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  • Proterra Paves Way for Growth With $30M Investment

    Proterra Paves Way for Growth With $30M Investment

    Company to Ramp Production of Fast Charge Battery Electric Transit Buses and Charging Stations

    Golden, Colorado – Proterra Inc(www.proterra.com), a leading maker of zero-emission commercial transit solutions, announced an investment of $30 million to accelerate the commercialization of its world-leading, fast-charge battery electric transit buses and automated bus charging system. The investment is being led by Silicon Valley venture firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers (KPCB), and also includes GM Ventures, Mitsui & Co., Ltd., Vision Ridge Partners and 88 Green Ventures, LLC.

    “Our goal at Proterra is to fundamentally transform urban transit,” said Jeff Granato, Chief Executive Officer of Proterra, “The tremendous resources of Kleiner Perkins, leveraged with GM’s automotive expertise and the financial and technical strength of Mitsui, Vision Ridge and 88 Green Ventures gives us an enviable platform to compete and win in the electric transit bus market.”

    Proterra’s 35 foot (10 meter) EcoRide BE35™ bus, in daily service at Foothill Transit in Pomona, CA since last September, will be rolling out to VIA Transit in San Antonio and Tallahassee StarMetro later this year. The whisper-quiet, emissions-free bus of tomorrow is completely recharged in under 10 minutes with Proterra’s FastFillTM charging station resulting in a 1 for 1 replacement of diesel buses in service on routes today. Proterra’s lightweight, composite-body bus is a major advance in the transit industry, meeting the stated 2030 goals set by the Federal Transit Agency (FTA) for advanced technology buses nearly 20 years ahead of schedule. Providing significant operating cost savings for its customers, the EcoRide is averaging close to 24 miles per gallon (diesel equivalent) in service, a more than 600% improvement over a typical diesel bus, which averages under 4 miles per gallon, resulting in hundreds of thousands of dollars in fuel cost savings.

    "Electrification of public transportation has tremendous benefits to governments, municipalities and citizens by reducing the operating cost of transit, while also eliminating local air pollution and reducing C02 per passenger mile in the industry,” said Al Gore, former U.S. Vice President and Partner with Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers.

    This investment enables Proterra to complete critical federal validation testing of its bus, roll out additional pilot fleets and complete initiatives to significantly reduce costs and increase volume production at its Greenville, South Carolina manufacturing plant, which will have a capacity to produce 400 buses annually.   The bus has more than 80% U.S. content from 33 states, and will create approximately 2,400 jobs nationwide by 2015.

    For more information go to www.protera.com.

  • PeopleNet Introduces Enhanced BLU.2

    PeopleNet Introduces Enhanced BLU.2

    Chaska, Mn. -  PeopleNet Communications will introduce a new model of its in-cab computer known as Blu.2 that is designed to enhance functionality of the company’s earlier model.

    According to PeopleNet CEO Ron Konezny said, “Our next-generation BLU.2 onboard computing system demonstrates our continued support of BLU as a platform. In addition to new features that enhance driver efficiency, it’s 65 percent lighter, thinner, and provides better extreme temperature performance with 40 percent faster startup in cold weather.”

     

    Because BLU.2’s platform is the same as BLU, customers will be able to add BLU.2 to their current BLU network. And because the software between each model is nearly identical, the new display can be easily added without reprogramming back-office software. Further, existing Driver Terminal customers can upgrade to the BLU.2 device while using their existing onboard computing and mounting options, so they can leverage their investments and save significant costs on upgrades.

     

    For more information about PeopleNet and its products, call (888) 346-3486, or visit www.peoplenetonline.com.

  • SmartTruck Upgrades UnderTray System

    SmartTruck Upgrades UnderTray System

    GREENVILLE, S.C. -- SmartTruck, a maker of aerodynamic devices for trailers, has introduced a second-generation UnderTray System.

    Production of a redesigned UT-6 Trailer UnderTray system is now underway, offering improved durability and increased versatility, the company announced. It promises fuel efficiency gains of more than 10%.

    "The pace at which the industry is embracing the Trailer UnderTray System encourages us to further develop the product and bring additional enhancements to the industry," said Mitch Greenberg, president of SmartTruck. "This redesigned system provides greater durability and is much more adaptable to fit the wide range of trailer models on the road today, while still delivering outstanding fuel efficiency."

    The redesigned UT-6 now rides higher off the ground and allows the sled to be independent of the suspension system, the company announced. The rear diffuser has been reduced in size, allowing the suspension system to travel to the full rearward position. Upgraded hardware allows for easier installation on a wide variety of trailer models, the company announced.

    For more on the system, visit www.SmartTruckBrands.com.

     

  • New Technology in Tow

    If you saw this combination sitting anywhere I’m sure your reaction would be the same as mine. Well, you might if you were in truck maintenance. I saw it in a rest area and my first reaction was, “it must have broke down or else it run the battery pack low and could not make it back to the charging station. Why else would it be hooked to a wrecker?”

     

    Curiosity got the better of me so I went to see if I could find the driver. I walked around to the front of the wrecker and noticed another combination of wrecker and electric truck. Now it was evident that these two electric trucks were being transported.

  • Electrical Troubleshooting Tech Night Scheduled for June 30

    Electrical Troubleshooting Tech Night Scheduled for June 30

    The NCTA Maintenance Council will host a Tech Night Program at 6:00 PM on Thursday, June 30 at the Cape Fear Community College Work Force Training Center in Wilmington, NC.

    The subject of the program will be Electrical Troubleshooting and feature Dan Sullivan of Sullivan Training Systems.  Sullivan Training Systems specializes in electrical training for vehicle and equipment maintenance people.  Dan has more than 15 years of experience in developing training programs for equipment technicians.

    NCTA Maintenance Council Tech Night programs are designed to give real, hands on assistance with some of your biggest training challenges.  Each program is conducted by qualified industry professionals and provides more information than generally available in a regular monthly Maintenance Council meeting.  Participants will learn both theory and practical application on specific maintenance topics and each successful participant will receive a certificate of completion.

    The Tech Night program is only $25.00 and includes class materials and a meal.  There is no charge for individual NCTA Maintenance Council Members and if your company is a Maintenance Council Sponsor, up to 5 of your people can attend for free.

    For more information, or to register online, go to NCTA Maintenance Council Tech Night, and follow the links.

    If you have any questions, contact the NCTA Maintenance Council at 704-483-9428 (e-mail:  admin@nctamaintenance.org).

     

  • Truck Service Expert of the Year Honored by HDA Truck Pride

    Truck Service Expert of the Year Honored by HDA Truck Pride

    June 5, 2011 – St Louis, MO – Truck Service Experts is an independent repair shop program networking over 400 service providers throughout the US and Canada, sponsored by HDA Truck Pride. The program provides a unified identification and marketing program to promote and enhance the independent repair professional, along with providing technical training, business training, ancillary services, fleet networking and business growth opportunities.

    The Truck Service Expert of the Year is the best of the best. They demonstrate the ability to excel not only in their own marketplace but in all of North

  • Truck Fuel Efficiency Rule Sent to White House

    Truck Fuel Efficiency Rule Sent to White House

    The first-ever heavy-truck fuel-efficiency proposal has been sent to the White House Office of Management and Budget for review.

    That proposal would cut emissions from large trucks by 7% to 20% by 2017 depending on the size of a truck and the way it is used.

    Truck and engine makers have predicted they will be able to easily meet the 2014 standard, but that future reductions in carbon emissions will be challenging and costly.

    More information is available at http://www.nhtsa.gov/fuel-economy.

  • Check Tires in Hot Weather to Improve Safety

    Check Tires in Hot Weather to Improve Safety

    The U.S. Department of Transportation urged all motorists to inspect their tires for proper inflation and signs of tread wear and damage before driving in hot weather. The consumer advisory coincides with National Tire Safety Week, June 5-11, and as driving increases with the kick-off of the summer travel season.

    "As the weather warms up, it's especially important for drivers to ensure their tires are properly inflated," Secretary Ray LaHood said. "For your safety and the safety of others on the road, inspect your tires regularly and maintain the proper inflation."

    The latest data from the Department's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration show that over the five-year period from 2005 to 2009, nearly 3,400 people died, and an estimated 116,000 were injured, in tire-related crashes.

    "While it's true improperly maintained tires can contribute to a crash at any time of year, it is particularly critical for motorists to check tires during hot weather, when families and luggage often overload vehicles for long vacation trips," NHTSA Administrator David Strickland warned. "Underinflated tires spinning on hot asphalt for extended periods of time can be a recipe for disaster."