May 13, 2016 – Western Star Truck Sales, Inc. announced its new Extreme Duty (XD) Offroad package and the launch of the MBT-40 Transformer chassis.

Western Star builds some of the toughest and most durable vocational trucks in the world today and is one of the fastest growing brands in North America. However, they also offer an off-road product that competes with the articulated and ridged frame markets.

The Western Star XD Offroad package is engineered specifically for extremely rugged environments and is available on both the 4900 and 6900 models. Vehicles spec’d with the XD Offroad package deliver maximum driver safety and comfort while providing customers with a low cost per ton product for off-road applications. Western Star plans to open the XD Offroad package up to other models in the future.

The 6900XD Offroad MBT-40, dubbed the Multi-Body Transformer for its ability to quickly change from one fully functional in cab controlled body application to another, is the first XD Offroad series offering from Western Star and a new concept for offroad equipment markets.

Using a PALFINGER G68 hooklift which has a lifting capacity of 68,000 lbs and a new transformer package, the MBT-40 gives customers greater utilization of their chassis. It is designed to replace the need for having multiple pieces of dedicated off-road equipment on a job site that sit for long periods of time when they are not needed. With this new product, extremely complex and heavy capacity bodies can be changed over and back to work quickly and easily.

The unit is equipped with a generic in-cab control system and a self-adapting hydraulic system that also allows the operators to quickly and easily swap the controls of multiple body applications as well. The MBT-40 features multiple hydraulic air and electrical connections that allow it to connect and power a variety of body needs from powerful flow controlled hydraulic motors and pumps to heavy high flow tip cylinders.

“The development of this platform was all about finding better economic ways of filling needs for our customers," said John Tomlinson, XD and vocational sales manager, Western Star. "Offroad chassis equipment can be expensive to buy and maintain and new emissions levels are making the investment even more costly.
"By maximizing the operation time, customers can have the equipment they need always for when it is required. Mining, quarry and off-road construction industries are looking for better solutions right now and we have the answers for them with this new product.”

“Working with Western Star on this open platform concept product has been great. CARCO Industries is very experienced in mining and offroad fuel and service products along with carrying the PALFINGER crane lines,” said Charlie Schimmels, sales manager, CARCO Industries. “This combination of experience and product along with the rugged design and carrying capacity of the XD40 Offroad chassis offered by Western Star makes the MBT-40 package a very unique product. With commodity prices down and budget cuts becoming common place we need to think smarter about how we do business and the MBT-40 does that.”

The 6900XD is available in both 6x4 and 6x6 configurations.

For more information, go to www.WesternStarTrucks.com

Western Star Trucks Sales, Inc., headquartered in Fort Mill, S.C., produces tough custom trucks for highway and vocational applications. Western Star is a subsidiary of Daimler Trucks North America LLC. Daimler Trucks North America produces and markets Class 5-8 vehicles and is a Daimler company, the world's leading commercial vehicle manufacturer.
April 25, 2016 - I am taking this action is a positive affirmation of the strength and unbiased reputation the Challenge has built over the past decade. In large part this move is also a compliment to the quality and reputation of the journalist judges that work so hard each year; making the Truck King Challenge a home-grown success story.

Moving forward I will continue to organize, facilitate and run the annual Challenge – but I entrust the judging – and therefore the results solely to the volunteer judges. Of course every result from every year was always an average across the scores of multiple judges; as fair as possible – but, sometimes, there were whispers of bias. My decision to remove myself from the direct judging process should silence those dissenters.

Despite my stepping out of the judging role - The Canadian Truck King Challenge will move forward in its mission of giving Canadian truck buyers the best and most real world truck testing results in North America. To reinforce this, we have added two new judges this year:

Alan Sidorov of Whistler, B.C. is the chief instructor for the BC Forest Safety Council. He trains drivers for company fleets in the proper use of light trucks and also does extensive tire testing on those same trucks. 

Sue Mead of Williamstown, Mass. has asked to be part of the Challenge because our testing formula so intrigued her. Mead writes extensively about trucks – and races them. She has competed in Camel Trophy adventures, the Arctic Circle Challenge, the Tip to Tip Challenge and the TransAmerica Challenge. She has competed in the Baja 1000 and the Dakar Rally in South America and Africa.
April 15, 2016 – Volvo Trucks presented its lineup of 2017 powertrain upgrades to help kick off the 2016 Truck World Show at the International Centre in Mississauga, Ont.

March 11, 2016 - The B.C. forest industry relies on approximately 2,800 log truck drivers to haul timber from forests to wood processing and manufacturing facilities, log dumps, harbour terminals in B.C., and to other parts of Canada and North America.

February 24, 2016 - For the past nine years veteran automotive journalists have donated their time to act as judges in the only annual North American truck competition that tests pickup and van models head to head – while hauling payload and also towing.

February 22, 2016 - Road construction initiated landslides have been  a persistent issue on the coast and to a lesser degree within other areas of the province. 

According to recently collected data, there have been 26 such incidents on the coast over the last three years.

Nine of these incidents involved excavators sliding down the slope from the road prism during road construction activities. The incidents have been  very serious in nature with considerable human, environmental and operational costs. Fortunately we have seen no fatalities to date but both physical injuries and physiological impacts have been common. Some groups have developed partial solutions to the issue but there has not been a united front across the industry to address the problem. On Oct.7, 2014, an informal group of industry, government and consulting practitioners met to explore the issue. The meeting was sponsored by BCTS. One of the actions stemming from the meeting was the formation of a working group that is supported by the Coastal Harvesting Advisory Group (CHAG). 

A formal proposal based on this action was provided to CHAG and support was confirmed in December 2014.                                                            
Group purpose
To develop initiatives that support the elimination of slide type incidents during road construction activities on the coast.

Scope
The working group will focus on coastal road construction but will pass on information to all interested Interior parties. The group has developed a short to medium term strategy to address quick wins that will have an immediate impact, as well as a longer term strategy to sustain improvement and inform other initiatives. 

Actions
The working group is focusing on:
•Data Collection and Analysis
•Raising Awareness within the Industry
•Training Methods and Resources for Road Crews and Professionals 
•New Ways to Identify Sensitive Zones and Build Road, and
•Options for monitoring and enforcement of road construction standards.

The outcomes will be shared and used across the industry to create a more uniformed application of improved road construction methods and processes. 

Group members:
BC Timber Sales: Mike McCulley, RFT; Western Forest Products: Jack Reynolds, RPF; Interfor: Robert Shelley, RPF; Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations: Tom Jackson, RFT; and  Gino Fournier, RPF, PEng;  FPInnovations: Clayton Gillies, RPF, RPBio; BC Forest Safety Council: Dustin Meierhofer, RPF ; Aztec Geoscience: Del Ferguson, PGeo and Ponting Logging: Mark Ponting. 

Dustin Meierhofer is the director of transportation and northern safety at the BC Forest Safety Council.

January 20, 2016 – Daimler Trucks North America (DTNA) has appointed Kary Schaefer its general manager of marketing and strategy.

Schaefer will lead the Freightliner Trucks and Detroit marketing organizations in the launch of upcoming products, steering product strategy requirements and implementing customer and dealer satisfaction initiatives. Schaefer, whose most recent position at DTNA was general manager of the Enhanced Platform program for vocational products, also will continue to manage that initiative.

“Kary’s proven experience is perfectly aligned with our organizational vision of maintain our leadership position through innovation and product achievement,” said Richard Howard, senior vice-president, sales and marketing for DTNA. “Kary’s keen understanding of our industry, business and products will be instrumental to delivering our message our dealers and customers.”

Schaefer joined DTNA in 1995 as a design engineer. She has held several positions in engineering, and in 2008, she was named chief engineer, where she led the Cab Engineering Department. In this role, she was instrumental in developing innovations that improved fuel efficiency. She also oversaw the cab systems development for the Freightliner Argosy Evolution, Freightliner 108SD and 114SD, and the Western Star 4700, as well as the new Western Star interior, which impacted the entire Western Star product line.

Prior to joining DTNA, Schaefer held leadership positions with Boeing, Pacific Testing Laboratories, Abossein Engineering and Cloud Cap Technologies, a division of United Technologies Corp. She will be based in Portland, Oregon.

About Daimler Trucks North America
Daimler Trucks North America LLC, headquartered in Portland, Oregon, is the leading heavy-duty truck manufacturer in North America. Daimler Trucks North America produces and markets commercial vehicles under the Freightliner, Western Star and Thomas Built Buses nameplates. Daimler Trucks North America is a Daimler company, the world's leading commercial vehicle manufacturer.

Source: Daimler Trucks North America

January 15, 2016 – Kenworth Montreal recently expanded its customer support by opening a new parts and service facility in Lanoraie, Que., located about 70 kilometres northeast of Montreal.

The 14,600-square-foot facility is in an industrial and manufacturing area and is just southwest of Exit 130 on TransCanada Highway 40 for convenient access, said Mike Parent, general manager of Kenworth Montreal.

“As the local economy in Lanoraie has diversified and grown, additional businesses requiring more parts and service support for their commercial trucks have opened in the area,” said Parent. “That growth has also brought heavier traffic congestion along the TransCanada Highway corridor, which makes our new facility a key to helping customers get more timely service and minimize downtime. Our goal is to give customers greater access to our expertise and more flexibility in our opening hours to better meet their needs.”

Kenworth Lanoraie has a 5,700-square-foot parts warehouse capable of storing a large inventory for delivery throughout the Lanoraie area. The location offers six service bays, equipped with a fluid recovery and recycling system.

Kenworth Lanoraie is located at 120 rue du Parc Industriel. The phone number is 450-887-1120. Christian Boucher manages the service department and Natalie Provost is the parts manager. Parts and service are available from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday and 8 a.m. to noon on Saturday. The service department offers full warranty support for PACCAR MX engine.

Kenworth Montreal, which is located in Saint-Laurent, Que., also operates Kenworth Saint-Jerome.

December 23, 2015 - That freshly cut stump that I stepped upon just under a year ago when I took on the role to advocate for timber harvesting contractors in coastal B.C. has begun to turn a silvery gray. Amongst the many things I have learned about my contractor members, one standout trait is – as entrepreneurs – they are able to adapt to change.

December 7, 2015 - Canadian Forest Industries looks at the latest forwarders available in the Canadian marketplace.

EcoLog

The Eco Log D series forwarder range consists of four different machine models, with loading capacities from 10 tonnes up to 19.5 tonnes. Equipped with the latest technology to provide the utmost in power, low fuel consumption and high performance for forwarder operations. The 594D is the largest of the D series, with a 19.5 tonne loading capacity, and a 245 kNm pulling force.

November 12, 2015 – One of the largest heavy equipment dealers in Saskatchewan, Redhead Equipment, now offers sales, parts, service, and financing on Sennebogen material handling equipment. 

Constantino Lannes, president of Sennebogen LLC, announced Redhead’s appointment as the latest addition to the Sennebogen distributor family.

“With seven locations from Lloydminster to Swift Current and more than 100 technicians in the province, Redhead can provide fast, reliable service for Sennebogen customers,” says Lannes. “As a matter of fact, they have already scheduled a number of their techs to come to Stanley for training before Christmas – that’s commitment.” 

“What sets us apart is our long history of parts and service support in Saskatchewan,” adds Gary Redhead, president and CEO of Redhead Equipment. “We’re well respected in the industry. We have a reputation for getting the job done.”

Redhead views Sennebogen’s reputation for quality as a good fit for his business. 

“I talked to a lot of dealers, and I never heard a bad thing about Sennebogen anywhere. That’s the kind of partner you want,” Redhead says.

Redhead also likes the fact that Sennebogen has a culture of problem solving for its customers. 

“Sennebogen is willing to build equipment to solve a particular problem,” he says. “That means our customers’ choices are truly unlimited.”

Sennebogen applications in mining, steel mills, scrap, forestry & waste
By adding Sennebogen to its product lineup, Redhead can now offer its existing customers a purpose-built choice for their material handling applications. The change will help Redhead staff build on their existing customer relationships in a variety of industries. Redhead also identified applications for Sennebogen equipment within the scrap, steel and forestry industries. With a forestry specialist on staff, he plans to begin demonstrating Sennebogen forestry equipment soon. 

The power of choice
As an award-winning Saskatchewan dealer, Redhead prides itself on its customer service. Over more than 65 years of business, Redhead has earned a stellar reputation in the province. SaskBusiness Magazine has named Redhead Equipment as one of the Top 100 Companies in Saskatchewan for 19 consecutive years. 

About Sennebogen
Sennebogen has been a leading name in the global material handling industry for over 60 years. Based in Stanley, North Carolina, within the greater Charlotte region, Sennebogen LLC offers a complete range of purpose-built machines to suit virtually any material handling application. Established in America in the year 2000, Sennebogen LLC has quickly become a leading provider of specialized equipment solutions for recycling and scrap metal yards, demolition, barge and port operations, log-handling, transfer stations and waste facilities from coast to coast. A growing network of distributors supports Sennebogen LLC sales and service across the Americas, ensuring the highest standard of professional machine support and parts availability. Learn more at www.sennebogen-na.com.































November 12, 2015 - Finning International Inc. will exit 11 facilities in Western Canada in order to continue its cost reduction in struggling markets. Combined with the previously announced closure of 16 facilities, the Company's footprint in Western Canada will be reduced by over 20% by mid to late 2016.

The company made the announcement as part of its third quarter financial release, which saw revenues decline by 10% from Q3 2014 to $1.5 billion, driven by 30 per cent lower new equipment sales, down in all operations due to a difficult economic environment and reduced demand for new equipment across all market segments. While consolidated product support revenue was up 3% from Q3 2014, product support was lower in all regions in functional currency, reflecting reduced activity levels. 

In response to a further decline in market activity, marked by a 27% drop in new equipment sales from Q2 2015, the Company announced an additional workforce reduction of approximately 1,100 people or 8%, bringing the total workforce reduction to approximately 1,900 people or 13% in 2015. 

Excluding severance, loss on a building sublease, and facility closure costs, Canada's operating profitability or EBIT margin in Q3 2015 improved from the previous two quarters, despite lower revenues. Including the recent workforce reduction of 450 people, the Canadian operations will have reduced their workforce by approximately 1,100 people or 20% in 2015. 

The Company generated $140 million in free cash flow, a 28% increase from Q3 2014, driven by Canada, including a positive contribution from the newly acquired Saskatchewan dealership. 

"In line with significant steps already taken to adjust to the economic downturn, we took further decisive actions to reduce costs and implement sustainable operational improvements as market conditions weakened in the third quarter," said Scott Thomson, president and CEO of Finning International. "These steps include reducing the size of our global workforce by 1,900 people since the beginning of the year and 2,500 people since the start of the downturn in mid-2013. We also continued to restructure our Canadian branch network, effectively reducing our facility footprint by over 20% since the beginning of the year, to optimize the utilization of our assets throughout the cycle. While these are difficult decisions, we believe we are taking the right path to adjust our business to market realities and ensure financial strength, while simultaneously positioning Finning to deliver customer service more effectively and efficiently over the long-term." 

"These organizational changes, coupled with the operational improvements we are implementing, are driven by our focus on providing value for our customers and our shareholders. In particular, the changes made to our facility footprint are underpinned by our solid commitment to our customers and follow careful consideration of their needs. We believe our resulting facility footprint provides the right support to enhance our customers' experience, meet their evolving requirements, and improve sales and service levels through our larger service centers and extended resident field teams," continued Mr. Thomson. 

"Our focus on managing the factors within our control has contributed to preserving a strong balance sheet and allowed us to improve profitability in our Canadian operations on a quarter by quarter basis throughout 2015 despite a very challenging business environment. Being able to achieve these outcomes under current market conditions gives me confidence that we will be well-positioned when demand strengthens. Going forward, we will continue to implement operating improvements which earn our customers' loyalty, and maintain cost and capital discipline as we manage through persistent market uncertainty," concluded Mr. Thomson.

Summary of Canadian results
Revenues were down 16%, driven by a 35% decline in new equipment sales due to significantly lower demand from all sectors, particularly for core construction equipment in Alberta. Product support revenues were 3% below Q3 2014, mainly as a result of lower service revenues, as customers continued to postpone maintenance and in-source some service work to reduce operating costs. Rental revenues declined by 15% reflecting the slowdown in the short-term rental market. 

Compared to Q2 2015, revenues declined by 14%, as a 37% drop in new equipment sales was partly offset by a 5% increase in product support revenues, including a positive contribution from the Saskatchewan dealership. 

Gross profit margins declined in all lines of business, with the exception of service margins, which increased over last year as a result of the successful implementation of operational improvement initiatives. Difficult market conditions, customers' continued focus on cost reductions, and a weaker Canadian dollar has led to increased competitive pressures. These pressures were offset by the shift in revenue mix to higher-margin product support, which contributed 56% to Canada's revenue compared to 49% in Q3 2014. 

The Canadian operations announced additional cost reduction measures in response to weaker market conditions, including further rationalization of its workforce and facilities network. Q3 2015 SG&A included severance costs of approximately $12 million compared to $3 million in Q3 2014. Excluding severance, SG&A costs decreased almost 10% from Q3 2014 primarily due to workforce reductions, cost saving initiatives, improved operating efficiencies, and lower variable costs due to reduced sales activity. Since the end of 2014 and including the recent workforce reduction announcement of approximately 450 people, the Canadian operations will have reduced their workforce in 2015 by approximately 1,100 people or 20% to align its cost structure to reduced activity levels. 

To improve efficiencies, reduce costs, and optimize service delivery to customers, the Company announced that it will exit 11 facilities in Western Canada. The changes to the facility footprint follow comprehensive review and are designed to support the Company in delivering on its commitment to earn customer loyalty by providing superior sales and service support. Combined with the previously announced closure of 16 facilities, the Company's footprint in Western Canada will be reduced by 600,000 square feet or more than 20% by mid to late 2016. Q3 2015 results include a $6 million loss related to centralizing the Canadian head-office operations into one building as part of cost reduction efforts. In Q4 2015, the Company expects to recognize up to $15 million in restructuring costs associated with the facilities optimization announcement. 

EBIT decreased to $34 million from $80 million in Q3 2014 reflecting significantly lower revenues and gross profit due to the market downturn, as well as higher severance costs and a loss on a building sublease. Excluding these items, Q3 2015 EBIT would have been $52 million. 

EBIT margin declined to 4.6% from 9.2% in Q3 2014. Excluding severance costs, and the loss on a building sublease, Q3 2015 EBIT margin was 7.0%. This was a sequential improvement from the adjusted EBIT margin of 6.5% in Q2 2015 (excluding $2 million of severance costs), and the adjusted EBIT margin of 5.8% in Q1 2015 (excluding $17 million of severance and facility closure costs), despite lower revenues which were down 14% from Q2 2015, and down 7% from Q1 2015. 

Invested capital in Canada increased by about $130 million from Q2 2015 due to the addition of the Saskatchewan dealership ($240 million purchase price). Excluding the acquisition, the decrease in invested capital levels from Q2 2015 was driven by lower accounts receivable and a reduction in equipment inventories. The Canadian operations continue to focus on reducing inventory to align with lower activity levels. Invested capital turnover declined to 1.92 from 2.05 in Q2 2015 due to lower revenues and higher average invested capital.
October 30, 2015 - WorkSafeBC’s governing body, the Board of Directors, approved the release of a discussion paper with options to stakeholders for consultation on Item AP1-2-1, Exemptions from Coverage of the Assessment Manual

U.S. carriers who are employers under the Workers Compensation Act must register with WorkSafeBC and pay premiums, pro-rated based on the kilometres travelled in B.C., but many out-of-province Canadian employers in the trucking industry do not. Canadian carriers registered under the Alternative Assessment Procedure for Interjurisdictional Trucking register for workers‚ compensation coverage in each province where they operate or have workers, but only pay premiums in the province(s) where their workers live and usually work. 

In the discussion paper, WorkSafeBC is proposing policy options regarding exemption criteria to address this issue of U.S. carriers paying premiums in their home state as well as in B.C. WorkSafeBC also proposes to change the wording of the policy to better reflect how the exemptions work within the larger legal framework. 

Stakeholders are invited to review the discussion paper and proposed options and to provide feedback by November 24, 2015. 

The discussion paper, policy options, and information on providing feedback are available here.

October 26, 2015 - Resource road networks provide vital year-round access to forestry operations across Canada, in addition to general public access for remote communities and recreational activities. They also provide access for silviculture,  land management, and fire suppression crews.

October 23, 2015 - In B.C, we typically see an increase in commercial vehicle incidents during the winter months, particularly during the transition periods from fall to winter and winter to spring.  Driving during these periods takes extra skills, preparation and time when compared to driving on the clear, dry roads of summer.

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