market is worth over 2.4 billion but vegetable growers Freshgro is campaigning for a greater choice of healthy options for consumers who are on the go. As part of this campaign Freshgro is joining forces with Pall-Ex, the European palletised freight network, to survey 300 plus drivers who spend hours a day on the road.

    Finding snacks that are tasty and healthy is a challenge to many consumers and is particularly a tough task if your job means you are constantly on the go. All the evidence shows we are fast becoming a nation of snackers but it s essential that we start delivering a broader range of healthy options for consumers who are on the go. Martin Evans from Freshgro comments.

    Within many of Britain s service stations and convenience stores there are often a limited number of snacks that are quick, mess free, healthy and most importantly tasty. Martin added: This is a unique opportunity to find out what snacks are currently consumed, where from and importantly what drivers really want. We hope the results of this research may also go some way to encourage truck drivers to think about their eating habits.

    Adrian Russell, managing director at Pall-Ex, added: As a network, we re well known for looking after our members and their drivers. They are the ones that literally keep our freight moving. We ve run a number of incentives for drivers over the years, but handing out carrots is certainly a first.

    We look forward to viewing the results of the survey and seeing if there is anything else we can be doing to meet the needs of our drivers. Last month Freshgro launched its new Chantenay Snack Packs as part of a move towards greater choice of healthy options for people on the go like the Pall-Ex lorry drivers. ENDS For further information contact: Kathryn Greenwood or Isabel Jones on [email protected] or 0115 958 8850.

    We can Provide: Expert tips & nutritional information on Chantenay Interviews with British growers Information on seasonal Chantenay salad items and recipes Images of produce, and general farming shots Recipe ideas and inspiration Notes : Freshgro Chantenay Carrots are produced by Fresh Growers Ltd (Freshgro) a co-operative formed in 1998 by 10 farmers. They pioneered the reintroduction of Chantenay carrots to the UK and are now the world s leading supplier, supplying over 90% of the UK Chantenay market. Chantenay Carrot Snacks were developed as part of Freshgro s ongoing investment to push the boundaries of fresh produce.

    Freshgro farms over 20,000 acres, growing and marketing vegetables including piccolo parsnips, asparagus and other root crops. It also runs a state of the art factory in Nottinghamshire which washes and prepares its produce. Chantenay Carrots from Freshgro can already been found in the fresh produce aisles of all the major supermarkets, including Waitrose, Sainsbury and Morrisons.

    The Pall-Ex Group Pall-Ex Group is the award winning leading provider of palletised freight distribution services in the UK and Europe. Founded in 1996, Pall-Ex has phenomenally grown and our core values have remained the same, providing customers with an unparalleled level of cost-effective service, through a nationwide membership network of around 100 of the UK s leading hauliers. Pall-Ex Group also currently comprises European domestic palletised freight networks Pall-Ex Italia, Pall-Ex Iberia, Pall-Ex France and Pall-Ex Romania, which is the first Pallet network in Eastern Europe.

    Pall-Ex Group is currently under way with initiatives in establishing networks in Germany, Poland, Turkey and Benelux.

    by freshgro in Bitesize News, Media Centre, News

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  • Latvia's freight transport by road increases | Baltic News Network ... In Q1 of 2013 the total volume of freights carried in main transport sectors has remained at the level of previous year (increase of 0.5%) as compared to Q1 of 2012. In Q1 of 2013 15.8 million tons of the freight was carried by rail, which is a decrease of 7.9% compared to the corresponding period of the previous year, according to data from the Central Statistical Bureau of Latvia. National freights by rail comprised 0.3 million tons 62.1 thousand tons (26.4%) more than at the corresponding period of 2012.

    In international transportation the volume of freights carried by rail reduced by 1.4 million tons or 8.4%. As freight transport by rail through the Latvian ports decreased, share of these freights in the total international freight haulage diminished to 79.2%. In Q1 of last year share of freights transported in international freight haulage by rail comprised 81.7%.

    In Q1 of 2013 11.4 million tons of the freight was carried by road, which is an increase of 11.3% compared to Q1 of the previous year. Growth in the volume of freights was mostly determined by increase of 23.8% in the transportation of products of agriculture and forestry and rise of 20% in transportation of food products and beverages. The bulk (75.8%) of the total volume of freights by roads were national freights, where the indicator increased by 0.8 million tons (10.5%).

    Also international freight transportation rose by 0.3 million tons (13.8%). Almost one third (30%) of the total volume of freights carried by road were comprised by products of agriculture, hunting and forestry, fish and other fishing products, 16.6% by metal ores and other mining and quarrying products and peat, but wood and products of wood and cork (except furniture), pulp, paper and paper products 14.1%. In Q1 of 2013 by the oil products pipeline 1.9 million tons of oil products were transported, rise of 21.9% on the same period of 2012.


  • Leading Truck Trader Expands With Four New Dealerships ... Guest Trucks, a leading truck trader in UK, has expanded its network of Iveco dealerships with four new sites. The new dealerships will be trading under the name Sherwood Truck & Van. The recent expansion makes the company one of the biggest independently owned dealer group in the UK, as well as the UK s biggest distributor of Iveco vehicles.

    Guest Trucks new dealerships are located in Boston, Cambridge, Leicester and Peterborough, adding to its existing premises in Birmingham, Coventry, West Bromwich and Wolverhampton. The prominent truck trader also works with a network of authorised Iveco repair operations in Glan Conwy, Hinckley, King s Lynn, Redditch and Telford. The dealer group has built a long term relationship with Iveco, choosing the Italian truck and bus manufacturer over the established heavyweights of trucking in Europe like Volvo, Scania, and man trucks.

    The Managing director of Truck Operations for the Guest Group, Robert Spittle, says the move comes after a period in 18 months that saw Guest Trucks take responsibility for Cambridgeshire, Leicestershire, North Wales and Telford. This year we celebrate 25 years working with Iveco, during which time we ve established ourselves as one of the leading van and truck dealers in the country, says Spittle, adding: Sherwood Truck & Van is a highly capable and respected dealer, with a strong customer base. It will form a key part of the Guest Group.

    The latest move by the Midlands truck trader adds Iveco sales and service facilities in Blackwell, Nottingham, Sheffield and Stoke-on-Trent, as well as access to authorised repairers in Swadlincote, Newark and Doncaster. Iveco UK recently made the news with its new ECOTRALIS fuel economy system, which promises an industry-first minimum saving of 4 per cent on fuel costs, with savings rising as high as over 7 per cent on some vehicles. Like this: Like Loading...


  • Lets Play Euro Truck Simulator 2 Ep 28 (Off to Sheffield ... Sheffield is a city and metropolitan borough in South Yorkshire, England. Its name derives from the River Sheaf, which runs through the city. My Lets Play of Euro Truck Simulator 2 Travel across Europe as king of the road, a trucker who delivers important cargo across impressive distances!

    With dozens of cities to explore from the UK, Belgium, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, and many more, your endurance, skill and speed will all be pushed to their limits.

    If you ve got what it takes to be part of an elite trucking force, get behind the wheel and prove it!

    Thank you for watching , please like and subscribe Chow 4 Now Video Rating: 4 / 5

  • Logistics firm embarks on expansion | HGV A leading transport business in Manchester is expanding its services into Europe in partnership with other top UK hauliers. AK Worthington, the transport division of AKW Group, based at Trafford Park, is now offering delivery services to France, Germany, Holland, Belgium and Italy through the Partnerlink haulage consortium. The new European delivery platform enables AKW Group to provide an additional service to our existing customers and target new firms who are looking to export to Europe, said Julian Richards, Managing Director of AKW Group.

    AKW Group is a principal shareholder in Partnerlink, an 18-strong UK haulage consortium established 13 years ago, which recently announced it has teamed up with partners on the continent to offer the new European delivery service. Partnerlink had previously focused on UK deliveries and collectively the membership has 3,800 trailers, 5,000 staff and 750,000m of warehousing space at its disposal. John Davidson, director of Partnerlink, said: The benefits we have seen from Partnerlink have been huge.

    Partners can offer a next day solution to anywhere in the UK, all at competitive prices, and with a quality service that our customers demand. It was only logical for Partnerlink to mirror this same success and branch its services out to the European market. We are very excited at the prospects.

    The expansion into Europe comes as AKW Group, which also provides extensive warehouse, contract packing, freight forwarding and container freight and international freight movement services, plans to expand its turnover to over 25million within the next four years. This is an extremely exciting time for the business and despite difficult economic conditions we have remained dedicated to offering our customers the best possible service, said Julian Richards. We remain focused on identifying new ways to develop our services and within a two year period we are looking to increase our European sales to over 2m per annum.

    Tags: AKW Group

  • Lohmann: Dutch show their lasting gratitude | Richmond Times ... AMELIA, Va. -- Three of the boys grew up on adjoining farms, a fourth lived not 5 miles away. When World War II erupted, the four cousins left home to serve their country. "It was a disgrace if you didn't go," said Harry Midkiff. They made their families and their communities more than proud, but none of the four made it back to Amelia.

    Conrad Midkiff, killed while serving in the Pacific, was buried at Arlington National Cemetery. The other three served in the European theater Frank Midkiff, Howard Midkiff and John McCraw and were buried half a world away, within a few steps of each other, in the Netherlands at Margraten, a U.S. military cemetery that is the final resting place for more than 8,000 Americans. "Everybody supported the war," said Harry Midkiff, kid brother to Frank and first cousin to the others. "They bought bonds, they had rallies. "But everybody lived in dread, that was the thing," he said, having grown to know the news was seldom good when a grim-faced visitor approached on the unpaved road to the old homeplace. "You hated to see somebody come." Almost 70 years later, as we approach another Veterans Day, it still boggles the mind to imagine the anguish of one extended but close-knit family losing four loved ones, full of youthful valor and promise, in less than 20 months.

    It also amazes, in a good way, to consider the way the Dutch for going on seven decades have been surrogate kin for the fallen Americans so far from home. They tend to the graves, keeping them neat and tidy, leaving flowers, saying prayers, expressing appreciation. "We do this to say thank you to our liberators," Henny and Henk Laenen wrote me in an email from Maastricht, a town close to Margraten. I contacted the Laenens because for about 25 years, they have taken care of the graves of Howard and Frank Midkiff.

    They said they wanted the families to know, all these years later, "their loved ones are looked after." "My wife lost her dad in the war," Henk Laenen wrote in a follow-up. "He lays in Dusseldorf," in Germany. "That makes us do it." * * * * * I found the Laenens in the Netherlands as well as Harry Midkiff in Amelia after hearing from Peter Schrijvers in Australia. Small world, isn't it? Schrijvers, a senior lecturer in U.S.

    history at the University of New South Wales in Sydney, has written a book on Margraten and the Dutch families sometimes for two and three following generations who have adopted the fallen and taken care of not just their graves but also their memories. Schrijvers wrote "The Margraten Boys: How a European Village Kept America's Liberators Alive" in part to highlight the devotion of the Dutch but also in the hope that the exposure might help more American relatives get in touch with the Dutch adopters so more information can be gathered about those whose names are chiseled into the marble crosses, the Stars of David and the walls of the missing (which contain 1,722 more names). "I grew up listening to incredible stories told by grandparents and parents about war and American liberators," said Schrijvers, who was raised in Belgium. "I think it is hard to imagine for Americans and indeed for Europeans today how emotional an experience liberation was after four years of Nazi occupation." Schrijvers visited Margraten several years ago and was moved by what he found. He labels it "the Margraten phenomenon," which he defines as "above all a refusal to forget.

    A refusal to forget sacrifice. But a refusal also, and especially, to forget the pain and terrible sense of loss that families suffered who were left behind in America." The Midkiffs of Amelia know well that feeling of pain and loss. Howard was killed in March 1943, Conrad in November 1943, Frank in December 1943, and McCraw in November 1944.

    Harry Midkiff said his father and uncles requested that Howard, Frank and John be buried together. * * * * * Everyone buried at Margraten, or listed among the missing, has a story. Frank Midkiff tired of school and didn't make it past seventh grade, dropping out to farm with his father. "He was quiet," said Harry, now 80, as we sat in his home on the farm where he still raises cattle and hay after a career with the Virginia Department of Forestry. He was 10 years younger than Frank.

    Frank "liked to play guitar. He and my cousins had a regular band. He played on the radio in Petersburg.

    He could play most anything that came along." He married, then went into service at age 19. His son was born July 14, 1943, while he was stationed stateside awaiting his orders. In August, Frank was on his way to Europe, but first he was allowed to come home for a few days to see his new son.

    It was the only time he would lay eyes on him. "I've been told stories that when he left, (his plane) circled over our house sort of buzzed the house," his son, James Lee "Jim" Midkiff, told me the other day. "They tell me they flew so low they almost shook the windows out." He grew up knowing his father and being inspired by him through family stories. "The bar was set pretty high," said Midkiff, 69, who lives in Powhatan and retired three years ago as director of line-haul operations for a local trucking company. His mother, Katherine, remarried, served on the Amelia Board of Supervisors and still lives in Amelia. Neither he nor his mother have visited Margraten, though they treasure long-ago letters from the family tending Frank's grave. "Pretty nice," he said. * * * * * While stationed with the Army in France in the 1950s, Harry Midkiff and a couple of buddies spent a few days at Margraten while the cemetery was still under construction.

    When they showed up in uniform, no one spoke English until they learned Midkiff was there to visit his brother and cousins. Then the community couldn't do enough for them: They put them up at a nice hotel for next to nothing, treated them like family, fed them like kings. One of his buddies ate so much, he split his uniform pants.

    The woman running the hotel found out and mended them for him. "You couldn't have been treated any better, anywhere you went," he said.

    That's the magic of the place that continues today, said Schrijvers. "Margraten is about ordinary people around the world drawn together by an innate sense of decency and shared emotions," he said. "In a time of global recession, political bickering, terrorism and more war, I find this to be a deeply comforting and heartwarming message."

  • London Irvine Report: The Road To Madness. Baltic Dry Index.

    743 - +09 LIR Gold Target by 2019: $30,000. Revised due to QE programs. The history of taxation shows that taxes which are inherently excessive are not paid.

    The high rates inevitably put pressure upon the taxpayer to withdraw his capital from productive business. Andrew Mellon. For more on the road to madness scroll down to Crooks Corner.

    We open for a change today, with the Republic of South Africa, where rising labour unrest just keeps growing. Last August the world was shocked by the police massacre of 34 striking platinum miners. Since then, although largely under reported, the labour unrest has spread out from mining to the agriculture and trucking sectors.

    Stay long physical precious metals, our modern interconnected global economy has never looked more vulnerable to unexpected shock. There s danger in just shoveling out money to people who say, My life is a little harder than it used to be, at a certain place you ve got to say to the people, Suck it in and cope, buddy. Suck it in and cope.

    Proper Charlie Munger. Police fire rubber bullets at South Africa farm strikers DE DOORNS, South Africa | Wed Jan 9, 2013 5:16am EST ( Reuters ) - South African police fired rubber bullets to disperse hundreds of striking farm workers in the grape-growing Western Cape on Wednesday, the first clashes of a year that looked set to be dominated by fractious labor relations. On the main highway through the region 100 km (60 miles) east of Cape Town, strikers set up barricades of burning tires and pelted passing vehicles with stones, according to a Reuters reporter.

    Scores of riot police backed by at least one armored vehicle responded with volleys of rubber bullets to keep the protesters from the roadside. Africa's largest economy saw waves of labor unrest last year that began in the platinum mining industry and swept through the trucking and agriculture sectors. The unrest, including the police killing of 34 miners at Lonmin's Marikana platinum mine in August, tarnished South Africa's reputation among overseas investors and led to downgrades of its sovereign debt .

    With the gold and coal mines - which employ more than 250,000 people - due to open two-yearly industry-wide wage talks in the next few months, analysts expect labor relations to cast a shadow over the economy , which is expected to eke out growth of 3 percent this year. Now back to more on the decline and fall of the United States of Europe. Italy s youth unemployment problem has now soared above 37%.

    With a new general election coming next month, Italy looks to be headed towards the door marked EMU exit. Stay long physical precious metals. Nothing has been fixed in the house of cards called Euroland.

    The whole history of civilization is strewn with creeds and institutions which were invaluable at first, and deadly afterwards. Walter Bagehot. Italy jobless records put heat on Monti in poll race ROME | Tue Jan 8, 2013 5:50am EST ( Reuters ) - Italy's jobless rate remained at a record high in November while youth unemployment jumped to a new peak above 37 percent, data showed on Tuesday.

    Italy has been in a deep recession since the middle of 2011 and unemployment has risen steadily as businesses clamp down on staffing levels to cope with crumbling domestic demand. The plight of the unemployed and particularly young people will be a crunch issue at the election and outgoing Prime Minister Monti, who heads a centrist group, has been criticized by opponents on the left and right of hurting the economy in his efforts to fix public finances. ---- The youth unemployment rate, referring to 15-24 year-olds, jumped for the third month running in November to 37.1 percent, its highest level since records began in 1992. Companies are reluctant to give new recruits regular contracts because strong job protection means it is hard to fire them.

    So young people tend to move from one temporary contract to the next, and opportunities have dried up in the recession . Up next, Euroland suffers from a failure to communicate, says the French Finance Minister, one day day-tripping through Beijing. Just how dumb does Euroland s politicians think the Chinese are?

    China s concerns are legitimate and well founded. It s Europe s politicians that are delusional and in deep denial. The EMU must be reformed, with either the weakest of strongest nations leaving.

    The present pull-me-push-you euro is just wrecking much of Europe not bringing in the promised prosperity. It doesn t take a genius to see the likely outcome. Better that the break up is planned, orderly, and competently handled, rather the product of some untimely sudden collapse.

    You can always reason with a German. You can always reason with a barnyard animal, too, for all the good it does... The larger the German body, the smaller the German bathing suit and the louder the German voice issuing German demands and German orders to everybody who doesn't speak German.

    For this, and several other reasons, Germany is known as 'the land where Israelis learned their manners'. P. J.

    O Rourke Chinese concerns over eurozone persist: French Finance Minister BEIJING | Tue Jan 8, 2013 8:47am EST ( Reuters ) - Chinese officials remain worried about the state of the euro, the visiting French finance minister said on Tuesday, while repeating assurances the euro zone has stabilized and that France is on track for recovery. Pierre Moscovici, in Beijing for a one-day visit, said concerns over the future of the euro came up in all his meetings, even as the French side sought to attract Chinese investment, further nuclear cooperation and promote Paris as a place to do business in Chinese yuan . "There was one point that came up in all our discussions, which I had to hammer away at because I am convinced. I sensed a strong question still remains here, perhaps due to a misunderstanding or a lack of information," he told reporters.

    The questions on the state of the euro came from China's future premier, Li Keqiang, as well as from Lou Jiwei, the head of sovereign wealth fund China Investment Corp (CIC), Moscovici said We end for today with the big story in technology. Are Lithium batteries used in electric vehicles, cell phones and Boeing s new 787 Dreamliner passenger jet, safe? More importantly, while passengers travelling in a ground based electric vehicle whose lithium-ionbattery pack catches fire, have a reasonably good chance of bailing out and saving their lives, does the same hold true for li-ion use in airplanes?

    Even if the risk of li-ion failure is low when these batteries are new, what happens to the risk as thy age and go through multiple recharging cycles? Boeing, and to a lesser extent GM, have a lot of explaining to do. With the 787 barely in service, only about 50 are flying at present, there have been too many teething problems for comfort.

    Would you willingly put your loved ones on a 787 at present, if an alternative plane were available? An unfortunate, but legitimate question to ask. Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.

    Analysis: Boeing problems put spotlight on battery technology DETROIT/NEW YORK | Wed Jan 9, 2013 8:41pm EST ( Reuters ) - An electrical fire on Boeing's new 787 Dreamliner is drawing renewed scrutiny for lithium-ion batteries, an increasingly important component in planes and hybrid cars. A Japan Airlines 787 experienced a battery fire while parked on the ground in Boston on Monday, causing substantial damage in an equipment bay. While the plane is designed to contain the smoke from such a fire in-flight, because it was on the ground the smoke entered the cabin.

    The use of the new battery technology is among the cost-saving features of the 787, which Boeing says burns 20 percent less fuel than rival jets using older technology. Boeing used electrical systems extensively on the 787 instead of traditional hydraulic equipment - a change that reduced the 787's weight but added to its complexity. Lithium-ion batteries can catch fire if they are overcharged, and once alight, they are difficult to extinguish because the chemicals produce oxygen, Boeing's chief engineer for the 787, Mike Sinnett, said on a conference call with reporters Wednesday.

    Engineers designed multiple onboard systems to prevent overcharging, contain a battery fire and siphon smoke away before it reaches the cabin, Sinnett said. - --- The battery that caught fire was part of an auxiliary power unit designed to provide electricity when the plane is on the ground. The battery is about twice as large as a car battery and it has been extensively tested, both in the lab and in operation. "We've got 1.3 million operating hours on these battery cells in flight with no issues," Sinnett said. A similar challenge confronts automakers and other users over lithium ion batteries, which are used in laptops and other electronics . "It is always difficult to predict the level of safety precaution needed for new technology," said Menahem Anderman, a battery consultant who worked on the Boeing 777 battery systems when he was at Acme Electric Corp, in an email. "One of the challenging design criteria that automakers are struggling with is whether it is necessary to ensure that if a single cell catches fire, the fire does not propagate to other cells," he said.

    While Dreamliner passengers may not realize there is a lithium-ion battery inside the plane, drivers of electric cars do. The auto industry has been increasingly veering toward using lithium-ion batteries rather than the cheaper, but heavier nickel-metal hydride battery used by Toyota Motor Corp in its top-selling Prius. General Motors Co, the largest U.S.

    automaker, uses a lithium-ion battery in its Chevrolet Volt plug-in hybrid, while its smaller U.S. rival Ford Motor Co uses the technology in its green cars, including the recently launched C-Max hybrid. The technology is favored in the latest generation of such cars for the same reason plane makers are keen to use it -- the batteries can be made lighter, smaller and in a way that retains capacity longer.

    Lithium-ion batteries are about half the weight of nickel-metal hydride batteries. In 2011, a lithium-ion battery pack in a Volt caught fire three weeks after a U.S. safety regulators conducted a crash test.

    But after a two-month investigation, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration determined that the Volt and other electric vehicles posed no greater risk for a fire than gasoline-powered vehicles. At the Comex silver depositories Wednesday final figures were: Registered 39.53 Moz, Eligible 110.77 Moz, Total 150.30 Moz. Crooks and Scoundrels Corner The bent, the seriously bent, and the totally doubled over.

    Today, more on the road to World War Three. Japan provokes China into defending the Diaoyu s. America intervenes on the side of Japan.

    As the world tumbles into chaos and fiat currency collapse, America asks NATO to intervene on the side of team Japan-USA. China asks for and gets support from Russia and the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation, and 1914 style the world stumbles into World War Three. Since nuclear weapons have already been used and legitimised, there s little reason to think that WW3 won t end up nuclear.

    Getting in first is all that counts. The road to madness perhaps, but it s Japan that is taking that road. Thanks to America s blank cheque, they have little reason to want to hold back.

    Japan and China step up drone race as tension builds over disputed islands Both countries claim drones will be used for surveillance, but experts warn of future skirmishes in region's airspace Drones have taken centre stage in an escalating arms race between China and Japan as they struggle to assert their dominance over disputed islands in the East China Sea. China is rapidly expanding its nascent drone programme, while Japan has begun preparations to purchase an advanced model from the US. Both sides claim the drones will be used for surveillance, but experts warn the possibility of future drone skirmishes in the region's airspace is "very high".

    Tensions over the islands called the Diaoyu by China and the Senkaku by Japan have ratcheted up in past weeks. Chinese surveillance planes flew near the islands four times in the second half of December, according to Chinese state media, but were chased away each time by Japanese F-15 fighter jets. Neither side has shown any signs of backing down.

    Japan's new conservative administration of Shinzo Abe has placed a priority on countering the perceived Chinese threat to the Senkakus since it won a landslide victory in last month's general election. Soon after becoming prime minister, Abe ordered a review of Japan's 2011-16 mid-term defence programme, apparently to speed up the acquisition of between one and three US drones. Under Abe, a nationalist who wants a bigger international role for the armed forces, Japan is expected to increase defence spending for the first time in 11 years in 2013.

    The extra cash will be used to increase the number of military personnel and upgrade equipment. The country's deputy foreign minister, Akitaka Saiki, summoned the Chinese ambassador to Japan on Tuesday to discuss recent "incursions" of Chinese ships into the disputed territory. China appears unbowed. "Japan has continued to ignore our warnings that their vessels and aircraft have infringed our sovereignty," top-level marine surveillance official Sun Shuxian said in an interview posted to the State Oceanic Administration's website, according to Reuters. "This behaviour may result in the further escalation of the situation at sea and has prompted China to pay great attention and vigilance." China announced late last month that the People's Liberation Army was preparing to test-fly a domestically developed drone, which analysts say is likely a clone of the US's carrier-based X-47B. "Key attack technologies will be tested," reported the state-owned China Daily, without disclosing further details.

    Andrei Chang, editor-in-chief of the Canadian-based Kanwa Defence Review, said China might be attempting to develop drones that can perform reconnaissance missions as far away as Guam, where the US is building a military presence as part of its "Asia Pivot" strategy. ---- China's state media reported in October that the country would build 11 drone bases along the coastline by 2015. "Over disputed islands, such as the Diaoyu Islands, we do not lag behind in terms of the number of patrol vessels or the frequency of patrolling," said Senior Colonel Du Wenlong, according to China Radio International. "The problem lies in our surveillance capabilities." More Inside the Ring: Chinese missile defense test? By Bill Gertz The Washington Times Wednesday, January 9, 2013 U.S. intelligence agencies are closely monitoring China s missile facilities in anticipation of a test of China s missile defense interceptor, which also doubled in the past as an anti-satellite (ASAT) missile.

    The officials commented in response to reports that China is set to conduct another potentially destabilizing anti-satellite missile test in space. In 2007, China fired a missile that destroyed a weather satellite and resulted in tens of thousands of dangerous pieces of debris that threaten manned and unmanned spacecraft. The Washington Free Beacon reported in September on new intelligence reports that indicate China is preparing to fire its Dong Ning-2 missile into space, this time at a high-earth orbit target.

    Then last week Gregary Kulacki, a specialist with the Union of Concerned Scientist, reported on his blog, All Things Nuclear, that Chinese officials recently circulated an internal notice of an upcoming anti-satellite missile test in space, A U.S. official said a test at this point does not appear imminent. However there are signs an interceptor flight test is being prepared.

    More A nuclear war cannot be won and must never be fought. The only value in our two nations possessing nuclear weapons is to make sure they will never be used. Ronald Reagan.

    The monthly Coppock Indicators finished December: DJIA: +100 Down. NASDAQ: +123 Unch. SP500: +129 Up.

    All three indexes are giving different signals.

    A time for caution.

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  • Low-tech Magazine: Aerial ropeways: automatic cargo transport for ... ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- A cargo ropeway offers the possibility of powering a neighbouring factory - solely by gravity. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Before we start, it is important to note that aerial ropeways (also known as aerial tramways or cableways) can be divided in two groups: monocable and bicable mechanisms. In a monocable system, one endless rope serves to both support and move the carriers in transit. In a bicable (or tricable) system, separate ropes sustain these functions: one or two static support ropes, the "carrying ropes" or "track cables", and one or two light travelling "haul ropes".

    Ancient and medieval ropeways were of both variety, while modern ropeways (from the 1850s onwards) were initially exclusively monocable systems. Later, bicable systems took over almost completely. At the end of the 19th century, both ropeway methods were also applied to canal transportation (see the article on trolley canal boats), with monocable systems used for cable trains.

    Bicable mechanisms are much better suited if the track spans larger distances and/or has steeper grades. If only one endless rope would be used on a track which includes a long span or a steep grade, it would become necessary to make the entire double length of the moving rope strong enough for the special strain that appears on that spot. Increasing the size of the rope affects the dimensions of the supports, sheaves and other fixtures throughout the line, adding to the costs.

    In a bicable system, the stationary carrying cable can be locally graduated to the strains it has to bear. Ropeways in ancient times Ropeways have been used for more than 2,000 years, transporting both passengers and goods. The first sign of their use comes from the rugged Asiatic countries of China, India and Japan, where it is speculated that they may have been in operation since 250 BC.

    Men used rope to cross ravines, rivers and river-gorges, initially transferring themselves, hand over hand, with the body suspended by a crude harness. The harness eased the load and allowed a rest as the loop was slid along the rope track. The next application was to pull oneself back and forth in a basket or cradle, usually with a few belongings in tow.

    This was made possible by means of thinner cords fixed to the front and the back of the basket, or by gravity in case the arrival point was at a lower height than the starting point. The empty sling or basket was then drawn back to its original position by a smaller cord attached to the back as before. Sometimes, the rope was threaded through a hollow piece of bamboo before being attached, so that the person could slide down the rope without burning their hands.

    All that was needed to build a ropeway was a rope, knots to tie the rope to a rock or tree or anchor on both sides, and a bow and arrow to shoot the rope across. After the invention of the crossbow by the Chinese, heavier cables could be shot over longer distances. Sometimes the rope was supported on simple wooden trestles.

    Ropeways were also used to transport pack animals. Inversely, pack animals were sometimes used to pull the ropeway. These early aerial ropeways were the forerunners of later technologies such as the suspension bridge and the elevator.

    They were also the closest approach to aerial navigation at the time. Ropeways in the Middle Ages One of the first mention of ropeways in medieval times appears in the "Taiheiki", a Japanese historical epic written in the late 14th century. It relates how a Japanese emperor escaped via ropeway over a valley when surrounded by enemy forces.

    In Europe, initial reference to the use of ropeways can be found in Bellifortis, a weapons catalogue from 1405. A 1411 book is the first to show a drawing of a ropeway. Between 1411 and 1440, when technologies such as water mills, windmills and harbour cranes became increasingly popular, references to both monocable and bicable operations increased.

    In South America, aerial ropeways to transport gold have been reported as far back as 1536. The 17th century saw an increase in design sophistication. Venetian Fausto Veranzio illustrated a refined bicable passenger ropeway in the "Machinae novae", published in 1615 and 1617.

    It consisted of a wooden box in which the passengers rode, travelling on pulleys over a fixed rope (second picture from the start). The vehicle was propelled over the river by the occupants pulling themselves along by means of this slack loop. Dutchman Wybe Adam erected a successful large-scale operational system in 1644, which is described in the Danzig Chronicles (picture introduction and picture below).

    Adam engineered a continuously circulating ropeway to carry the earthworks material in baskets for a hilltop fortress in Gdansk/Danzig. Ropeways were also constructed by monasteries built high on pinnacles, where they were used to lift supplies and visitors. Ropeways from the 1850s onwards From about 1650 to 1850, no further progress was made.

    The technology had reached its maximum potential at the time, limited by the strength of the available ropes. This all changed with the arrival of the much stronger wire rope in the mid-nineteenth century, which led to the most successful period of aerial ropeways in history. Another breakthrough was the standard coupling designed in the early 1870s by the Austrian von Obach, which allowed the cars to be disengaged and reattached to the trackway.

    Last but not least, new power sources appeared: first steam engines, then electric motors. Motive power Until the end of the nineteenth century, aerial tramways had been powered by humans (sometimes using a windlass or a treadwheel), by animals (mostly gins worked by horses or mules), by waterwheels and/or by gravity. The last option was (and is) only available in mountainous areas: the descending carriers deliver all or part of the necessary power to haul up the ascending carriers.

    If the descending cargo is sufficiently heavier than the ascending cargo, and the angle of descent is great enough, the ropeway could be kept running without any additional power input, making it a full-fledged zero emission transport mode. The speed of the descending carriages was governed by means of hand or water powered brakes. Even when the ascending load was heavy, gravity could be used to transport cargo up the mountain; where water was available at the highest point of the ropeway, it was possible to run materials up alone, employing the descending carrier as a counter-balance filled with water.

    The system is reminiscent of those used by some early 1900 cable trains. Net producer of energy In some gravity powered lines, where the surplus power delivered by the descending cargo was larger than the power required to haul up the ascending carriages, the cableway could be a net producer of energy. Power could be taken off at any point along the track and utilized to drive nearby machinery, for instance driving ore crushers, pumps or sawmills.

    A ropeway thus offered the additional possibility of powering neighbouring factories solely by gravity . Before the arrival of electricity, this excess energy was transmitted by mechanical means (wire ropes). Present-day cargo ropeways (see further below) use the excess power to generate electricity.

    Extremely efficient The introduction of electricity as a power generator did not make aerial ropeways unsustainable - far from it. An electrically powered aerial ropeway is one of the most efficient means of transportation available. It offers all the advantages of electric transmission (energy-efficient, relatively silent, power can be produced by renewable sources) while eliminating the many problems that come with batteries and charging stations (as is the case with electric cars).

    In mountainous regions, the electric motor can be assisted by gravity power from the descending carriers, further improving efficiency. Furthermore, an aerial tramway offers some additional benefits in power consumption compared to other sustainable options such as cargo trains, cargo trams (streetcars) or trolleytrucks. Firstly, energy delivery is more efficient with a fixed electric propulsion system in a single terminal than with transmission over large distance by wire.

    Secondly, because there is no interference with surface traffic, a constant speed can be maintained, again improving energy efficiency. Applications of cargo ropeways Comparatively, few aerial ropeways were built for passenger transportation at the turn of the 20th century, where their primary function was solidified as a means for cargo transportation. Applications were many and diverse, and they occurred all over the world.

    There is no information to be found on the total amount of ropeways that were once in existence, but some sketchy bits of data give us an idea. A source from 1899 names 900 aerial ropeways of a certain technical type in operation worldwide. A product catalog from 1909, still well before the heydays of cargo ropeways, names a figure of 2,000 ropeways worldwide of a certain brand (the Bleichert system), aggregating over 1300 miles in length and transporting 160 million tons annually.

    Evidently, this was not an obscure technology. Warfare Early modern ropeway technology was led by the Europeans, particularly Germany and the Alpine countries - Austria, Switzerland, France and Italy. Aerial ropeways were extensively used for warfare in the Alps between the early 1900s and 1945.

    Italy used ropeways in the war against Turkey in 1908. During World War I and World War II, aerial ropeways were widely used in the mountain battles between Italy and Austria. Almost 2,000 ropeways were operated by the Italians and over 400 by the Austrians, with most of them being portable.

    They could quickly be disassembled, moved using pack animals, and assembled somewhere else. Military ropeways were used to reinforce difficult terrain with troops, supplies, howitzers, ammunition and fortification building materials. They were also a short term solution for destroyed bridges and other water crossings, or to lower casualties to hospitals in stretcher carriages (as an alternative to specially equipped pack horses).

    Mining Many cargo cableways were utilized for mining purposes - the first ropeways in the US were for transporting materials when mining in the West was booming. There are many references to ropeways that carried ores (gold, silver, iron, copper), coal, stone, slate, clay, sand, granite, quartz, lime, phosphate rock and brownstone. These goods were usually transported from the mine to a crusher, a railway, a ship or (in the case of coal) a steam engine.

    Terminals could be set up on a short section of rail, and gradually moved towards the other terminal as the material was removed from before it. Agriculture Another important application was the carriage of agricultural products: fruits (like bananas), cereals (like wheat), and other plantation produce like cotton, tea-leaf or sugar cane. These goods were mostly transported from the fields to a mill or railway station.

    Aerial ropeways were in use on sugar plantations in Demerara, Jamaica, Mauritius, Martinique, St. Kitts, Guatemala, Australia and elsewhere, for the delivery of canes to the crushing mills. The arrangement shown on the right was extensively adopted in Mauritius: several wire ropeways driven from the same point discharged on the same cane carrier.

    A great advantage was that the canes were delivered in a continuous stream direct on to the cane carriers and in quantities that were at no time large enough to demand redistribution in feeding the mill - somewhat similar to today's just-in-time principle. Only one man took care of the discharge of the carriers. In many cases an agricultural ropeway was employed in combination with cartage, the canes being brought to certain points along the line by the carts.

    Ropeways were used for the carriage of beetroot to the sugar factories, in Holland for instance, where the system was used on flat land. Wood products The technology was popular for the transport of wood and wood products: logwood, cordwood, sawed timber, charcoal, wood pulp, paper pulp and paper. These were usually transported from a forest to a sawmill or from a sawmill to a railway station.

    Aerial tramways were applied by builders to convey bricks and materials to the desired points. A ropeway could carry cement from the kilns to the works, and the empty carriers could be used for conveying up coal to the kilns. Factories Another application was the transport of materials within factories - this could be anything, from manufacturer's supplies, to refuse, materials in process of manufacture, merchandise of all kinds, and particularly products requiring careful manipulation, such as explosives, liquids or glassware.

    The ropeways in factories were generally short, and the cables could be frequently supported at many points from brackets fixed to the walls of adjacent buildings, saving costs. Ropeways were in operation in many print works, linoleum works, mills and other factories. Examples were at artificial manure works near London (the line passed over buildings, dwelling-houses and yards full of workmen) and linoleum works near Middlesex (where the line - driven by water power - passed over a river and many of the workshops and roofs).

    Ropeways were used for connecting lines of railway at opposite banks of rivers where bridge building would be unduly costly or difficult. One of these lines was constructed to pick up wagons with their loads, traverse and put them on track at the other side and vice versa. On a much smaller scale, at the end of the 19th century, miniature wire ropeways were introduced in shops for transporting cash.

    Harbours In manufacturing establishments, cableways were operated to distribute material taken from boats or cars to certain storing places in the yards. Aerial ropeways were used by ship owners for the loading and unloading of their cargoes and/or for the bunkering of fuel (coal for the steam engine). Ropeways provided a means of forming piers for loading and discharging materials when ships and lighters were forced to lie at some distance from the shore because of the shallowness of the water.

    One of these ropeway piers, at the Cape de Verde Islands, measured 1200 feet (365 metres) in length, of which 960 feet extended along the beach, and about 240 feet at right angles to the longer section to the end of the pier, where the coal was received and dispatched. The ropeway carried 15 to 25 tons per hour in either direction, and the motion of the rope was also utilized in working cranes at each terminal for raising or lowering coal. All this was powered by a 16 HP steam engine.

    The erection of the site took a mere three months. Similar installations were built in New Zealand and South Africa. Aerial ropeways were also tested to transport coal between ships on the sea (below).

    Receptacles For every material carried by a tramway, there was a specially designed carrier receptacle. Below are some examples for minerals, produce, manure, coke, sacks of flour, textile goods (protected from the weather), cement, petroleum, wine and beer. Some of these carrier receptacles were unloaded by striking a catch, causing the bottom to open or the whole receptacle to capsize or tip up.

    Loading was mostly (though not always) done by hand. Length, speed and capacity of the lines Length and capacity of aerial tramways gradually increased throughout the century. In 1911, aerial ropeway lines were typically 1,000 to 15,000 feet (305 to 4,600 metres) long, with a daily cargo capacity of 15 to 200 tons and speeds of around 2 to 5 mph (3,2 to 8 km/h).

    Some gravity powered installations were faster, with speeds around 15 to 30 mph (24 to 48 km/h), but higher speeds were considered to be a negative influence on wear and tear. Weight of the individual loads varied from 25 to 375 kilograms. Motive power, if applied, was generally from about 2 to 15 HP.

    The fall was between zero (almost horizontal lines) and 4,000 feet (1,220 metres). Working staff amounted to 2 to 5 people. Some lines were built parallel to each other in order to increase cargo capacity (the maximum capacity of a single ropeway was about 800 tonnes per day).

    Some early ropeways were longer and more powerful. The Usambara ropeway in Africa was 5.6 miles (9 kilometres) long and transported tree trunks weighing up to one tonne each (picture above). At its highest point, the ropeway was 130 metres above the ground.

    Argentinian ropeway (1906-1927), picture by Patricio Lorente. The Garrucha ropeway, an installation at iron ore mines in Almeria, Spain, was 9.75 miles (15 km) long. The construction of the line took only 6 months.

    It had a daily transport capacity of 420 tons (working ten hours per day), powered by a 100 HP engine. Similar tramways were built in mines in Basque country, north-western Spain (two pictures below). The Transylvanian wire ropeway, an installation at blast furnaces in Hungary transporting charcoal and ore, was nearly 19 miles (30,6 km) in length, and had a fall of almost 3,000 feet (915 metres).

    Capacity was around 800 tons per working day. A ropeway in Argentina (picture above), in operation from 1906 to 1927, was 21.3 miles (35 km) long. The 1920s saw the construction of even longer ropeways.

    The longest in Europe was the line erected in 1925 in Granada, Spain. It was used to carry goods from the city to the harbour in Motril over a distance of 39 kilometres. The infrastructure consisted of 240 towers and 7 stations.

    The 300 vehicles with a loading capacity of 700 kg each travelled at a speed of 3 metres per second. After the ropeway was built, the port of Motril quickly attracted more traffic. In 1929, an additional 200 vehicles were added to the line.

    Interestingly, the Granada ropeway was a public service - anybody and everybody could make use of it. Operations ceased in 1950, following the demise of local industry and agriculture. The longest cargo tramway in the world during the 1920s was used for the transport of coffee from Manizales to Mariquita, Colombia.

    More than 800 vehicles travelled on the 72 kilometre line (45 miles), which was supported on more than 400 towers. The ropeway was opened in 1923 and remained in service until 1961. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- The 1930s and 1940s saw the construction of the longest ropeways ever built, with lengths of up to 96 kilometres (60 miles). ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- The 1930s and 1940s saw the construction of the longest ropeways ever built. The Swedish Forsby-K ping limestone ropeway was the longest in Europe at the time of construction (42 km or 26 miles, in operation from 1939 to 1997), but this record was beaten by the 96 km (60 miles) long Nors j aerial tramway, also in Sweden.

    It had 514 towers and 25 tension stations. This tramway, which was in operation from 1943 to 1987, was built in just 370 days and is the longest cableway ever constructed. The Massawa-Asmara ropeway in Eritrea, built by the Italians, was 75 km (46.5 miles) long and was used from 1937 to 1941.

    In 1959, a 76 km long cableway with 858 support towers started operation in the Republic of Congo. It remained in use until 1986, operating 24 hours per day. Transport infrastructure Ropeway towers could be constructed from timber or iron and were generally between 100 and 300 feet (30 to 90 metres) apart, although much longer spans were possible if necessary.

    In bicable ropeways the tension in the track cables was produced by weights applied at one of the terminal stations. However, in longer lines it became necessary to apply additional tension at intermediate points. For this purpose tension stations were built at distances of about 3000 to 6000 feet.

    The cars passed from one section of the cable to the next by means of intervening rails - so that no interruption occurred in the continuity of the track. This means that there are no limits to the length of a ropeway: each (longer) ropeway consisted of multiple sections that could be considered as separate ropeways. The same technique was applied to "angle stations", which were used to make a curve in a ropeway (tension stations and angle stations could be combined - see the illustration above, right).

    The largest drawback of an aerial tramway, also relevant today, is that it can only be built in a straight line. Every angle in a ropeway requires the erection of an angle station, which raises capital costs. However, in general, few angle stations are needed because ropeways can be constructed above most obstacles.

    Moreover, each tension and/or angle station can also double as a loading or unloading station. Goods could even be sent along different routes via a switch if more ropeways met at a single point. The picture above shows a ropeway switchyard of a German coal plant (described in a 1914 book) where three lines of carriers converge.

    To guard against the risk of accident from the premature discharge of a bucket or other cause when crossing public highways or railroads, wire nets were usually suspended between supports on either side, or structures especially erected for the purpose. An arrangement of a shelter bridge as required by a county council to hide the cableway where it passed over a public road can be seen on the right. Installing a ropeway Instalment of ropeways in the mountains was not an easy task.

    The long rope was usually shipped on reels holding several thousand feet, but where the upper part of the line was inaccessible to wagons, the rope, like the rest of the machinery, had to be packed so that it could be loaded on mules. Each animal carried about 250 pounds (115 kg) - including the piece of slack rope fifteen or twenty feet long connecting its load to the next one in the rear. This piece was usually held up by a walking person so that it would not drag on the ground.

    Accidents happened, of course. A 2 mile long ropeway in Mexico for conveying wood to a mill had a fall of 3,575 feet. The constructor notes: "The transport of this rope was, owing to the rough nature of the country to be traversed, a matter of very serious difficulty.

    It was accomplished by dividing the rope into ten lengths, each length made up into seven coils, with an intermediate length of ten feet, and each of the coils was loaded upon the back of a mule, the entire train being composed of 70 mules and three men being provided to each seven mules, or thirty men altogether." "During the conveyance of the section of rope to the upper terminal an accident occurred which was productive of very considerable delay, and demonstrated the difficulties attendant upon the operation. The head mule, at a point where a rise immediately followed a steep descent, started to take the rise with a rush until checked by the rope, which threw him backwards over the bank, he taking two other mules with him, and had not the last of these caught on a tree, the rest of the train would have followed." The many advantages of ropeways Why did aerial ropeways become so successful at the turn of the twentieth century? The main reason was that they were considerably cheaper than their alternatives, be it transport by horses and carts or transport by railroad.

    The ropeway was economical in operation and required only a minimal capital outlay. The investment that would be entailed in a hilly country by the necessity of making tunnels, cuttings and embarkments for a line or railway was avoided. A cableway could be constructed and worked on hilly ground at a cost not greatly exceeding that which would be called for on a level country.

    Rivers and ravines could be crossed without the aid of bridges. Gradients quite impractical to ordinary railroads could be worked with ease. One calculation showed that a ropeway only 1 mile (1,630 metres) long with a difference in altitude of 0.4 miles (645 meters), would require a railway of 15 miles (24 km) to reach the same point.

    Ropeways were also generally half as expensive to operate when compared to cartage by mules, horses, and oxen. Furthermore, an aerial tramway could be up and running in no time. Some lines could be easily moved from one place to another with comparative ease.

    An installation of 1 mile length at a beetroot farm in Holland, with a daily capacity of 50 tons, could be taken down and put up again in a fresh place in one day, by the aid of 20 men, provided the distance to cart the component materials did not exceed 5 miles. Ropeways continued to work during weather conditions that would bring surface hauling to a standstill (like floods or heavy snow, especially interesting in mountain areas) and they could be operated at night without hazards. Wear and tear were relatively low.

    Ropeways did not occupy any material quantity of ground, and the intervening land between posts could be left for cultivation or other use. Terminals could be arranged so that the material transported could be delivered at the exact spot where it was needed, saving all the expense of rehandling. One disadvantage thet ropeways had was that they were more vulnerable to high winds and electrical storms than other transportion options.

    Cargo tramways today: renewed interest The advantages of aerial cargo ropeways are so numerous that it is no surprise that they are - slowly - being rediscovered. Worries about global warming, peak oil and environmental degradation have made the technology even more appealling. This does not only concern energy use: contrary to a road or a railroad track, a cargo ropeway can be built straight through nature without harming animal and plant life (or, potentially, straight through a city without harming human life).

    Traffic congestion also plays into the hands of cableways, because the service is entirely free from interference with surface traffic. Practical Action has been designing cargo ropeways in Latin America for some time now as an appropriate tech solution. In this case, aerial ropeways are mostly a substitution for pack animals, as they were one century ago in Europe.

    In 2007, another non-governmental organization built a gravity powered cargo ropeway in India that serves 2,000 families. It costs just 14,000 dollars and transports agricultural produce downhill while taking manure to fertilize the fields uphill (a very wise thing to do). Some companies have started offering commercial cargo ropeways again.

    One of these is Femecol, a Colombian enterprise that offers relatively small-scale solutions. But the big guys are moving, too. French company Poma, one of the largest manufacturers of chair lifts, gondola lifts, funiculars and people movers, has constructed industrial applications of ropeways in France, Brazil, Iran and Peru.

    In these and in the follwing applications, aerial ropeways are mostly a substitute for cargo transportation by trucks. The first modern Poma cargo tramway was built in 1990 in Grenoble, France. It is operated for a cement factory and crosses a river and a motorway (pictures above).

    The line is 1.8 km long, climbs 121 metres and can handle 324 tonnes per hour - a capacity that is considerably higher than that of older systems (though the line is rather short). Each of the 56 vehicles can hold 900 kg and travel at a maximum speed of 18 km/h. More recently, a similar cargo ropeway was built in La Oroya, Peru for the lead, zinc and copper mining company Doe Run.

    It has a similar length to the line in France but climbs 1.65 km (pictures below). It is much slower (5.4 km/h) and it has a lower capacity (70 tonnes per hour - similar to the capacity of the larger systems built in the first decades of the twentieth century). It should be said that the ropeway - which replaced a much older system with a smaller capacity - seems to be the only sustainable element of the mining company, because Doe Run is in hot water with local environmentalists.

    Innovation : the RopeCon system The main competitor to Poma, the Austrian/Swiss conglomerate 'Doppelmayr Garaventa Group', takes cargo tramways even more seriously. On their website, they offer cargo ropeways with lengths of up to 10 km, transport capacities of up to 1,500 tonnes per hour and individual loads of 40 tonnes. A temporary, 2 kilometre long system is being built to help in the construction of a pumped storage hydropower plant in Switzerland.

    But the company also designed a new concept that further improves upon the cargo ropeway: RopeCon. Mining Weekly describes it as "a bulk material and unit load handlling conveyor, which combines the benefits of well-proven ropeway technology with those of a conventional conveyor belt". ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- The RopeCon system in Jamaica saves 1,200 truck journeys per day and generates 1,300 kWh of braking energy per day, which is fed back into the power network. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Some of the advantages over the traditional ropeway are a higher load capacity, better wind resistance, and the need for fewer towers (which makes the lines even easier to integrate into existing terrain). The overhead conveyor system consists of a belt with corrugated side walls and integrated sets of wheels that run on fixed anchored track ropes, guided over tower structures.

    Individual sections can be built up to a length of 20 kilometres, with a maximum transport capacity of 10,000 tonnes per hour. To date, about 6 lines have been built. The most spectacular system, which has been tested in hurricane winds of 249 km/h, was built in 2007 for a Jamalco/Alcoa bauxite mine on Mt Olyphant in Jamaica (picture above).

    It is 3.4 kilometres long and has a vertical descent of 470 metres. The installation conveys some 1,200 tonnes of bauxite per hour from the mine to the processing plant, saving about 1,200 truck journeys per day and generating about 1,300 kWh of braking energy per day, which is fed back into the power network. The transport network thus doubles as a renewable energy plant.

    Another remarkable cargo installation is the RopeCon for fiber manufacturer Lenzing, which is used for the transport of wood chips from the storage area to the processing plant. The 665 metre long automatic transport system crosses existing plants and conveyor systems, a river and several roads with minimum tower structures (pictures above and below). The ropeway conveys 350 tonnes per hour, and although the system does not generate energy because it is built on flat terrain, the engine output is only 53 kW - similar to that of a small car.

    The line was designed to guarantee 100 percent availability at wind speeds of up to 130 km/h. Since May 2008, a system on the island of Simberi in Papua New Guinea transports gold ore over a distance of 2.7 km while using only three support towers over the entire length (picture below). The ore is transported from the mine in the interior of the country through the tropical rain forest and fissured terrain to the smelting facility at the harbour.

    The vertical rise is 237 metres. Transportation capacity is 450 tonnes per hour and the system generates 221 kWh of energy per day through braking power, which is utilized in the gold refinery. A temporary RopeCon installation was set up for the construction of a tunnel in Austria, where it was used for the transport of rock excavation material.

    Conveying capacity was 600 tonnes per hour, while engine output was very modest at 30 kW. The line was 270 metres long, with a vertical rise of 23 metres. It eliminated 115,000 truck journeys.

    The future of ropeways It would be perfectly possible to construct similar lines all over the place and get most cargo traffic off the road - not only when it comes to gold or bauxite mines. A cargo tramway could be built from a train station or parking lot outside the city to a shopping mall, or along the motorway between two towns or cities. We could send produce from agricultural fields and goods from factories straight into shopping districts or into a moored ship, without ever touching the ground.

    There would be no delays due to gridlocks or traffic accidents. Noise and vibration would be minimal. The low energy requirements could easily be met by renewable, stationary energy sources.

    In short, a ropeway offers all the benefits of an underground freight network without the enormous capital costs. We could even build a fully-fledged local, regional or even national or international transportation network of cableways using switch stations that would be cheaper in capital and operational costs than any other alternative (including trolleytrucks, cargo trams, trains and cable cars). Of course, yesterday's ropeways are not suited to handle today's freight loads.

    For example, today, 400 trucks of 30 tonnes each drive up and down daily between Granada and the harbour in Motril, Spain. That is a total load of 12,000 tonnes, while the local ropeway that was in operation from 1925 to 1950 had a capacity of only 210 tonnes per day (for 10 working hours). However, as noted, Doppelmayr now offers cargo tramways with capacities of up to 1,500 tonnes per hour, which would be more than enough to get all trucks off the road again.

    RopeCon systems offer even higher capacities. On the other hand, lowering demand for cargo transport would defenitely make ropeway technology a more realistic option, just as lowering energy demand would surely help the greening of the energy infrastructure. Ropeways won't work everywhere, and they are most advantageous in mountainous or moderately level regions.

    This is not only because a vertical rise can turn the ropeway into a power generator instead of a power consumer, but also because the alternatives (rail, road) are more expensive and complicated to build than on level terrain. Nevertheless, even on flat ground a cargo ropeway could be a more sustainable option than most other alternatives. The only motorized transport option that seems to be able to compete with the ropeway in terms of both capacity, efficiency and cost is canal transport - even more so if trolleyboats were used.

    Canal transport is best suited for level regions and thus perfectly complementary with cableways. And what about those trucks? They are so twentieth century.

    Kris De Decker (edited by Shameez Joubert) ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Related articles: Sources: "About ropeways", The Information Center for Ropeway Studies "Hercules Aerial Tram Mobility Study & Report". Investigates a wider application of passenger ropeways, but also has interesting information on cargo ropeways. "The wire rope and its applications", 1896 "Ropeways", The Elevator Museum, website "Aerial or rope-ways: their construction and management", 1911 "Transport by Aerial Ropeways", W.T.H. Carrington, The Engineering Times, 1899 "Die Drahtseilbahnen", 1914 "Chemins de fer funiculaires - transports a riens", 1894. "Wire rope tramways with special reference to the Bleichert patent system", Edmund Gybbon Spilsbury, 1890. "Wire rope transportation in all its branches", Trenton Iron Co.

    1896 "The Bleichert system of aerial tramways", 1909 "Across the Chilkoot pass by wire cable", William Hewitt, 1898 "El cable D rcal-Motril (Granada)", Francisco Calvo Poyo, Universidad de Granada. "The Hallidie endless wire ropeway", California Wire Works, 1902 "Un po' di storia degli impianti a fune", Associazione Nazionale Italiana Tecnici Impianti Funiviari. List of aerial ropeways in the UK. El bandido que asaltaba el cable m s largo del mundo.

    A Spanish ropeway operating in the 1960s. "The genius of China: 3,000 years of science, discovery and invention", Robert Temple "Science and technology in China", Volume IV:3, Joseph Needham. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

  • Lufthansa Passenger Flight Cancellations - Full Service Air, Ocean ... Lufthansa Passenger Flight Cancellations - Full Service Air, Ocean, Trucking, Customs Brokerage & Logistics | Crane Worldwide JavaScript seems to be Disabled! Some of the website features are unavailable unless JavaScript is enabled. Lufthansa Passenger Flight Cancellations September 5th, 2012 The German airline Lufthansa says it will cancel two-thirds of its flights on Friday after the union for cabin crew called for a 24-hour strike.

    The airline says no peace offer will be made over the ongoing pay dispute. The Independent Flight Attendants Organization (UFO) called the action on Wednesday, one day after its members staged eight-hour walkouts at three key German airports. An airline spokesman says that 600 of Friday s 1,800 scheduled Lufthansa flights would be conducted by partner airlines not affected by the strike.

    The airline has asked for German railways to fill in for it on domestic routes. The spokesman said the airline would soon publish a skeleton timetable for Friday. The airline cancelled 306 flights on Tuesday amid cabin crew walkouts at three major airports: Berlin Tegel, Munich and Frankfurt.

    Nearly 200 flights were axed at Frankfurt last Friday after a localized walkout. The long-running dispute with cabin crew is over pay. Workers are seeking assurances temporary staff won t be employed, as well as a five per cent increase backdated to January.

    Lufthansa has offered 3.5 per cent.

    Lufthansa s spokesman said no new offer to UFO was planned, and that with the airline s offer already on the table, it was up to the union to come back to negotiations. (source: 2012 Deutsche Welle)

  • M

  • Managing Director | Parrett Trucking April 23rd, 2014 by Website in German, French and Spanish increases awareness of Viator in Europe LONDON, United Kingdom (9 June 2009) is a leading online booking service with a range of more than 5,500 affordable activities and excursions in 75 countries Today the company announced the publication of its site in three other European languages: in German, in French and in Spanish. End of 2008 online booked holiday or business travel accounted for 29% of the total turnover of the European travel industry of 246 billion euros.

    In this world s largest travel market, an increase of online bookings in the double-digit range is expected for the future *, and especially the leading countries Germany, France, and Spain seemed suitable for its own version of the Viator Web site in the local language. Travelers in these countries the same offer will be therefore available as travellers in the UK, Europe s largest already widely use independent online travel market, the Viator thanks to the hassle-free payment in pounds sterling. Viator recorded a steady increase in bookings from European markets.

    Sites in their own language we can help even more travelers to plan excursions at reasonable prices already before your holiday , so Patrik oqvist, Managing Director of Viator Europe headquartered in London. Now is exactly the right time, because currently tourists in all countries looking for great offers and cheap trips, tour operators new and interesting types of contact and travel company in Europe and all over the world for proven and profitable partnerships. Thanks to the multilingual content management system by Viator, translated information be fully published and synchronized across the new language platforms.

    At Ed Sayres you will find additional information.

    Ensure a positive customer experience for German, this technology, as well as a consistent product marketing from Viator French and Spanish-speaking travelers who want to plan the perfect vacation.

    By increasing the number of staff in the London Office to investments in back-end technologies for effective scaling of future website translation we concentrate fully on our expansion efforts in the European market , explains Rod Cuthbert, founder and Chairman of Viator.

  • Mann ERF Truck Plant Middlewich Cheshire UK discussion This is a discussion thread for the following file: Mann ERF Truck Plant Middlewich Cheshire UK Back in 1881 the first traction engine built in Sandbach owed a great deal to the late E.R. Foden's ideas. And in 1898 he went on to influence truck design by designing the first steam wagon (on steel tyre wheels) which had a very successful run up until 1913.

    As a result of solid rubber tyres coming into favour, E.R. Foden introduced the first pneumatic-tyre steamer, but as steam transport appeared to be going out of favour, E.R. Foden turned his attention to the production of a 6-8 tonne chassis fitted with the Gardner oil-engine.

    At the beginning of the 30's, Britain's industry was struggling to survive the worst recession in living memory, and unemployment had broken through the 2 million barrier. At this time insurers were becoming increasingly reluctant to underwrite welded steam boilers, as a result E.R. Foden believed the future of the trucking industry lay in diesel.

    Unfortunately for him though, the boardroom didn't and he was forced into retirement at the age of 60. Few could have guessed though that at this time of economic strife, E.R. Foden would make a comeback and form a company that would flourish as many others fell by the wayside.

    The Midnight oil could be seen burning at his home, and with the help of his son Dennis and two former colleagues, E.R.Foden was working to build the very first E.R.F diesel lorry. "People didn't take us seriously, they said, what can they do. They're just three men and a boy." Late in 1933 'E.R.Foden & Son Diesel' made its debut at the motor show in Olympia. Due to the war the Gardner 4LW diesel engines had to be reserved for military vehicles with an AEC 7.7 litre used for civilian trucks.

    Despite the change the C14 and C15 - powered by a Gardner 5LW - sold well, but by the end of the war output had dipped to 237. Steel rationing was now accepted as a way of life for the foreseeable future, luckily ERF was now a well established name and gearing up for a radical new truck that would take the market by storm but the end of the 40's brought a new blow. The death of Edwin Richard in 1950 at the age of 80 meant the loss of an acute business brain, and a leader who had nurtured ERF's family atmosphere from the beginning.

    His son Dennis became Managing Director and the company went public in 1954. Dennis shared his father's flair for design and sensed that a radical change was needed. The Klear View, or KV cab quickly became the epitome of 1950's style.

    Quirky but utilitarian, futuristic and imaginative. Operators fell in love with its distinct rounded shape and the truck, with its Gardner engine, became a legend Due to the war the Gardner 4LW diesel engines had to be reserved for military vehicles with an AEC 7.7 litre used for civilian trucks. Despite the change the C14 and C15 - powered by a Gardner 5LW - sold well, but by the end of the war output had dipped to 237.

    Steel rationing was now accepted as a way of life for the foreseeable future, luckily ERF was now a well established name and gearing up for a radical new truck that would take the market by storm but the end of the 40's brought a new blow. The death of Edwin Richard in 1950 at the age of 80 meant the loss of an acute business brain, and a leader who had nurtured ERF's family atmosphere from the beginning. His son Dennis became Managing Director and the company went public in 1954.

    Dennis shared his father's flair for design and sensed that a radical change was needed. The Klear View, or KV cab quickly became the epitome of 1950's style. Quirky but utilitarian, futuristic and imaginative.

    Operators fell in love with its distinct rounded shape and the truck, with its Gardner engine, became a legend. In 1958 though a decision was taken to offer customers more choice, which led to the beginning of ERF's switch to Cummins - which led to a strong relationship that the two companies still share to this day. By the end of the 50's, production had reached the 500 mark for the first ever time.

    If the 1950's were years of consolidation, the 1960's were years of technical advancement. Yet the decade began under a cloud with the death of Denis Foden. Peter Foden then only 30 years of age took over the business and set about a programme of change.The LV made its appearance in 1962 and combined a stylish appearance with luxury internal fittings.

    The cuts in rail lines during the 60's really worked in ERF's favour as did the 1964 Construction and Use Regulations which permitted 32-tonne gross-weight articulated vehicles. This change in policy was one that ERF anticipated and were able to capitalise on fully. Buoyant export trade however matched growing domestic success, and although hauliers were still smarting from a 50 percent increase in road tax, ERF remained committed to technical improvement.

    The 70's really did start off with a bang; record sales of 9.7 million were accompanied by the debut of the new A-Series truck. Despite its similarity to the LV, the A-Series incorporated several new innovations including: A weight saving frame, power steering, longer springs and bigger dampers. "By May 1980 it just collapsed on us" Cyril Acton Managing Director At the end of 1979 ERF were building 16 trucks a day. In the depth of the recession it was just 16 a week.

    The bottom had fallen out of the market and by the end of 1983, the Sandbach workforce had been trimmed from 1,400 to just over 600, with the factory on a 2 day week. An ambitious plan for a Wrexham assembly plant had to be abandoned and the Fire Engineering Division put up for sale. What's more, an agreement with Japanese truck maker Hino to manufacture 12 to 15 tonners at Sandbach was killed off by a change in the value of the Yen.

    ERF battled on though and in the autumn of 1983, it unveiled its own 16 tonner with a revised C-Series cab. ERF also began looking beyond its traditional heavy truck home ground and also set up its own sales and marketing force. Also ERF rationalised its product range, the result of which was the Common parts Series which would prove highly popular with hauliers.

    By 1986 ERF had bounced back and unveiled the E-Series tractor along with a more aerodynamic SP4 cab. Truck buyers now came flooding back and by the end of 1988 ERF had registered 3,740 trucks in the UK to win 10% of the 16 tonne market. The next big news was the signing of an agreement with an Austrian truck maker called Steyr, under which ERF would use Steyr's all-steel cab on its attractive ES6 and E8 trucks.

    Stepping into the 90's and responding to developments and trends, ERF in May 1993 introduced the EC range. This coincided with the company's diamond jubilee and used 'Driving the Future' as a theme. Again, the EC used the established SP technology with new styling, however this was more than a revamp.

    After 4 years development and a 14 million investment, a new tractor and rigid truck range was produced. This EC range turned out to be ERF's best ever selling product.

    1996 saw the take over of ERF by Western Star, a Canadian based company with interests in various parts of the world. ERF also started to diversify into the municipal market with 2 new products, the EM central steer cab and the EU cab.

    As the old millennium drew to a close, ERF started construction on a new factory in Middlewich, Cheshire. This would bring the company under one roof for the first time in many years. "By May 1980 it just collapsed on us" Cyril Acton Managing Director At the end of 1979 ERF were building 16 trucks a day. In the depth of the recession it was just 16 a week.

    The bottom had fallen out of the market and by the end of 1983, the Sandbach workforce had been trimmed from 1,400 to just over 600, with the factory on a 2 day week. The year 2000 has seen many new beginnings for ERF. In March, ERF was bought by German company MAN.

    The summer of 2000 saw ERF launch not one but two new products, the ECS and ECX. For the first time ERF offer a steel cab to its customers. To round off a hectic year ERF moved into its new 28 million state of the art administration and production facility at ERF way, Middlewich, Cheshire.

  • Manton European Freezer Freight Part 10 | TRUCK BLOG UK Part 10 and its a bit of a belter to be honest!! For those of you who might not have done a search on the blog for Mantons, it all started back on the 21st February 2011. I posted up a photo of a nice Manton truck I took a photo of in Braintree when I was a boy and since then it s just rolled on and on.

    In fact it probably is worth a search to read a few of the posts. This latest installment of pics is from Rich Tilford, the man responsible for spraying all the Manton vehicles. I first heard from Rich when he contacted me via email.

    The email read as follows; Hi Ben just browsing on me phone these trucks look very familiar. I used to paint them! Got all sorts of reg no.s running through my mind!

    I remember K414! Is that sad? K14 NTL was ridged fridge driven by Mark Bussey , who previously drove M396 JRH a 7.5t Renault Midliner.

    I think there was a few Magnums (4?) N830 DAG rings a bell! They where a bit of a twat to paint due to height and fibre glass cab attracted dust (static elec) etc. I have a few photos of there later vehicles 1995> ie.

    Late 3 series first 4 series N682 JWT? P65. .. etc.

    Currently running DAF 95/ 105/ but plain white or yellow livery (boring) not seen Dave Manton in long time hope he and family are well I think its fair to say that Rich qualifies as a reliable source of Manton info. Having posted me a batch of his photos for me to scan (as Rich can t work anything unless it runs on diesel), Rich also added a small note in the envelope with a few notes on each pic. For example, Rich says that the 4 Series Scania above was part of a batch of 4 trucks and P657 RYG was badly damaged in an accident just 2 weeks after he took these photos.

    On one of the earlier Manton posts on the blog, we talked about there being a Renault Magnum on the fleet. Not just one according to Rich and we have a bit of evidence to show that they did exist as we have a couple of Tilfords photos showing the before and after of said Magnums. Some of you may recognise the spec of the 3 series in the foreground as I did.

    Rich said that there were 3 or 4 of these 3 series Scania s with the side skirts. They were a cancelled order from MacFarlanes Transport and were already painted in the familiar green and yellow livery of Macfarlane. It wasn t just tractor units that Rich had to paint.

    Trailers were a regular in the paint shop too. Most of the fridge trailers were painted in the same livery, apart from this one trailer below. For a reason that Rich has told me, just one fridge was given this livery, I rather like it!

    Perhaps some one can enlighten the rest of us?? Rich also hasn t said whether he was a dab hand with a paint brush as well as the spray gun. Some smart sign writing on these trailers, especially on the tanker.

    Next up we have one of the tankers being pulled by a Volvo Globetrotter. Apparently the only FH Volvo Mantons had. This one was also the first truck that Rich painted when he started at Mantons, so good was the paint work the truck also made it to the Volvo truck stand at the Pickering show.

    There are plenty more of Rich Tilfords pics on my Flickr page for you to see. Click HERE to have a look. A couple of nice rigids for different uses, but all in some form of yellow and green.

    Last but by no means least, K414 KNW. This is the 143 that started all this off and it wasn t even a from-new purchase by the looks of it. That is unless it was an ex demonstrator, they do look like Scania stripes don t they.

    A few days in the paint shop with our man Tilford and she soon looked like part of the fleet, soon to be on regular runs to Moscow. Freshly painted waiting to leave the paint shop, just imagine the turning that key! All I can say is that I am very pleased that Rich managed to browse the Internet on his phone even though it doesn t run on diesel!

    Thanks Rich, here s hoping that you find some more photos one day. Funnily enough in the middle of Rich contacting me, I had this comment on a Mantons blog post, from K414 KNW s owner when it left the Manton fleet. Mr Lee Windle said; Just looking through the Manton story and seen a photo of K414 KNW.

    I was the owner of this truck for 4 years after Manton traded it in at Scania Normanton in West Yorkshire. It was working round trip to Germany every week and never let me down. I had it repainted white cab red chassis when I first bought it.

    Sold it to a chap in Wakefield then saw it a few years later for sale on ebay. I added the spot lights, air horns and alloy wheels.. that gave me the bug for the V8 s, had them ever since current truck Scania R580 4X2 OPTIC CRUISE The one thing with this blog is how these things all lead onto some thing else.

    Any one got a photo of K414 in its life after Mantons??

  • Mega tyre dump blights Spanish countryside Millions of used tyres stored in a field in Sesena, near Madrid, on January 9, 2013. The massive pile started to form in the 1990s when a company began using the site as a temporary depot for old tyres due to be recycled, according to the mayor of Sesena, Carlos Velazquez, who inherited the problem when he was elected in 2011. On a dry hillside near Madrid, a black mass has taken over: stacks of discarded tyres, piling up for years in an environmental nightmare for the small town nearby. "The visual impact is dreadful.

    The countryside is totally spoiled by this black mark," said Vicente Garcia de Paredes, an activist with environmental group Ecologists in Action. "This is an area of great views. Drivers on the highway to Andalucia will have this view stuck in their minds." The massive pile started to form in the 1990s when a company began using the site as a temporary depot for old tyres due to be recycled, according to the mayor of Sesena, Carlos Velazquez, who inherited the problem when he was elected in 2011. But over the years the tyres started to pile up.

    Millions of them lie there, in a wild dump stretching over 10 hectares (25 acres), home to rabbits and secured by a sole security guard at the fence. The tyres are of all sizes. The majority come from cars.

    Larger ones come from trucks. Some are still in good shape, others unusable. Environmentalists warn that disease-bearing mosquitos may breed in the stagnant puddles that have formed in the hollows of the tyres.

    The town of Sesena lives in fear of the rubber heap catching fire. "The dump was formed bit by bit. The company did not have a licence to leave the tyres there indefinitely, but that's what ended up happening," said Velazquez. "Tyres were being brought here but no tyres were leaving, so a dump developed," he says. "If it caught fire it would be very difficult to put out." After the dump was declared illegal in 2003, the company that ran it was chased through the courts and it eventually abandoned the location. In 2010 a judge ruled that the tyres were abandoned waste and the council was responsible for clearing them.

    Environmental group Ecologists in Action estimates between 40,000 and 60,000 tonnes of tyres lie in the dump regular car tyres and chunky ones from heavy trucks. "We are less than five hundred metres from a town of 10,000 inhabitants and the material is dangerously flammable," says Vicente Garcia de Paredes, an activist from the group. He points down the hillside to the brown ranks of housing blocks on the edge of town. Developers built those during Spain's building boom from the late 1990s, hoping to draw tens of thousands of people to buy homes there.

    Now Sesena has become a near ghost town, a symbol of Spain's economic fall since the boom went bust in 2008. The town hall has at last signed a deal with a company based in Senegal that will spend three years milling down the tyres and trucking the bits off for recycling, said Velazquez. The company will use a machine to grind the tyres on the site and then ship the pieces by truck to recycling centres.

    The tyres are likely to be turned into building materials: surfacing for roads, sports tracks and children's playgrounds.

    The site is due to be cleared within three years. (c) 2013 AFP

  • Menlo Launch Freight Brokerage Service in Europe Menlo Freight Brokerage is a new transportation service which extends the 3PL warehousing and supply chain management services portfolio of Menlo Logistics in Europe. This dedicated freight brokerage operation provides cost-effective multimodal transportation booking and management solutions supporting the freight transport needs of commercial and industrial businesses throughout Europe Amsterdam, 12th March 2014 Based at Menlo s European headquarters in Amsterdam and operated by a specially recruited team of experienced transport managers, Menlo Freight Brokerage has undergone a year of preparation and trial operation and is now being launched Europe-wide. Menlo has operated a successful and growing freight brokerage operation in North America since 2007 under our sister company, Con-way Multimodal, noted Tony Gunn managing director for Menlo Logistics in Europe.

    We have adopted best practices from our North American colleagues and combined those with our Lean tools and a team of European transport specialists to create a unique service offering for European shippers. We are confident that our philosophy of reducing cost and minimising waste in the freight transport process will appeal to the European market for freight brokerage services. The test strategy we have employed over the past twelve months has validated this approach and we are very pleased with the up-take from a wide range of customers.

    New Service Offering Gaining Market Traction Indeed the nascent European Freight Brokerage operation, at the end of its trial period is now managing over five hundred shipments per month across all types of freight and modes of transport including; truckloads, parcels, groupage, full containers and LCL, air freight and ocean shipments. The majority of the volume has been intra-Europe in extent but Asian and North American destined cargo has also been handled. Gunn added that Menlo expects a rapid growth in volumes in the future but for the modal mix to be in line with that experienced so far.

    Key to our service offering is a multimodal, consultative approach to our customers transport needs. We will advise the optimum routing and modal mix for any given European shipment profile. Our emphasis is on value, of which price is a component but not everything, which is consistent with the value-add approach Menlo takes with all of our supply chain offerings.

    This product is highly complementary to our portfolio and adds a capability which our customers have been inquiring for some time. Europe Launch Complements Menlo s Global Transportation Management Strategy The launch Menlo Freight Brokerage in Europe also is in line with Menlo s larger global strategy of building consistent, reliable freight brokerage capabilities across and within the world s geographies. Explains Tommy Barnes, president of Menlo s U.S.-based brokerage operation Con-way Multimodal: Geographic diversification is a key part of our strategic vision.

    By extending our brokerage services into Europe, we can tap a new market and support existing Menlo operations and customers in securing flexible, cost-efficient transportation capacity for customers. Through our combined efforts, we should be able to further reduce costs and take additional waste out of customers supply chains. Our Europe expansion supports Menlo s overall business growth goals and provides the opportunity to extend our Lean process improvement capabilities into a critical new area for our clients.

    For its European transportation management system, Menlo Freight Brokerage uses CargoWise, which is a proven technology platform and has solid daily transportation management functionality for both domestic and international shipments. Menlo s Europe brokerage team also liaises with its U.S. brokerage counterparts, which allows for synergies and the development of collaborative service solutions for global customers with brokerage needs in both the U.S.

    and Europe. Dedicated European Brokerage Operation Established in Amsterdam The European freight brokerage operation is based at Menlo s offices in Amsterdam and is headed up by Richard de Ritter who has eight years with Menlo managing transport solutions for customers of the Company s logistics services. de Ritter s career stretches over nearly twenty years working for blue-chip supply chain service providers and container transport operators.

    He cites the significant advantages Menlo s new brokerage service gains from Menlo s long-standing logistics and supply chain management business in Europe. We are able to leverage the wealth of experience and knowledge of the European transportation and logistics market already existing within the Menlo organisation, highlights de Ritter. This provides the opportunity for Brokerage customers to learn about and consider the broader logistics services of Menlo.

    A core value of the company s operation is a commitment to waste reduction and the philosophy of pruning processes were savings in both time and money can be identified. Menlo sees this aspect as a key differentiator of its service when compared with brokers that merely quote a rate and find a truck. Concludes Menlo Europe s Gunn: The transport element of the supply chain is often over-looked as a link to be managed with careful analysis of cost versus performance and the necessary amount of visibility.

    We are bringing a higher degree of management standards to a process that many in the market see as simple trucking. ENDS About Menlo Worldwide Logistics Europe In Europe, Menlo Worldwide Logistics maintains seventeen dedicated and multi-client logistics centres located in the Netherlands, Belgium, Czech Republic, Germany and the United Kingdom. This warehouse network can serve as pan-European distribution solution using one or several facilities.

    Supply chain and transport management solutions as well as 3PL, warehousing and distribution services are offered to a variety of vertical industry sectors including: fashion & apparel; healthcare and medical equipment; hi-tech electronic and data network equipment; automotive; defence and government services and retail e-fulfilment. The European headquarters is at the multi-client Amsterdam Distribution Centre in the Netherlands. Follow Menlo on Twitter: About Menlo Worldwide Logistics Menlo Worldwide Logistics, LLC, is a US$1.6 billion global provider of logistics, transportation management and supply chain services with operations in five continents, including North America.

    As a third-party logistics provider, San Francisco, California-based Menlo Worldwide Logistics services range from dedicated contract logistics to warehouse and distribution management, transportation management, supply chain reengineering and other value-added services including packaging, kitting, order fulfilment and light assembly through a strategic network of multi-client and dedicated facilities.

    With nearly 20million square feet of dedicated warehouse space in North America, the Asia Pacific, Europe and Latin America, and industry-leading technologies, Menlo Worldwide Logistics creates effective, integrated solutions for the transportation and distribution needs of leading businesses around the world.

    Menlo Worldwide Logistics, LLC, is a subsidiary of Con-way Inc. (NYSE: CNW), a $5.5 billion diversified freight transportation and logistics company.

  • Mercedes Benz actros 1840 XC A Truck Dec 11 Credits: Twin Trucking German Truck Simulator truck Mods (Read More For Download Links) Install: Turn it on RAR file you downloaded.

    Found in the.

    SCS file extension My Documents / German Truck Simulator / mod / copy in Folder Download Direct Link Hosted by you might notice Similar articles: Author: luslul Write Comment

  • Mercedes Benz Financial expands Asia Pacific operations Geoff Robinson Replacing Hinrichs will be Geoff Robinson, vice president of sales, marketing and remarketing for Daimler Truck Financial since 2010, and director since 2006. In his new role Robinson will be responsible for all marketing-related activities for Mercedes-Benz Financial Services USA, including pricing, point-of-sale systems, brand partner relationships, insurance services, aftermarket products and program development, credit card services, dealer and customer communications and sales reporting. Dietmar Exler Dietmar Exler, vice president and head of MBFS USA explained: Under the leadership of Andreas Hinrichs, MBFS was able to introduce significant innovations and become a market leader in mobile technology and process improvements that vastly benefited our dealers and retail customers.

    Geoff brings over 20 years experience in our organization in both the UK and the US and brings a diverse background from the automotive and trucking industries to the Marketing team. Hinrichs, a licensed CPA who holds a bachelor s degree in marketing from Pforzheim University in Germany and a summa cum laude MBA from the University of Louisville, joined the Daimler Group in 1996. Robinson, who holds a bachelor s degree in Social Sciences and Legal Studies from Sheffield Hallam University in the UK, joined the company in 1990 as an area manager in for Mercedes-Benz Finance in the UK.

    After overseeing the massive de-merger of Daimler Financial and Chrysler Financial in 2007 and 2008, Hinrichs was assigned to head up the MBFS Marketing Department where he drove innovation and process improvements, most notably the company s mobile technology strategy, giving customers the opportunity to make their payments by iPhone and smartphones.

    Additionally, the company became one of the first in the world to adapt the consumer-oriented iPad to a business application, which is now being used in all of Mercedes-Benz dealerships in the US.

  • Mercedes shows off self driving system for freight vehicles Radar that scans the road 250 meters ahead Highway drive system can be controlled from a tablet computer By Mark Prigg Published: 17:42 EST, 3 July 2014 | Updated: 18:00 EST, 3 July 2014 While Google is developing self driving cars, Mercedes has it eyes on a bigger prize huge trucks that can drive themselves on the freeway. The German firm has shown off the Mercedes-Benz Future Truck 2025 prototype, demonstrated on a German Autobahn, is a major step in an escalating race to develop self-driving vehicles. During the trial, trucker Hans Luft was toying conspicuously with an iPad behind the wheel of his 40-tonne heavy goods vehicle as it hurtled down the autobahn under the approving gaze of assembled Daimler executives.

    Scroll down for video The German firm has shown off the Mercedes-Benz Future Truck 2025 prototype, demonstrated on a German Autobahn, is a major step in an escalating race to develop self-driving vehicles. During the trial, trucker Hans Luft was toying conspicuously with an iPad behind the wheel of his 40-tonne heavy goods vehicle. HOW IT WORKS Clad in mystery-enhancing adhesive foil, the Mercedes prototype is equipped with aerodynamic fins and radar that scans the road 250 meters ahead.

    The system constantly monitors cars around it to stay in the same lane, and keep at the optimum speed set by the driver. It also makes fuller use of features already found in current production models, by networking on-board sensors with automatic braking, stability control and lane-warning systems. Once the system is switched on, the driver s seat can become an office chair or swivels to a rest position , Daimler said potentially allowing vehicles to drive for longer than current daily working limits for truckers.

    However, to overtake or change lane, the driver must take manual control. The drive was relaxing, Luft told reporters afterwards. Daimler, already at the forefront of German efforts to counter Google s advances in driverless cars, sees at least as much potential for automation in road haulage.

    The world s biggest truckmaker is confident that its technology can overcome regulatory and legal hurdles even if the scale of wage and fuel savings on offer spells likely conflict with freight unions in the long run. Autonomous driving will revolutionize road freight transport and create major benefits, said Daimler Trucks chief Wolfgang Bernhard. We aim to be the number one manufacturer in this market of the future which we believe will offer solid revenue and earnings potential.

    Clad in mystery-enhancing adhesive foil, the Mercedes prototype is equipped with aerodynamic fins and radar that scans the road 250 meters ahead. It also makes fuller use of features already found in current production models, by networking on-board sensors with automatic braking, stability control and lane-warning systems. As the vehicle s name suggests, the intention is to launch a roadworthy version by 2025.

    This truck will not just remain a prototype, Bernhard said. Clad in mystery-enhancing adhesive foil, the Mercedes prototype is equipped with aerodynamic fins and radar that scans the road 250 meters ahead. It also makes fuller use of features already found in current production models, by networking on-board sensors with automatic braking, stability control and lane-warning systems.

    The truck in action, while the driver looks at his iPad Daimler may not have the road to itself. Sweden s Scania, a unit of Volkswagen , is among peers working on platooning technology that allows several trucks to travel in tight convoy with a sole human driver in the lead vehicle. Autonomous driving proponents face the twin challenges of meeting safety concerns while persuading lawmakers that accident liability can still be established.

    But the potential gains may offer powerful incentives to overcome them. Daimler said its truck model still requires human oversight while freeing the driver to perform back-office tasks such as handling bookings and billing, or planning future itineraries. The driver s seat can become an office chair or swivels to a rest position , Daimler said potentially allowing vehicles to drive for longer than current daily working limits for truckers.

    Fuel and driver wages each account for 27 percent of current operating costs for a typical haulage firm, according to a study by France s CNR, a government agency that monitors the sector. How it works: The truck can scan the road ahead for vehicles and monitor them, ensuring there are no collisions. The driver s seat can become an office chair or swivels to a rest position , Daimler said potentially allowing vehicles to drive for longer than current daily working limits for truckers.

    A tablet is used to control the system, and drivers can also see routes and information about the truck Once you include traveling expenses, total driver costs rise to a full third, the biggest item, a CNR official said. Even without removing the drivers, he added, their share of total cost will fall if there are other productivity gains if you use a little less driver for a given distance, so to speak. The automated vehicles also save fuel by driving more economically, according to Daimler.

    Even once legal and technological obstacles are cleared, however, self-driving trucks may face further resistance not least from unions that wield serious clout in many countries. We would have concerns, said Adrian Jones, a transport official at Unite, Britain s biggest union. We need to maintain the very high standards that we ve got, he said.

    What s the point being there if you re not paying any attention and you re not supervising in effect? Opposition is also likely in France, where the government last year scrapped an environmental truck tax after widespread protests brought highways to a halt. Labor representatives will be extremely vigilant about the impact on jobs, wages and road safety if attempts are made to introduce self-driving trucks, the Paris-based CFDT union said.

    We must resist any temptation to consider that a driver is resting when the truck is on auto-pilot, spokesman Fabian Tosolini.

    That s not what happens in planes, for good reason.

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  • Mercedes touts self-driving trucks for haulage savings Home Gadgets TECH Yahoo Mercedes touts self-driving trucks for haulage savings By Edward Taylor and Laurence Frost MAGDEBURG Germany/PARIS (Reuters) Balding middle-aged trucker Hans Luft was toying conspicuously with an iPad behind the wheel of his 40-tonne heavy goods vehicle as it hurtled down the autobahn under the approving gaze of assembled Daimler executives. Daimler, already at the forefront of German efforts to counter Google's advances in driverless cars, sees at least as much potential for automation in road haulage. "Autonomous driving will revolutionize road freight transport and create major benefits," said Daimler Trucks chief Wolfgang Bernhard. Read more from: Yahoo Images from the web about mercedes touts self driving trucks for haulage savings , hope you like them.

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  • Meritor races on Sunday to sell on Monday I spent last week in the U.K. and Germany with Meritor s Commercial Vehicle Brake Division, learning about how this American company currently competes and plans to continuing competing on the global stage. What I saw was a company totally committed to examining and refining every aspect of its operations, from the products they sell to the processes that develop and manufacture those components to the management systems that help them distribute, promote and sell them.

    Interestingly, one vital aspect of this impressive overall effort can be found on the raceways of Europe. Much like automotive manufacturers did here in the States back in the 50s and 60s, Meritor is a highly visible and active participant in the European Truck Racing series; clearly believing in the old adage, Win on Sunday, Sell on Monday. Truck racing is very popular in Europe.

    And according to Truck Racing Director Tony Iddon, it is the second most popular motor sport in Europe today, routinely drawing crowds of up to 30,000 to watch a full weekend of racing. The overall atmosphere at these races is friendly and family-oriented with eye toward building appreciation for the European Class 8 cabovers both on the course and out on the highways of Europe hauling goods every day. And while the folks at Meritor at certainly 100 percent behind the trucking-friendly message, their participation is a bit more serious in nature.

    Much like NASCAR in the Old Days, all European race trucks are required to compete with stock/standard parts on the vehicle. No non-standard or custom equipment or components are allowed. Which means that the race environment is a dream world come to life for Meritor design engineers, who not only get to work closely with the race teams that use their products, they also get to observe, test and validate the performance of their heavy-duty truck brake products in an environment that can best be described as hellish.

    European race trucks do not run on full oval tracks. They run on road courses with hills and tight turns that require extremely aggressive braking by the drivers to remain on the course and competitive. The conditions inflicted on brake parts are so extreme, the trucks carry 80 liters (about 20 gallons) of water to help cool the brakes and keep them functioning properly during a race.

    The results have made the folks at Meritor justifiably proud: The company has logged thousands of track miles without a single brake failure and gained reams of valuable data in the bargain.

    There is talk of bringing Big Rig Racing to the States.

    And whether it happens or not, it s interesting and reassuring to know that Meritor is out there competing with the products truck drivers and fleets around the world depend on day in and day out to keep themselves and the rest of us safe.

  • Meritor supports Breast Cancer Awareness month For the third consecutive year, Meritor, Inc . is supporting Breast Cancer Awareness Month during October. The company demonstrated its commitment to the Go Pink movement on Oct.

    12 and 13 when Meritor MotorSports-sponsored truck driver Ellen Lohr raced a pink-wrapped Buggyra truck in the Federation Internationale de l Automobile (FIA) European Truck Racing Championship in Le Mans, France. Lohr has 27 years of motorsports experience and is the only woman driver to win a race in the Deutsche Tourenwagen Meisterschaft, the international German touring championship. Meritor began sponsoring Lohr in 2012 and provides axles and brakes for her race truck.

    Meritor is a strong partner with a great sense of social responsibility, says Lohr. I am proud to have the chance to be active in this important issue. During the month, Meritor says its world headquarters in Troy, Mich., will host Carnations for a Cure, a fundraiser benefitting the Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute.

    For a $10 donation, employees can buy a dozen pink carnations on their way home from work to remind a spouse, girlfriend, mother, grandmother, sister, daughter, friend, coworker and others to get regular mammograms. Also during October, Meritor says a guest speaker from the Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute will talk with employees about breast cancer awareness and prevention during a Go Pink pancake breakfast. has turned pink during Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and limited-edition, Meritor -branded pink merchandise can be purchased throughout the month on, with 30 percent of sales donated to the Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute, the company says.

    The company also sponsored Trucking for a Cure, which raised $50,000 to support the Canadian Breast Cancer Association, and Zeta Tau Alpha s 7th Annual 5K Run, a fundraising event at Michigan State University for the Susan G. Komen Foundation. Meritor is committed to furthering awareness and raising funds to support education, research and treatments for breast cancer, says Krista Sohm, vice president, Communications, Meritor .

    Any support we can provide may help save more lives.

  • minority opinion: The rise of the Power-Grid (and new taxes) The New Future of Energy Policy Flood myths are common to human culture. Swollen rivers, tidal storms, and tsunamis make their appearance frequently in literature. But Hurricane Sandy, which has drawn newly etched high-water marks on the buildings of lower Manhattan ( and Brooklyn ), has shifted the discussion from storytelling to reality.

    Volatility in climate has drawn the attention of policy makers for a decade. But as so often is the case, a dramatic event like superstorm Sandy the largest storm to hit New York since the colonial era has punctured the psyche of the densely populated East Coast, including the New York-Washington, DC axis where U.S. policy is made.

    Not surprisingly, in the weeks since the historical hurricane made landfall, new attention is being paid to the mounting costs that coastal world megacities may face. Intriguingly, however, this new conversation about climate, energy policy, and America s reliance on fossil fuels comes after a five-year period in which the U.S. has dramatically lowered its consumption of oil and seen an equally dramatic upturn in the growth of renewable energy.

    America s production of CO 2 in the first quarter of 2012 fell to twenty-year lows . The country is using less coal, increasing its use of natural gas, and (like the rest of the OECD) is seeing its transportation demand migrate from cars and trucks to rail. While Europe is often cited as being at the forefront of renewable power, the U.S.

    has also started to produce very strong growth rates for wind and solar power: The combination of declining oil use and a greater reliance on the global powergrid is going to shape energy and climate policy. Especially at a time when the concerns of climate change or, rather, rising seas and the greenhouse dangers of fossil fuel dependency are being increasingly raised. This will make for a rather muddled and complex array of diverging policy initiatives.

    Moreover, as the oil-based economy (which was harder to meter) gives way to the electricity-based economy, policy makers will find there are more levers to shape energy demand in their economies. The Oil Age was a more natural fit for free-spirited individualism. The Electricity Age will see an era more comprehensively dominated by policy, as the powergrid becomes the mechanism for governments to shape the future of energy demand .

    The oil age went into decline roughly ten years ago. Oil s share of total global energy demand, which had been on the rise since the 1930s, peaked in the mid-1970s but held steady for over twenty years until the new millennium. But starting early last decade, through a combination of oil s repricing and the industrialization in the Non-OECD, oil s market share in the global energy mix retreated.

    This decline of oil in the global economy explains perfectly why the weak rebound since the 2008 financial crisis has grown along the contours of the powergrid. It s not just the United States. In Japan, and especially in Europe, oil use has continued to decline right through the recovery, as increasing numbers of car drivers are taken off the road, as jet travel declines, and as trucking has given way to higher deployment of freight rail.

    However, this opens up a number of new constraints as well as new opportunities, because while there is high growth in solar and wind power, the growth of global electricity is largely driven by coal . That means awareness of coal s role is going to widen among populations, and governments are going to be drawn into action over coal . Carbon Taxes, Renewable Portfolio Standards, and Feed-In Tariffs Global coal markets have recently sputtered in the face of slower growth in China as well as the rise of natural gas in the United States, which has dislocated consumption of its own coal.

    If glanced at quickly, this looks like an interruption in the supertrend. Alas, no such interruption is taking place. Instead, the coal which Americans are no longer consuming is being exported to the rest of the world .

    Even Europe is taking greater volumes of U.S. coal, which in 2012 is on pace to see the highest level of exports in U.S. history.

    But a more important phenomenon to understand regarding global energy consumption is that much of the upswing in Asian coal demand over the past decade, especially in China, is really just an offshoring of OECD manufacturing capacity. In other words, an increasing proportion of goods purchased by Westerners since the year 2000 is the result of goods made in Asia. And these goods are made in factories powered by coal-fired electricity generation.

    Clothing, appliances, electronic devices yes, iPhones, too are made in facilities powered by coal. This is why, as policy is increasingly driven either by concerns about climate, increased distaste for dependency on fossil fuels, or both, the clamor for carbon taxation is going to grow. China s phenomenal economic growth has been based on exports, notably of energy-intensive goods, from steel and petrochemicals to a host of manufactured products.

    These have been bought largely by the U.S. and Europe, which together account for nearly 50 percent of world GDP. It is carbon consumption that measures the carbon footprint and hence responsibility, not the carbon production in particular geographical areas.

    Yet remarkably the Kyoto framework does not take consumption into account. Instead it focuses on carbon production, and mostly in Europe, where deindustrialization and the collapse of the former Soviet Union make compliance with the targets easy . Politically speaking, carbon taxation has been a very tough sell, especially in the United States.

    Interestingly, there have been trial balloons since the election that the Obama Administration may even tie together (or try to tie together) new carbon taxes as a way to lower the U.S. budget deficit . That, too, is unlikely to have much political appeal, though it does signify the shift coming in the wake of Hurricane Sandy and this summer s extraordinary drought.

    However, there are interesting divergences about the effectiveness of carbon taxation among those who work in the areas of energy and climate policy. Chris Nelder, writing in Smart Planet , Why America Needs a Feed-in-Tariff , makes the case that a carbon tax policy will not necessarily spur construction of renewable energy. Essentially, if getting renewable energy infrastructure built is the ultimate goal shared by both climate policy and energy policy, then why not pursue a national FiT (feed-in tariff), of the kind deployed in Europe?

    Given the obvious success of FiTs as a policy tool in Europe, one must wonder why the U.S. has not embraced them. Germany already tried all the incentives that we re using in the U.S., such as aspirational targets like renewable portfolio standards (RPS), rebates, and low-interest loans, and eventually turned to FiTs because they proved to be far more effective, simple, low-cost, and efficient .

    But while it s true that growth of wind and solar power is already growing at a very strong rate in the U.S. (as discussed previously), it s not clear this will continue at the same rate. California s RPS (renewable portfolio standard) has triggered the construction of a great deal of new utility-grade solar power. However, this is small in comparison to California s overall energy challenge, as it sees its own dependency on out-of-state power supply continue to expand.

    As I have addressed previously, California s energy production from all sources is at 50-year lows . This comes at a time when, just as in the rest of the country and the world, transportation demand is switching over from cars and trucks to the grid as light rail is built out in its cities. New Energy, Climate, and Urban Infrastructure (image: Thames Flood Barrier, Greater London, UK) Western cities are aging, and the forecast for rising sea levels may hold true regardless of any climate policy.

    In a recent post, Roger Pielke Jr notes that mitigation of rising sea levels through aggressive CO 2 reduction may not change the current trajectory all that much : One of the more reasonable discussion points to emerge from efforts to link Hurricane Sandy to the need to reduce carbon dioxide emissions focuses on the role that future sea level rise will have on making storm impacts worse. Logically, it would seem that if we can "halt the rise of the seas" then this would reduce future impacts from extreme events like Sandy. The science of sea level rise, however, tells us that our ability to halt the rise of the seas is extremely limited, even under an (unrealistically) aggressive scenario of emissions reduction .

    If cities like New York are compelled instead to construct tidal barriers, and other coastal cities in the U.S. follow, then changes in global energy consumption and in the public's perception of climate issues may see governments drawn in more closely than ever before to such policy making. After all, the construction costs for mitigation through infrastructure will come through state and federal partnership.

    Indeed, the discussion about tidal barriers for New York has already begun . Given the extent of recent flooding, this is no surprise. And subsequent storms will only push such initiatives along further.

    The decline of oil s share in the global economy marks the end of a kind of free-ranging era in which individual discretion over energy use reached spectacular heights. Cheap oil gave rise to cities such as Los Angeles, where the freedom to drive all distances was a luxury enjoyed by most people. It s not surprising that the cultural adjustment to a new era, where individual choice in energy use will be redefined, is proving cantankerous.

    Moreover, as new oil supplies emerge from domestic American sources, the dream of resurrecting this cheap oil era will no doubt come back around several more times. But none of these new resource plays will change the trajectory of global oil supply much, nor will they lower the price of oil. So far, new oil supply mostly offsets declines elsewhere but at substantially higher marginal cost.

    This should now be clear.

  • More Middle East trucking memories...this time it's the German ... God it must have been lonely out there.....I found some more Middle East memories for you on the Daimlemedia website including this shot of what looks like a snow-bound F88/89. The caption to it read: "Stranded on the Anatolian plateau: Some trucks in the 1970s never made the journey home..." Wonder what ever became of the driver? Now click through here for more Mid-East memoirs from Mercedes..yes it's the German perspective Classic Mid-East motor?

    Well at least Mercedes thought so as the caption reads: "The SK was Mercedes' first high-cab truck specifically designed for long-haul transport." I guess it was if you didn't like scania or Volvo... "Heading for Anatolia in the New Generation truck: Turkish roads had to be treated with care." "Changing a tyre under the burning sun: Drivers in the Middle East help each other out..." "Piggy-backing a truck in the desert in the 1970s: Abandonment was out of the question." At least that's what the Mercedes caption says! "Tough guys: Drivers to Asian destinations taking a break." Anyone recognise a face in this line-up? "Fitting chains in the snow: The delights of Turkish mountain roads...." And finally "Queuing for days at Middle East customs points during the 1970s was far from unusual." So what border was this?

    Do these German shots ring any bells with the Blighty Brigade?

    If so post up a comment... '); } //]]>

  • Mundane simulation | MetaFilterI'm just throwing in that I've been playing Euro Truck Simulator 2. I've put more hours in on that than any other game I've played in the last few years, and I've played a bunch of them, including the big name releases. It's one of the most enjoyable, relaxing games I've ever played.

    I would have laughed at the idea of a semi simulator a few weeks ago, but this is the real deal. It's unbelievable how much attention to detail was included. Great graphics, fun game mechanics, and a really well done economy for setting up your own business.

    And I don't even like business simulators! One of my favorite things is setting the rain possibility to high, and then taking a road trip in the evening (in-game) while streaming internet radio from real radio stations all over Europe (it's built into the game). Seriously relaxing, and it takes me back to the road trips I used to take in my younger years.

    The way they do everything, including the lighting that reflects off the inside of the vehicle when you pass under the highway lights, is just perfect. posted by SpacemanStix at 7:42 AM on March 24 21 favorites They should take all these games and tie them together into a big open world mmorpg. Just a single living, breathing city, where all the trash trucks, subway trains and street sweepers are driven by real people.

    posted by empath at 7:43 AM on March 24 34 favorites Sometimes when I'm busy but need a MeFi fix I play a quick MetaFilter Simulator game , which is just MeFi in all Lorem ipsum. I favorite a few posts, flag a comment or two, and roll my eyes at a MeTa then go back to work. For fellow players, my MeFiSim user name is gravida urna .

    posted by Slack-a-gogo at 7:49 AM on March 24 25 favorites I love these games! I had no idea so many of them existed. Anyone who would feel inclined to mock them can piss off.

    I've not had a chance to play any of them but I'm going to give one of the trucking ones a try. Also, I'd love to get my hands on Farming Simulator. The only game I own that is remotely like a simulator is Operation Flashpoint (the ultimate sandbox military sim).

    It's 10 years old but still gives me hours and hours of enjoyment. posted by KevinSkomsvold at 7:55 AM on March 24 1 favorite Nigh unto twenty years ago, I recall a friend had a run-an-airline sim game on whatever console was in vogue at the time -- maybe Super Nintendo. You would set up new hubs, set prices for fares, and so forth.

    Does anyone recall this? posted by ricochet biscuit at 8:08 AM on March 24 Over on Gamers With Jobs, a bunch of people seem very impressed with ETS. It went on sale this weekend for $20, so I picked it up.

    I did the tutorial mission; it seems quite polished, but I haven't yet been hooked. The sound and music are really very good, surprisingly so. But I don't yet have an opinion on actual gameplay.

    posted by Malor at 8:09 AM on March 24 This is going to end up all Ender's Game. Some day soon these software studios are going to start switching their best-performing users to secretly teleoperating actual trucks and farming equipment, with the studio picking up the profit and the unwitting teleoperator paying for the privilege. posted by Pyry at 8:14 AM on March 24 11 favorites ricochet biscuit: " Nigh unto twenty years ago, I recall a friend had a run-an-airline sim game on whatever console was in vogue at the time -- maybe Super Nintendo.

    You would set up new hubs, set prices for fares, and so forth. Does anyone recall this? " Sounds like Aerobiz, which I desperately wanted to play at the time and later played via emulator only to realize I am not very good at managing a small airline in the 60s. posted by Copronymus at 8:15 AM on March 24 3 favorites Nigh unto twenty years ago, I recall a friend had a run-an-airline sim game on whatever console was in vogue at the time -- maybe Super Nintendo.

    You would set up new hubs, set prices for fares, and so forth. Does anyone recall this? posted by ricochet biscuit at 8:08 AM on March 24 + !

    AEROBIZ! Love that game. posted by gc at 8:16 AM on March 24 2 favorites Before I read the article, I thought 'My dad would buy these games'...

    and indeed. I also wish I knew about the U-boat simulator before his birthday a week ago. posted by Fig at 8:19 AM on March 24 That article was defective.

    The whole pitch is that this is a niche demographic: 8-12 year olds. Eastern Europeans. And then in the last few tiny paragraphs ... "number one best-selling game" "Number one PC game in France and Germany" "Steam ...

    number one spot." posted by user92371 at 8:24 AM on March 24 4 favorites I always liked the "cruising' aspect of Flight Sim and some railroad sims... just letting the scenery unfold... maybe making the required station stops...

    or not. I don't personally go in for the operational realism; there's not much there when you're just using a keyboard and a mouse, so I usually just select the simplest control options. I'll have to give this Truck Sim a try, i think.

    Anyone using a sailing simulator? Is there a really good one out there? posted by Artful Codger at 8:24 AM on March 24 1 favorite This is going to end up all Ender's Game.

    Some day soon these software studios are going to start switching their best-performing users to secretly teleoperating actual trucks and farming equipment, with the studio picking up the profit and the unwitting teleoperator paying for the privilege. I always figured this is what people would do all day once automation became cheaper in all things. posted by The Whelk at 8:26 AM on March 24 4 favorites Came here to post the links that dirigibleman posted, just wanted mention a NSFW tag should be to those links.

    Also, train simulator (NSFW) is fantastic; I cannot recommend it strongly enough. (The video, not the game. I've never played it.) posted by Brian Puccio at 8:27 AM on March 24 3 favorites I don't understand why your basic Flight Simulator (yay, x-plane!) gets a pass as somehow being 'respectable' while these types of things are dismissed as goofy. posted by mazola at 8:30 AM on March 24 5 favorites Makes sense.

    My favorite part of the game Shenmue was when you get a job as a forklift operator and spend a week rearranging boxes. Like box tetris! posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 8:31 AM on March 24 I've been looking at the videos from Euro Truck Simulator 2 and WOW it is pretty - something about the long-distance realistic "open world" driving appeals to me.

    In Operation Flashpoint, I used to set up races from the southern tip of Everon to the far north - the whole drive only took about 15 minutes, but it FELT like I'd covered a long distance. I'd pay top dollar for a game with the realistic long-distance driving of ETS2, but with racing, and conventional cars. You'd drive from one point of Europe to another in one go, in regular traffic, and each race would take hours.

    Throw in some crazy AI driver behavior ala Driving in Russia and I imagine the Russia races could be pretty entertaining... The ultimate version of this would be one continuous race that takes like 50 hours of in-game driving to complete. You'd go from Lisbon to Moscow, or London to Istanbul, etc.

    and see all sorts of scenery. Obviously you'd have save games so you could get on with your real-world life, but in-game you'd have to contend with navigation, fatigue, hunger, bathroom breaks, car breaking down, etc. It'd be an open-world roguelike rally racer.

    Any game out there like that? posted by pravit at 8:37 AM on March 24 2 favorites Yeah, Aerobiz and it's upgrade, Aerobiz Supersonic is one of my old favorites. It was on SNES and Genny.

    I'd love to set up a game where we play by taking turns then dropboxing the ROM or something. posted by laconic skeuomorph at 8:42 AM on March 24 A few months ago I bought a license to Kerbal Space Program which is a kind of spacecraft game with realistic physics and goofy aliens. Over the last few months the detail of the in-game physics simulation has increased to the point that you apparently need a background in NASA mission lingo and orbital thrust maneuvering to get anywhere interesting.

    At this point the game has gone well past my ability to understand but it's a real pleasure to watch a "pro" play it. A game is just a chance for a player to use and practice their own skills to succeed at some goal, whether explicit or implicit. I've found these games with implicit goals (like Minecraft) to be the most interesting ones of late.

    I'm almost mid-30s so there we go: I am almost a target market. posted by sixohsix at 8:46 AM on March 24 3 favorites They should take all these games and tie them together into a big open world mmorpg. Just a single living, breathing city, where all the trash trucks, subway trains and street sweepers are driven by real people.

    Oh, how I'd want to play Septic Avenger in that city. This is going to end up all Ender's Game. We'll know they've started doing this when the landing areas of naturally-occuring jumps are three-deep in semis.

    posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 8:53 AM on March 24 4 favorites Before I read the article, I thought 'My dad would buy these games' IIRC Rock Paper Shotgun refers to these as "Dad games". posted by Pope Guilty at 8:54 AM on March 24 2 favorites I used to love playing "Silent Service" in patrol mode. Then, after eliminating an enemy threat, I'd just cruise around an island or whatever.

    In short, I guess I'm in the target market for this sort of thing (and lets Kickstart a Silent Service remake). posted by drezdn at 9:09 AM on March 24 The ultimate version of this would be one continuous race that takes like 50 hours of in-game driving to complete. Any game out there like that?

    Desert Bus manages to be almost, but not quite, unlike the game you're thinking of. posted by Pyrogenesis at 9:53 AM on March 24 3 favorites When my wife found out that "Street Sweeper" simulation existed, she wanted to buy it for her dad -- all his life he had said he loved street sweepers, and wanted to drive one sometime. Sadly, we couldn't find a Mac version for him. :'( Maybe someday... (and seconding Silent Service, drezdn -- I play the NES version whenever I'm bored; roam around, surface to charge batteries, repeat) posted by AzraelBrown at 9:54 AM on March 24 I would totally get a Walt Disney World Monorail Simulator, just for the memories.

    Forget fire trucks, trains, construction equipment... those are what I wanted to drive when I was 9 years old. posted by Foosnark at 9:57 AM on March 24 2 favorites in GTA IV, I often just take taxis from place to place all around he city, watching the scenery and listening to the radio.

    it feels just like being in NYC. posted by bruceo at 10:14 AM on March 24 1 favorite Before I read the article, I thought 'My dad would buy these games'... and indeed.

    I also wish I knew about the U-boat simulator before his birthday a week ago. Luckily, I now know about them before my dad's birthday. The only question is, do we go for just submarines or all boats?

    posted by Katemonkey at 10:25 AM on March 24 "Perhaps the fact that our games may be ridiculed in the UK but loved in Eastern Europe is down to the fact that a trucker may be considered a low-prestige job in the UK (and a target of Jeremy Clarkson Top Gear presenter jokes)," he reasons. The further East you go, he notes, "the more this job smells of adventure and distant horizons - plus it's perhaps paying better than average in those countries." So - has there been a garbage collection sim? That would be...

    interesting. Maybe Crazy Taxi + Sim Train + ? You could have incinerators and landfills and you could even evolve from like burning barrels and small town garbage dumps to more efficient/city style garbage management.

    Waste sorting - recyclables - etc... On preview - that "city wide" job-sim MMO that Empath proposes would be... interesting.

    Instead of a class, you'd have jobs. It could be like Sims where you have different traits that would tune you towards a different job (just like stats in an RPG). You could have Unions and Management and other facets of work.

    The whole social system around that, and add in Consumerism as the motivation. To be realistic you need a sweat shop expansion, and a Tea Party Nationalist/Anti-Foreign Labor class, and Liberal NPR radio hosts that make simulated programs about sweatshops, and protests against them, and Giant Shipping Container ships and... and...

    and... It could be like Dwarf Fortress only with 3D graphics, and instead of fantasy it's just the boring world economy. Or Eve Online with less space and more power plays in corporate board rooms.

    Instead of Guilds you'd have multinational corporations with different units that do different jobs and can specialize in a few areas. OK, now someone go kickstart that. posted by symbioid at 10:54 AM on March 24 I've been meaning to try a train simulator for some time now.

    Is RailWorks still the top of the crop? posted by schmod at 10:56 AM on March 24 We just had another thread about this a couple of weeks ago but I'm glad to see it come up again, because I was (and am) still curious about what motivates certain companies to develop these simulators, particularly why the studios are mostly in Germany or Eastern Europe. The whole classism / "glamor" aspect is something I hadn't considered, but it makes sense.

    Being a soldier is far more "cool" than being a peasant farmer or a truck driver. I find it no more or less worthy of ridicule to drive a simulated truck than to shoot a simulated gun or to match geometric shapes on a grid. It's one thing to laugh at the production values of euro-sims, but that's ..not as much of an issue anymore.

    But I'm outside their target demographic (31 with zero experience in farming, flying, logging, or truck/train driving) so maybe I'm just creepy for enjoying something aimed at kids. Katemonkey: Silent Hunter 3 or 4 would be my recommendation unless Dad is already a seasoned sim enthusiast. The Ship Sim series is fun, but far rougher around the edges, and arguably less engaging.

    Silent Hunter lets you roam around around all you want, but there are lots of combat scenarios if you want some torpedo practice (for which you can optionally calculate your trajectories and do all the measurements by hand, including identifying ships by sight and looking them up in your handy measurement book to see where to aim at). Dive! Dive!

    posted by jake at 11:04 AM on March 24 They should take all these games and tie them together into a big open world mmorpg. Just a single living, breathing city, where all the trash trucks, subway trains and street sweepers are driven by real people. Years ago, maybe it was flight simulator '98 or something, I noticed an interesting thing.

    When playing multi-player online, a whole sub-simulation had evolved where there were people who didn't fly planes at all. They assumed jobs as air traffic control and then cooperated via voice comms to form tower, ground, arrival, departure, ARTCC, etc. and provide realistic service to the people that were flying the planes.

    It was neat. posted by ctmf at 11:16 AM on March 24 2 favorites Do any of the submarine simulators teach you how to solve target range/course/speed from bearing/sound frequency? In a real sub, driving your ship to get the data you need to do that as fast as possible while still avoiding counter-detection and maintaining the advantageous position is the fun part.

    When they first started making these games, I tried a couple, but that part of it was completely lacking - you were mostly just meant to drive in the general direction of where you heard the bad guy and shoot it out. Even if you knew how to do it, the data you needed either wasn't there, or worse, wasn't realistic (since you weren't supposed to be actually paying attention to it that closely.) The official "how to do this" in real life is classified military stuff, of course. Maybe we would get some new innovative real-life tactics if we just let a simulator loose on all the smart people on the internet without a tutorial, and just watched to see what happens then.

    posted by ctmf at 11:28 AM on March 24 4 favorites Several years ago I visited a 6 degree of freedom locomotive driver training simulator. A complete driver's cab was rebuilt onto a stewart platform (at least I am pretty sure it was a stewart platform). All instruments in the cab performed as on a real locomotive (I remember the audible hiss of the air brakes releasing).

    Video projection on the front windows showed miles and miles of reprogrammed real track in all manner of weather conditions (we switched from blinding sun to rain complete with windshield wipers and finally struggled to see through thick fog and a snowstorm in which individual snowflakes flew towards us and covered the landscape). The trainers let us drive for a while and then sent a couple of failures at us (maybe it was loss of some cooling or partial traction - i don't remember, but the diagnostic failures popped up just as they do on real locomotives). I didn't expect that 6 degrees of freedom are useful to operate on a machine that runs on basically smooth rails, but the simulation of starting, stopping and turning were practically indistinguishable from riding on a real locomotive.

    posted by jazh at 12:16 PM on March 24 1 favorite At a train show, I saw a real diesel loco control stand adapted to control a train sim. I think it was Trainz. In answer to Schmod's question, I believe the front-runners in train sims are Trainz and Railworks.

    I've had Trainz since about 2010. It's pretty decent and really emphasizes operation. Price is ok, but there always seems to be some finite level of glitches or small bugs after every release.

    posted by Artful Codger at 12:21 PM on March 24 Throw in some crazy AI driver behavior ala Driving in Russia and I imagine the Russia races could be pretty entertaining... Yeah, I also thought about throwing in more stuff from English Russia like miles and miles of semis and other vehicles stuck in a road of mud, or crossing a Siberian river driver's window deep. posted by dhartung at 12:29 PM on March 24 I've been gaming forever, but I had no idea really about these types of games until notmydesk started writing hilarious takes on them over at the PC Gamer Sim-plicity column.

    Now I see several of my Steam friends playing "Euro Truck Simulator 2" on a regular basis, and driving through Europe with music on sounds rather relaxing. Hm... posted by gemmy at 12:41 PM on March 24 1 favorite Now I see several of my Steam friends playing "Euro Truck Simulator 2" on a regular basis, and driving through Europe with music on sounds rather relaxing.

    Now just imagine the pitter-patter of rain on your windshield and the side windows and mirrors while you listen to the rhythmic swish-swish of the windshield wipers, and the occasional clash of thunder in the background. I've turned off the radio for long stretches at a time, listening to nothing but the rain and watching the soft glow of the headlights on the road ahead of me in the middle of nowhere. It's impossible for me not to find this comforting at the end of a long day, for some reason.

    It's probably the most effective thing I've found for forgetting the troubles of the day. It's like I've escaped into the game, or something. posted by SpacemanStix at 1:38 PM on March 24 7 favorites there's an incredibly hilarious video Giant Bomb put out on the game recently.

    Eh. I can understand doing goofy things in the simulator, but this wasn't it. This was a bunch of people not even aware enough to drive straight or actually make an effort.

    It was excruciating -- "no, no, your damn lights are *not* on!", "the car passed you quickly because you're going 10kph in the middle of a two lane road!". It was like being the only sober person at a party. The only reason I watched to the end was to see the pretty graphics :-) posted by smidgen at 2:04 PM on March 24 I'm kinda guessing some of their target market is training?

    That'd explain the push for more detail and realism. posted by pwnguin at 2:34 PM on March 24 I've never played a computer game, because (apart from my age, which means i just missed them, except Pong) Pong looked mind-numbingly boring, i don't want to even pretend to kill someone, my friend had the legend of zelda and boy did it look pointless, and those facebook games look silly and crap. But this is real, and you learn a skill, or get an experience, from real life, which you wouldn't otherwise.

    I'm a 40yo woman, computer-illiterate until 6yrs ago. I reckon there's a huge market out there for this sort of thing amongst the sort of person who doesn't buy games or doesn't use the computer much (well, that last set aren't such a good market). It'll be like the movie industry: suddenly the games industry will discover that not everyone's a teenage boy looking for a wank and to blow everyone's head off, and it'll be presented as a revelation by the media for several weeks.

    Or like lace-up shoes, it'll never get mentioned anywhere but actually be the bigger industry (than heels). posted by maiamaia at 3:54 PM on March 24 a Semi, in british english, is a house that is actually half of what looks like one house - imagine a terrace of just 2. It means only 1 neighbour who might play Rammstein at 3am or put weedkiller on your privet 'because it's a weed', and it used to have snob value because you looked like a bank manager's villa, although actually you only had half a villa.

    Very popular in the early 20th century, when we actually built houses not slums, so a huge part of the housing stock. Not very drive-able though. posted by maiamaia at 4:04 PM on March 24 1 favorite From the article: And then there's the strong 35+ male audience -- "basically people who have some professional, or should I say emotional, ties to trucking or transportation industry typically," Sebor notes.

    I have a dear pal who was a bus driver for over thirty years and retired in the last couple years. He still has his passenger license and picks up driving gigs here and there for a rehab program, seems to enjoy it. He is a stone fan of these driving sim games.

    It's actually totally awesome to hear him talk about them and how impressive they are. Outside of the driving games, I came across a team video review of Farming Simulator 2012 sometime last year, and it was practially hallucinatory. Over time, I have come to understand my own hardcore sim orientation, to ww1 mmo aircombat, is just as nichey as any of these titles.

    Most mmo aircombat simmers, as you would expect, strongly prefer bigger faster better, and thus WW2 sims are dominant. The existence and continued health of these nichey sims is great, great news and something that will keep sims interesting and competitive for the foreseeable future. posted by mwhybark at 4:59 PM on March 24 1 favorite That article was defective.

    The whole pitch is that this is a niche demographic: 8-12 year olds. Eastern Europeans. And then in the last few tiny paragraphs ... "number one best-selling game" "Number one PC game in France and Germany" "Steam ...

    number one spot." I think there's a tendency to evaluate their significance based on how they relate to "gaming culture" similar to other things about "casual" vs. "hard-core" gaming. If Truck Sim 2 and Call Of Duty 2 both sell 20 million copies, a lot of people will still see COD as the mainstream one because it has the mainstream customers if you see what I'm saying. posted by RobotHero at 5:32 PM on March 24 something about the long-distance realistic "open world" driving appeals to me.

    It's not realistic at all, but it is definitely long distance (and gorgeous) -- I wrote this about the quickly-forgotten (but beloved, by me at least) FUEL a year or two back. It's periodically on sale on Steam for a few bucks, and I still love to cue up some music and take one of the motorcycles out for a relaxing ride once in a while. It takes about 8 hours to drive from one side of the world to the other.

    It is huge . (If you do play it, grab the Re-FUELED mod from moddb to make it easier to mess around with.) posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 7:05 PM on March 24 2 favorites Well, I guess we know where Google "driverless" cars are getting their drivers from. "Simulation" my arse. posted by Blue_Villain at 7:07 PM on March 24 That Kerbal video is amazing. If I was a much younger person, I'd be so invested in learning that.

    Seems like there's a steep learning curve. posted by yeti at 7:10 PM on March 24 That article was defective. The whole pitch is that this is a niche demographic: 8-12 year olds.

    Eastern Europeans. And then in the last few tiny paragraphs ... "number one best-selling game" "Number one PC game in France and Germany" "Steam ... number one spot." I read a discussion of this on the r/gaming sub-Reddit a while ago.

    During a lull in the release of major games, there was a burst of half-mocking half-enthusiastic publicity for mundane simulation games like these in the UK gaming press. All of a sudden everyone was talking about them. As a result, during that lull, some of these games became quite popular as gamers checked them out -- for a short amount of time.

    Then the next round of big games came out and Truck Sim dropped away from the top of Steam. So they are still niche audience games in the long run, despite the occasional boom. posted by Harvey Kilobit at 9:44 PM on March 24 Do any of the submarine simulators teach you how to solve target range/course/speed from bearing/sound frequency?

    The Silent Hunter series does that for WWII subs. Third one is the best, I hear. posted by Pyrogenesis at 2:09 AM on March 25 Do any of the submarine simulators teach you how to solve target range/course/speed from bearing/sound frequency?

    Silent Hunter does, indeed, have elements of this. One thing that hard-core nerds, and actual submariners, can do is download some of the various realism mods which allow one to compute targeting solutions in much the same way that this would have been done in WWII. Keep in mind, though, that many of the techniques used in the period will seem antiquated to the modern submariner.

    In the 1940's, acoustic intelligence was very much in its infancy. You can get bearing, some identity information, and close/near from the hydrophone but little else. If you want to simulate modern passive sonar stuff, your best bet is probably Dangerous Waters, the now-dated but incredibly deep modern warfare simulation by Sonalysts.

    The basic premise of the game is that you control one ship or submarine, and have access to 'cleaned up' versions of the actual duty stations that sailors would operate in the control room. If you want to analyse an acoustic contact, you have to look at the sonar displays and analyse them using the tools in front of you, realistically clunky user interface and all. You can even, if you have friends long-suffering enough, play a multi-player version with each player running a single station in the control room.

    Indeed, Dangerous Waters is such a faithful recreation of the modern naval battlefield that it acts rather more like an information-management game than a traditional simulation. There are entire pre-scripted missions that involve nothing more than ID'ing large numbers of neutral contacts. Be prepared for lots of dot stacking.

    posted by Dreadnought at 7:14 AM on March 25 1 favorite Older Fifteen people summarise their jobs... | Folks who love and/or hate mod...


  • My whole life on the road: THE MYSTERIOUS DEATH OF ILARIA ALPI Some people say she had information about the Italian military selling guns to the warlords. Some say she had information about the torture and killing of Somali prisoners by Italian soldiers. What I know is this: Forty five minutes after I first met Ilaria Alpi, she was dead, slumped in a puddle of her own blood in the back seat of a white Toyota pickup truck.

    We had spoken briefly inside the high-walled compound of the Sahafi hotel, the journalists' hotel, in Mogadishu. She told me she was a television correspondent from Italy and had just returned from a town in northern Somalia, a place she heard I knew well. But Ilaria had no need to introduce herself; I already knew of her.

    She stood out in Mogadishu. She was a small, serious 32-year old Italian reporter who fearlessly stuck her microphone in the faces of UN officials, military commanders and Somali warlords. While a lot of TV reporters spent more time fixing their hair than studying the country, Ilaria made her name by working the streets, using fluent Arabic and stubborn resolve to dig into places that few other journalists saw.

    Ilaria asked me if I'd have a free moment to talk that evening. She seemed shy, almost apologetic about imposing on my time. I assured her that it was no problem, and that I'd be willing to talk with her whenever she wanted, even immediately if it would help.

    She couldn't talk right then, she said. There was someplace she needed to be. I collected my crew, the driver and two armed bodyguards who shadowed me every moment I was outside the hotel compound, and we headed off to the northern part of the city.

    Ilaria and her cameraman, Miran Hrovatin, climbed into their Toyota pickup with a driver and gunman and also drove north. It was a quiet Sunday afternoon in Somalia, just after lunch when a blanket of midday heat keeps the sandy rubble-strewn streets of Mogadishu empty and menacing. I set off on my rounds, trolling for stories and information.

    To that end I dropped in at the home of a Somali friend, a young former guerrilla fighter who from time to time passed along some valuable intelligence. On this particular day he didn't have much to offer. His sister served us tea in the shade and we were relaxing, talking about nothing of consequence, when we heard the short bursts of gunfire.

    We kept silent for a moment, listening to hear if the shooting was going to escalate. But nothing more happened, and we didn't give it another thought. It wasn't until early evening when I returned to the Sahafi that I heard the news. "It's Ilaria," my friend Carlos Mavroleon said to me as I walked into the lobby. "They've killed Ilaria." Carlos, who was working as a cameraman for ABC News, had run to the scene as soon as he heard the gunfire.

    He learned that a Land Rover full of gunmen had cut in front of Ilaria's pickup in North Mogadishu. Someone started shooting. Their driver and bodyguard were unhurt.

    Carlos took me upstairs to his hotel room and showed me what he had videotaped at the scene. In the video, the bodies are being removed from the pickup truck and placed in a Land Cruiser owned by an Italian resident of Mogadishu, a man who was known to everyone by his first name, Giancarlo. Ilaria is wearing bright orange pants, and Birkenstock sandals.

    Her loose white shirt is stained with blood, and there is more blood smeared across her forehead and on her blond hair. In the back of the Land Cruiser Ilaria looks like she is sleeping. One of the Somalis who helped move the bodies hands Ilaria's notebook and a pair of two-way radios to Giancarlo.

    And Giancarlo says simply, that Ilaria and Miran were somewhere they shouldn't have been. I knew what we were going to do later that night. I was used to the ritual by now.

    We gathered, about ten of us, in someone's hotel room and poured tall glasses of whiskey, the sickened pallor of our faces exaggerated by the wash of fluorescent light reflected off chalky white walls. We sat until morning exchanging bits of information that we hoped would add up to a reason, some determination about why our colleagues were dead. It was important that each of us believe that reasons existed.

    Ascribing a logic to death meant that measures could be taken to avoid it. We could convince ourselves that hiring the right security guards, driving on the right roads at the right times and saying the right things would keep us safe. But we knew better.

    There was no mystery to death here. We spent our days with hired bodyguards travelling bombed out streets jammed with technicals - armed vehicles carrying hungry, glassy-eyed teenagers with automatic weapons. Any one of those kids could turn and pop you in a second, as easily as he could spit.

    Not even the walls of the hotel provided real protection. One reporter was shot in the leg during lunch. Another stepped from the shower just as a round sailed through the concrete outer wall and exploded through the porcelain stall.

    But that didn't stop us from looking for reasons behind Ilaria's death. There was talk that she may have once fired a bodyguard who had then taken revenge. That sort of thing happened a lot in Mogadishu.

    There was no faster way to die here than to interfere with someone's livelihood. One of us even suggested that Ilaria could have uncovered some information that threatened one of the warlords or other powerful people. That was a nice thought.

    Given the choice, any of us would have picked assassination by evil international gunrunners to death at the whim of a bored teenager. I participated in the discussion without ever believing her death was more than really bad luck. Ilaria wasn't the first journalist to die in Somalia and she wouldn't be the last.

    And after 15 years of covering stories in Africa I had lost what little patience I had for conspiracy theories. All it takes is a few missing pieces of information or inconsistencies in a large and complex story for someone to start talking about the CIA or Mossad or the hand of unnamed international forces. Certainly there were mysteries surrounding Ilaria's death: Several of her notebooks disappeared after her body was loaded on a plane for Rome.

    A 35mm camera she had with her was also missing. But that alone was no reason to believe in a conspiracy. Things do get misplaced.

    Every loose end can't be tied up. And, after all, this was Somalia. Somalia had been in a state of anarchy since 1991 when its dictator of two decades, Mohamed Siad Barre, was defeated by rebel armies led by Mohamed Farah Aidid.

    When Aidid's troops poured into Mogadishu, Barre's armies retreated south and west from Mogadishu toward the Kenya border. As they fled, they destroyed the country's food supply, burning fields and looting grain stores to slow the pursuit of Aidid's rebels. By the time they were done, there wasn't much food left in southern Somalia.

    The capital, Mogadishu, was reduced to rubble, and the country's grain producing area was overrun by unruly militias. The aid groups who came in from the West couldn't operate, and starvation began to spread. In the summer of 1992, people in Europe and the U.S.

    began seeing the pictures of starving Somali kids that resulted in Operation Restore Hope and the U.S. Marines landing on the beaches of Mogadishu in December of 1992. By January of 1993, a multinational task force had pretty much put an end to what was left of the famine.

    But then they found themselves facing a much more difficult problem: the heavily armed and uncompromising militias of Somalia's warlords. A confrontation was inevitable. In June of 1993, the famous and ill-fated hunt for Aidid began.

    It ended four months later, on October 3, 1993, when 18 Americans were killed and the body of one of them was videotaped as it was hog-tied and dragged through the dusty streets of Mogadishu. By March of 1994 Restore Hope was over. Western peacekeeping troops were packing their bags and leaving the unfinished job in the hands of darker-skinned soldiers from Malaysia, India, and Pakistan.

    The press came in to cover that retreat. Ilaria Alpi was among them. She was there to report on the withdrawal of Italian troops when she died on March 21, 1994.

    Over the next few years I thought about Ilaria from time to time. Usually it was during a trip to Mogadishu when I would stop at the place on the road where she was killed. There were many such places scattered throughout Mogadishu, where friends and colleagues had lost their lives: the spot where photographer Dan Eldon was beaten to death by an angry mob; the intersection where Kai Lincoln, a young U.N.

    worker, was gunned down by bandits. I had only met Ilaria once, and briefly, and yet her death had stuck with me. I pointed out the spot where she died to several people who had never known her.

    In my mind I would trace the route of her pick-up down the hill. I would see the point where the blue Land Rover cut them off on the road, where the gunmen piled out. I almost thought I could see the tire marks left over when Ilaria's driver slammed the truck into reverse trying to back away.

    In the Summer of 1997, I saw wire reports about photographs that were published in the Italian magazine Panorama. One photo shows Italian soldiers attaching electrodes to the testicles of a Somali prisoner who is tied to the ground. In another, a Somali woman is being raped with the end of a flare gun.

    The photos were taken by the Italian soldiers themselves, peacekeepers recording their triumph for posterity. I began following the story. The publication of the photos forced the Italian government to launch an inquiry.

    And that inquiry led to a diary kept by an Italian policeman stationed in Somalia. (In Italy the police overlap with the military.) The policeman, Francisco Aloi, wrote of spending time with a young television journalist named Ilaria Alpi. He wrote about how Ilaria had discovered some of the abuses and had gone to the Italian commander in Somalia, General Bruno Loi and told him that she would expose the abuses if he didn't do something about it. The general reportedly told Ilaria that it was only a few isolated cases that he would investigate and pursue.

    Months later, as the last Italian troops were leaving Somalia, the crimes remained uninvestigated and perpetrators remained unpunished. And Ilaria was preparing to do her final report from Somalia. I learned that the controversy about Ilaria's death had never quite died in Italy.

    In fact, the few loose ends that I was aware of had unraveled into a vast tangle of conspiracy theories. According to various scenarios, Ilaria was murdered because she had information about arms trafficking, toxic waste dumping, or the selling of Somali children into slavery. All of these conspiracy theories contained a common element: While the men who pulled the triggers were Somali, the people who paid them, the ones who wanted Ilaria dead, were Italian.

    Chief among the conspiracy theorists was Giorgio Alpi, Ilaria's father, a well-known doctor in Rome, and member of Italy's communist party. In the four years since Ilaria's death, he had appeared on Italian television, lobbied journalists, and had done everything he possibly could to keep stories of Ilaria alive. In January of 1998, in an attempt to mollify Giorgio Alpi and close the book on the rampant rumors, a group of Somalis were escorted to Rome to give depositions against soldiers who were accused of torture.

    And when one of those Somalis - a young man named Hashi Omar Hassan - showed up at the police station he was arrested, charged with Ilaria's murder. It appeared to me that the Italians had taken their two outstanding issues in Somalia and tied them up in one neat package which they were prepared to flush away. The complete saga was reduced to this: The young Somali, Hashi Omar Hassan, had been tortured by Italian troops and then gotten his revenge by participating in the killing an Italian reporter.

    End of story. But none of that made much sense to me or fit with the facts I had collected right after Ilaria's killing or what I knew about Somalia. It looked very much like a coverup and, as in other well-known cases, the coverup was the most powerful explicit evidence of the existence of the crime.

    And so I went to Rome to take a closer look at the investigation and several things became clear to me for the first time: Ilaria's death was not an act of random violence on a Mogadishu street. Somebody wanted her dead. And she wasn't killed in midst of a wild gun battle.

    She was assassinated, killed by a single shot fired from point blank into the back of her head. There are many details about his daughter's death that four years later continue to keep Giorgio Alpi awake at night. There is the fact that no investigation was ever done at the crime scene.

    And then there was the Italian military's refusal to rush medical assistance to Ilaria after she was shot. And it breaks his heart that incompetent forensic work has required that her body be exhumed, twice. But the thing that angers him most is that he and his wife Luciana never really said goodbye to Ilaria.

    When her body arrived back in Rome the family was told that during the ambush she had been raked with automatic weapons fire. They decided they didn't want to see her like that. So they never viewed the body of their only child, never had the chance for that important rite of closure.

    It was only after she was buried that they learned the truth, learned that there was only a single, neat bullet hole in the back of Ilaria's head. Why, her parents want to know, did the Italian government lie to them? There is no satisfactory answer for them other than the obvious one: The government and the military are covering up the real reasons for their daughter's death.

    Giorgio and Luciana sit side by side on the couch in their apartment on the outskirts of Rome. They hold hands, and smoke cigarettes. Giorgio is a small, wiry 74 year-old with thick bushy eyebrows jet black hair and an intense chiseled face.

    His lower lip quivers uncontrollably when he starts telling stories about Ilaria. Luciana, 65, has short blonde hair and a solid robust looking about her. Her voice is deep and gravelly.

    Georgio and Luciana live in the apartment where Ilaria grew up. Her room is more or less as she left it, even though she'd moved out, gone to college, lived in Egypt for two and a half years and then gotten her own apartment in with a friend in Rome after being hired by RAI, the Italian state broadcasting corporation. There are photos of her everywhere.

    Several show her wearing a red, hooded jacket, her blonde hair tied in a pony tail. She clutches a microphone and peers into the camera. The reports she sent back were saved on videotapes stacked beside the Alpis' television.

    Her parents admit that they may have been overprotective of Ilaria, who as a child was quiet and fragile. They speculate that Ilaria set out for remote areas of the world in part to get away from their influcence, to proclaim her independence. Giorgio tells about how young Ilaria was too shy to even ask for what she wanted in Rome's coffee bars. "Papa, tell them I want a glass of water," she would say.

    When she was 13, Ilaria worked on her school newspaper and decided she wanted to be a journalist. Giorgio bought her a present, a small tape recorder. As he tells this story he begins to sob uncontrollably.

    Luciana's eyes turn red, and she comforts her husband. Shy Ilaria took the tape recorder and went out into the neighborhood interviewing news vendors about their business. It was a pattern that seemed to hold in her adult life.

    She struck those who met her as sweet and reserved. But as soon as she had a microphone and camera with her she was aggressive, professional, and self assured. "So self assured that she didn't have to be a bitch," was how one senior military official compared her to other female reporters. While many television reporters saw themselves as the stars of their shows, Ilaria once complained to her editor in Rome that she wanted to spend less time on camera. "Why should the viewers be looking at me when I could be showing them another ten seconds of Somalia?" Her parents and I watch some video of Ilaria, particularly her last interview with a clan leader named Boqor (King) Musa.

    Ilaria is interviewing Musa in the town of Bosasso, a relatively peaceful port 1,500 miles north of Mogadishu on the Gulf of Aden. Musa has a thick gray beard and a lazy eye. Everyone knows him affectionately by his nickname, King Kong.

    Giorgio Alpi turns to me and asks if I know King Kong, and if so, what I think of him. I tell him that the King is a decent fellow who spends his days at a hotel in Bosasso watching CNN. In these days of warlords he doesn't wield a lot of power, but he knows what's going on.

    Ilaria's discussion with King Kong is fairly mundane. They're talking about development projects and the like. Then she brings up the subject of arms trafficking.

    King Kong hesitates, and Ilaria tells Miran to shut the camera off. With the camera pointing away, but the sound still rolling you can hear King Kong speak about things that "came from Rome, Brescia, or Torino." Brescia is the arms manufacturing center of Italy. Then you can hear the final words on the tape, from King Kong: "those people have much power, contacts".

    Giorgio thinks the answer to his daughter's death is in that interview. The one and only time I met Ilaria, she had wanted to talk to me about Bosasso, and about King Kong. Something had disturbed her that day.

    What was she after? What did she want to know? The truth is, had I talked to Ilaria that night at The Sahafi Hotel, there wouldn't have been much I could tell her.

    But I might have found it curious that an Italian journalist in Mogadishu to cover the departure of Italian troops would have found an important reason to travel to Bosasso where there weren't any Italians. Ilaria was on her fifth trip to Somalia. Miran was there for the first time.

    The two of them caught a UN flight to Bosasso, and apparently didn't tell anybody they were going. Several days after they left, Italian journalists began asking the staff of the Sahafi hotel where she was. Even the Italian ambassador to Somalia showed up at the Sahafi wearing a flak jacket and helmet with an armed escort inquiring about her whereabouts.

    The owner of the Sahafi, Mohamed Jirdeh Hussein, found it curious that the ambassador would risk being in the streets at that time at all. The hotel staff informed the ambassador that Ilaria had gone to Bosasso. She was due to arrive back in Mogadishu on Saturday, March 20.

    The Italian military actually sent a few men to meet her plane and escort her from the airfield. They were going to advise her to spend the night on the Italian naval vessel, the Garibaldi, which was anchored off of Mogadishu. (I smiled when I first heard this. In a million years, even if we were under bombardment, the U.S.

    military would never send an escort for a journalist. And most U.S. journalists wouldn't have accepted one.

    We kept our distance from the military, maintained our independence. But the Italians felt they were all in it together.) Her plane arrived a day late, on Sunday at about 12:30. Though her escorts could easily have found out that the flight had been rescheduled, no one was there to meet her.

    So she and Miran caught a lift to the Sahafi where they checked in and had lunch. It was just after lunch when she and I spoke. Ilaria then phoned RAI in Rome and asked for some satellite time at around 7:00 p.m.

    so she could feed some video back. She said she had some good footage. "We can speak about the story of the day later." The producer remembers that Ilaria had something she really wanted to do. "I'm in a hurry," she said. She then phoned her mother one last time.

    At about 2:45 Ilaria and Miran left the Sahafi, heading across the Green Line into North Mogadishu to the Amana Hotel where some Italian journalists sometimes stayed. During the peacekeeping operation a feud had opened up between the Italian contingent on one side and the U.S. and UN on the other.

    In short, the Italians felt that they had been dissed in Somalia. This was, after all, their former colony. They had a 100-year relationship with the place.

    But Operation Restore Hope was at its core an American show. The top UN official was a former U.S. Navy Admiral.

    The UN headquarters was located in the former U.S. embassy compound south of the Green Line in territory that was controlled by warlord Mohamed Farah Aidid. The Italians sequestered themselves north of the Green Line in the area where the former Italian Embassy was and which was controlled by warlord Ali Mahdi Mohamed.

    There they pouted and sulked and took more than a little delight in the problems that the Americans later encountered in the ill-fated hunt for Aidid. The Italian peacekeeping strategy in Somalia - as it had been in Lebanon before -was to make friends with everyone and stay out of the line of fire. I recall standing with some Italian soldiers one day by the Green Line, surrounded by rubble and barbed wire.

    The Italian commander warned me to move on because, he said, there had been a sniper in one of the buildings who was shooting at people. Why aren't you afraid, I asked him. We have an arrangement with him, the commander said.

    So the Italians made their separate peace with the forces that controlled the North. Part of that dynamic involved the man everyone knew as Giancarlo. Giancarlo Marocchino, an Italian citizen and 50-something trucking magnate from Genoa who had made his home in Mogadishu since 1984 when he went into exile after being indicted for tax evasion.

    He married a Somali woman from the clan that now controls north Mogadishu, and settled in. If Giancarlo were to set foot in Italy today he would be arrested, but in north Mogadishu he became a good friend to, and important source of intelligence for, the Italian military. The U.S.

    military, on the other hand, once, briefly, had him thrown out of Somalia. U.S. intelligence was sure that Giancarlo was getting rich selling guns to the warlords.

    At one point an American intelligence officer suspected that weapons confiscated by the Italian military were sold to Giancarlo who then reconditioned them and sold them back on the streets. During the 1980s, Italy's socialists under Prime Minister Bettino Craxi seemingly turned their entire government apparatus into a huge money laundering operation - and their former colony of Somalia played a huge role in that corruption. Trillions of lire were sent to the impoverished country as "aid" and recycled back into the pockets of Italian government officials and their cronies. (Some of this corruption came to light in 1989 when Mohamed Farah Aidid - not yet a world famous warlord - sued Craxi for 50 million lire that he says he was promised as part of a kickback scheme.) The biggest scam aid projects in Somalia were in the northeast, near Bosasso.

    One of those projects involved the construction a first-rate highway built through the desert linking Bosasso to Somalia's main road. One of the main beneficiaries of that road, and of the slush fund around the project, was the man who was very active in the area's trucking business, Giancarlo Marocchino. During Operation Restore Hope, Giancarlo became a good friend to the Italian journalists, many of whom stayed in his home and paid for his protection.

    Giancarlo provided them with meals, cars, drivers, and bodyguards. Several of the Italian journalists, however, refused to stay with him. One of those journalists was Ilaria Alpi.

    She thought he was a gun-running sleaze bag. So Ilaria and Miran headed north over the Green Line in their white pickup truck. Their driver was named Ali and their bodyguard was a young kid named Mahamoud.

    In retrospect, it clearly wasn't advisable to be traveling around Mogadishu with only one gunman. At that time I was traveling with two, some days with more. I rode in a sedan and had a pickup truck full of gunners following me.

    Other journalists did likewise. We realized that the pullout of the Western troops was making Somalis nervous. While the public in Europe and the U.S.

    saw Operation Restore Hope as a grand charitable gesture, the Somalis saw the thing in terms of money. The UN, the charities and the press were pumping hundreds of thousands of dollars a day, cash, American dollars, into the Mogadishu economy. The foreigners living in Somalia had hired guards and drivers and rented houses and cars for astronomical amounts of money.

    Each journalist had an entire crew on his payroll. In addition, the presence of the peacekeeping troops meant that Somali businessmen could continue to operate. Somalia under the protection of the UN, but without governmental authority, had become a haven for smugglers.

    Cigarettes, for example were imported tax free (who was going to collect?) and sent across the borders to Kenya and Ethiopia. And foreign boats came to fish Somalia's waters. Sometimes warlords were able to extract tribute from them.

    Sometimes they just seized the ships. At the time Ilaria was in Bosasso, the local militia had hijacked several fishing ships that were being held for ransom just off the coast. One ship in particular had attracted some attention at that time.

    It was a ship that had been donated as Italian aid to the Somalis. It had an Italian captain, two Italian officers and a Somali crew. Kidnapping and hijacking were business as usual in Somalia.

    With the peacekeepers pulling out Somalis were aware that everything could change. And we were aware that the end of the gravy train might be the beginning of trouble. People who knew Ilaria well said that she might have become too comfortable in Mogadishu.

    She was well known and popular among the Somali people, especially the women who she spent time with and whose causes she championed. They had given her a nickname (everyone in Somalia had a nickname), which translated to "little smile." One of those causes was female genital mutilation. Somali girls when they reach puberty undergo the rite of infibulation.

    Their labia are sliced off and their vaginas are sewn up until their wedding night when their husbands will crack the seal that guarantees he's getting a virgin. As horrible as this is, few members of the highly cynical Africa journalists corps thought it worth reporting on. The custom is common enough in Africa and it's not news.

    It was news to Ilaria, who was outraged and was naive enough, or idealistic enough, to think that journalism could somehow make life better. At about 3 p.m. Ilaria and Miran arrived at the Amana hotel where the correspondent for the Italian news agency (ANSA) was staying even though she knew he wouldn't be there.

    The Amana is located on a hillside on a quiet street near the former Italian embassy. Ali and Mohamoud turned the truck around so it was pointing back down the hill where they had come from. Across the street from the hotel was tea stall, which was just a few benches in the shade where a woman boiled tea on an open fire.

    A group of men in a blue Land Rover pulled up, parked, and began drinking tea. They never got to finish it. Only minutes after they went in, Ilaria and Miran walked out of the hotel, climbed into their pickup and started down the hill.

    The seven men from the Land Rover, quickly put their tea down, piled back into their vehicle and overtook the pickup, cutting them off at the bottom of the hill where the street intersected with a main road. Two men jumped out of the Land Cruiser. And the shooting began.

    That point is where all agreement about what happened ends and where contradictory stories, some from the same witnesses begin. Dominico Vulpiani tears a sheet from his memo pad and sketches a map for me. He draws a road and two small rectangles to indicate vehicles.

    Then he draws little circles in the rectangles to show where everyone was sitting: Miran in the front seat with the driver, Ilaria in the back behind Miran, the bodyguard, Mahamoud standing in the back of the pickup. Vulpiani looks like a goofy Jack Webb. He's got the black buzz cut, a bit of girth that he carries well and slightly crooked teeth.

    He's the director of D.I.G.O.S. The Division of Investigations and Special Operations of the Questura Di Roma, the Italian police. He has been supervising the police investigations into Ilaria's death for two years.

    Though he's never been to Mogadishu, and none of his men have ever been to Mogadishu, they have interviewed witnesses who have. It's clear however that Vulpiani and his men have a big problem: Four years after the fact, with no forensic evidence, and no reliable witnesses they can never solve this case. At best, they can make it go away, which is what they seem intent on doing.

    There are two ways to do an investigation, Vulpiani lectures. You can start off asking why she was killed and then try to figure out who killed her. Or you can just look at the evidence, just the facts, (he actually says, "just the facts") and determine who killed her and then try to figure out why.

    You can dismiss the parents, he says. They have taken the first approach. His office, he says, has chosen the second.

    The police, he tells me, have a witness to the shooting. He's a young guy who goes by the name Jelle. Jelle turned up when the Italian government in 1977, under pressure to investigate the torture charges and solve the Ilaria case sent a special envoy, Ambassador Giuseppi Cassini, to Mogadishu.

    Cassini found Jelle during one of his investigative trips to Mogadishu. On the day Ilaria was killed, Jelle was apparently hanging around outside the Amana hotel looking for work with any journalist who might come by. According to Jelle, once Ilaria's pickup had been cut off, and the two men jumped out of the car, Ilaria's bodyguard Mohamoud started firing while Ali put the car in reverse and eventually backed into a wall because he was keeping his head down and not seeing where he was going.

    Jelle said that the men in the blue Land Rover fired all of their shots from 20 to 30 meters away. Security guards from the Amana hotel, hearing the shooting, came out, and fired on the attackers driving them away. The attackers then fled.

    One of them was killed. Ilaria and Miran must have been shot with rounds from an AK 47 from a distance. It was a botched robbery or kidnapping, a case of microcriminality, Vulpiani says.

    Vulpiani also tells me that he heard that Ilaria's body guard fired first, turning what might have been a simple robbery into a double murder. I had heard that as well on the night of the killing. According to the first information I had, Mahamoud, Ilaria's bodyguard panicked when the car was cut off and began to fire at the attackers.

    He only had seven rounds in his rifle and quickly ran out of ammunition. He then jumped out of the truck and fled on foot. Vulpiani seemed delighted to hear this.

    It fit nicely into the theory that it was a botched robbery. Mahamoud, I knew, was capable extreme panic. Nine months earlier I had been with him when he had panicked and fired first.

    Perhaps luckily for me, he had fired at American soldiers who were polite enough to aim over our heads when they fired back. But, I continued, it would seem to me that if Mahamoud was firing at the attackers, they would fire back at Mahamoud, not at the unarmed passengers in the car. Vulpiani doesn't have an answer.

    Ambassador Cassini joins us in Vulpiani's office while we're talking. He's been very helpful to me in Rome, and checks with me constantly to see how the story is coming. Cassini says that Jelle identified Hashi Omar Hassan, they guy who's now imprisoned in Rome, as someone who was in the Land Rover that ambushed Ilaria.

    According to Jelle, Hashi didn't fire. Jelle also said he later asked Hashi why he and his friends had attacked the journalists. Hashi is said to have replied that it was a robbery attempt.

    Well, there was a slight problem with Jelle, Vulpiani said. On Christmas eve of 1997 before he was supposed to testify against Hashi, he disappeared. "We believe he's working as a mechanic in Germany." Hashi, on the other hand, was still in jail. I paused after listening to their story.

    It made so little sense on so many levels. I've seen people hit in the head with a round from AK47 or M-16 assault rifle before. The high velocity bullet enters the skull and the body is snapped like a whip.

    The entrance wound is small, but the exit wound is another matter. The shell entering the skull flattens and turns and it carves a bulldozer path through the head. The exit wound explodes, spraying skull, hair and brain matter.

    That's not what Ilaria looked like. It seems to me, I said, that determining what kind of bullet hit her would be the easiest part of this case, certainly more reliable than a witness like Jelle who just might have been looking for a ticket out of Somalia. Incredibly, no autopsy was done on Ilaria immediately after she was shot.

    Photos were taken of her body by a medical doctor aboard the Garibaldi. But those photos and the medical report, like so other things in this case, have disappeared. The medical officer who wrote the report, told Ilaria's parents that it appeared to him that Ilaria had been assassinated.

    Ilaria's body was exhumed twice for autopsies. The first one was inconclusive. The most recent, in January of 1998 concluded that Ilaria was shot at close range, that when she was shot, she had curled up in the back seat of the truck and placed her hands over the back of her head, that the bullet took off the small finger of her right hand.

    The autopsy team consisted of six doctors, three chosen by Ilaria's parents, three by the police. The report is very clear. But the policemen in the room where I was sitting said simply that they didn't believe it, didn't believe the report because it contradicted their witnesses.

    Perhaps the bullet had slowed down because it went through the windshield, someone offered. That didn't make much sense, either. Though passing through glass and other material might slow a high velocity round it will also make it begin to wobble or tumble.

    If the bullet had passed through the windshield Ilaria would not have had a clean entry wound. The police would not accept what their own forensic report said. It was a clean shot to the head that didn't pass through anything.

    Expert confirmation TK As for the robbery or kidnapping theories, whoever was close enough to shoot Ilaria would have been close enough to accomplish any of those tasks, which they didn't. Nothing was taken from the car. In Mogadishu, everyone knows everyone, especially when cars are involved.

    I would drive around town with my crew and Osman, my driver, would know who owned every vehicle on the road. He could tell from 100 feet away when an approaching car was possible trouble. The guys I travelled with could eyeball almost anyone in the city and link him via three or four degrees of separation to someone else who could then be identified as friend or foe.

    In a city where everyone was armed and loyalties were divided along the lines of extended families, survival depended on that kind of information. It is impossible that no one knew who owned the blue Land Rover, not a common vehicle in Mog. It's not likely that no one could identify any one of the seven gunmen.

    Ilaria's bodyguard and driver maintained for years that they had no idea who the killers were. Ali, Ilaria's driver, testified as much the first time he was brought to Rome. After Jelle disappeared, Ali was brought back, given asylum in Italy and he suddenly remembered that Hashi had indeed been in the car.

    My first instinct upon hearing this, however, was that it proved that Hashi had in fact not been in the car. It was always my experience that whenever a crime was committed in Mogadishu, if the people in power wanted to find out who did it, all they had to do was spread the word. The criminals generally turned up.

    Obviously, no one wanted to solve this one. And since her killers were lolling about at a tea stand in plain view, in front of Ilaria's driver and bodyguard whom they made no effort to kill, driving a vehicle that would have been easily identified, they obviously thought there was no reason to protect themselves. It's very clear that the people who killed Ilaria and Miran had some very powerful connections, and nobody is about to turn them in.

    The Italian laws governing "institutional secrets" prevented me from speaking with Omar Hashi, but I did speak to his lawyer, Douglas Duale. Duale's is a tall, thin, immaculately dressed ethnic Somali with a tight gray beard. From his office you can see the Basilica of St.

    Peter's. The walls are covered with reproductions of Italian Renaissance art. Duale emphasizes immediately that he is more Italian than Somali.

    In fact, he was born in Ethiopia and has spent most of his life in Italy and Europe. The first thing he does is open a bottle of champagne and he will keep my glass full and bubbling for the duration of our four-hour discussion. I'm a bit wary at the beginning our meeting because of what I've been told about him.

    Both Cassini and Vulpiani described an insane man who made no sense, so I almost expect him to start blubbering madly. After I arrived in Rome I asked Cassini several times for Duale's contact number. But every time he dismissed me saying that I really didn't want to talk to him.

    Duale, however, though slightly eccentric, seems about as crazy as F. Lee Bailey. His speech is measured and careful.

    Duale represents both Hashi and Boqor "King Kong" Musa. While Musa is in the port town of Bosasso, he has come under some scrutiny since he was the last person Ilaria interviewed. According to Duale, Hashi was among a group of 19 Somalis detained by Italian soldiers at the old port in North Mogadishu.

    As Hashi tells it, he and 18 others had hoods placed on their heads, had their hands behind their backs and were thrown into the harbor. Hashi and one other were able to pull a Houdini act and wriggle free, but 17 of the prisoners died. Duale is convinced of the truthfulness of this story from his client.

    When I respond with skepticism to Hashi's entire story, Duale becomes indignant. During the Operation Restore Hope he tells me, Somalis accused Canadian, Belgian, and Italian Soldiers of committing atrocities. The Canadian special forces tortured a young Somali boy to death.

    Nobody would have believed the Somalis' claims except that in each case the soldiers took photographs and wrote letters and diaries documenting the atrocities. If it wasn't for the evidence those soldiers provided against themselves, no one would have believed the Somali victims. He has a point - but he hasn't proven one.

    The upshot of Hashi's version of events is this: In Mogadishu, Cassini, Jelle, and a few other Somalis working with Cassini approached him with a deal. If he went to Rome and testified that he had been abused by Italian soldiers he would be compensated with a lot of money. All he would have to do is then testify that as far as he knew, most of the other abuse complaints on file were false.

    He would also have to testify that he was in the blue Land Rover, that he didn't actually fire a gun himself, and the motive in attacking Ilaria's car was robbery. We're at the end of the evening and at the end of the champagne. "The killing of Ilaria Alpi was entirely an Italian affair," Duale concludes. "It was a hit." It's late in the evening when I leave Duale's office. A light mist falling on Rome.

    I'm buzzed from the champagne and everything seems to be glittering. I decide to walk for a bit through the city, but then I recall that at one point during the interview Duale looked at me and said, "these people will kill to stop the truth from coming out." I gaze at the lights on the piazza. This is Rome.

    Europe. It's not Mogadishu. I decide to take a cab back to my hotel.

    The headquarters of RAI just outside of Rome has all the charm of a maximum security prison. A series rectangular concrete structures are surrounded by high, electrified, barbed wire fence. Along one of those fences, on the outside, is a street called via Ilaria Alpi.

    Ilaria worked at RAI-3, in the news division, which is known as Tg3 (Telegiornale 3). It was her dream job. Each of Italy's television stations has a political heritage.

    Raiuno, Raidue and Raitre, were controlled at one time by the Christian Democrats, the Socialists and the Communists respectively. Raitre was the smallest with the fewest resources. In 1987 a man named Sandro Curzi was put in charge of Tg3.

    Curzi was a well known leftist commentator in Italy and something of a hero to Ilaria. He wanted to build Tg3 as a more even-handed professional news organization, an organization made up of young aggressive reporters who would do with their legs what the station didn't have the money to do. Curzi told me that he thought most Italian journalists were lazy and cowardly, that they practiced Grand Hotel journalism when they were abroad, and were satisfied to read wire copy when they were home.

    Ilaria was everything that Curzi wanted in a reporter. He had left Tg3 by the time she went to Somalia, but the new directors of the organization maintained the high opinion they had of Ilaria. Her life and death are still a palpable presence in the halls of Tg3.

    Her colleagues will drop anything to spend some time talking about her. One of RAI's journalists, Maurizio Torrealta is writing a book about Ilaria's case. Like her parents, he believes that the key is in the final interview with King Kong.

    And he thinks it has something to do with the fishing boats that were hijacked off the coast of Bosasso. When I met Torrealta he was carrying fat books full of official testimony about the Ilaria Alpi case and the abuse and torture cases. In part of that testimony, General Fiore, Italy's last commander in Somalia says that his staff had plans for a military intervention to recapture the fishing boats.

    We both agree that this attention to some hijacked boats was strange; boats were hijacked all the time off the Somali coast. The faction leaders who controlled Bosasso had an arrangement with the local militia. In exchange for their "defense" of territorial fishing waters they are allowed to make their own deals and demands with the companies operating the hijacked boats.

    At the time, King Kong was negotiating the ransom that would be paid for the ship. Torrealta went back to interview King Kong recently and asked him if he was afraid to talk about the situation with the fishing boat. Yes, he answered. "Because I know that in general, those companies involved in the fishing industry are also involved in other activities - especially those with Italian interests," he said.

    Torrealta asks King Kong if he told Ilaria anything specific. King Kong hesitates; then says "I can't say.....I don't know." Torrealta pressed him harder: Is it possible Ilaria was killed because she knew there were arms aboard that ship? This time King Kong answers, "It is quite possible, because it is evident those ships carried military equipment for different factions involved in the civil war." After Ilaria and Miran's death, some of their colleagues came to the Sahafi Hotel and took her things away.

    They packed her TV equipment and her notebooks. They took cash out of her duffel to pay the hotel bill. An inventory of her possessions was taken onboard the Italian naval vessel, the Garibaldi.

    That inventory included all of her notebooks, but not her missing camera. Then her body was helicoptered back to the American morgue in Mogadishu, which had refrigerators. The following morning a brief ceremony took place.

    The metal caskets were draped with Italian flags; they received the military honors in the presence of the Italian ambassador, the military chaplain, General Fiore and other officers. The bodies were flown on a G-222 transport plane to Luxor. In Luxor the coffins were switched to a DC-9 sent by the Italian government and proceeded to Rome.

    Sandro Curzi and others who knew Ilaria's work habits said that she was a scrupulous note-taker. Somewhere between Luxor and Rome the notebooks were taken. On board the plane were members of the Italian military, journalists from Tg3, RAI's general manager, Italian secret service, and members of the diplomatic corps.

    None of those people was ever interrogated. Things, after all, do get lost. The last thing that Giorgio Alpi said to me when I left his apartment was that he now suspected Giancarlo Marocchino was somehow behind his daughter's death.

    Back home in New York, I watch Carlos' video over and over again of Giancarlo supervising the extraction of Ilaria's and Miran's bodies from the Toyota pickup. He was the first person on the scene, which is not surprising. North Mogadishu was his turf.

    And it's also not surprising that he looks unruffled. Death was a way of life in Mogadishu. Then Giancarlo says to the camera, "They were somewhere they shouldn't have been." And I wonder if I'm listening to Giancarlo, the protector of Italian journalists commenting that Ilaria should have been using his bodyguards and cars, or if I'm listening to Giancarlo the gunrunner saying that Ilaria shouldn't have been asking questions about fishing boats in Bosasso.

    Suddenly I'm aware that this particular street in Mogadishu never seemed that dangerous to me.

    I had driven down it dozens of times before and never given it a second thought.

    I returned the day after Ilaria's death, and many times after, feeling perfectly safe and in control.

  • N

  • National Left: Trucking Justice.Imagine for some reason you need to go to court and also need Legal Aid and found that you couldn't turn to a Solicitor who you knew and trusted but found that one was appointed for you. Imagine your reaction if that Solicitor came from the same Company as Eddie Stobart trucking According to the Guardian Apparently what may be on this what when new rules on Legal Aid come into force "The subsidiary of the haulage firm Eddie Stobart has emerged as a leading contender in bidding for a new generation of criminal legal aid contracts that would deprive defendants of the right to choose their own solicitor. Lawyers are planning protests outside parliament in opposition to the Ministry of Justice's proposals, which aim to cut fees, reduce funding of judicial reviews and save a further 220m out of the legal aid budget.

    The row within the legal profession over the plans is intensifying. The head of Stobart Barristers has described traditional law firms who rely on legal aid as "'wounded animals waiting to die " Guardian 8th May 2013 Trevor Howarth, its legal director, said the firm would be bidding for the new criminal defence contracts. "We can deliver the service at a cost that's palatable for the taxpayer," he said. "Our business model was developed with this in mind. "We at Stobart are well known for taking out the waste and the waste here is the duplication of solicitors going to the courtroom. At the moment there are 1,600 legal aid firms; in future there will be 400.

    At Stobart, we wouldn't use 10 trucks to deliver one product." Howarth said he had received emails from solicitors with the heading "Truck Off". He added : "I have already taken calls from barristers on our panels who say they have been contacted by solicitors telling them they won't use them again if they take instructions from us." On removing a defendant's right to choose their solicitor, Howarth said: "I don't think the lack of choice is damaging. People are not entitled to access justice with an open cheque.

    No one is stopping them paying for their own choice of solicitor." Soliciters in Wales have warned that UK Government changes to legal aid will result in miscarriages of justice and the closure of high street Members of the legal profession lobbied the Wales Office about the impact they claim cost-saving proposals from the Ministry of Justice will have on people throughout the nation. Mark Davies of Swansea-based Goldstones Solicitors, said: This is going to have a devastating impact on high street firms. The Wasting Mule tells is that.

    It is planned that 21 contracts will be awarded to provide legal aid criminal services in Wales nine in South Wales and four each in Dyfed-Powys, Gwent and North Wales. Describing the challenges of serving Dyfed-Powys, he said: It s 4,700 square miles. It s a huge area.

    To put that into context, if you get arrested in Newtown and the lawyer that has the contract is based in Haverfordwest, it s going to take over two and a half hours just to get that lawyer over there and back; it s a 130 mile round-trip. What we are going to have is effectively the death of the high street firm. Western Mail 21st May 2013 Lynda Roberts of Porthmadog-based Breese Gwyndaf Solicitors feared that today s standards of Welsh language provision would disappear if services are provided by a few large companies.

    Ms Roberts is also alarmed that in most criminal cases clients will lose the ability to change their representation. Describing the importance of ensuring that people in Welsh speaking areas could access advice in their first language, she said : Client choice is paramount... The provision of advice is essential in the Welsh language in those areas.

    Speaking in the Commons, Conservative Justice Secretary Chris Grayling said: I have absolutely no intention of ending up with a legal aid market dominated by a small number of very large firms. "A central part of the tendering process will involve a quality threshold that ensures that we have the quality of advocacy and litigation support in this country that we need and expect. He added: We must ensure that every defendant, innocent or guilty, has access to a proper defence. We also need a system that is affordable at a time of great financial stringency.

    The Fear is that (though some will say the definite result) is that the changes will be on Legal aid will be defended by young inexperienced solicitor and there will be increased miscarriages of justice through inept defence or the firm with an eye on the costs will persuade defendants to plead guilty How many MPs and Lords who support this measure have or (ever will) needed Legal Aid ?

    This is truly frighting move that could see a further difference between those who can afford a decent defence and a difference between acquittal rates based on ability to pay.

  • NESARA- Restore America - Galactic News: Jasmine the Greyhound Subject: Jasmine the Greyhound In 2003, police in Warwickshire, England, opened a garden shed and found a whimpering, cowering dog. The dog had been locked in the shed and abandoned. It was dirty and malnourished, and had quite clearly been abused.

    In an act of kindness, the police took the dog, which was a female greyhound, to the Nuneaton Warwickshire Wildlife Sanctuary, which is run by a man named Geoff Grewcock, and known as a haven for animals abandoned, orphaned, or otherwise in need. Geoff and the other sanctuary staff went to work with two aims: to restore the dog to full health, and to win her trust. It took several weeks, but eventually both goals were achieved.

    They named her Jasmine, and they started to think about finding her an adoptive home. Jasmine, however, had other ideas. No one quite remembers how it came about, but Jasmine started welcoming all animal arrivals at the sanctuary.

    It would not matter if it were a puppy, a fox cub, a rabbit or, any other lost or hurting animal. Jasmine would just peer into the box or cage and, when and where possible, deliver a welcoming lick. Geoff relates one of the early incidents. "We had two puppies that had been abandoned by a nearby railway line.

    One was a Lakeland Terrier cross and another was a Jack Russell Doberman cross. They were tiny when they arrived at the center, and Jasmine approached them and grabbed one by the scruff of the neck in her mouth and put him on the settee. Then she fetched the other one and sat down with them, cuddling them." "But she is like that with all of our animals, even the rabbits.

    She takes all the stress out of them, and it helps them to not only feel close to her, but to settle into their new surroundings. She has done the same with the fox and badger cubs, she licks the rabbits and guinea pigs, and even lets the birds perch on the bridge of her nose." Jasmine, the timid, abused, deserted waif, became the animal sanctuary's resident surrogate mother, a role for which she might have been born. The list of orphaned and abandoned youngsters she has cared for comprises five fox cubs, four badger cubs, fifteen chicks, eight guinea pigs, two stray puppies and fifteen rabbits - and one roe deer fawn.

    Tiny Bramble, eleven weeks old, was found semi-conscious in a field. Upon arrival at the sanctuary, Jasmine cuddled up to her to keep her warm, and then went into the full foster-mum role. Jasmine the greyhound showers Bramble the roe deer with affection, and makes sure nothing is matted. "They are inseparable," says Geoff. "Bramble walks between her legs, and they keep kissing each other.

    They walk together round the sanctuary. It's a real treat to see them." Jasmine will continue to care for Bramble until she is old enough to be returned to woodland life. When that happens, Jasmine will not be lonely.

    She will be too busy showering love and affection on the next orphan or victim of abuse. Pictured from the left are: "Toby," a stray Lakeland dog; "Bramble," orphaned roe deer; "Buster," a stray Jack Russell; a dumped rabbit; "Sky," an injured barn owl; and "Jasmine," with a mother's heart doing best what a caring mother would do... and such is the order of God's Creation...

    Please pass this along, and maybe make someone else's day just a little brighter!

  • Netherlands UK Gambia When you get a photo like the one above, you have to start asking the age old questions; Who? Ashley Pearce What? Magirus Deutz 6 4 V10 ex German Army tractor units Where?

    The Netherlands When? - Last week Could have guessed Mr Pearce would be involved (it did come from his phone after all!). There s a lot more to it than that but that s a good start .. These Magirus Deutz were being collected from the Netherlands on behalf of a very interesting man called Frank, who will be shipping them to Gambia for the next 20 years of their lives.

    They are ex German Army and of course are in excellent condition and have very very low mileage being in mind they were built in 1980. The main point behind it all is that they are basic. They can be maintained easily and can be repaired at the side of the road.

    Frank runs a business in Gambia that moves a lot of aggregate so he requires tipper trailers too. As I said the trucks were bought from a dealer in the Netherlands and Ashley and a couple of Franks henchmen went to collect them and drive them back to deepest Suffolk, UK to Franks hide away HQ. It just so happens that about an hour from Calais another dealer was selling a number of old tipper trailers that suited Franks strict requirements for African Trucking.

    After collecting the trailers it was back on the ferry from Calais to Dover. Did you spot them on their journey? I d love to see any pics if you spotted the German invasion making its way back to Suffolk.

    Email me; [email protected] Franks love of the Magirus ex army trucks comes from the fact that they are German and they do as they say on the tin! As you can imagine trucking across Gambia requires something that can handle the many unmade roads and the rains that come in the wet season. Having a high ground clearence is essential and also the age old ability of being able to be repaired with a minimal amount of local faciities.

    Frank says that the Africans can fix anything or make any part that is required, all you need is some form of a donar part and some tools. How many modern day vehicles can say that?? Much like the golden days of Middle East trucking when trucks could be repaired with basic mechanical knowledge and not a dealership or expensive bill insight!

    One of the aging Magirus dropped a cylinder or 3 on one journey across Gambia. So the driver blocked off the 3 faulty ones and trucked back to the depot on just 7 of 10 cylinders, again with anything newer than 1990 you wouldn t even think about trying it. The trucks are 6 4 s with diff locks on each axle.

    They also come with spare wheel carriers fixed behind the cab with a small crane to lift and lower the wheels. Air cooled engines, steel sprung suspension and even gun holders (all removed before shipping to africa), a varied array of chassis mouted lockers and a dash board full of switchs and buttons labelled in German, mean these old girls really are top spec for trucking in Africa. Also in Franks conversion and pre-shipping yard were a couple of ex British Army 6 4 Seddon Atkinsons.

    These have turned out to be a labour of love and for the forseable future no more will be purchased. Since Gambia left the British Empire in 1965 all vehicles have to be Left Hand Drive, so the the first thing to do was to convert the Atkinsons from RHD to LHD, not to difficult but still a ball-ache when the German trucks are already LHD. Next the Seddons Atkinsons are standard road spec, so the air tanks and underslung exhaust have to be removed and redirected to a purpose built frame behind the cab, to try and improve the ground clearence.

    Again not a difficult job but one that can be avoided by buying the German trucks. Still the big Seddon looks great and ready for the African roads, in its natty orange paint work and illegal to use in the UK train horns! I often wonder what will happen in the countries that recieve all of Europes old trucks when we run out of the correct vintage.

    There isn t an endless supply of mechanicaly simple and computer free trucks to ship around the world, so whats going to happen? I have no idea what will happen in the future, but for now Frank says the value of the simple trucks is far greater than anything newer. In fact newer trucks are getting cheaper as they are unwanted in such countries as Gambia.

    The way forward for now is computer free trucking and what better place to find well kept, low mileage trucks than the huge supplies of ex military vehicles available. The Dutch dealer that Frank bought these 4 trucks from had 54 of these 6 4 Maggies for sale at Christmas, now he has none.

    50 were sold in one go to a Nigerian buyer and then these 4 are bound for Gambia. Hopefully Frank is going to send some more pics as and when the trucks reach Gambia and also of some of the things still running around out there.

    For now it seems Africas roads will continue to be filled with older rather than newer trucks, but for those who love their trucks and enjoying doing repairs and tinkering with engines then perhaps its the place to be.

  • Netherlands Diary 15: Delving into the Dutch Way My latest Business in Vancouver column: . Delving into the Dutch Way and the Netherlands world-beating power of consensus-based economics Last month, I had a chance, at the invitation of its government, to visit the Netherlands. Here is what I learned about the Dutch Way.

    It doesn t take long for the word polder to come up in the conversation. Specifically: the Polder Model the Dutch Way of consensus-based economic and social-policy making. I m assuming this has something to do with the fact that the Low Countries are low, rather easily flooded and flat.

    There s no high ground for just the rich and powerful. Everyone has a stake in public infrastructure like dikes that protect reclaimed land or polders from the sea. Therefore, there has to be a buy-in from almost everyone on critical decisions and cost sharing.

    This strategy for knowing how to work well with others turns out to be a good strategy for doing business in a global world. Better yet, the Dutch figured out a way to make money with it. They market their skill at logistics: managing the flow of resources between origin and consumption everything from containers to time, information to energy and at every stage minimizing the use of resources.

    In the Netherlands, logistics is already a big business: a half-trillion-euro industry, worth 10% of GDP, with 12% of jobs (813,000 of them), and it s perfect for the Polder Model: communication, co-operation, adaptation. In 2008, the government even launched a strategy a logistics action plan for the Netherlands so that by 2020, the Dutch expect to be the top European provider for supply-chain co-ordination, not to mention a role in such operations around the world. They set up platforms and tables places where various interests can come together.

    They funded universities and specialized professors. They established Dinalog, a conversion factory that analyses research from those universities, matches it up with enterprises, especially small- and medium-sized ones that couldn t otherwise afford such research, and then facilitates dialogue, especially with younger people whom they recruit from around the world. Seems all rather obvious?

    Who would object to more co-ordination and co-operation, more sharing for mutual benefit? Ever tried to get Canadian railways to talk to each other? Or trucking companies?

    Or different levels of government? Or unions and management? So what are the results on the ground?

    There is at the Port of Rotterdam, the third largest in the world by some measures, one of the most extraordinary scenes I have ever viewed: . There are no human beings in this picture even though all that equipment is in motion. From the containers on the ships to the cranes to the flatcars to the trucks, it s all completely automated.

    The manager of this terminal is Dutch-based European Gateway Services (EGS), a company that started in 1966, a mere decade after the introduction of the container, with 35 boxes. By 2012, that was up to 7.7 million. Now the company is in 52 ports in 26 countries.

    These systems require the exchange of information. And exchanges of data require trust, confidence and a cultural tradition of co-operation. Sound familiar?

    EGS has marketed itself as the trusted middleman figuring out the mutual advantages to be gained if all the partners are open. The issue is not the automation; it s been around since the 1990s. It is getting the agreement with unions to introduce it even though there will be a significant loss of certain kinds of traditional jobs.

    Because business has been good for EGS, it has seen a modest increase in employment even as systems become more automated. However, resistance in North America, including at Port Metro Vancouver, has meant that our ports are vulnerable to those that, having succeeded in automating, offer savings in time, cost and security advantages that have not yet overcome our superior location. You can guess that we will frame the issue just as I did in that last paragraph as one of competitiveness: how the forces of change will prevail over the interests of the least efficient or least powerful unless they successfully fight back.

    Our expectation is that change is about contested ground, not conciliation. Or unless we find another way to accommodate the future. Possibly, one might hope, the Dutch Way.

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  • New dispatch system could save money for trucking industry, make ... Engineers at Oregon State University are studying a new approach to organize and route truck transportation that could save millions of dollars, improve the quality of life for thousands of truck drivers and make freight transportation far more efficient. The findings, published recently in Transportation Research Part E , show the feasibility of the new system. More research is still needed before implementation, but there's potential to revolutionize the way that truck transportation is handled in the United States and around the world, some experts say.

    Loads could be delivered more rapidly, costs could be lowered, and the exhausting experience of some truck drivers who often spend two to three weeks on the road between visits back home might be greatly reduced. This difficult lifestyle often leads them to quit their job as a result. That turnover problem is sufficiently severe that more long-haul, full-truckload drivers quit every year than there are trucks of that type on the road. "The perceived quality of life for long-haul truck drivers is poor, and it shouldn't have to be that way," said Hector Vergara, an assistant professor in the OSU School of Mechanical, Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering, who is working on this project in collaboration with researchers at the University of Arkansas. "It will take a transition for companies to see how the approach we are studying can work effectively, but it should help address several of the problems they face," he said.

    In truck transportation, some of the existing approaches include "point to point," in which one driver stays with a full load all the way to its often-distant destination; "hub and spoke" systems in which less-than-full loads are changed at selected points; and "relay" networks in which the drivers change but the load stays on the truck. None of these systems by themselves are ideal for long-haul transport. The hub and spoke system is among the most popular with drivers because they get home much more frequently, but it can be costly and inefficient for full-truckload transportation.

    Relay networks make sense in theory but are difficult to implement. The new approach under study combines the relay system and the point-to-point system for full-truckload transport. The researchers at OSU developed a new mathematical approach to optimize the design of the dispatching system for the movement of goods and to minimize the impact on drivers.

    It's one of the first models of its type to create a mixed-fleet dispatching system at a large scale. "We now know this approach can work," Vergara said. "Compared to point-to-point, this system should cut the length of trips a driver makes by about two-thirds, and get drivers back to their homes much more often. We can also keep loads moving while drivers rest, and because of that save significant amounts of money on the number of trucks needed to move a given amount of freight." The computer optimization determines the best way to dispatch loads and tells where to locate relay points, and how different loads should be routed through the relay network. Truck transportation systems will never be perfect, researchers concede, because there are so many variables that can cause unpredictable problems weather delays, road closures, traffic jams, truck breakdowns, driver illnesses.

    But the current system, especially for long-haul, point-to-point transport, is already riddled with problems, and significant improvements based on computer optimization should be possible. Disillusionment with existing approaches led to a shortage of 125,000 truck drivers in 2011, the researchers noted in the study. The negative economic impacts of this system also reach beyond just the trucking industry, they said.

    Explore further: Study finds lack of safety restraint in a semi-truck increases risk of injury regardless of seating position More information: The study this story is based on is available online:

  • nibirding: Wednesday 29th JanuaryThey just keep on trucking, making up complete nonsence as they go along, yes its the Nobirds lads with yet another classic. They tell us that there have been 5 Glossy Ibis reports this year, they are on safe ground there but then they tell us that there could be up to 3 birds responceible!! Pure class and a touch of genius as well, where do they actually think up this stuff.

    They must lock themselves in a room and have a "Buck Stupid Convention" every month. It would be great if they could educate us as to the reasoning behind this. As none of the reports have been ringed birds we do not know if 1 wide rangeing bird is responcible, 5 different birds or any combination in between.

    Unless there is proof to the contrary then they have to be treated as seperate birds, to pick a number like 3 is typical Nobirds, keep it up lads!! By the way where has all the money gone? None of your old close ups of the Pacific Diver on here, we much prefer photos like this, sent in by John Caughey.

    We suspect John photographed the Diver from nearby Draperstown 6 mile away, next time John try and get a bit closer to the lake.

    Thanks to Ronald Surgenor for the first 3 photos and then yet more Grey Phalarope photos, we are not finished yet either, its either Phalarope / Chiffchaff photos or gull photos!

    Pacific Diver photos are for wimps

  • North Carolina Cop Admits in Court to Lying About 911 Call to Enter ... Durham An unidentified police officer in Durham, North Carolina, reportedly testified in federal court that he lied to a resident, claiming there was a 911 call from the home when there hadn t been, in order to enter the house, and claimed this was standard practice in his department. Durham s police chief, Jose Lopez, is shocked this is happening in the department, and claims it s the only time it s ever happened. Via the local ABC affiliate: "Effective immediately," Lopez wrote in a memo obtained by ABC11, "No officer shall inform a citizen that there has been a call to the emergency communications center, including a hang up call, when there in fact has been no such call." ABC11 spoke with Chief Lopez by phone while he attended an FBI Training Institute in Washington D.C.

    Lopez denied the officer's claims that lying to get consent to enter a home is a common practice. "This has never occurred," said Lopez. "We want to find out what...led him the officer to believe that this is something he should do." The officer does not appear to have been placed on administrative leave or suspended, though the chief insists disciplinary action is possible if the claim is true, though he didn t specify if there would be disciplinary action if the claim weren t true and the cop was therefore have found to have lied under oath.

  • Northwest Side Foodies, a Food Truck Roundup is at Tower ... Chow Northwest Side Foodies, a Food Truck Roundup is at Tower Theatres Tonight 'Til 7:30 Posted by David Mendez on Mon, Nov 5, 2012 at 4:31 PM From the good folks at Dinnerware Art Space, tonight at Tower Theatres, 5755 W Arizona Pavilions Drive, you can get your chow from some of Tucson's finest food trucks, including (according to the good folks over at Dinnerware Artspace) Stolen Recipe BBQ, Mexico City Kitchen, The Coffee Van, Jamie's Bitchen Kitchen, Hellfire Pizza Co., The Chill Shack, AF&F Kettle Korn, Seis Curbside, Street Delights, Just Churros, Pin UP Pastries, Crazy Dogs Hot Dogs, Trucking Good Cupcakes, Baja Tacos, Jane's Rolling Wok, Foodie Fleet, German Food Station, Seis Curbside Mexican Gourmet, Jackie's Food Court and Serial Grillers. The Roundup has started, opening up at 4:30, but it continues until 7:30. But, on the off-chance you won't be able to make it out to Tower Theatres tonight, this isn't your last chance this week for food truck goodness.

    Another Roundup is set to convene upon Sportsman's Warehouse, 3145 E. Costco Drive, this Thursday, Nov.

    8 from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m., while a third Roundup is planned to meet at the International Wildlife Museum, 4800 W. Gates Pass Road, on Saturday, Nov.

    10 from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. Tags: food truck roundup, tucson food trucks, tower theatres, international wildlife museum, sportsman's warehouse, dinnerware artspace '); } else if (jQuery(this).attr("id") == "sortSelect") jQuery("#BlogComments .sortSpinner").show(); var url = "/TheRange/archives/2012/11/05/northwest-side-foodies-a-food-truck-roundup-is-at-tower-theatres-tonight-til-730"; var myStart = jQuery(this).attr("id") == "sortSelect" ? "1" : jQuery(this).attr("rel"); var showAllComments = jQuery(this).attr("id") == "showAllComments" ? 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  • Obama Visits Truck Depot To Denounce 'Harmful Carbon Emissions ... Obama Visits Truck Depot To Denounce 'Harmful Carbon Emissions' He's Blowing It Out Both Ends for The Queen February 19, 2014 9:56AM Obama visited a Safeway warehouse depot in Maryland yesterday, to announce that he is directing his regime's Transportation Department and Environmental Protection Agency to set tighter emission controls for medium- and heavy-duty trucks, to go into effect in March 2016 (large pickups, school buses, and 18-wheelers.). This is his latest move in a series of crazed, on-high decrees about combatting global warming to save the Earth. He spoke of climate change Feb.

    14 on a drought trip to California; and with French President Hollande earlier last week. A White House operative said this week that the new truck emissions-reduction initiative is part of Obama's ongoing effort to use his executive authority to address climate change. On Feb.

    12, the U.S. submitted a 'vision' proposal to the United Nations for a new global warming agreement, according to Reuters. It is described as being an innovative "bifurcated approach" of jiggering different emissions targets for rich and for poor nations.

    Whatever it is, it is doing the dirty work for the Queen's agenda of depopulation and destruction. The (Un) Scientific American reports that the White House has held three inter-agency meetings since last September, on how to push ahead with an anti-global warming drive. The journal runs a photo of Obama and Valerie Jarrett, the Londonite, together at a Copenhagen climate change meeting.

    Today at the Safeway trucking center in Upper Marlboro, Obama praised the supermarket chain for employing vehicles with lower emissions, holding forth that,"Our levels of dangerous carbon pollution that contributes to climate change has sic actually gone down even as our production has gone up.

    And one of the reasons why is because we dedicated ourselves to manufacturing new cars and new trucks that go farther on a gallon of gas and that saves families money, it cuts down harmful pollution, and it creates new advances in American technology." Obama contrasted that with how, "Carbon pollution was going unchecked, which was having severe impacts on our weather..." He is blowing it out both ends for the Queen.

  • On The Virtues of Never Knowing Where To Stop (Kurt Newman) ( Editor s Note: This is the third in a series of weekly guest posts by Kurt Newman. ) Preparing for upcoming exams,2 I recently had occasion to reexamine Richard Hofstadter s The Paranoid Style in American Politics and some related secondary sources: David S. Brown s excellent 2006 Hofstadter biography (which dwells at great length on the question of the paranoid style ) and Lisa McGirr s now-classic Suburban Warriors (2001), still the site, I think, of the best contemporary critique of Hofstadter s notion. I haven t always known how to feel about the backlash against the idea of the paranoid style.

    Certainly Hofstadter s writing on the topic is a kind of vulgar Freudianism. On the other hand, paranoia really is present in many scenes of American history, and it sometimes seems that anti-Hofstadter polemics have made it more difficult to understand certain reactionary formations, conspiracy theories, and outbreaks of ordinary psychosis. The end result, in any event, is that paranoia, as a historical category, ends up locked away in a cabinet of forbidden analytical tools.

    My proposal is this: we should all become a little more paranoid. In the process, we should think carefully about whether historiography can really do without the concept of paranoia. *** Samuel Weber notes that Beziehungswahn a German synonym of paranoia has some interesting connotations that the English word lacks. Beziehungswahn is made up of two component words: Beziehung , meaning relation, and Wahn , meaning delirium.

    So paranoia might be rendered a madness of relation wherein the paranoiac gets completely carried away in making links and connections. Presumably, Weber suggests, the madness lies in never knowing where to stop.

    3 *** We who work on the history of the Left often find ourselves confronted with strange failures of this madness of relations. Where the Right easily connects fluoridation, the loss of China, and rock and roll music, the Left s madness seems to lie in never knowing where to start.

    Consider the most famous case of failed recognition of Leftists missing the proletarian character of a popular art form of the twentieth century: film noir. As Robert Pippin writes: The story of this designation is well known. After a long wartime period during which no American movies could be shown in Paris, French critics were astonished at what they saw when the films returned.

    They especially expressed amazement at what had happened to the American gangster film or crime melodrama or private-eye thriller, and some argued that the movies being produced were qualitatively different, as if a new genre altogether, much darker and stranger than those previously made. In 1946, the journalist Nino Frank compared the films to the s rie noire novels and coined the name film noir. Eventually Raymond Borde and Etienne Chaumeton published a very influential book in 1955, and the convention was firmly established: the Americans had been making film noir, even though all during the classic period of the 1940s no one had any idea that they were making such film noir. (Robert Pippin, Fatalism in American Film Noir ).

    Why did it take the French to discover this exemplary form of the proletarian grotesque ? Why couldn t most American radicals discern the political potency of these movies, even though many of the masters of film noir were card-carrying leftists (many even went to jail over their political commitments)? *** Those are questions for a different essay, although they guide us to the happily paranoid reading we are pursuing here: a reading that insists that the music of Buck Owens and the Buckaroos of Bakersfield, California, from the late 1950s to Owens s decision to assume hosting duties of CBS s Hee Haw in 1969 constitutes one of the richest aesthetic projects in the history of proletarian literature. I would go a step further, in fact, and insist that the Bakersfield conjured in Buck Owens and the Buckaroos ritournelles is a key node in the psycho-geography of American working class culture the product of a miraculous series of coincidences of time and space that brought a large cohort of the last generation of southern sharecroppers to Kern County at precisely the moment that working class culture was both literally and figuratively electrified.

    Unlike the pastoral landscapes of the republican homesteader heartland so often associated with country music, Owens s Bakersfield is the site of buzzing, crowded, sweaty ambiences. Owens s music is a lyricism of rented spaces (to borrow Amy Kaplan s description of early twentieth century literary realism). Owen s Bakersfield is organized not around the factory s clock, but rather around the aleatory time of wildcat trucking and seasonal work.

    Owen s Bakersfield is a space that emerges after the momentous event described by Jonathan Crary in his new book 24/7 when capitalism decided that the world should be awake twenty four hours a day. And thus gave birth to a whole new series of desires and pleasures of self-fashioning to be chased in neon rooms in places like Bakersfield. To my ears this is straightforward, almost mundane.

    But the music of Buck Owens and the Buckaroos in the 1960s is not heard this way. In fact, it is heard as just the opposite and will remain unheard as long as we refuse the delirium of relations that is required if we are to know how to retrieve our repressed, collective memories of radical desire. *** Just as the 1940s and 1950s intellectuals did not see film noir for what it was, so, too, when the New Left looked around in the 1960s, they did not see that Bakersfield country was in fact a fount of radical affect. Left political observers in the Johnson Era wrote articles like To the Nashville Station, as if the New Right s ascent as vanguard party would naturally launch from the Grand Ole Opry.

    In different ways, historians like Bruce Schulman, Jefferson Cowie, and Peter La Chappelle have seen commercial country music as part of a cultural fabric in which the southernization of American politics was swathed. The last hopes for the Woody Guthrie-ite southern songster as cultural leader, in this reading, was extinguished with Merle Haggard s turn to Nixonian politics with Okie From Muskogee. This reading is, in almost every particular, imaginatively impoverished and politically illogical.

    Or, to put it another way it is not nearly paranoid enough. Such readings derive from what Alain Badiou calls a didactic schema for interpreting art.4 Art, in this schema is supposed to teach: if one does not leave a concert hall slightly less stupid than when one entered, the performance must register as a political failure. Art, as semblance of truth must be according to the didactic schema s rubric a phenomenon either to be condemned or to be strictly supervised.

    Art, properly, serves to verify a truth imposed from outside its own practices. Acceptable art, in this view, must be subjected to the philosophical surveillance of truths. More appealing, I think, is a properly paranoid schema. *** I propose that we take advantage of a certain mystical coincidence.

    Let us consider the overlap of two Crystal Palaces, separated by an ocean and more than one hundred years. The first Crystal Palace is, of course, the Crystal Palace built in London for the Great Exhibition of 1853, the glass phantasmagoria that announced the arrival of full-fledged commodity culture and the society of the spectacle. The second Crystal Palace is, of course, the Crystal Palace concert venue/tourist attraction that Buck Owens opened in Bakersfield in 1996.

    As Bruce Fink writes, building on Freud s 1909 Notes Upon A Case of Obsessional Neurosis : Symptoms often disguise their meaning and origin by taking advantage of homonyms to form verbal bridges between one idea or wise and another that is seemingly unrelated (Bruce Fink, Fundamentals of Psychoanalytic Technique , 98). In the history of critical theory, the Great Exhibition s Crystal Palace is perhaps most famous as the central figure in Walter Benjamin s analysis of the new public culture of capitalism in Paris, Capital of the Nineteenth Century. What Benjamin is looking for, always, are the conditions of emergence of a particular phenomenon: a Baudelaire poem, the Paris arcades, the German Trauerspiel .5 We will use, then, the convergence of these two Crystal Palaces to authorize an application of Benjamin s interpretive strategy vis- -vis the cultural consequences of French capitalism to a close reading of the conditions of emergence of Buck Owens and the Buckaroos in Bakersfield, California in the 1960s. *** To understand the conditions of emergence of Buck Owens s Bakersfield, we need to do some deep background work we need to wager, that is, that there might be some deep link between a preference for singing a ballad a certain way, the joy of plucking a low string of an electric guitar so that it vibrates in such a way as to go slightly sharp before returning to pitch (and thus conjuring twang ), or the pleasures of certain kinds of machinic co-relation among members of a country band, on the one hand, and what we would usually call politics.

    As historians, what we are listening for is the aural equivalent of the dialectical image, described by Benjamin as the appearance of dialectic at a standstill. Via the dialectical image, Benjamin writes, every epoch not only dreams the one to follow but, in dreaming, precipitates its awakening (Benjamin, 109). Benjamin emphasizes that novelty spurs the creation of dialectical images.

    For the first time in the history of architecture, Benjamin writes of the Paris arcades (using the formula for the first time that recurs, over and over, in the essay) an artificial building material appears: iron. Benjamin s meditation on newness is particularly apposite given the centrality of newness (new kinds of instruments, new forms of recording and distributing music, the transition, however incomplete, from black and white to full color printing, film, and television) in the music of Buck Owens. It is via dialectical images that we discern the arrival of the event.

    Dialectical images also call attention to the constructedness of naturalized social formations, and thereby open up space for imagining new kinds of relations. We might think of Buck Owens s My Heart Skips A Beat structured around a literal skipped beat drum figure as providing a particularly elegant example of a dialectical image. The image of the heart skipping a beat calls to mind these observations of Fredric Jameson on the dialectic: Dialectical thinking is an intensification of the normal thought process There is a breathelessness about this shift from the normal object-oriented activity of the mind to such dialectical self-consciousness something of the sickening shudder we feel in an elevator s fall or in a sudden dip in an airliner The shock indeed is basic, and constitutive of the dialectic as such: without this transformational moment, without this initial conscious transcendence of an older, more na ve position, there can be question of any genuine dialectical coming to consciousness (Jameson, Marxism and Form , 307-08).

    Benjamin emphasizes ephemerality: it is no surprise that the most important initiatives are often those that burn out the fastest. This leads us to Benjamin s recovery of failed and transitional forms in Paris feuilletons that would be replaced by novels and newspapers, and panoramas that would not survive the birth of cinema as a model for a radical kind of historical hermeneutics. Benjamin s notes on these ephemeral forms help us to conceive of how we might listen for the radical strains of Bakersfield country music in the 1960s, even as the braying donkeys and wooden clog dancing of Hee Haw threaten to retroactively drown out Owens s urgent yelps, the magnificent twanging of Don Rich s telecaster, or the snaking melodies that streamed out of Tom Brumley s pedal steel guitar. *** Bakersfield is an agriculture and oil town.

    Beginning with the World War II era, federal highway construction was to become especially significant in the formation of Bakersfield s identity. The town assumed a central place on an automotive circuit populated by various nomads: truckers both legal and wildcat, bachelors and families moving frequently from job to job (an indicator of increasing working-class power in a full employment economy), and entertainers making a living via an endless string of one-nighters. For Buck Owens particular poetics of space, this nomadic movement and automobility is foundational.

    Owens sings frequently of driving, often from the perspective of the professional motorist; love, desire, and infidelity are often staged within the liminal world of temporary attachments and fleeting passions of the road. Cars and trucks of the time were loud, humming with unmuted motors and suffused with the smell of smoke and gasoline; speed limits were high or nonexistent and were honored more in the breach, in any case (according to legend, Buck Owens drove as fast as possible at all times, leading his musicians to attach a gizmo to their van s motor that would disallow travel at speeds faster than 82 mph). Driving for a living, staying awake on a steady diet of coffee and uppers (this was certainly the case with most of the Buckaroos, although Buck Owens himself apparently disliked stimulants): musical artists who spend their days and nights this way might be expected to channel the sensations of the road into sound, and this must explain at least some of the stimulus to the Bakersfield musicians pursuit of speed and volume.6 Finally, the state s sponsorship of car culture facilitated the traffic between Bakersfield and the West Coast s culture industry hub, Los Angeles.

    In the early 1950s, Capitol Records began to treat Bakersfield as a farm team for its country division. Gene Autry s TV show Melody Ranch and the Compton-based Town Hall Party often featured Bakersfield talent like Roy Maphis, Ferlin Husky, Billy Mize, and Tommy Collins. The LA-Bakersfield circuit also explains how LA-based country musician Wynn Stewart and his pedal steel guitarist Ralph Mooney could invent the Bakersfield sound while living in southern California.

    To a significant degree, cheap gas and highways meant that LA and Bakersfield were, for a time (however paradoxically), the same place. *** The ecological disaster of the Dust Bowl was, of course, the historical event most responsible for driving hundreds of thousands of displaced Okies and southerners, like the Owens family, to the Bakersfield area (between 1935 and 1940, upwards of 70,000 migrants made their way to the San Joaquin Valley). But without the federal relief infrastructure, the Farm Security Administration camps, and the massive highway construction initiatives coincident with the arrival of the defense industry in California, the musical culture of Bakersfield would never have consolidated in the first place. Visitors to the federally funded work camps of Kern County noticed that music was an especially vital part of the ad hoc migrant communities despised by locals and exploited by anti-union employers that formed in the San Joaquin Valley.

    Library of Congress Archive of American Folk Song researchers Charles Todd and Robert Sonkin reported from the Bakersfield area in the late 1930s: the camps, they noted, were filled with old-time country music (Scott Bomar, Dim Lights, Thick Smoke, and Loud, Loud Music: The Story of the Bakersfield Sound, 16).7 With the arrival of World War II, this traditionalist culture morphed into a commercial honky-tonk one: as communities like Little Okie and Oildale began to gain permanence, clubs like Bateman s, Ma Scott s, and the Chicken Coop sprung up, complementing longer-established Western Swing-oriented dance venues like the Barn on Stine Road. Texas musician laureate Bob Wills began a weekly stint at Beardsley Ballroom in 1946. New clubs were built along Edison Highway: The Clover Club, the Lucky Spot, and the Sad Sack (Bomar, 20). (NB: one could productively think about the poetic richness of those names all day).

    During the 1950s, the most important venue was the Blackboard Caf , hosting Bill Woods (with Buck Owens on guitar): the loudest, liveliest, smokiest, and, some say, the most dangerous club with frequent fights, shooting and stabbing, and several murders. Without question, the culture of Bakersfield country was articulated to a certain normative whiteness. But there was always, as always with American popular music, promiscuous cross-cultural syncretism and borrowing.

    Bill Woods, a popular Bakersfield musician with whom Owens served an apprenticeship, learned music in Texas migrant labor camps from Mexican sharecroppers. Buckaroos guitarist Don Rich often seemed to be channeling blues guitarists like Muddy Waters and Earl King. In the 1950s, young Buck Owens often went shopping for R&B records at a kind of black record store on California Avenue, according to Bakersfield veteran Don Markham, while trying to formulate his aesthetic agenda.

    At one point, in fact, Owens described his style as a mixture of Bob Wills and Little Richard (Bomar, 27). *** Walter Benjamin writes endlessly about iron. Why is Benjamin so interested in iron? The most profound motivation, it seems, is that iron is the first artificial construction material.

    Iron is untimely in Paris of the 1850s, it is a material from the future: too futuristic, in fact, to be properly understood by its earliest adopter. Iron s essence is functionality and engineerability. The destiny of iron is the bridge and skyscraper, not the faux-Hellenic structures of midcentury Europe.

    This living contradiction the Grecian column cast in iron, for example serves, then, as a particularly potent dialectical image. It is not difficult to see the parallels with Bakersfield country music, which hinges not just on the arrival of new instruments and new recording technologies, but also on the dissonance between those materials and the purposes to which they are put. Importantly, the introduction electricity and drums to country music was not just a question of playing traditional music on more technologically evolved instruments.

    In this sense, the ban on drums at the Grand Ole Opry until well into the 1960s, and the strict control of volume and timbre of electric instruments at the Grand Ole Opry s Ryman Auditorium was not just aesthetic backwardness. The arbiters of traditionalism in Nashville understood that the preservation of country music required such control at the level of instrumentation. This perhaps also explains why Owens always maintained an arms-length, if not hostile relation to the Grand Ole Opry and Nashville, attempting to create a rival organization in Bakersfield in the 1960s, and crafting a pledge of allegiance to country music published in 1966 in Nashville s Music City News: I Shall Sing No Song That Is Not A Country Song.

    I Shall Make No Record That Is Not A Country Record. I Refuse To Be Known As Anything But A Country Singer. I am Proud To Be Associated With Country Music.

    Country Music And Country Music Fans Made Me What I Am Today. And I Shall Not Forget It. This, despite the fact that it was Owens and the Buckaroos who at least to the untrained ear were creating powerfully un-traditional country music.

    I think Owens was sincere when he drafted the pledge. He was correct his music was more faithful to the values of country music than the records being released at the time by the Nashville establishment. What this means, however, is that we must grapple with the question of Bakersfield country s characteristic gesture of maintaining fidelity to tradition by demonstrating marked infidelity to tradition.

    The invention of these new instruments was provoked by the new social circumstances of the postwar honky-tonk (loud, smoky, riddled with aggression and sometimes violence) and the imperative to craft a kind of music sympathetic with this affective environment. The use of these instruments required innovation and experimentation, discovery in the direction of their fundamental nature and capacities. What the music of Buck Owens and the Buckaroos of the 1960s represents is exactly the sort of transitional aesthetic movement that Benjamin is seeking to capture with the idea of the dialectical image. *** A photograph: Buck Owens and the Buckaroos perform on television in the mid-1960s.

    The set is made to look like Owens s Bakersfield ranch, although it is a reconstruction in a New Mexico studio. It is a color image, from a color broadcast. Recall that it was only in 1965 that television underwent a color transition (with networks switching to majority color programming).

    The popular GE Portia-Color was introduced in 1966. This is an image suffused with newness. The mise en sc ne , the instruments, the outfits, and the Buckaroos particular approach to orchestration and arrangement: all of this speaks to what Zora Neale Hurston called the will-to-adorn, the almost compulsive drive to ornamentation so common across proletarian art forms.

    The Buckaroos instruments are all comparatively recent inventions: the drum kit dates back to the 1930s, the Fender bass, Telecaster, and amplifiers are products of the 1950s (with the silver-sparkle grilles and instrument finishes telegraphing a space-age futurism). Tom Brumley s modern, Nashville E9 pedal steel guitar is an innovation of the early 1960s. Even the comparatively small size of the band spoke to historical exigencies.

    The musicians who began to move to Bakersfield in the 1940s were primarily Western Swing aficionados from Texas and Arkansas (like Owens himself). The Western Swing band is a huge, sprawling orchestra, with twinned fiddles and horns to ensure a sound loud enough to project in large dancehalls. Bakersfield musicians thus welcomed the invention of electrical instruments as a means to the end of performing in smaller ensembles.

    This was at once an aesthetic and an economic lure (the smaller the group, the more money for each group member). It meant that smaller dives, which could not accommodate nor afford a full Western Swing orchestra, could be turned into live-music venues. As a consequence, Bakersfield country came to embody a series of unique aesthetic values: a certain sonic individuality and differentiation, a sparser sound with more air, and a greater audibility of the gestural figuration that in classical rhetoric is called deixis (pointing functions, as in a guitar passage that leads to a new section of a song, or a drum fill that tilts towards the end of a solo).

    Though the image is static, the video that recorded the performance is extant: it reveals that the performance is not in fact live. The Buckaroos mime a performance of a prerecorded track (which takes advantage of the crisp sonic separation allowed by other comparatively recent innovations, stereo multitrack recording and the introduction of the Westrex single-groove stereophonic record cutterhead). The Buckaroos wear matching, tailored, outfits, crafted either by Nudie Cohn or Nathan Turk, the visionary Jewish rodeo tailors who came to California from the Pale of Settlement and created the visual language of country music couture out of extravagant needlework, rhinestones, and loud, colored fabrics and memories of Buffalo Bill Cody and the traje de luces worn by traditional bullfighters.

    Cohn and Turk called the sequins that they sewed onto the suits of performers like the Buckaroos schmaltz (Yiddish for grease ). Along with Cohn and Turk, California in the early 1960s was home to a variety of other innovators in the field of visual bling, particularly in the world of hot rods and kustom kars : new experiments with resins, lacquers, and the incorporation of metal flakes into industrial paint. In the corridors of high art this initiative would provide the inspiration for a group of artists known as the Finish Fetish school.

    The shimmering suits and sparkling finishes of the instruments crackle synaesthetically with the treble-y, sharp, highly focused sound produced by the group. It is hard to understand how this extraordinary synthesis was not apprehended then and that it is now apprehended now as the dialectical flash for which Benjamin would have us ever be on alert. *** In Nixonland , Rick Perlstein writes: A memo by Kevin Phillips was making the rounds: Middle America and the Emerging Republican Majority the language was new, but the theory was as old as the crusade against Alger Hiss: elections were won by focusing people s resentments. The New Deal coalition rose by directing people s resentments of economic elites, Phillips argued.

    But the new hated elite was cultural the toryhood of change, condescending and self-serving liberals who make their money out of plans, ideas, communication, social upheaval, happenings, excitement at the psychic expense of the great, ordinary, Lawrence Welkish mass of Americans from Maine to Hawaii (Perlstein, Nixonland , 277). The silent majority, then for Phillips at least was not composed of the public that Buck Owens and the Buckaroos were calling into being in the mid-1960s. It was instead a great, ordinary, Lawrence Welkish mass.

    The response of musicians like Buck Owens who was quickly losing his connection to Bakersfield s proletarian culture was to become Lawrence Welk. Hee Haw , launched in 1969 by CBS, forcefully defanged what remained radical in the musical initiative of the last generation of sharecroppers in the 1960s. Ironically, Owens s turn to Hee Haw came at precisely the moment that the work of the Bakersfield country faithful to erect an alternative to the increasingly toothless country being produced in Nashville (an accelerating trend of producers removing pedal steels, twangy guitars, and fiddles, ostensibly in response to the complaints of the new FM format radio station DJs) seemed to be on the verge of paying off.

    California country rock was deeply Bakersfield-influenced, leading to renewed interest among countercultural music fans in the roots of the sounds that were being channeled by The Byrds, the Grateful Dead, and New Riders of the Purple Sage. Media reports suggested that Bakersfield was mounting a serious challenge to Music City: in the 1970s, the San Joaquin Valley played host to the Country Music Awards; Bakersfield boosters promised that within ten years, Chester Avenue would be Music Row West. *** Declension narratives are no fun: I have no interest in charting why this or that didn t happen. The point remains the one with which we began: that we should experiment with a certain paranoia, a Beziehungswahn a madness of making connections.

    This, it seems to me, is also what Buck Owens and the Buckaroos were doing in that moment in the 1960s in their articulation of aural wish images. In which, as Benjamin observes the collective seeks both to overcome and to transform the immaturity of the social product and the inadequacies in the social organization of production what emerges in these wish images is the resolute effort to distance oneself from all that is antiquated, which includes also, somehow, the recent past (Benjamin, 97-98).

    2 My exams begin this week I hope the reader will regard this circumstance as granting a get out of jail free card for any and all errors, pathologies, or vexations contained in this essay.

    4 Alain Badiou, Handbook of Inaesthetics , Alberto Toscano, tr. (Palo Alto: Stanford University Press, 2004).

    5 Walter Benjamin and Michael William Jennings. The writer of modern life: essays on Charles Baudelaire (Cambridge, Mass: Harvard University Press, 2006).

    6 See Shane Hamilton, Trucking Country: The Road to America s Wal-Mart Economy (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2008), 184-195.

    7 Scott B.

    Bomar, The Bakersfield Sound: Buck Owens, Merle Haggard, and California Country (Nashville: Country Music Hall of Fame, 2012).

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  • Palletforce joins ALLNET network | Haulage Today on Apr 10, 13 by admin with No Comments Palletforce is forging forward with its European expansion plans by joining a giant alliance of the continent s leading pallet networks. By becoming part of ALLNET (Alliance of Networks), Palletforce joins Palet System in France, One Express in Italy and ONLINE Systemlogistik in Germany placing ALLNET as a... Palletforce is forging forward with its European expansion plans by joining a giant alliance of the continent s leading pallet networks.

    By becoming part of ALLNET (Alliance of Networks), Palletforce joins Palet System in France, One Express in Italy and ONLINE Systemlogistik in Germany placing ALLNET as a European leader in palletised freight distribution. Last year ALLNET distributed 9 million pallets, and with Palletforce as its new UK and Ireland partner, the European networks will have 18 central hubs and 314 delivery centres covering 32 countries. What makes this European alliance unique is that it is made up of quality networks with strong links between each national domestic network guaranteeing a seamless palletised distribution throughout Europe.

    Pooling our resources with three of Europe s leading pallet networks creates a strong, unified, quality pan-European service, said Michael Conroy, Chief Executive of Palletforce. Our ALLNET partners are all industry leaders within their own countries and by aligning ourselves with networks with the same ethos of consistent high quality service we are fulfilling our European growth strategy. By enhancing our European offering and coverage across the continent we are further strengthening Palletforce s UK network and supporting our members to expand their services.

    ALLNET brings together 17,000 vehicles, 28,000 employees and deliver 36,000 pallets every day ensuring the alliance is a sector leader.

    Joining ALLNET is the latest step in Palletforce s European growth plans and follows the launch of its first direct Italy service late last year after becoming partners with fellow ALLNET member One Express.


  • Panna Cotta | One Girl Trucking Since the summer was so dang hot this year my cooking mojo was a bit on the iffy side. Of coarse I still whipped up meals like every other day I m home, but I wasn t loving it like I have been the last couple of weeks. I m happy to say it s back in FULL swing.

    The weather is cooling and I ve been canning like a crazy woman and my mind has been on what to bake, cook or can next, depending on the day. This past weekend I thought I would put on a nice Sunday meal to enjoy with Hubs and luckily we even got my mom-in-law out for a visit too. I served duck (not our own, but my mind has been thinking on that ) with fresh mashed potatoes and roast carrots out of the garden, and for dessert I served panna cotta.

    I have mentioned many times that I do not like to cook anything that has 100 steps to follow, I just don t have the patients for it. I also do not like to manipulate my food that much. I love my food in it s natural form, without too much fuss and Panna Cotta is just that.

    It is amazing how simple such an elegant dessert can be, with so little time involved. And now, in all honesty I m thinking that I am really not from the Irish, English & German descent that I ve been told, but quite possibly Italian since Panna Cotta hails from Italy. As easy of a meal as this was, it was very fancy in it s own right and you could serve it as a nice sit down meal for family or your most esteemed guests.

    As my Mom-in-law stated, we ate like kings and the meal was fit for one as well. Ingredients 2 cups of cream 2 cups of milk (or 4 cups cream if you want to be totally decadent) 1/2 cup of unrefined cane sugar (Sucanat) 6 tablespoons cold water 5 teaspoons gelatin 1 Vanilla Bean, beans scraped Sliced strawberries for topping or any other fresh fruit Instructions Grease ramekins, small coffee cups or do like I did and use canning jars. In a medium pan over medium heat, warm two cups of milk, two cups of cream and 1/2 cup of Sucanat, stirring until the sugar is totally dissolved.

    Slice vanilla bean, scrape vanilla seeds and add to milk mixture adding bean pod. Take pan off heat, cover with lid and let vanilla bean infuse milk for 20 to 30 minutes. About 10 minutes before infusion is done, place cold water in a good sized bowl and add gelatin on top, letting it sit.

    Once vanilla is infused to your liking, pull bean pod out, reheat mixture then pour hot liquid atop the gelatin/water mixture and stir until everything is thoroughly incorporated. Pour mixture into the ramekins and chill in the refrigerator for at least four to six hours, until fully set. Top with fresh sliced strawberries, a fruit of your choice or honey.

  • Passages from Tiree: Transport to and from Tiree FROM ROWING TO RO-RO AND FlyBe: AN OVERVIEW OF TRANSPORT TO AND FROM TIREE There was a time when individual islands of the Hebrides were self-sustaining units which seldom required to look far beyond their own shores. Wooden boats of various kinds enabled sustenance to be obtained from the sea, while permitting interaction with neighbouring islands and, on a fairly limited scale, with the Scottish mainland. This pertained until roughly 1800, but thereafter islanders began to venture further afield, with the arrival of steamships, and, after 1930, diesel-powered vessels.

    Most of the islands with larger populations were destined to make ever closer connections with the mainland, with the consequence that they came to depend increasingly on mainland goods and manufactures. Connections with the mainland could be achieved much more speedily from the mid-1930s, following the coming of aircraft to islands with suitable landing-strips. From that point, boats, ships and aircraft increased in size and frequency of service, and progressively reshaped the relationship between islands and mainland.

    Islanders themselves were often to the fore in developing new opportunities for conveyance and commerce by means of sail and steam and motor, and, wherever possible, they gave strong support to the improvement of air services. They also established companies for road haulage, especially after the coming of the larger roll-on, roll-off ferries of the 1980s. Tiree illustrates most of the phases in the development of what may be termed loosely island transport .

    The ferry-man, the local entrepreneur with trading smacks or puffers , the community coal club, the individual trader and the haulier, are all well attested. So too are mainland-based arrangements which altered the life of the islands profoundly, particularly in the twentieth century. Until large car-ferries became dominant in the 1970s, different types of marine conveyance co-existed alongside one another for many years, e.g.

    the sailing-smack, the puffer , the passenger vessel and the cargo-boat. Change appeared in the sky as well as on the sea. Aircraft developed within a smoother trajectory of design, from the de Havilland Dragon Rapides of the mid-1930s to the de Havilland Herons of the 1950s, 1960s and early 1970s, supplemented by Pionairs or Dakotas , as they were better known.

    This chapter will examine the experience of Tiree from the perspective of a participant observer who has been familiar with island transport since the early 1950s, but whose database contains much older material. In addition to personal recollections, I was privileged to hear many stories from older relatives whose memories went back to the second half of the nineteenth century. Brought up in Caolas, at the east end of Tiree, and looking across the three-mile stretch of Gunna Sound to neighbouring Coll, I was inevitably aware of the major part that the sea played in the life of my fellow islanders.

    In my school days, I used to visit Calum a Ghobhainn ( Malcolm son of the Smith ), Malcolm MacDonald, regularly. Calum was a close friend of my family, and he and my great-uncle Donald often fished for lobsters together, taking their catch to Arinagour, Coll, where it was sold to Robert Sturgeon. Their boats were fifteen-eighteen-foot yawls or ge lachan (singular ge la , from English and Scots yawl ).

    As the derivation of the word ge la suggests, the standard Tiree boat used for such purposes was itself modelled on Scottish east-coast vessels, and could be described as a Hebridean Fifie , with double ends (i.e. sharp bow and stern), and a large belly, which made it safe and stable in windy conditions. The standard form of rig was the dipping lug, usually brown, reflecting its soaking in tree-bark preservative, and regarded as the safest rig available.

    My great-uncle often recalled those days of Tiree-Coll transport by one s own boat. We might think today that the main hazard in such a context would have been storms, but for my uncle the real enemy was flat calm. He would refer with lingering pain to his blistered hands, the consequence of long, heavy rowing to Coll and back again, as he and Calum toiled to take their catch to Arinagour.

    They were well familiar with sharks and the occasional rogue wave, but these were of little consequence. Boils on the bottom (not that of the boat!), caused by the movement of the body on hard thwarts, and blisters were much more painful and much more dangerous, with the likelihood of suppuration and the need for some form of bandaging. Calum MacDonald, assisted latterly by his nephew, William MacIntosh ( Uilleam a Ghobhainn , father of Sandy MacIntosh), also ran a ferry to Coll, as and when occasion demanded.

    Passengers were conveyed across the sound, and past Eilean Bhorramail, to Caolas, Coll, where they were disembarked close to An Tunga , the traditional burying-ground of the MacLeans of Coll. The role of ferryman to Coll went back well before Calum s day, and the position was held in the nineteenth century by MacArthurs. In 1851, the ferryman was John MacArthur, and the ferry station had an inn to accommodate those waiting for conveyance ri port ( delayed at harbour ), as we would say in Gaelic.

    The MacArthurs later moved to the west end of the island, and are now in Middleton. The MacDonalds, who ran the service in my time, combined that with the maintenance of a smithy, which served the community of Caolas, and was no doubt a useful skill to have when boats required iron fittings. Small boats from other parts of Tiree would have crossed to and from Coll, and also to the surrounding islands.

    Tiree people had to go to Mull to cut peat, and also to acquire wood, and made a name for themselves by digging and cutting other folk s natural resources! Such supplies would have been conveyed across to Tiree in wooden boats of varying sizes. Participation in regattas and other community events encouraged inter-island communications.

    Stories of Salum crofters voyaging to Iona were very much alive in my time. John Lachie MacInnes, Salum, was the last person to tell me of their adventures, centring on the Iona regatta, where the Tiree men s supremacy in sail was never in doubt! Likewise, the Outer Hebrides were well within reach of Tiree boats.

    Many of these boats were built locally. Boat-building skills were common within crofting families in Tiree, including my own MacDonalds at Coll View . Boat-building was second nature to many individuals.

    Some families acquired a professional reputation for business in this field, notably the MacKinnons of Vaul, na Bhallaich ( the Vaul men , ancestral relatives of Tommy MacKinnon), who built my great-grandfather s last boat, and the one which I knew best, the ge la Peace & Plenty (second of the name), about 1900. She remained in use until the 1970s, having been maintained well, with regular summer refits and paintings. Other builders whom I remember (at the east end of Tiree) are the MacDonalds of Caolas (the late Mrs Isabel Johnston s father and uncle), the Camerons of Miodar, Caolas.

    They later moved to Scarinish Hotel and the Post Office, and were represented by the late Donald Archie, and his son Duncan, both of them fine boatbuilders. I remember well going with my father to inspect two splendid motor-launches built by Donald Archie Cameron, with Duncan s assistance, in his workshop in Scarinish. My great-uncle Charles MacDonald, a shipwright who served deep-sea in the First World War, also worked in Africa and Canada (mainly in the Vancouver area), where he built his own fishing-boat, the Annabel , which was large enough to accommodate families for parties at the weekend.

    I served a boyhood apprenticeship in boat-building with my uncle Charles, something for which I am very grateful. My father, Hector MacDonald Meek, was a well-known boat-builder, recognised for his very fine work-boats which were also exceptionally fast under sail, and often won prizes at local regattas. One of his boats, built when he was Baptist minister in Colonsay in the 1930s, was remembered for its excellence in Colonsay tradition until comparatively recently.

    Its launch in Colonsay was an event of considerable significance, and all the more so in an island well known for its boat-building and sailing skills. Boat-building skills have declined sharply in Tiree in recent years, but have not died out. A fine, and every much extant, example of a Tiree-built boat in traditional style is Donald MacIntyre (Gott) s Isabella , which has won prizes at numerous regattas.

    Nowadays the crossing of Gunna Sound is achieved effortlessly by means of fibreglass or tupperware vessels, with a powerful outboard motor attached to their sterns. RIBs and other small fast craft can be seen regularly hurtling through and across the sound in a way that would have been beyond even my MacDonald family s imaginings though latterly they knew a thing or two about Seagull outboard motors! In addition to small boats for off-shore work, a number of Tiree families owned smacks for conducting business further afield, not only between islands but also to and from the ports of Ardrossan, Irvine and Troon on the Ayrshire coast, where supplies of coal and other requisites were available.

    My great-grandfather, Hector MacDonald, had his own smack, Peace & Plenty (first of the name), which he used to take cargoes of potatoes to Ardrossan, where these were exchanged for coal and other essential commodities. He also used her to transport cattle to the Ross of Mull, where the cattle would travel by the drove road from Kintra to Gras Point, followed by further ferrying to Kerrera, and a final swim to Oban. By the mid-nineteenth century, however, cattle were being transported increasingly by steamship (see below).

    Smack-owning families were also attested in Tiree. Among these pride of place must be given to the family of Alexander MacFadyen, Scarinish, who moved to Port Ramsey, Lismore, but who also maintained close links with Tiree. His son, Captain Alan MacFadyen, known in Gaelic as Ailean Shandaidh ( Alan son of Sandy ), was a Cape Horner with a deep-sea Master s Certificate in sail.

    Beginning his coastal trading career with the Isabella MacMillan , he acquired the Mary & Effie , built in Greenock in 1896, registered initially at Fraserburgh, and purchased by MacFadyen in 1919. The Mary & Effie , which continued to function until the 1940s and was often in Tiree, was a wooden ketch-rigged smack capable of carrying 65 tons deadweight. Captain MacFadyen owned two other well-known smacks, the Helen Brown and the Lady Margaret .

    Among other duties, these smacks were employed in transporting lime from the kilns of Lismore, which provided an excellent source of local employment for the crews, and also in hauling stones for building projects, such as lighthouses. They went as far afield as Orkney and Shetland and Ireland. The Mary & Effie and her companions were able to beach themselves on Hebridean shorelines, where they were held upright on the ebb by means of very stout legs like pit-props, fitted under the gunwales and extending down to the sand.

    At low tide, horses and carts would go down to collect the cargo, usually coal, which would be winched out of the hold and transferred to the waiting carts by means of a boom or derrick. Such smacks could penetrate those narrow channels and rocky parts and places that no steam lighters ( puffers ) could reach, like, for example, An Acarsaid ( Harbour ), Milton, Caolas, where the Mary & Effie regularly discharged coal. Smacks, usually one smack of relatively small and manageable dimensions, were owned by various Tiree families.

    Inter-island and island-mainland transportation required either a small fleet of smacks (as in the case of the MacFadyens) or a single large vessel, such as a schooner. The latter was represented by the Mary Stewart , owned by Donald MacLean, Domhnall Og , Scarinish. The Mary Stewart (43 tons net) was built in Ardrossan in 1868, by the Barclay yard, for Stewart & Co., and her original master was A.

    Stewart. The name Mary Stewart was therefore that of a member of the original owner s family. In 1876, she was sold to an owner by the name of Shaw, and Donald MacLean purchased her in 1908 from James Foster of Carnlough, Co.

    Antrim, Northern Ireland, who was the owner of the Carnlough Lime Company (1849-1963). The Mary Stewart would thus have been in regular use as one of Foster s fleet for carrying lime. When owned by Donald MacLean, the Mary Stewart carried general cargo, including coal (taking eight or nine cargoes per year to Tiree) and stone, and travelled extensively up and down the west coast of Scotland (reaching Stornoway and Thurso) and across to Ireland, and was noted for her considerable turn of speed.

    James MacFarlane of Port Ellen, Islay, informed me that she would engage regularly in a race with a fast Islay schooner, but that the latter was unable to beat her. Double-topsail schooners like the Mary Stewart were common in the British Isles until the 1930s, when they began to go out of use. Donald MacLean, a skilled craftsman, maintained the fabric of the Mary Stewart single-handed, even lifting out and repairing her 50-foot main mast, which he removed by ingenious use of the after mast and block and tackle.

    In the late 1930s (after 1937), he beached the Mary Stewart in the Old Harbour at Scarinish, where she gradually fell into decay. Her keel and fragments of her frames are still visible in the sand. In the course of her slow death, the Mary Stewart s remains became relics of an earlier era, when sail ruled the waves, and to some extent they retain their mystique to the present day.

    I have lost count of the number of times that I have gone to the grave of the Mary Stewart to pay my respects to her and to her owners. She is a poignant reminder of the slow, perhaps even inexorable, loss of the island s traditions in matters of sailing and ship-handling, but she represents more than that to those of us who are natives of the island. The Mary Stewart was not, however, the very last sailing coaster to serve Tiree.

    Curiously, one of the so-called puffers which came to the island was a former steel auxiliary ketch, though by the time I got to know her, and presumably for long before that, she had been powered by a diesel engine aided by sail, thus entitling her to be known as a billy-boat . This unusual vessel was the Halcyon (110 tons gross, 57 tons net), which was owned and skippered by Captain William MacMillan, Campbeltown. Originally built by Henry Scarr at Hessle, Hull, in 1903, the Halcyon was an occasional visitor to Tiree in the 1960s.

    My father knew Captain MacMillan well, and as result I used to go on board when the Halcyon was in the Old Harbour at Scarinish. I well remember her curious lines, which were not quite as blunt as that of the average puffer , and her surprisingly shapely bow. My last memory of the Halcyon , and indeed of the use of sail in the transportation of cargo to and from Tiree, is of seeing her sailing past Milton, Caolas, on her way back to Campbeltown, via the Crinan Canal.

    She carried a red leg-o -mutton sail to assist her engine, and was making good progress to Crinan in an obligingly brisk north-westerly breeze. Sail was thus maintained alongside steam- or diesel-driven engines for much longer than is commonly assumed, and the steamship was remarkably late in reaching Tiree. Seaborne transport to and from Tiree depended primarily on sail until the middle of the nineteenth century or thereabouts.

    In his important contribution to the New Statistical Account of Scotland in 1838, the Rev. Neil MacLean noted: In Tiree there are 4 decked vessels, carrying from twenty to forty tons burden, which are sometimes employed in carrying country produce to market, but generally look out for employment elsewhere; twenty open, or half-decked boats, of from six to twenty tons, which are chiefly engaged in ferrying cattle, and conveying fuel from the neighbouring islands; and 82 fishing-skiffs, of which only 10 are regularly employed. Although both Tiree and Coll had post-offices which were sub-offices of Tobermory, they had no regular packet service, and Mr MacLean noted that Our means of communication are accordingly extremely irregular and uncertain, depending on any casual conveyance which may occur.

    He pointed out further that the harbours in Tiree and Coll were very indifferent in consequence of which, all the boats in Tiree are hauled up high and dry during four months of the year, or from the end of November to the end of March. During this time the island is nearly locked up from all intercourse with neighbouring countries, unless it is found necessary to launch a light skiff occasionally, when a good day occurs. Before 1850, steamships in Inner Hebridean waters seldom ventured west beyond Mull, which witnessed the arrival of its first steamship in 1818, and Staffa, which was accessible by steamship by at least 1831.

    By that date too, Islay was served by the steamship Maid of Islay II, which sailed from West Loch Tarbert, and passengers could travel from Glasgow to East Tarbert (the town of Tarbert, Loch Fyne) by steam boat . Proximity to the mainland was certainly an important factor in the use of steamships, as was the availability of relatively short crossings and sheltered waters, but even more important perhaps was the sight-seeing potential of each island. Staffa, with its dramatic basalt pillars and Fingal s Cave, was perceived to be an integral part of the romantic Highlands, conforming to the principles of the Sublime, which emphasised awe- and fear-inspiring landscapes.

    Even though it lay much further out into the Atlantic, St Kilda received its first steamship in 1835 because it was included on an itinerary of Sublime locations which began at the Giant s Causeway in Northern Ireland, and embraced Skye and the Cuillins. Tiree, by contrast, had no dramatic scenery to entice ship-owners or tourists. Low-lying and devoid of good, natural harbours, it was initially little more than one of a group of islands on the far horizon beautifully diversifying the broad face of the western sea , to be viewed at a distance by tourists who had reached the top of Ben More.

    The first steamships to reach Tiree are therefore likely to have been concerned principally with the conveyance of cargo, and initial services appear to have been provided by operators engaged in the transporting of fish and cattle, rather than tourists intent on finding Sublime scenery in the Hebrides. The earliest such vessel which I have been able to trace is the Cantie Queen , possibly owned as well as operated from 1860 by William Dick, Oban, on the Oban, Tobermory, Tiree and Loch Sunart station, but temporarily only, until the advent of the new screw steamer Queen of the Isles In October, she was succeeded by S.S. Islesman (Clyde and Other Coastal Steamers, p.

    119). In fact, the Islesman was probably the first steamship to give the island some semblance of a service at regular intervals, though such concepts as service and regularity must be defined with very considerable semantic latitude. The Islesman was owned initially by the Great West of Scotland Fishery, which had a number of fishery stations in the Hebrides.

    When the Fishery was dissolved, the vessel was bought by William Lang and managed by Martin Orme, a former employee of the shipowners Thomson & McConnell, who had previously managed her for the Fishery. The Islesman was lengthened in 1861. Thus rejuvenated and apparently none the worse for various scrapes, including at least one sinking, she served the Hebrides until 1868, conveying passengers as well as freight.

    William Donald, who joined the Islesman as clerk and traffic manager in 1860, wrote in 1913: The Islesman was the first steamer to give direct steam communication to Colonsay, West of Mull, Tiree, Coll, Barra, South and North Uist, West of Skye, Canna, St Kilda, Badcal, Lochinver, Terera recte Tanera, Ullapool and Altbea. Messrs Hutchison s steamers called at intervals at Lochmaddy, Ullapool and Lochinver.

    1 Precisely what William Donald meant by the adjective direct in the context of what would surely have been a round trip is not clear. The likelihood that the first steamships to reach Tiree were engaged principally in the conveyance of cargo, including cattle, is further supported by the evidence of a tragedy which befell Donald MacKinnon, Captain of the celebrated tea-clipper Taeping , which won the Great Tea Race in 1866.

    Captain MacKinnon visited his native island after his triumph. When returning from Tiree, Captain MacKinnon took passage on board the steamship Chieftain s Bride , which was carrying 54 head of cattle. The Chieftain s Bride got into difficulties in stormy weather, and Captain MacKinnon had to take charge to save the ship.

    In the course of his exertions, he sustained injuries from which he later died on the way back to China on the Taeping , and he was buried in South Africa. Ms Mary MacLean, Scarinish, who has conducted extensive research into the life and death of Captain MacKinnon, kindly informs me that the Chieftain s Bride was built in 1866, and, according to the Shetland Museum s website, she was the first Northern Isles steamer, owned by the Shetland Islands Steam Navigation Co. She was 94 gross tons and 88.5 feet long.

    She was known locally as The Crab , as she was often drawn sideways in strong tides, on account of her 18 horsepower engine being insufficient for her size.... The website, Ships of the North , provides further information about this ship: The new company i.e., the Shetland Steam Shipping Co., founded in 1868, and reformed in 1876 as the Shetland Islands Steam Navigation Co. discovered the steamer CHIEFTAIN S BRIDE in Glasgow and purchased her for 2100.

    She was grossly underpowered at 94 tons with only 25HP. Despite warnings from Alexander Sandison about her condition, the company went ahead and she was purchased and entered service early in 1869 The CHIEFTAIN S BRIDE s passenger certificate expired on the 18 th May 1876 and was never renewed. At the time of her sailing to Tiree in 1866, the Chieftain s Bride was owned by a Mr John Wilson, who also ran her to Iona (Duckworth and Langmuir, Clyde and Other Coastal Steamers, p.

    121). Steamship provision for Tiree in the 1860s offers a somewhat untidy and uncertain picture, involving a number of single-ship operators. It is fascinating to note that an operator from Tiree itself is among their number, namely Duncan Colquoun, who owned the very small screw steamer Chase, plying to Strontian in the summer of 1868, previously owned by Norman Buchanan, but sold in June 1869 to Thomas Ross, Glasgow.

    The Chase was operated through Messrs D. Cowan & Co. as agents for Colquhoun.

    In 1871 the steamship Swan, owned by John Lorne Stewart, of Campbeltown sailed from Glasgow to Mull, Tiree and Skye via the Crinan Canal (Clyde and Other Coastal Steamers, p.

    121). Another agent or possibly owner in this period was William Robertson, a Renfrew coal-merchant, who entered the West Highland trade with a screw steamer Marchioness of Lorne, which sailed (till sold in July 1872) from Glasgow every Wednesday for Ardrishaig, Lochgilphead, Crinan Canal, Oban, Sound of Mull, Tobermory, Tiree and Coll (ibid., p.

    120). Single-ship provision by different operators was difficult to fit into meaningful schedules, but, as the Robertson s Marchioness of Lorne suggests, a sense of regularity was appearing by the early 1870s.

    In providing what we today would regard as a service , however, Martin Orme played a very considerable part. Orme s vessels were essentially cargo-boats which carried a small number of passengers, and the pattern of their acquisition shows that the 1870s were a crucial period in the development of steam-powered cargo services to the Hebrides. Within the Orme and Lang consortium, which operated under the name of Martin Orme & Co., the Islesman was succeeded by the Dunvegan Castle (1868-1875), the Talisman (1871-1874), the Dunara Castle (1875-1948), and the Aros Castle (later renamed the Handa , in MacBrayne ownership) (1878-1886).

    All of these ships, with the possible exception of the Talisman , served Tiree at one time or another, but the ship that gave meaning to the word service was pre-eminently Orme s flagship, the Dunara Castle , which remained on the route from Glasgow to the Outer Hebrides until she was scrapped at her birth-place, Port Glasgow, at the ripe old age of 73. The ship became a legend in her own time, partly because of her role in initiating summer services to St Kilda in 1877, and then evacuating the archipelago in 1930. Her name endures to the present in Hebridean song and story, often as a symbol of power and reliability.

    She is still mentioned in humorous contexts too. As I myself remarked recently and quite unconsciously, when seeing black smoke pouring from the chimney of my Tiree home, Tha seo mar an Dunara ( This is like the Dunara )! Another company also showed an interest in Tiree in the mid-1870s.

    This was the Western Isles Steam Packet Company, formed in Glasgow in 1873. Its steamship, the Lady Ambrosine , commanded by Captain John McCallum, a native of Crinan, sailed from Glasgow to the Inner Hebrides, and called at Tiree. In 1876, when the company was dissolved, Captain McCallum bought the Lady Ambrosine , and began to build ships on his own account, thus establishing the company known as John McCallum & Co.

    McCallum s fleet included the St Clair , built in 1876, the Hebridean , built in 1881, and the Hebrides , built in 1898, all three of which served Tiree. In fact, the St Clair , which seemed to be bent on self-destruction and caused trouble from the outset, ended her brief career when she grounded on the rocks of Raonabogh, at the southern end of the Sound of Gunna. The Hebridean and the Hebrides , by contrast, gave outstanding service to the Inner and Outer Hebrides (including St Kilda).

    The Hebrides provided alternate sailings from Glasgow with Orme s Dunara Castle , and in 1929 the two companies amalgamated to form McCallum, Orme & Co. Ltd. McCallum, Orme , as the company was affectionately known and greatly respected, passed into the ownership of David MacBrayne Ltd in 1947, and the doughty Hebrides continued to serve Tiree and the other islands until 1955.

    Indeed, I can still remember the day when, as a boy of six, I heard the news that the Hebrides was to be replaced by the diesel cargo-vessel Lochard . The Hebrides , which by then was partnering the MacBrayne cargo-vessel Loch Carron , was such a firm fixture in island life that it seemed as if the end of the world was imminent! Although we now tend to associate sea services to the Inner Hebrides with David MacBrayne (and latterly Caledonian MacBrayne), it is beyond question that the main service-providers before the Second World War were McCallum & Orme, whose ships, the Dunara Castle and the Hebrides , brought essential freight as well as passengers to Tiree as part of a chain of islands from Islay to St Kilda.

    David MacBrayne Ltd was a relatively minor player, and its ships were not as well regarded as those of McCallum & Orme. My mother often spoke of the Dunara Castle in glowing terms, remembering with delight her journeys from Scarinish, Tiree, to Uig, Skye, in the early 1940s, when she was working with the Air Ministry in Tiree. She had fond memories of the beautiful accommodation on the ship, as well as the kindness and good humour of the crew.

    She would board the Dunara in the evening at Scarinish, and arrive at Uig with the morning sun adorning the slopes of Rubha Idrigill. The Dunara and the Hebrides made it possible for islanders to travel between islands with relatively little difficulty, and without the need to go via the mainland or Oban. My mother was also given to contrasting the excellence of the Dunara Castle with MacBrayne s Clydesdale , which she described to me on more than one occasion as a floating slum .

    The inter-island service from Glasgow, established and maintained by McCallum & Orme, was continued by David MacBrayne following the demise of the Dunara Castle and the Hebrides , but only with its cargo-vessels, chiefly the Loch Carron and the Lochard , which commenced their work in the early 1950s. They had accommodation for only four passengers, who were not usually islanders going to and from Tiree, but tourists intent on a round trip of many of the Hebridean islands. MacBrayne s passenger-vessels operated from mainland ports with railheads, such as Oban and Mallaig, as MacBrayne s adopted the policy of combining rail and sea services.

    This reduced passage times, but meant that inter-island journeys became much more onerous than in the days of earlier steamships. Cargo services from the mainland to Tiree and other Hebridean islands were supplemented by Scotland s very own miniature bulk-carrier, popularly known as a puffer , though this name applied only to the very earliest vessels, which did not have a condenser to return used steam to the boiler. Strictly, the puffer was a steam lighter, and that explains its origin, as it evolved from a lighter (or cargo barge) fitted with a steam engine.

    Its natural home was the Forth & Clyde Canal, where one of the best-known companies in Scotland, that of J. & J. Hay, had a yard at Kirkintilloch for building and repairing puffers . Hay s vessels were distinguished by their tribal/kindred names, such as Celt , Dane , Spartan , Boer , Kaffir , Lascar and Anzac .

    Another fleet of puffers was owned by Ross & Marshall, Greenock, and rejoiced in (sometimes) rather contrived names with the suffix -light , as in Starlight , Moonlight and Warlight . Vessels belonging to both companies sailed to Tiree. The average puffer could carry about 100 tons of cargo, and was commonly used to take coal to Tiree, as the island lacked any significant supplies of peat.

    In response to a request from one of the island s coal clubs , the coal was shipped at the Ayrshire ports of Irvine and Troon, and the puffers , which were usually built to canal-max dimensions, would travel via the Crinan Canal. Until the early 1960s, they discharged their cargo to horse- or tractor-drawn carts mainly on Tiree shore, appearing in early summer at Caolas, Gott (Gott Bay), Kenovay and Balinoe, and doubtless elsewhere in the island. They made unforgettable images, as they stood high and dry at low tide, while horses and tractors with carts formed queues to take home a supply of winter fuel for each household.

    I will never forget my own boyhood experiences of seeing puffers like the Anzac and Lascar unloading coal on the shore at Port an t-Sruthain, Caolas, in the early 1950s. From the early 1960s, puffers began to make much greater use of the old harbour at Scarinish, where they would sit on the inside of the pier, and take the ground at low tide. From this time too, several puffers were fitted with diesel engines.

    This changed their configuration, especially in regard to the crew s quarters, the bridge and funnel. In the steam-powered version, the bridge or enclosed wheelhouse was placed astern of the funnel, because of the need to fit the boiler in the deepest part of the hull, but in the diesel-powered version, the wheelhouse was ahead of the funnel, in what now would be considered the normal location. Puffers also used the fine Stevenson-built pier at Hynish, where the diesel vessels owned by the Hamiltons often loaded cargoes of kelp for processing as alginate at Barcaldine.

    The Hamiltons vessels and those latterly owned by Ross & Marshall (later becoming Glenlight through merging both companies) were beautifully equipped modern coasters. Gradually, however, these coasters lost their trade, as increasing amounts of their cargo were carried by the ships of David MacBrayne, particularly after the arrival from the 1970s of the car-ferries of Caledonian MacBrayne. Although David MacBrayne and his predecessors had provided shipping services to Skye and the Outer Hebrides since at least the mid-nineteenth century, visits to Tiree by MacBrayne vessels were comparatively rare before 1900.

    One somewhat ominous MacBrayne visitor, however, was the veteran paddle-steamer, Glencoe , formerly the Mary Jane , built originally by James Matheson, proprietor of Lewis, in 1846. The Glencoe acted as an emigrant tender, taking Tiree people away from island piers, notably Hynish, to join the ships that would carry them across the Atlantic. After 1900, MacBrayne s interest in Tiree and the Inner Hebrides was stimulated by the award of contracts to carry the Royal Mail.

    My older relatives in Tiree always referred to MacBrayne s ship as am mail , and would ask, An t inig am mail an-diugh? ( Has the mail(boat) arrived today? ). They also regarded the first regular MacBrayne vessels to serve Tiree, namely the Cygnet and the Plover , as particularly poor vessels compared with the Hebrides and the Dunara . The Cygnet , built in 1904 and on the Tiree run from 1914, was considered to be an appalling ship, seriously deficient in comfort, and dreadful in heavy weather.

    Constant complaints about the Cygnet were among the factors which caused David Hope MacBrayne, son of the original David MacBrayne, to relinquish his interest in the 1927 mail contract. The acquisition of David MacBrayne Ltd by Coast Lines and the London, Midland and Scottish Railway in 1928 resulted in the building of three new passenger vessels, two of which were to serve Tiree. The first of the new vessels to serve the island was the Lochearn , which arrived in 1930, and displaced the Cygnet , which was duly and thankfully scrapped.

    The diesel-engined Lochearn was the twin sister of the Lochmor , which maintained the service from Mallaig to Harris, North Uist and South Uist. Compared with the Cygnet , the Lochearn was a luxurious vessel, and both she and her twin were described as little Mauretania s by a native of Tiree, the Rev. Dr Donald Lamont, minister of Blair Atholl.

    Those who travelled, or perhaps more frequently wallowed, on the Lochearn between Oban and Tiree for the best part of six hours might not have agreed with that assessment, but the vessel s accommodation was of a high order. She was inclined to be rather wet in heavy seas, and would ship a great deal of water over her long Promenade Deck, soaking passengers luggage, as I well remember. Even so, she was a doughty and robust vessel, and I remember seeing her ploughing through Gunna Sound in September 1961 during a ferocious storm, when nobody expected that she would make the passage south from Castlebay, Barra, in such horrendous conditions.

    She gave sterling service to the Inner Hebrides until 1964, when she and her sister were sold to Greek owners, and the Lochearn was transformed beyond recognition into the yacht Naias . The much-maligned Cygnet served Tiree alongside the Dunara Castle and the Hebrides during the First World War. During the Second World War, the island was served by the Lochearn and the Hebrides , which was temporarily drafted into the MacBrayne fleet because of her large cargo-carrying capacity.

    This was required because Tiree had become an important base for Coastal Command, especially in weather reconnaissance and forecasting, and a sizeable aerodrome with three runways was constructed on the Reef, where the present-day airport is situated. From 1947, the Tiree mailship was the Lochness , the first of the reconstituted MacBrayne company s post-1928 new builds . This fine vessel, which served Lewis until the building of the Loch Seaforth , was powered by steam-reciprocating engines.

    She remained on the Tiree and Barra/Lochboisdale run until 1955, when she was displaced by the next motor-vessel built by David MacBayne Ltd specifically for the Inner Isles, namely the Claymore . The Claymore was a considerable improvement on the old Lochearn . As with most other post-1928 MacBrayne vessels, she was a scaled-down version of ocean-going liners which set the mechanical and stylistic trends of the era.

    For the Claymore , Denny the shipbuilder s reference ship was the French Line s new transatlantic liner Flandre , launched in 1952. The Claymore s relationship to the Flandre was most obvious in her large, domed funnel with prominent front vents. She had a finely raked bow, a broad beam and a substantial cruiser stern, which earned her the nickname of Bessy Braddock in certain quarters!

    The Claymore s saloons and cabin accommodation were of a high order, and she could have been an extremely comfortable ship, had it not been for the tremendous vibration caused by her four-cylinder Sulzer diesel engines. MacBrayne s, in penny-pinching mode, had opted (against advice) for four-cylinder diesels rather than six-cylinder versions, which would have run much more smoothly. As the Claymore was intended for slow overnight running to Tiree from Lochboisdale and Barra on the inward run to Oban, four-cylinder diesels were deemed sufficient.

    Unfortunately, the ship s passengers paid the price which MacBrayne s meanness had imposed on the new vessel, and often found themselves shaken out of their slumbers, if not their skins, by a recurrent cycle of winding vibration which would reach a crescendo, and then die back, only to begin again within minutes. Even so, the Claymore was a model of the traditional passenger-ship of her time, offering silver service, spotless white tablecloths, and beautiful wood panelling. She was, however, destined to be the last-built MacBrayne-owned RMS , complete with a forward derrick (mounted on a Samson post) and tween-decks.

    She maintained the Tiree service until 1972, when she was displaced in her turn by the former Lewis mail-ship Loch Seaforth . Tiree people were none too pleased to receive the Outer Hebrides cast-off yet again, and had their revenge when the Loch Seaforth struck a rock in Gunna Sound in late March 1973 on the inward run from Lochboisdale to Oban. She grounded in Titanic style, with the Caledonian MacBrayne s Chief Executive on board, as well as some of his officials.

    She was towed to the pier at Gott Bay, where, in defiance of the Master s preference to beach her, she was moored to the bollards. Badly holed, she developed a list, and, as a bulkhead gave way, sank at the pier, blocking its use for six weeks by vessels other than puffers . Nemesis reigned as the displaced Claymore was brought back into service, and performed heroically once more, using a red ferry-boat to convey passengers to and from the pier.

    The Seaforth was raised and refloated by a large German salvage crane, Magnus III , and towed to Troon for scrapping. The Claymore continued in service until 1975, when she was laid up at the East India Harbour, Greenock, and sold in 1976 to Greek owners, who rebuilt her as the day-cruise ship City of Hydra , serving the Cyclades successfully for another twenty years. She finally sank in the ship graveyard at Elepsis, outside Athens, in late 2000.

    With the departure of the Claymore and the inglorious finale of the Loch Seaforth , the traditional mail-ship service to Tiree reached its unlamented conclusion, and the way was open for the gradual introduction of car-ferries. Like other islands of the Hebrides, Tiree contributed many sailors to the maintenance of seagoing services. Indeed, Tiree earned a particularly high reputation for both the number and quality of its seafarers, and for producing many Captains for home and foreign trades.

    In the era of the MacBrayne motor-ships, Tiree s contribution to the fleet was particularly evident. The 1955 Claymore , for example, had a succession of Masters who were natives of Tiree, beginning with John C. MacKinnon ( Teonaidh Dh mhnaill Bhig ) from Vaul, and continuing with Neil Campbell ( Nilidh M r N ill Chaimbeil ) from Balemartine, and John Lamont ( Iain Aonghais Mh ir ) from the Green.

    Previously Captain Campbell had been Master of the well-known turbine steamer, King George V , and his brother Sandy was Master of the Lochnevis . Other Tiree Masters included Captain John Kennedy, Moss, and Captain Charles Hamilton, Balemartine, and also the famous Captain John MacCallum, who served briefly as Master on the cargo-vessels before settling long-term as the famous First Mate of the King George V . MacCallum loved to passengers with his dry humour and acerbic wit, and his sayings and practical jokes have become the stuff of MacBrayne legend.

    He often asked passengers on the King George V , as they rounded the Cailleach headland at the north of Mull, to look out for smoke from Tiree sawmills on the far horizon! Tiree men also served on the decks of the MacBrayne ships. Their numbers included Willie Lamont, Balemartine, and also John Fletcher, Mannal, who is still very much part of island life.

    The tradition has continued to the present day, and is represented by Captain George Campbell, Cornaig, and Captain Donnie MacInnes, Ruaig. Captain MacInnes now serves with Forth Pilots. Roddy MacLennan, Caolas, has been a very prominent figure on the bows and sterns of successive MacBrayne and Caledonian MacBrayne vessels since the early 1970s.

    Tiree people have many reasons to be grateful to their own seafarers for their immense generosity to passengers on trips to and from Oban, and I myself owe an incalculable debt to the generosity of the Captains of the Claymore and their families. I travelled regularly by sea from Tiree to Oban from the early 1950s, and my enduring affection for ships and the sea is in no small measure due to the warmth, interest and kindness of Captains MacKinnon, Campbell and Lamont, and their respective families. Tiree has been particularly fortunate in having services by sea and also by air for the best part of the twentieth century.

    Indeed, the 1930s, which were a bad decade in the UK more generally, seemed to favour the Hebrides somewhat, as the foundations of the transport services that we know today were laid in those years, with the coming of diesel-engined motor-ships and twin-engined de Havilland Dragon Rapide aircraft. Occasional landings of aircraft on Tiree beaches are recorded in the late 1920s and early 1930s. Captain David Barclay, who was then flying with Northern & Scottish Airways and would become a famous name in Scottish aviation history, landed a Dragon on the sands of Gott Bay on 4 October 1935.

    Following investigative flights, an air service to Renfrew was properly established by May 1938, and this had become a daily service by 1939. The airport used on the Reef was requisitioned and enlarged to aerodrome status by the RAF during the Second World War, with the construction of three long, hard runways and supporting kit . Tiree was thus given a wartime legacy which was to benefit the island for many years thereafter.

    This legacy was particularly evident in a couple of enormous, black hangars which dominated the airport during my boyhood, and which can often be seen as background to the arrival and departure of passengers in photographs taken in the 1950s and early 1960s. When civilian services were resumed after the war, these were maintained by Scottish Airways and later British European Airways using de Havilland Rapides until 1955, when de Havilland Heron (DH 114 Heron 1B) aircraft came into service. BEA originally owned three Herons, but one of these crashed on an air ambulance flight to Islay in 1957, killing the Captain, Paddy Calderwood, the Radio Officer, Hugh McGinlay, and the nurse, Sister Jean Kennedy, a native of Coll, Tiree s neighbouring island.

    As a lasting mark of great respect, BEA renamed one of its two remaining Herons the Sister Jean Kennedy (G-ANXA), and, together with the Sir James Young Simpson (G-ANXB), this fine aeroplane served the Hebrides until 1973. The two BEA Herons served other parts of Scotland too, but for the best part of eighteen years they were the backbone of air services from Renfrew to Islay, Barra and Tiree. With fixed undercarriage, they were ideal for the rigours of island airports, especially at Barra, where they landed on the beach, as (famously) passenger aircraft still do.

    Their pilots also became legendary, among them Captain Paddy Calderwood, who died in the Islay crash, Captain David Barclay and Captain Eric Starling. Captain Starling was Area Manager for British European Airways Scottish Division, but regularly flew Herons to the Hebrides until 1971, though he devoted himself latterly to air ambulance flights. As I well remember with considerable pride, it was an honour to fly to Tiree on a Heron aircraft piloted by Captain Barclay or Captain Starling, as both men were pioneers of aviation in Scotland, and the island thus had the privilege of being served by pilots of the greatest possible experience and distinction.

    Such experience was invaluable in the context of air ambulance flights. It would be quite impossible to exaggerate the importance of the air ambulance service provided by the Herons in the 1950s and 1960s. Countless lives were saved by giving sick or injured islanders a speedy conveyance to appropriate Glasgow hospitals.

    I myself will never forget the experience of seeing a Heron aircraft landing at Tiree airport around 8 pm on a winter s night in the early 1960s to air-lift one of my own elderly relatives. Few things could underline the value of human life more powerfully than the roar of four aircraft engines descending from the sky, the flashing of navigation lights on the dark runway, the sight of two peak-capped pilots dimly illumined in a cockpit, a uniformed nurse with red cape stepping on to the runway, and the provision of a large aeroplane to take one very ordinary person to hospital. The devotion, risk-taking and (sometimes) sacrifice of the crews on such occasions deserve to be written in letters of gold in this chapter.

    During peak times in summer in the late 1950s and early 1960s, flights to and from Tiree were undertaken by Dakota (Douglas DC-3) aircraft, modified to become BEA s Pionair class. These capacious aeroplanes, which could carry about thirty passengers and sometimes made a round trip of the islands (Renfrew-Inverness-Stornoway-Benbecula-Tiree-Islay-Cambeltown-Renfrew), were massively conspicuous on a runway in the middle of the Reef, Tiree s lowest-lying stretch of machair. They would sit on their tails, with their noses and cockpits high in the air, and glitter pompously in the afternoon sunshine, resplendent in BEA s red livery.

    I made my first flight on one of these Dakotas in 1961, when I was suitably ticketed as a Travelling Alone youngster, on the way to join my mother in Glasgow. I can still remember clambering up the sloping aisle to my seat, which was a double seat of red leather. As the somewhat cumbersome aircraft trundled down the runway for take-off, it swayed and rattled and roared for what seemed like an eternity, but gradually the tail lifted and the aisle became level, as it flew into the sky, and Tiree s sweeping shores and beaches began to appear and disappear through a porthole.

    The aircraft had a hostess who looked after me until we landed at Renfrew Airport. On the way, passengers were treated to sweets and soft drinks, as well as an in-flight bulletin. On the return journey, my mother and I were two out of six passengers who had an entire Dakota to ourselves.

    We had been scheduled to fly from Renfrew on a Heron, but one of the Heron s engines refused to start not an uncommon event with the Herons! and we were decanted to a Dakota instead. It seemed remarkable to have an air host (not a hostess on this occasion!) and an in-flight bulletin, with so few passengers on board!

    Those were the days of luxury air travel to and from Tiree! Curiously, the era of luxury air travel by Heron ended for Tiree at much the same time as luxury sea travel by traditional motor-ship. It so happened that on the day that the Loch Seaforth sank at Tiree pier in March 1973, I was travelling with my father on one of the last flights by Heron (G-ANXA) to Tiree.

    I was accompanying him home after a long spell in hospital in Glasgow, following a tractor accident. As the Heron descended over Tiree and took its bearings for landing at the Reef, it passed over the west side of Gott Bay, and the keeled-over Loch Seaforth was clearly visible as I looked out of the starboard window. It was sobering indeed to see the once-mighty vessel that had braved the Minches between Mallaig and Stornoway lying in such a distressed condition.

    At the end of the month, both Herons, the Sister Jean Kennedy (G-ANXA) and the Sir James Young Simpson (G-ANXB), were withdrawn. When I left Tiree several weeks later, I flew to Glasgow in a Shorts Skyvan, which British Airways (with which British European Airways had been merged) had redesignated as its Skyliner . This was the grossest and most misleading of euphemisms, as the Skyliner (SC7) was little more than a basic Transit van with wings, and, as such, a most profound shock to those of us who had grown up with the delights of the Heron.

    I will never forget the noise in the cabin, if such it can be called the rattling, the constant, deafening roar of the engines, the egg-box fittings, the chairs which seemed to be little more than metal frames covered with flimsy net. It was with an immense sense of relief, and with throbbing ears and considerable anger, that I stepped on to the tarmac at Glasgow Airport (Abbotsinch, as it then was). Whatever else the future held for Tiree s transport, by sea and air, an over-emphasis on luxury was certainly not to be one of the hallmarks of the successors of the motor-ships or the elegant and beautiful Herons.

    The dismissal of the dreaded Skyliner was, however, nearer than we could have imagined. Soon after the formation of British Airways, the contract for the provision of these services was assigned to Loganair, a company founded in 1962 by the well-known contractor, William Logan, Muir of Ord, and Captain Duncan McIntosh, his pilot. The company introduced a pair of stalwart Britten-Norman aircraft, the Islander and the Trislander, to the Hebrides.

    The former, twin-engined and very useful for short-haul flights with capacity for eight passengers, became the mainstay of the air ambulance, while the latter, with its very clever name, reflecting its unusual configuration with a third engine mounted in the tail section, became the principal passenger aircraft, with capacity for sixteen. The Trislander, with wings fixed above the fuselage, was thoroughly reliable, and, although noisy, had many advantages, including ease of loading. It tended to hedge-hop wherever possible, but on good days its relatively low service ceiling afforded passengers superb views of the ever-changing and magnificent profiles of the Treshnish Islands, Mull, Iona, Colonsay, the Argyll mainland and especially Cowal on the way south to Glasgow (or north from Glasgow to Tiree).

    This offered another way of understanding the Hebrides and the coastline of Scotland, and greatly aided my appreciation of my world. I have vivid memories of flying over the hills of Cowal on a glorious day in April, and seeing a pin-point sharp image of the Trislander gliding over a peak immediately below me, with wisps of snow still lying in crevices. In fact, the aircraft had to gain altitude on numerous occasions to clear the peaks of these hills!

    Then it would begin its descent to the Clyde estuary, with miniature ships leaving hairline wakes as they sailed between Greenock and Dunoon, and up the Gareloch and Loch Long. Loganair experimented with a number of other makes of aircraft for Hebridean routes, among them the beautiful and fast Embraer Bandeirante, manufactured in Brazil, which used to slice the travelling time between Glasgow and Tiree to less than half an hour, and the Shorts 360, a cumbersome removal-van version of the grim Skyliner of the early 1970s. It had evolved via the Shorts 330, also used by Loganair, and it was infinitely more attractive than the appalling Skyliner .

    The latter was placed on the Tiree and Barra service, but proved itself unreliable on the sands and water of Barra Airport. The company s most successful and most long-lasting service aircraft has been, and unquestionably remains, the de Havilland Twin Otter, built in Canada (and thus prefixed by the letters DHC for de Havilland Canada), and well known for its versatility and its ability to function in very difficult terrain, most notably in the Arctic. As the ill-fated attempt to introduce the Shorts 360 to the Tiree and (especially) Barra service was to prove in 1994, the Twin Otter is ideally suited to the rigours of Hebridean operation, and had to be recalled when temporarily displaced by the former.

    The Twin Otter, operated by Loganair under franchise from FlyBe, maintains the Tiree and Barra service to the present day, sharing the Tiree route at busier times with the larger Saab 340. Ambulance flights are undertaken by fixed-wing aircraft and also by helicopter. Air travel to and from Tiree was ably facilitated by islanders who, as Station Managers, became legendary for their unflappable qualities, their organisational skills, and warm and generous personalities.

    The names of Colin MacPhail ( Cailean Lachainn ), Crosspol, assisted by Mary Munn, Heanish, and Archie MacArthur ( E irdsidh M r Chaluim ), Middleton, are remembered with gratitude. Colin MacPhail, with his tall frame, trousers well above his ankles, and the prancing gait of a thoroughbred at a show, represents the great era of the Rapides, Herons, and Pionairs; while the broad frame, kind heart and deeply personal and meaningful welcome of Big Erchie will forever be associated with BEA Big Erchie s Airline though he was pre-eminently linked with Loganair. It is thoroughly appropriate that the station is managed to the present by Archie s daughter, Ishbel ( Tish ) MacKinnon, who follows in her father s efficient and kind footsteps.

    In the aftermath of the Second World War, Tiree had experience of ships which were able to load and discharge vehicles by means of ramps. These were the well-known Landing Craft (Tank) LCTs which would beach themselves on the sands of Gott Bay, and disgorge vehicles and other plant for the Royal Air Force base at the Reef. Air Force vehicles were shipped out in like manner.

    However, it took more than 30 years for this mode of ramp-based operation to be extended successfully to the Hebrides. Before the construction of the new pier at Gott Bay in 1914, steamships to Tiree disembarked and embarked their passengers by means of a wooden ferry-boat at the old harbour at Scarinish. Tiree had its own heavy black ferry-boat, which was rowed to and from ships such as the Dunara Castle and the Hebrides .

    As the island was dry in this era, with the Temperance Hotel standing in ironically close proximity to the well-provisioned steamships, islanders took advantage of the ferry-boat to wet their thrapples on board the steamers with something a little stronger than water. This method of un/loading the steamships combined row-row with lo-lo ( lift-on, lift-off ) by means of derrick, block and tackle. When the new pier was built, row-row was eliminated, but lo-lo remained the standard cargo-handling method for more than sixty years.

    In the wider world, ship-owners began to experiment with drive-on, drive-off facilities, usually an open stern with gates, on sea-going vessels in the UK from 1936. In 1939 William Denny & Bros, Dumbarton, built the first stern-loading vehicle-ferry, Princess Victoria , for the Stranraer-Larne crossing, but she was requisitioned for war service and subsequently lost. The use of LCTs during the Second World War reinforced the potential value of ramp-loading of vehicles, and in 1946 Denny s built the second Princess Victoria , also stern-loading and identical to her predecessor, for the same route, as well as the stern-loading Lord Warden for the English Channel in 1951.

    All three had stern gates, and not stern doors, which made them vulnerable in stormy weather. The new approach was taking root, but the loss of the second Princess Victoria , when her stern gates were breached in a severe storm in January 1953, retarded progress more generally for another decade. David MacBrayne Ltd received its first car-ferries, the triplets Hebrides , Clansman and Columba , in 1964, but these were equipped with vehicle-hoists forward of the bridge and not with ramps at bow or stern.

    This reflected another challenge, namely the inadequate pier and docking infrastructure of the Hebrides, which could not accommodate or handle ships equipped with roll-on, roll-off facilities. Because of their location forward rather than aft, the hoists could deposit cars on the strongest sections of Hebridean piers, which had been used previously by derricks. To some extent, therefore, the hoists were reverse derricks , operating by means of platforms from the bottom up , and the three ships were unique in configuration.

    None of the three car-ferries initially served Tiree, and, as car-ownership and the desire to take the car on holiday increased, a severe strain was imposed on the out-of-date Claymore of 1955, which had the capacity to carry only five vehicles on the Foredeck, and five more on the Tween Deck, when these were not occupied by other cargo. Consequently, the Claymore s Saturday sailings in the 1960s and early 1970s were supplemented by the services of the derrick- and crane-loading cargo-vessel Lochdunvegan . This could be no-more than a stop-gap solution.

    With the departure of the Claymore finally in 1975, a variety of much more modern car-ferries began to serve Tiree, thanks to the initiative and investment Caledonian MacBrayne, formed on 1 January 1973. These were cleverly built with vehicle-hoists on their quarters in addition to bow- and/or stern-loading facilities, and could handle most types of piers. The most sophisticated of these new vessels, and also the first to serve Tiree after 1975, was the Iona , which boasted full ro-ro facilities, with bow visor and stern ramp, in addition to a vehicle hoist and (for a period) a crane at the stern.

    She was followed by the new Claymore of 1978, but from the early 1980s the principal vessel on the Oban-Tiree route was the 1964-built car-ferry Columba , now transferred from her original service on the Sound of Mull (Lochaline and Craignure). The Columba was displaced in 1989 by the arrival of the Lord of the Isles , which had the same range of facilities as the Iona . In her turn, the LOTI , as she is affectionately known, was displaced in 1998 by the Clansman , which did not have a hoist, as Tiree had been given a linkspan in the 1990s.

    This remains the position, but with the use of the LOTI in a supportive role during the summer months, taking sailings on Sunday and Monday. The arrival of full car-ferry services to and from Tiree necessitated major changes not only in the configuration of piers, but also in the handling of freight and the travelling practices of passengers themselves. The old-style cargo-service from Glasgow was discontinued, and the last cargo-ship, the Loch Carron , was sold in 1976.

    Freight was now to be conveyed by road to Oban for the first part of its journey from Glasgow to Tiree. The new car-ferries, with the exception of the Iona and the Lord of the Isles (initially), did not have overnight cabin accommodation, which meant that passengers could no longer sleep on board the vessels on the night prior to sailing. The vessels were intended for day service, though early rises at Oban were not eliminated, except on Tuesdays, when a service leaving about 3.00 p.m.

    was instituted. The ships also became much more functional in their d cor and internal design, with open plan lay-out in later vessels such as the Clansman . The experience of sailing became much more impersonal, with far fewer opportunities for contact between passengers and crew than had been the case with old motor-ships.

    The most recent generation of car-ferries have much less deck space for passengers than earlier car-ferries, and are thus much less attractive for outdoor viewing of passing scenery. For vehicle-owners, however, there were distinct and obvious advantages in the new car-ferries. No longer did they need to stand nervously on a pier while their cars dangled from a derrick, as they were swung on or off.

    It was now easy to drive on and off the ship, with full control of one s own vehicle; full roll-on, roll-off was in operation in one end and out the other! The increasing capacity of successive car-ferries also favoured the transporting of heavy goods vehicles, and encouraged the creation of island-based haulage businesses, represented by the articulated lorries of MacLennan Motors and MacKinnon Haulage, which are regular users of the new ferries. Deliveries from Oban by such carriers as Derek Wilson have been facilitated.

    The overall results are an increase in cars and tourism in the island, and an ever-growing dependence on the mainland for essential services and foodstuffs. For farmers and crofters too, the new car-ferries brought advantages, especially in the loading and transportation of cattle. I will never forget the horrors of having to load cattle on to the 1955 Claymore in the early morning by means of a walkway under Gott Bay pier.

    The reluctant cattle were forced, indeed whacked mercilessly with sticks, along this narrow path in the midst of the heaving swell, and then compelled to go through the shell doors of the ship, where they were accommodated on the Tween Deck. The car-ferries now receive cattle and sheep on floats made for the purpose a much happier procedure for both human and beast. No amount of nostalgia for the old motor-ships can eliminate their harsher dimensions, nor can we be anything but grateful for the improvements brought to Tiree transport by state-of-the-art car-ferries.

    The theme which emerges most evidently in the course of this chapter is surely the gradual creation of a sea bridge between Tiree and the Scottish mainland over the course of some two centuries. Whereas the islanders of the early 1800s had few opportunities to travel to the mainland, and did so by sail and oar only in contexts of great danger and self-dependence, the world of the early 2000s is completely different, offering services at every level of transport. These require minimal activation or input by the intending travellers, beyond the ability to arrive at the relevant airport or CalMac terminal, pay the fare, and walk or drive on board the ship or aircraft.

    Debates now are much less concerned with the chances of arriving or departing. Rather, they are much more likely to focus on the quality and frequency of the services in terms of schedules and the facilities offered by the service providers , their ships, aircraft and staff. The changes in transport since 1800 are little short of phenomenal in Tiree, as in other parts of the Hebrides.

    1 Oban Times , 22 December 1923.

  • Penske Again Listed Among InformationWeek 500 Innovators ... Penske has been named to the InformationWeek 500 list for the 12th consecutive time, ranking No.

    114 this year. A private company, Penske Truck Leasing earned the listing alongside Fortune 500 corporations. The InformationWeek 500 has recognized the most innovative users of business technology for 24-years, and this year s innovations were particularly impressive, stated Rob Preston, InformationWeek editor-in-chief.

    What the editors looked for are unconventional approaches new technologies, new models, new ways of grabbing business opportunities and solving complex business problems with IT. Penske earned the award in part for use of technology to enhance its fuel management and safety practices for its subsidiary, Penske Logistics. As part of Penske Logistics dedicated contract carriage services, the company s fleet of over 2,700 trucks serve as a crucial link in the supply chain for its customers, delivering and picking up medical supplies, automobile parts, food and other retail and manufacturing items.

    Paul Ott, Penske Logistics senior vice president of finance, said: the company s onboard truck fleet technology toolset is a combination of commercially available hardware and software, along with proprietary advanced data mining and reporting programs. This combination turns raw data from the vehicle s engine control module into information that is truly actionable by our fleet managers, he added. The toolset helps Penske to implement best practices in fuel consumption such as reducing idle time, regulating vehicle speed, promoting the use of cruise control, and reducing hard braking.

    The end result is hundreds of thousands of dollars in fuel savings. On the safety and compliance end, the technology helped Penske complete the switch from paper logs to electronic driver logs (driver logs are required by the U.S. government).

    These electronic logs permit fleet managers to actively manage the hours Penske truck drivers spend on the road, to remain in compliance with hours-of-service regulations. This technology helps us better understand the driving habits of our drivers, which in turn provides us with the opportunity to jointly identify areas for improvement in regards to miles per gallon performance, stated Terry Miller, executive vice president for Penske Logistics. This is just one more example of how our technology team helps drive business success.

    Bill Stobbart, Penske IT senior vice president added: We in IT are proud of how technology has been used within the business, and continues to be used to provide superior customer service, profitably.

    The recognition over the years by InformationWeek, as well as from our business leaders, is greatly appreciated.

    Tagged as: 3PL, Innovation, Logistics, Penske, Supply Chain, Transportation, Trucking, Warehousing Article source: InformationWeek 500 Recognizes FedEx with Most Innovative Products Award Penske Logistics Opens New Office in D sseldorf, Germany Inbound Logistics Names Penske a 2012 Green Supply Chain Partner Penske Earns Excellence Award for Transportation Management Penske Logistics to Attend WERC Conference in Atlanta

  • Phantoms and Monsters: Pulse of the Paranormal Did Marlene Dietrich Plot to Murder Hitler? dailymail - As the long black limousine pulled up unannounced outside the gates of Buckingham Palace, the guardsmen were surprised to see one of the most famous and beautiful women of the day reclining elegantly in the back seat. Marlene Dietrich, then the world's highest-paid film star, was the epitome of husky-voiced sexual allure.

    At the height of her fame, she seduced many of Hollywood's best-known actors, including John Wayne and James Stewart. But on that summer's evening in 1936 she had a very different conquest in mind. Dietrich was in England to make a film called Knight Without Armour at Denham Studios in Buckinghamshire.

    Her boyfriend, Douglas Fairbanks Jr, was friendly with the Royal Family and through him she had learned of King Edward VIII's plans to abdicate so he could marry American divorcee Wallis Simpson. Shocked at the idea he might renounce everything for what she described as 'that homely, flat-chested woman,' the 35-year-old screen goddess had decided to intervene. 'She was prepared to seduce him and show him that Wallis wasn't the only woman in the world,' Fairbanks said. Dietrich's audacious plan was concocted in her suite at Claridge's, he claimed. 'She told me: "I'll make him forget her.

    I must have a bath and the right perfume." 'She began taking her clothes off as she went.' Since they were in the midst of their own affair, Fairbanks not surprisingly expressed his reservations about the scheme. 'Oh darling, don't be so old-fashioned,' she replied. 'We're doing it for England, which we both love. Some sacrifices must be made.' Fairbanks said: 'She went off in her limousine but she'd dallied a bit too long enhancing her charms, which hadn't needed any enhancing, and the King was out when she arrived or so she was told.' According to a colourful new biography, it was not the last time Dietrich would consider using her charms to change the course of history. Her prolific love life would involve the seduction of both President John F.

    Kennedy and his father Joe not to mention a bizarre plot to assassinate Hitler. Underlying all this was a free and frank enjoyment of sex startling for a woman of her generation. 'Darling, the legs aren't so beautiful,' she once said of her most celebrated attributes. 'It's just that I know what to do with them.' Born in Berlin in 1901, she was the daughter of Louis Dietrich, a lieutenant in the Royal Prussian Police, and his wife Josephine, whose family ran one of the city's best-known department stores. Among the first people to fall for Dietrich's allure was an older girl at her school. 'I was allowed to overnight with her and she was the initiator,' she remembered. 'She didn't seem to know much about what she was doing, but she seemed to enjoy her fumbling.' Working as a stage and film actress in decadent Twenties Berlin, she went on to conduct affairs with both sexes.

    But her strangest and most enduring relationship was with a man, a handsome assistant director named Rudi Sieber. She would later describe him as 'the love of my life, my soul mate'. Yet after they married in May 1923, and she gave birth to their daughter Maria the following year, they agreed to enjoy an open relationship and Dietrich gave her stamp of approval to Sieber's affair with Russian actress Tamara Matul.

    In part, this was a practical arrangement. In 1930, her success in the film The Blue Angel took the new international sex symbol to Hollywood and she left her daughter in the care of her husband and Tamara an agreement that was repeated throughout her career. Although they continued to live apart in the coming years, Dietrich wrote to Rudi whenever she had an affair and told him the details. 'I never loved anyone else the way I loved Rudi, so Rudi didn't need to be jealous,' she explained.

    There must have been many such letters. Her Hollywood romances included affairs with two of Greta Garbo's former lovers. One was a dalliance with Mercedes de Acosta, a society lesbian renowned for her habit of wearing mannish trousers, along with a naval-style tricorn hat and cape.

    The other was with actor John Gilbert, known as 'the great lover' of the silent screen. Her two-year relationship with Gilbert ended when he died of a heart attack in January 1936, but she quickly moved on, meeting Douglas Fairbanks Jr at a party in London, shortly before her abortive role in the abdication crisis. That night, she asked him to give her a lift back to Claridge's and invited him in for a nightcap.

    Doing her duty: Dietrich considered walking naked into a room with Hitler armed only with a poisoned hairpin 'It's very nice of you to have me up for a drink,' he said as he settled on the sofa in her suite. 'That wasn't what I had in mind,' she replied. Dietrich was eight years older than Fairbanks, but he recalled: 'She was unconventional in her lovemaking as she was unconventional in everything. 'She was totally uninhibited about her nudity which was easy to understand when you gazed upon that body.' Their relationship coincided with Dietrich's growing concerns about the rise of Nazism in her homeland. She was deemed a traitor for refusing to return to Germany and make films at the state-run UFA studios, which would have been great propaganda for the Third Reich.

    One day, according to Fairbanks, she asked for his help in an extraordinary plan. She would agree to make one film in Germany, on condition that she could be alone with the Fuhrer. This would give her an opportunity to kill him.

    She told Fairbanks: 'I would gush over how I feel about him, intimating that I am desperately in love with him. I've heard Hitler likes me and I'm certain he would agree.' Realising she would be searched, she was prepared to go into Hitler's bedroom naked if necessary, but the only detail she could not resolve was how to smuggle in a murder weapon. She considered a poisoned hairpin, but asked for Fairbanks' suggestions, too. 'I never thought of anything,' he said. 'Fortunately, her idea didn't go any further because she didn't figure out how to complete the assassination, but she was a very brave girl and I know she would have gambled her life if she thought she had a chance of success.' When Dietrich ended her affair with Fairbanks in 1938, he suspected she had simply tired of him.

    The following year she began an affair with James Stewart, her co-star in the Western film Destry Rides Again. She revealed a very different side to 'Gentleman Jimmy', as he was known to fans. 'He never said "I love you" or anything like that,' she recalled. 'One rather expects that kind of thing, those words, even if delivered in perfect insincerity. 'Then I discovered I was pregnant. It was his baby too, so I told him.

    He looked shocked. 'He said: "Jeez, what are you gonna do about it?" I noticed he said "you", not "we".' Some accounts suggest Dietrich had an abortion with Stewart's endorsement, while others say she claimed it turned out to be a phantom pregnancy. Whatever the truth, their relationship did not survive the end of filming, and Dietrich was soon in pursuit of Joseph Kennedy, father of the famous brothers John, Robert and Edward. Kennedy was then the U.S.

    ambassador to Britain and he and Dietrich met in the summer of 1939 when both were holidaying at Cap d'Antibes in the South of France. She was there with Rudi, Tamara and Maria, while Kennedy was accompanied by his wife and children, but this did not deter them from a dalliance which proved disappointing in several respects. 'He was a very rich man but he never gave me even a simple token, like a scarf,' said Dietrich. 'I think he wanted to be sure you really liked him, just for himself alone. He wasn't very comfortable when it came to women.' Their fling ended that summer, but it appeared she had made a lasting impression on the young John F.

    Kennedy, then only 21. In later years her popularity as a film star began to wane and she turned to a career as a cabaret artist. Touring the country with such memorable songs as Falling In Love Again and Lili Marleen, she arrived in Washington in the early Sixties and invited President John F.

    Kennedy to her show. Word came back the president could not accept but would like her to visit him at the White House. She was escorted to his private quarters where they were left alone together. 'He clearly remembered those days in the South of France,' she said. 'Most of him was relaxed, but not all of him and he didn't leave any doubt as to what he had in mind. 'I can't say I was caught completely by surprise.

    He was, after all, his father's son and I wanted to see if he made love like his father. 'I don't remember most of what happened because it was all so quick. Afterwards I remembered saying: "Please don't muss my hair." I kept my professional focus and I knew I had a show to do later that night. 'I think he was even faster than his father. He had an even busier schedule I suppose.

    They both kept their watches on.' Before she left, Kennedy asked if she had really gone to bed with his father. She said: 'I hesitated a moment and thought about what he wanted to hear. "No, your father tried but I didn't agree," I told him. 'The president smiled, so I suppose what I said was right for him. "The old fox," he said. "I knew he was lying".' Dietrich was then in her early 60s and admitted to feeling relieved that Kennedy, some 16 years her junior, had found her attractive. 'I felt too old for the young president,' she said. 'I wished I could have been younger and more beautiful for the occasion.' Ageing came hard for a woman whose sex appeal had once enabled her to pick and choose which of her leading men she would invite into her bed, and choosy she could be. She had been enamoured of John Wayne, her co-star in The Spoilers, filmed in 1942.

    When she first saw him, she was struck by his 'broad shoulders and flat behind', but what most appealed to her was that he wasn't vain or arrogant. 'Far from it, he was insecure as an actor,' she said. 'I don't think it's what a man his size would like to have said about him but he brought out the maternal side in me.' Aware she could not depend on her looks for ever, she had long had a pact with her husband Rudi that they would spend their old age together. In this, there was never any question in Dietrich's mind that he would ultimately choose her over long-term mistress Tamara. 'She could never be the love of his life because that place had been taken by me,' she said. Dietrich believed this realisation may have contributed to Tamara's increasingly fragile mental health.

    In 1965, she was committed to a lunatic asylum, where she was later stabbed to death by another inmate. The path was clear for her and Rudi to enter their twilight years together but the great tragedy of her life was that he died in 1976, leaving her to live out her last years on her own in a Paris apartment. When she died in May 1992, it was as a virtual recluse.

    There was a simple reason for her refusal to leave her flat. The woman who had once entranced millions was terrified photographers might take snaps of her, revealing the beauty which could have changed the course of world events was itself now part of history. ********** Suicide by Crocodile dailymail - A distressed farm worker may have committed suicide by wading into a crocodile-infested river, police in South Africa said today. Detectives believe labourer David Lubisi, 40, was eaten alive after he entered the Lepelle river following an argument with his girlfriend.

    The father-of-three has not been seen for more than a week after apparently telling a colleague about his painful plan on April 7. Sergeant Malesela Makgopa today said officers believed Mr Lubisi had died in a bizarre case of suicide. He said: 'The man has not been seen since the incident and his body has not been found. 'Our investigations have revealed that at around 7pm on April 7 he told a co-worker he wanted to walk into the river, which he knew to be infested with crocodiles. 'He was last seen heading towards the water and never turned up after that. 'We believe he may have been having domestic problems with his girlfriend and that he wanted to commit suicide. 'If that is true then it was a particularly horrible and painful way to die.' Police said the local community had been shattered by the apparent tragedy, which happened near the town of Bushbuckbridge close to the famous Kruger National Park in South Africa's eastern Mpumalanga province.

    Before his disappearance Mr Lubisi had worked in the area for five years as a labourer at a game farm. The country's Sowetan newspaper today reported that the owner of a neighbouring property reported seeing a crocodile with a human leg protruding from its mouth four days after the incident. The publication also published claims from relatives of the victim that he may have been forced into the water.

    Mr Lubisi's sister Esther told the newspaper she believed her brother would never have committed suicide and must have been pushed into the river. Today Sergeant Makgopa said detectives had so far been unable to rule out foul play as the missing man's body had not been found. But the officer added that detectives currently had no reason to suspect anyone else was involved.

    He said: 'We are aware of claims that the man was forced into the water or pushed into the river. 'So far we have not ruled out foul play for certain, but neither do we have any reason to believe anyone else was involved. 'An inquest has been opened and we will continue to investigate the circumstances of what happened.' Officials said the missing man was a devout Christian who had been a member of the Zion Christian Church whose adherents usually refrain from drinking alcohol. However Sergeant Makgopa said officers were investigating reports he could have been drunk on the night of his disappearance. Mr Lubisi's employer Jesper Kehlet contacted police after being informed of the apparent tragedy.

    The investigation was continuing today. The Lepelle river is one of the major waterways of South Africa's Kruger National Park game reserve. It was officially renamed recently and was formerly known as the Olifants, named by Afrikaner farmers after the elephants which can commonly be seen drinking from its banks.

    The river rises on South Africa's highveld plateau and runs eastwards, crossing Mozambique before joining the Indian Ocean. Although the Lepelle is responsible for supplying millions of people with water it is feared among most locals for the presence of crocodiles. The deadly reptiles are known to live in many African rivers, streams and lakes.

    They can lurk unseen beneath the waters before striking suddenly to claim their prey. ********** Scientists Teleport Light discovery - Researchers from Australia and Japan have successfully teleported wave packets of light, potentially revolutionizing quantum communications and computing. The team, led by researchers at the University of Tokyo, say this is the first-ever teleportation, or transfer, of a particular complex set of quantum information from one point to another. They say it will make possible high-speed, high-fidelity transmission of large volumes of information, such as quantum encryption keys, via communications networks.

    The research appears today in the journal Science. Professor Elanor Huntington, of the School of Engineering and Information Technology at UNSW's Canberra campus, explains that teleportation -- the transfer of quantum information from one location to another using normal, "classical" communications -- is a fundamental quantum communication technique. "It relies on having two things," she said. "One is the normal fiber optic internet or even copper cables, and the other is a shared resource between the sender and the receiver, that could have been shared at any time in the past: we call that entanglement." Huntington says the idea of quantum teleportation has been around for about ten years, but has been difficult to put into practice. "There used to be two ways of doing teleportation and both had their limitations," she said. "One was quite fast, but had a limited probability of succeeding. The other way of doing it was quite slow, but had a very good probability of working." "What we've done is managed to get it both fast and good quality," she said.

    They did it by teleporting the wave packets of light in a 'Schr dinger's cat' state. In Schr dinger's famous thought experiment of the 1930s, a cat would be placed in a sealed box with a device containing atomic material. A Geiger counter was included to measure radiation if at some point an atom decayed.

    Should that happen, the Geiger counter would trigger the release of cyanide gas, which would kill the cat. The idea was that it was impossible to know whether or not the cat was alive or dead without opening the box and observing it, and that until that happened, both realities existed. This became known as superposition.

    Schr dinger's is said to have devised the experiment to ridicule the emerging theories of quantum physics; but since then physicists have found many examples of superposition in the quantum world. "What was funky about Schr dinger's idea was that you could take a normal macroscopic object, which we all think we know and understand fairly well, and you could put it into a quantum superposition -- and that's kind of weird," said Huntington. "Nowadays any kind of system where you do that is known as a Schr dinger's cat." "So in our case what we've done is take a macroscopic beam of light and put it into a quantum superposition, which is extremely fragile, and teleported that from one place to another." "One of the ways that we encode digital information is by its phase," Huntington said, "so what we've done is created a wave packet that's simultaneously a one and a zero in its phase." "Superposition is exactly what underlies the power of things like quantum computers. You enable parallel processing because at the same time it's a one and a zero. The point is, we've managed to teleport it from A to B without the one and the zero getting confused," she said.

    Huntington says being able to demonstrate this will enable researchers to take the next step in quantum computing. "Being able to transfer data packets like this is a necessary thing to do in order to build a proper quantum computer or a quantum communications device," she said. ********** Hundreds of Dogs Saved From the Cooking Pot in China AP - Hundreds of dogs being trucked to Chinese restaurants were spared a culinary fate after about 200 animal lovers mobilised to stop them ending up on dinner tables. A truck crammed with between 430 and 520 dogs was forced to stop on Friday on a highway in eastern Beijing by a motorist who swerved his car in front of the truck and then used his microblog to alert animal-rights activists. The dogs, many apparently stolen from their owners, were being transported from the central Chinese province of Henan to restaurants in Jilin province in the northeast.

    Eventually, about 200 animal lovers and activists gathered around the truck in eastern Beijing and after a 15-hour standoff that jammed traffic the dogs were freed early on Saturday when an animal-protection group purchased them for 115,000 yuan ($17,600). The interception of the dogs was the latest bold action by pet-lovers in China, where growing awareness of animal rights is colliding with centuries-old culinary practices. There have been regular reports in recent years of citizens attempting to block trucks carrying hundreds or even thousands of cats to meat markets in southern China, where cat meat is particularly popular.

    The activists said many of the dogs still had collars with bells and name tags, indicating they had been stolen from their owners and that the trucking company transported a load of dogs to Jilin each week. The consumption of dog and cat meat, both of which are believed to promote bodily warmth and are thus popular in winter, remains widespread in China despite a surge in popularity as pets. However, press reports say authorities are looking into drafting a law that could outlaw the practice.

    The reports on the dog rescue suggested the truck company was unlikely to face legal action as it had all the necessary permits to transport the animals.

    The healthy dogs will be made available for adoption in one month while the sick ones, suffering variously from dehydration and infectious diseases, were sent to pet hospitals in Beijing. ********** Orang Pendek Declared New Primate Species EdgeScience Magazine - A New Primate Species in Sumatra - A free download is available at the website Labels: alternative news, bizarre, breaking news, fortean, oddball

  • Police seek hit-and-run vehicle involved in Northumberland crashReleased 2012-12-18 15:47:36 GMT: 5 hours ago.

    0 click(s)FULL ARTICLE MAPLE SHADE Edward Lewis, 24, of Maple Shade, was charged with DWI, disregard of a stop sign and careless driving after he crashed his car into the railroad tracks at North Clinton Avenue at about 2:53 a.m. on Dec.

    1, police said. Released 2012-12-18 11:09:32 GMT: 10 hours ago.

    0 click(s)FULL ARTICLE As the John Davis Trucking Co. tractor-trailer raced toward a rail crossing east of Reno in June, the engineer on an Amtrak passenger train blew his horn four times to warn the driver of the approaching rail cars, according to federal investigators. Released 2012-12-18 10:44:28 GMT: 11 hours ago.

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  • Put the truck on the train Written by boldly on 08 November 2012 Too many trucks on Europe s roads! That s the view, albeit a subjective one, held by many car drivers. It is a view backed by the European Commission, which says that a cargo truck plying Europe s roads will currently spend around half of its working life empty returning from a delivery or travelling to pick up its next shipment.1 Yet Peter Cullum of the Road Haulage Association puts up a stout defence of the trucking industry.

    We carry out over 70 per cent of freight journeys in Europe, so customers obviously think it worthwhile. Which is why many rail operators have actually bought trucking companies themselves! The real issue is not about road or rail, nor is it empty running, it is how to optimise the transport mix and serve the customer with minimum subsidy.

    The arguments, then, are familiar. Some people believe freight should be off the roads, others point out that 90% of all road freight is short-distance delivery anyway.2 Yet one aspect is unarguable, and that is the environmental cost of road transport. Fuel costs are rising, while emissions remain a concern.

    Heavy-duty road vehicles, argue the Commission, represent around 25% of all EU CO2 emissions from road transport, and some 6% of total EU emissions.3 Putting the truck on the train One German company believes it has the answer for long-distance freight. Put the truck onto the train. Not just the container, but the whole road-trailer, wheels and all.

    Leipzig-based CargoBeamer announced on 26th October 2012 the first step in a planned Europe-wide expansion of its new truck-friendly rail transport network. CargoBeamer is not, as some of Jeremy Clarkson s fans might think, a new BMW estate car designed for the building trade. It is a system of fast loading and unloading of articulated trailers using specially designed rail wagons.

    Unlike container transport, the company starts with the standard articulated road trailer as the basic haulage platform, which means most trucks can use the system without modification. The CargoBeam approach sees individual hauliers driving to their nearest dedicated rail terminal, unhitching the trailer and leaving it for transport by rail to another terminal closer to the final destination. At the far end, another tractor cab collects the trailer, and drives it to the customer.

    Rapid loading/unloading CargoBeamer emphasises that an infrastructure scheme of this size, with all the investment required, can only succeed if it offers significant advantage over existing systems. This advantage is speed, says CargoBeamer CE Hans-Juergen Weidemann. We can unload and load a complete train in around fifteen to twenty minutes.

    That s a 36-wagon train, loaded and unloaded in 15 20 minutes. The basis of this rapid transfer is a new rail wagon patented by CargoBeamer, with a pallet that slides, with its road-trailer load, sideways between the wagon and a purpose-built freight platform. And as that pallet and its load slides off on one side, another loaded pallet slides in from the other.

    Wiedemann is not saying how much money has been committed to the project in total, so the projected break-even point is unknown. On operating profit however he is quite clear. We need to fill each train to 80% of capacity to reach an operating profit, he says.

    Major freight hub at Calais But who is going to develop a complete new system for rail-freight transport? The parallel loading/unloading system sounds complex and will undoubtedly require considerable investment. Where will the investors come from?

    CargoBeamer maintains they are already there. The company s partners include Deutsche Bahn, and a prototype train has already been built and trialled between Germany and France. It is now involved in advanced planning for Europe s first full-scale CargoBeamer terminal at Calais.

    Calais Premier, the planned new freight and logistics hub for the port of Calais and environs, has gained initial planning permission and the backing of business and the region. Calais already handles some 3.2 million trucks per year, and once the new hub comes on-stream in 2014, numbers are expected to grow. This 160 Ha site at Calais will be the major western terminal for the CargoBeamer rail network.

    The site represents a huge investment by French entrepreneurs and the region to transform the port into the leading logistics hub for north-west Europe. CargoBeamer itself plans to operate 1-2 trains per day in 2015, with the terminal in full operation by 2020 running 8-10 trains per day. We are especially delighted to welcome the first CargoBeamer train in Calais today, declared Senator and Mayor of Calais Natacha Bouchart at the launch on 26th October 2012.

    This innovative trans-shipment technology is a revolution, and will make road to rail transport a key technology for ecological freight logistics in Europe. The installation of CargoBeamer at the Calais Premier logistics site will ensure Calais continues to develop as a major logistics crossroads in northern Europe. Trans-European rail freight Starting from Calais, CargoBeamer plans two major European freight routes with proven high traffic volumes.

    An East/West route to the Baltic states via the Benelux, Germany and Poland, and a North/South route to Italy via France, Germany and Switzerland. Commencing in 2014, the Calais Premier terminal will be able to transfer 800 road-trailers a day from road to rail. Other CargoBeamer terminals are already planned for Hagen (Germany), Legnica (Poland) and Mockava (Lithunia).

    However the company is thinking even further ahead. It foresees the network extending all the way through to Russia and eventually even China. The CargoBeamer system has a unique advantage in handling the change in rail gauge between East and West Europe.

    The two different trains can each pull alongside a common freight platform, and the pallets and their road-trailer loads slid across from one train onto the other as a single operation! A modern Silk Road? The CargoBeamer approach is a visionary one.

    However practical difficulties will have to be dealt with. The parallel rails buried in the platforms and used for loading will be subject to the same weather challenges as railways themselves. Wet leaves and soil could jam the rails, and hard winters could (in theory) seize up the pallet handling mechanisms.

    However if the CargoBeamer network takes off, its influence could extend eventually all the way to the South China sea. With all the potential for reduction in European emissions that such a network would imply. I m sure Jeremy would say thank you too.

    Notes : 1 Briefing from the EU Euridice project, an intelligent cargo system,

    2 Did you know? , International Road Transport Union, 2009.

    3 Towards a strategy to address CO2 emissions from Heavy-Duty Vehicles , European Commission, 20/01/2012.

    Further information: CargoBeamer website: CargoBeamer on YouTube: Philip Hunt, 2012.

    Tags: calais port, calais premier, cargobeamer, freight terminals, long-distance freight, long-distance road freight, philip hunt, Put the truck on the train, rail freight, rail freight loading, railfreight, road freight alternatives, road freight emissions, too many trucks on EU roads, trans-European rail freight Posted in EU developments | No Comments

  • Put the truck on the train - Written by boldly on 09 November 2012 Too many trucks on Europe s roads! That s the view, albeit a subjective one, held by many car drivers. It is a view backed by the European Commission, which says that a cargo truck plying Europe s roads will currently spend around half of its working life empty returning from a delivery or travelling to pick up its next shipment.1 Yet Peter Cullum of the Road Haulage Association puts up a stout defence of the trucking industry.

    We carry out over 70 per cent of freight journeys in Europe, so customers obviously think it worthwhile. Which is why many rail operators have actually bought trucking companies themselves! The real issue is not about road or rail, nor is it empty running, it is how to optimise the transport mix and serve the customer with minimum subsidy.

    The arguments, then, are familiar. Some people believe freight should be off the roads, others point out that 90% of all road freight is short-distance delivery anyway.2 Yet one aspect is unarguable, and that is the environmental cost of road transport. Fuel costs are rising, while emissions remain a concern.

    Heavy-duty road vehicles, argue the Commission, represent around 25% of all EU CO2 emissions from road transport, and some 6% of total EU emissions.3 Putting the truck on the train One German company believes it has the answer for long-distance freight. Put the truck onto the train. Not just the container, but the whole road-trailer, wheels and all.

    Leipzig-based CargoBeamer announced on 26th October 2012 the first step in a planned Europe-wide expansion of its new truck-friendly rail transport network. CargoBeamer is not, as some of Jeremy Clarkson s fans might think, a new BMW estate car designed for the building trade. It is a system of fast loading and unloading of articulated trailers using specially designed rail wagons.

    Unlike container transport, the company starts with the standard articulated road trailer as the basic haulage platform, which means most trucks can use the system without modification. The CargoBeam approach sees individual hauliers driving to their nearest dedicated rail terminal, unhitching the trailer and leaving it for transport by rail to another terminal closer to the final destination. At the far end, another tractor cab collects the trailer, and drives it to the customer.

    Rapid loading/unloading CargoBeamer emphasises that an infrastructure scheme of this size, with all the investment required, can only succeed if it offers significant advantage over existing systems. This advantage is speed, says CargoBeamer CE Hans-Juergen Weidemann. We can unload and load a complete train in around fifteen to twenty minutes.

    That s a 36-wagon train, loaded and unloaded in 15 20 minutes. The basis of this rapid transfer is a new rail wagon patented by CargoBeamer, with a pallet that slides, with its road-trailer load, sideways between the wagon and a purpose-built freight platform. And as that pallet and its load slides off on one side, another loaded pallet slides in from the other.

    Wiedemann is not saying how much money has been committed to the project in total, so the projected break-even point is unknown. On operating profit however he is quite clear. We need to fill each train to 80% of capacity to reach an operating profit, he says.

    Major new freight hub at Calais But who is going to develop a complete new system for rail-freight transport? The parallel loading/unloading system sounds complex and will undoubtedly require considerable investment. Where will the investors come from?

    CargoBeamer maintains they are already there. The company s partners include Deutsche Bahn, and a prototype train has already been built and trialled between Germany and France. It is now involved in advanced planning for Europe s first full-scale CargoBeamer terminal at Calais.

    Calais Premier, the planned new freight and logistics hub for the port of Calais and environs, has gained initial planning permission and the backing of business and the region. Calais already handles some 3.2 million trucks per year, and once the new hub comes on-stream in 2014, numbers are expected to grow. This 160 Ha site at Calais will be the major western terminal for the CargoBeamer rail network.

    The site represents a huge investment by French entrepreneurs and the region to transform the port into the leading logistics hub for north-west Europe. CargoBeamer itself plans to operate 1-2 trains per day in 2015, with the terminal in full operation by 2020 running 8-10 trains per day. We are especially delighted to welcome the first CargoBeamer train in Calais today, declared Senator and Mayor of Calais Natacha Bouchart at the launch on 26th October 2012.

    This innovative trans-shipment technology is a revolution, and will make road to rail transport a key technology for ecological freight logistics in Europe. The installation of CargoBeamer at the Calais Premier logistics site will ensure Calais continues to develop as a major logistics crossroads in northern Europe. Trans-European rail freight Starting from Calais, CargoBeamer plans two major European freight routes with proven high traffic volumes.

    An East/West route to the Baltic states via the Benelux, Germany and Poland, and a North/South route to Italy via France, Germany and Switzerland. Commencing in 2014, the Calais Premier terminal will be able to transfer 800 road-trailers a day from road to rail. Other CargoBeamer terminals are already planned for Hagen (Germany), Legnica (Poland) and Mockava (Lithunia).

    However the company is thinking even further ahead. It foresees the network extending all the way through to Russia and eventually even China. The CargoBeamer system has a unique advantage in handling the change in rail gauge between East and West Europe.

    The two different trains can each pull alongside a common freight platform, and the pallets and their road-trailer loads slid across from one train onto the other as a single operation! A modern Silk Road? The CargoBeamer approach is a visionary one.

    However practical difficulties will have to be dealt with. The parallel rails buried in the platforms and used for loading will be subject to the same weather challenges as railways themselves. Wet leaves and soil could jam the rails, and hard winters could (in theory) seize up the pallet handling mechanisms.

    However if the CargoBeamer network takes off, its influence could extend eventually all the way to the South China sea. With all the potential for reduction in European emissions that such a network would imply. I m sure Jeremy would say thank you too.

    Notes 1 Briefing from the EU Euridice project, an intelligent cargo system,

    2 Did you know? , International Road Transport Union, 2009.

    3 Towards a strategy to address CO2 emissions from Heavy-Duty Vehicles , European Commission, 20/01/2012.

    Further information : CargoBeamer website: CargoBeamer on YouTube: Philip Hunt, 2012.

    Tags: calais port, calais premier, cargobeamer, freight terminals, long-distance freight, long-distance road freight, philip hunt, Put the truck on the train, rail freight, rail freight loading, railfreight, road freight alternatives, road freight emissions, too many trucks on EU roads, trans-European rail freight Posted in EU developments | No Comments

  • R

  • Radio Derb Transcript - John Derbyshire 01 Intro. Welcome, ladies and gentlemen. Radio Derb on the air here, and this is your confrontationally genial host John Derbyshire, fresh and invigorated from a brisk walk on the beach this afternoon.

    So with apples in my cheeks and a song in my heart, here, if you can bear to hear it, is the week's news.

    02 Pakistan. If you're the kind of person who lies awake at night worrying about what's happening in foreign countries, you probably think about Pakistan a lot. For myself, I confess I'm the kind of person who wishes the rest of the world would go boil its collective head; but I do understand that this may be a somewhat short-sighted outlook, so I'm going to do my best in this segment to see things from your point of view.

    Let us then consider Pakistan. Whadda we got?

    170 million people in a Texas-sized area; that gives pop. density 560 per square mile, 58th in the world, between Germany and Italy.

    Total fertility rate 3.5, 52nd in the world, between Haiti and Bolivia. OK, crowded and fecund. GDP per capita $2,600, ranked 139th in the world, between Uzbekistan and the Solomon Islands.

    Ouch. Median age 21 years, ranked 168th in world, oldest to youngest. Fourteen percent unemployment, and Transparency International ranks Pakistan 139 out of 180 on its corruption index, least to most.

    Hm crowded, fecund, young, idle, seriously poor, and corrupt as they come. Oh, what's this?

    95 percent Muslim, 70 to 90 nuclear weapons in the arsenal. Uh-oh.

    Now look: you don't necessarily get a true picture of a place from reading through statistics. I dare say Pakistan is in nothing like such dire straits as, say, Somalia, or Burma, or Zimbabwe, or even the worst bits of Europe like Kosovo. There's a comfortable middle class in the cities, and I'm sure they have air conditioning, hot and cold running water, reality TV, and all the other appurtenances of modern civilized life.

    Pakistan's a big place with a lot of people, though, and very Muslim, and has all those nukes, and a political history of chronic instability. Definitely a place to worry about. Down in that neck of the woods you have Iran, which is Islamic-fundamentalist but not yet nuclear, and Pakistan, which is nuclear but not yet Islamic-fundamentalist.

    Oh, and then you have Afghanistan, where we're fighting that vitally important war about well, I forget what it's about, but it's real important, or else we wouldn't be there, would we? Now if you'll consult your atlas, you'll see that Afghanistan is totally land-locked nearly 300 miles from the sea at the nearest point. So how can we get stuff in there to supply our troops?

    There's Pakistan and Iran to the south, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, and Tajikistan to the north, a wee sliver of China to the east, and India, which is Pakistan's sworn enemy, to the south and west. Forget about India, forget Iran and China. I'm sure our pal Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov up there in Turkmenistan would be glad to help, but he's even further from the sea than Afghanistan itself, and the other stans are further yet.

    So if we want to bring bulk goods in, especially fuel, it's Pakistan or nothing much as a transit area. And from Pakistan into Afghanistan there are only two roads that can take big truck convoys. Doesn't that raise security issues for these convoys?

    You bet it does. Even in normal times, the supply trucks come under attack from guerillas up there in the Af-Pak badlands. When Pakistan's annoyed with us, as they have recently been over the accidental killing of some border guards, they shut the passes.

    Then those big convoys of fuel trucks are left waiting by the roadside. They don't have to wait long: 127 fuel trucks have been blown up just in one week recently. It's not just guerillas coming down from the hills to attack, either.

    NATO contracts out the trucking to local Pakistani firms. Some of those firms sell off most of the fuel, then torch the rest in the truck to cover the crime. See, it's not as easy as you might think to distinguish between a fireball caused by eight thousand gallons of fuel going up, and a fireball caused by eight hundred gallons.

    Especially if you don't happen to be in the Khyber pass when it happens. Terrorists, crooks, crazy jihadis, chronic political instability, and nuclear weapons. Crowded, fecund, young, idle, poor, and corrupt.

    Yep, I think even I could start worrying about Pakistan. Any conclusions here, Derb? Only this familiar and oft-repeated one: That I was right first time when I wrote, on 9/11, that, quote: "This will not be a matter of great troop movements, of trenches and fleets and squadrons and massed charges.

    This will be small teams of inconceivably brave men and women, working in strange places, unknown and unacknowledged." End quote. So it should have been. Instead we have a vast military and bureaucratic operation needing constant resupply from great convoys of trucks.

    Going through Pakistan. If you lie down with dogs, says the old Irish proverb, you get up with fleas. We're in bed with a lot of dogs up there, and it wasn't necessary.

    We could have kept them at arm's length, and we should have.

    03 Times Square bomber gets life. Here's one of the fleas, from, yes, Pakistan. Faisal Shahzad, the Times Square bomber got a life sentence from a federal court here in New York Tuesday.

    Shahzad's Dad was a big player in Pakistan, a two-star Air Force general. We're always being told that poverty and desperation drive young Muslims to terrorism, but every time one comes into focus, like Shahzad and Osama bin Laden, it turns out to be a rich kid. Well, Shahzad studied in the U.S.A., late 1990s and early 2000s, married a U.S.

    citizen of Pakistani parentage, and got citizenship through his wife. Then he got religion and tried to blow up Times Square. Now he's gone down for life, whatever that means this week, at age 31.

    The pompous ass of a judge told Shahzad that, quote, "You are a young man, and you will have a lot of time to reflect on what you have done." Where do we get these idiot judges? Shahzad's going to be fine. He'll get three hots and a cot, use of a nice library and weight room and cable TV, a prayer mat and prayer wheel and beads and whatever else it takes to get Allah's attention, and an endless supply of gullible dimwitted ghetto psychotics to indoctrinate with the Holy Word, eagerly assisted by prison chaplains who are all double-dipping one hand in the American taxpayer's pocket, the other reaching out for the brown envelope being passed by the guy from the Saudi embassy.

    Then after ten years or so the rat will get out on some technicality and open a falafel stand in Times Square. Incredibly, Shahzad was allowed to make a nutty little speech before being sentenced. Instead of clubbing him to the ground and putting duct tape over his mouth, the court officers allowed the thing to go on for ten minutes.

    Shahzad told us how much he hates freedom and democracy. He told us we should all convert to Islam so we can sit around goat-dung fires picking lice out of our beards. Then he said, quote, "I'm happy with the deal that God has given me." Hey pal, you wouldn't be so happy if you hadn't had the forethought to take out U.S.

    citizenship. They don't have cable TV in Pakistani jails. I've never understood the case against capital punishment, and I understand it less after reading about the Shahzad trial than I did before.

    Why not char-broil this vermin, if he's so anxious to meet his maker? Instead, he's being sent to a place right here on earth where he'll be honored as a hero and martyr: to be precise, the federal prison in Florence, Colorado, home of his co-religionists Zacarias Moussaoui, Ramzi Yousef, and shoe bomber Richard Reid. What fun they'll have!

    They've got a four for bridge right there. To soothe our nerves after all this insanity, listeners, let's all recite together the list of benefits our country has received from permitting large-scale immigration of Muslims. Ready?

    All together now: Crickets chirping 04 Obama betrays his base. As skeptical as I am of huge military operations in sinkhole countries, at least I think they're just bad policy. To people on the political left, American military operations anywhere , for any reason except, perhaps, enforcement of "diversity" on recalcitrant ethnocentrists like the Serbs is a moral evil.

    Fighting terrorism? I want the thing done, but I want it done with imagination, guile, secrecy, and ruthlessness, and on the cheap. The Bush people wanted it done in a missionary spirit, great scads of money committed for decades to transforming the sinkholes into gardens of plenty filled with gratitude to us, hearts beating at one with ours.

    The lefties just don't want it done at all. Imagine their chagrin, therefore, when Obama keeps on doing it. Instead of leaving Afghanistan with cringing apologies, he actually increased troop levels there.

    Furthermore, we're still in Iraq, and the Guant namo facility's still in business. This is wormwood and gall to the lefties, and a big factor in the coming midterm elections. The polls are showing much greater eagerness to vote among Republicans than among Democrats, in part because liberal Democrats are so bitterly disillusioned about the administration's foreign policy.

    But why has Obama ticked off his base like this? Why didn't he start pulling the armies out within weeks of taking office? Supporters of the big counter-insurgency operations we're running argue that these are the only possible policies there is no alternative.

    I don't buy that. We could fight mean, low-level operations against the jihadis without having to yoke ourselves to scum like Karzai and the Iranian stooges we put in place in Iraq. I don't buy it, and the left of course doesn't buy it.

    So why has Obama bought it? My guess is, Obama was just intimidated by the grown-ups he found himself among after his election. They all seemed so grave and sober and knowledgeable, especially the military men.

    All that gravity, all that knowledge, all that military braid, pierced the armor of Obama's self-regard and left him susceptible to their arguments which were, that we should go on doing what we'd been doing. Presidents come in all varieties. Dwight Eisenhower was a career military man who'd commanded entire armies.

    He wasn't impressed by all that braid around the table at meetings of the Joint Chiefs, and he didn't take any nonsense from his military people. Obama's the anti-Eisenhower. A pampered middle-class kid, a college lefty wafted up effortlessly in his career by gusts of hot air from the race-guilt establishment.

    His main achievement in his chosen career was getting asbestos ceiling tiles replaced in some Chicago housing project worthy enough in its own way, no doubt, but not exactly D-Day. He got to the White House knowing next to nothing about the real world, and has been adrift ever since, agreeing with the last grown-up who spoke to him. As our own Mike Potemra said on The Corner Friday, Obama's a dud, a clueless bungler.

    Further quote from Mike, quote: "Like the dog who chased the car and has for once, per impossibile caught it, he is flummoxed, completely overpowered by the situation in which he finds himself. His policies don't work, and he has no others." End quote. Exactly.

    You can measure Obama's quality from the fact that he's making Joe Biden look good. So on we go, stumbling forward in perilous times under irresolute, incompetent leadership. The Republic has survived worse; but my guess is that after another two years of this, we shall not be in a happy place.

    05 Ghailani trial. Ah yes, Guant namo. What are we going to do with our captives there?

    At least our president sorta kinda made up his mind about that, or allowed some grownup to make it up for him. We'll give them proper trials, just like we learned about in law school! We've all been to law school, haven't we?

    Of course we have. What kind of American doesn't go to law school? So here came Ahmed Khalfan Ghailani, fresh from Guant namo to stand trial in federal court in Manhattan.

    I note with interest from his bio that one of his aliases was "Foopie." That's caught my fancy, and I find these Muslim names just as tiresome as I imagine they'd find mine, so for the rest of this segment I'll refer to Mr. Ghailani as "Foopie." Forty-year-old Foopie is a national of Tanzania, in East Africa. He was a principal in the East African embassy bombings of twelve years ago that killed over 200 people, including twelve Americans.

    We know he was, because he confessed it to the FBI in non-coercive interrogation back in 2007. So Foopie has been brought to trial in New York before a judge and a jury. This will show the world that our criminal-justice system is just the ticket for dealing with captured foreign terrorists.

    Alas, things aren't going well. Foopie had been in CIA custody for two years before being shipped to Guant namo in '06. So as well as the non-coerced testimony of 2007, there's the, ah, less -non-coerced testimony of 2004-2006.

    That earlier testimony fingered a witness the government would like to use. They've promised not to use the testimony itself, but the witness is tainted by association with the testimony, and the judge won't allow him. Other witnesses have died or vanished in the six years since Foopie's original arrest.

    We're looking at a witness shortage here. There's still the confession Foopie made to the FBI, but the earlier interrogations may have tainted that too. The trial's been postponed, and the original scheme of putting these guys before military tribunals is looking better by the day.

    My own suggestion that the Guant namo inmates be taken out to the yard and shot in batches looks even better, but the government seems not to be thinking along those lines.

    06 Texas jet skier murder. We've been getting further evidence this past few days that Mexico is an unfriendly country our relations with which should be reduced to the bare minimum: one ambassador and a secretary, and entry rights from Mexico limited to Nobel Prize winners in difficult subjects involving lots of math, maximum one per annum . The evidence here emerged from an incident on Falcon Lake last Thursday, September 30.

    Falcon Lake is an artificial lake caused by a dam on the Rio Grande. The Rio Grande, as everyone knows, forms part of the border between Texas and Mexico. Thus when you dam the river and make a lake, the border goes down the middle of the lake.

    On the other side of that border is of course Mexico, which is to say basically Pakistan with a liquor license. You would, therefore, need to be stupid at a pretty heroic level to go out pleasure boating on Falcon Lake. An essential component of your stupidity would be a happy confidence that should anything untoward befall you out there, our federal government would come down like a ton of bricks on the government of Mexico.

    Laughter Well, that's how stupid David and Tiffany Hartley were last week. The Hartleys, who are from Colorado, jet-skied across the lake to take photographs of a historic Mexican church on the other side. The Mexican gangsters who own that side of the lake, and for that matter the rest of Mexico too, spotted them and gave chase.

    David Hartley was shot to death and disappeared in the water. His wife made it back OK. It would be nice if I could tell you at this point, that the Mexican authorities, terrified that the U.S.A.

    might regard this as an insult to our citizens and our sovereignty, rushed resources to the area and undertook a massive manhunt for the perps. I can't tell you that. Nobody is scared of Obama's America, certainly not Mexico, which regards our nation as just a convenient dumping ground for its high school dropouts and awkward racial minorities.

    So the Mexicans did nothing. In fact they did less than nothing: They warned the U.S. government that if we tried to do anything, they would be very angry and would call us racists.

    Under a threat like that of course our government cringed and retreated if you can retreat without ever having advanced. I'd like to be able to tell you that our federal authorities, outraged by the wanton murder of one of our citizens, however dumb, mobilized the Marines, sent the Mexican ambassador packing, and commenced carpet-bombing the Mexican shore of Falcon Lake. What I in fact have to tell you is that the Obama administration will do nothing that might anger La Raza or jeopardize the Hispanic vote in November, that they regard the concept of American citizenship as little more than a veiled form of discrimination, and that the Marines are building soccer fields in Waziristan.

    So nothing happened. The consensus of opinion now, a week or so later, is that the drug and people traffickers who run Mexico have long since fished Mr. Hartley's corpse out of the lake and reduced it to puppy chow in that colorful way Mexicans have.

    Mrs. Hartley is left folornly grieving for her husband, and the Justice Department is busy on the phone to half a dozen Latin American nations encouraging them to file friend-of-the-court briefs in its lawsuit against Arizona. Oh, I'm sorry did I give the impression there that nobody in authority in the U.S.A.

    has taken any action in this case? I'm sorry: I wouldn't want to leave you thinking our elected and appointed authorities are totally ineffectual, that we are ruled by spineless, whimpering cowards and paid shills for America's enemies. Heaven forbid!

    No, let me correct the record here. There has been action, I see. The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department has issued a warning to boaters to stay on the U.S.

    side of Falcon Lake and not to venture into Mexican waters. That'll put an end to these outrages!

    07 Geert Wilders trial. Geert Wilders, leader of the third-biggest party in the Dutch parliament, is living a curious double life.

    He's been in court this week on charges of inciting hatred against Muslims. That's been one side of his life. The other side has been political horse-trading with other parties to try to form a coalition government.

    Then, after his busy day is over, Mr. Wilders is whisked away by his police bodyguard to a secret destination where he can spend the night without being assassinated by adherents of the religion of peace. The second part of that life at least has been going well.

    It looks as though the Netherlands will at last have a functioning government, four months after an indecisive election. Two other parties have joined with Wilders to form a coalition that can command a majority in parliament. Wilders demanded some conditions, and his coalition partners have agreed.

    Wearing of the burqa will be banned and immigration sharply curtailed. Those issues aside, it's a center-right government, promising to cut public spending and hire more police. The nation's Queen go to the back of the class if you didn't know the Netherlands is a monarchy has blessed the government in the constitutional-monarchy style.

    The first part of Wilders' life, the court trial, has meanwhile been grinding on. It's not really so much a judicial procedure as a full-court press on Wilders by the Dutch establishment, who are determined to crush him like a bug, but with a fa ade of due process. Wilders is being tried in front of three judges.

    The lead judge, Jan Moors, is openly hostile to Wilders. On Monday, the trial's first day, he made a sneering comment that caused the trial to be suspended while an inquiry was held into his impartiality. Surprise, surprise, Judge Moors was found to be spotlessly impartial, and the trial continued.

    On Wednesday the court viewed Wilders' short film Fitna , which stitches together verses from the Koran with film clips of terrorist atrocities. One of the Muslim plaintiffs said she couldn't bear to watch it, and the spotlessly impartial Judge Moors commiserated with her. It's all beginning to look like that scene in One-Eyed Jacks where Marlon Barndo asks for a fair trial and she sheriff says: "Sure, we'll give y'a fair trial.

    Then we'll hang ya." One happy side effect of the Wilders prosecution is that he is now a hero to patriots throughout Europe. He gave a widely-reported speech in Berlin last weekend. On September 11th he was over here to give a speech at Ground Zero to opponents of the triumphal mosque.

    For icing on the cake, Wilders has just been denounced by The Economist , house magazine of the multi-culti globalist elites. Quote: "To attack Islam and the Koran is dangerous stupidity that weakens the civilisation Mr. Wilders claims to defend," end quote.

    Why does The Economist think Wilders' rhetoric is "dangerous"? Because it might incite Muslims to acts of murder, presumably. But that just gets us back to the very question Wilders raises: Do we really want to share our countries with people who think murder is a proper response to rude remarks about their religion?

    I don't mind giving my answer right here on Radio Derb: No.

    08 Miscellany. And now, for your final delectation, our closing miscellany of brief items. Item : Bedbugs!

    Bedbugs in the Waldorf-Astoria! A Florida woman staying in a $330-a-night room at the premier Manhattan hotel was so badly bitten the Waldorf gave her a free upgrade to a $700 suite. Now, it's not the case that all our ills arise from mass Third World immigration, but this one does.

    At least, the New York Times thinks so, quote from the November 27, 2005 issue of that august organ, quote: "In the bedbug resurgence, entomologists and exterminators blame increased immigration from the developing world, the advent of cheap international travel and the recent banning of powerful pesticides." End quote. So next time "comprehensive immigration reform" comes up in Congress, let's sneak into the visitor's gallery and let loose some of these immigrants on the congresscrooks. Item : You know, even patriotism can be taken too far.

    Consider for example this news item from the Philippines. Quote from the BBC: "The Philippine House of Representatives has approved a bill criminalising the improper singing of the country's national anthem Offenders could face up to two years in jail," end quote. How insecure does a nation have to be to pass a law like that?

    I hadn't been in the U.S.A. a month before I heard the ancient joke about "Jos can you see?" And when we were little kids in England we used to sing: "God save our gracious Queen / Douse her with paraffin, / Set her alight!" I think you Pilipinos need to lighten up a bit. Item : That was a sad story about the Rutgers student who committed suicide.

    Tyler Clementi jumped off the George Washington Bridge after his roommate and the roommate's girlfriend secretly filmed him in sexual congress with another guy. Predictably enough, the homosexualist lobbies are all over the case, demanding that politicians do something . Do what?

    Stop people killing themselves? Stop people playing practical jokes on their roommates? The accurs d politicians of course are only too glad to oblige.

    The moronic, drooling, 120-year-old Senator Frank Lautenberg dragged his withered carcass to a microphone to announce that he will introduce legislation to oblige colleges to prohibit harassment and bullying. When you've snoozed away 27 years in the Senate, as Lautenberg has, there is no ill or misfortune known to man that a spot of legislation won't fix. Yo Senator, while you're putting the world to rights down there in Halitosis Hall, how about a bill to cure the common cold?

    Item : Forbes magazine has published its list of the world's most powerful women. Guess who's top of the list? Yes, it's our cheery, inspirational First Lady, Michelle Obama.

    Quote from Forbes : "This year's list is based less on traditional titles and r les and more on creative influence and entrepreneurship." End quote. Entrepreneurship? What, has Michelle started a business?

    But wait a minute: wasn't she the one who was telling college students a couple of years ago that they should shun the coarse, grubby money-making of the corporate world and Get a Government Job? She was right, of course, but I don't see how that qualifies her for praise from Forbes , which is a business magazine. Perhaps she got in on the "creative influence" clause you know, on account of the novels and poetry she's written, the paintings and sculptures she's produced, the symphonies and concertos she's been turning out.

    That must be it. Top of the list at Forbes , eh, Michelle? It's not as grand as your husband's Nobel Peace Prize, but it's just as well deserved.

    Item : Finally, Radio Derb notes with deep sadness the passing of Charlie the smoking chimp at his pen in the zoo at Bloemfontein, South Africa. Charlie was 52 years old, which is a tremendous age for a chimp. Charlie was famous for the pleasure he took in smoking cigarettes.

    Of course he had to step out of his pen and smoke on the pathway outside 09 Signoff. That's all I have for you, listeners. Bimbo: "I guess it's time to go " Yes, Candy, I guess it is.

    Party noises I can hear the Friday afternoon party starting up in Jonah's suite, so I'm sure the wine is already flowing, the band warming up, and this week's discussion of key political science topics getting under way in the grotto.

    Ladies and gentlemen, I bid you goodnight; and for those of you staying at the Waldorf-Astoria, don't let the bedbugs bite!

  • Rail freight strike in France threatens automotive sector A strike by the French rail provider SNCF, involving its freight division along with passenger services, is now in its second week with no sign of a resolution. The situation is forcing shippers, including carmakers, to reorganise their transport and logistics plans. June is a busy month for freight shipments in France and road haulage capacity is reported to be tight, which is exacerbating the situation.

    So far the action is estimated to have cost SNCF ' 80m ($108.5m) in lost revenue and refunds according to Guillaume Pepy, head of the company. According to local press reports the reforms are intended to tackle the rail sector s debt, which stands at more than ' 40 billion and is set to almost double by 2015. The strike is being held in protest at proposed government rail reforms that are under debate in the French parliament.

    Included in those discussions is the proposal to unite SNCF with the RFF rail network, which could open up the French state-owned rail network to competition. Fret SNCF workers in CGT and Sud-Rail unions fear that the reforms will lead to a fragmentation of the company and the subsequent loss of jobs, as well as the loss of security associated with state rail employment. There are also concerns about the risks to quality of service.

    A spokesperson for Fret SNCF acknowledged the wide impact of the strike on the rail network across France, as well as the automotive industry. The strike currently affecting rail transport in France has of course operational consequences for all industry sectors, which operate traffic on rail, whatever the operator, she told Automotive Logistics . As such, automotive is affected as much as other sectors are.

    Fret SNCF is doing best efforts to limit the impact as much as possible on its customers. The company provided no further detail on those efforts. The latest action follows a similar 36-hour national strike by workers at Fret SNCF in December last year.

    French-based carmakers, including Renault-Nissan and PSA Peugeot-Citro n, are reserving comment on the impact to their inbound and outbound deliveries. While Renault-Nissan refused to comment, a spokesperson for PSA said only that so far the strike has had a limited impact. The impact on inventory levels at the carmakers does indeed seem to be limited so far, with no reports of an escalation in priority shipments of inbound parts suggesting inventory at the carmakers was not yet affected.

    At the moment there has only been a very marginal increase in requests for France and it is difficult to say whether this is related to the action by SNCF, said Neal Williams, group managing director at emergency logistics provider Priority Freight. We have not been advised that there has been any disruption of inbound components to any plants yet. Priority Freight is handling in the region of 400 expedited movements a day across Europe for most OEMs and tier suppliers.

    We should be in a position to learn about any significant production supply pressures quickly, added Williams. The company did record a significant amount of premium transport during the first week of the strike, though that resulted from rail disruption caused by storm damage in Germany according to Williams. There was a similar story over at rival expedited services provider Evolution Time Critical, though its managing director Brad Brennan told Automotive Logistics that lead time buffer stocks are now in need of replenishment.

    The French rail strikes come at a traditionally busy time, when OEMs should be looking at re-energising buffer stocks ahead of the seasonal shutdowns of suppliers, he said. Evolution Time Critical has not been called into action as a direct consequence of the current strikes, but we may see this change in the coming weeks as the effects of prolonged action gradually send shockwaves through the supply chain. Brennan added that lead times mean that manufacturers may not yet be feeling the effect of strike action fallout and that they provide the opportunity to implement contingency measures.

    However, such times provide an undoubted test of manufacturers supply chain visibility and ability to react swiftly to prevent ongoing disruption.

  • Random Ramblings, Thoughts and Fiction: I Like Trucking Kinda Lingers has had a lot of hits since I posted