Crouse Parent Creates New Unit

LENEXA, Kan. — TransFinancial Holdings, the parent of Crouse Cartage Co., formed a new subsidiary, TFH Logistics and Transportation Services, to oversee all its transportation operations.

Crouse, a regional less-than-truckload carrier based in Carroll, Iowa, will be part of the new unit, along with logistics and warehousing businesses.

1999 Road Team Finalists Announced

American Trucking Associations selected 25 of the nation’s best drivers as finalists for its 1999 America’s Road Team. Twelve of the candidates will be named to the team in January.

Team members travel throughout the country to talk to the media, civic groups and school children about highway safety and to encourage interest in trucking.

Some members conduct “How to Drive” conferences that point out places on local roads that require extra caution. They invite journalists to ride in trucks to view the “hot spots” and get a trucker’s perspective of the road.

Barnes to Cover Capitol Hill for TT

Veteran journalist David Barnes has joined the staff of Transport Topics as national affairs writer, where he will head the newspaper’s coverage of Capitol Hill.

Mr. Barnes, who came to the American Trucking Associations earlier this year to direct its public affairs office, was formerly a reporter for Traffic World magazine, a business weekly on shipper and logistics issues. He covered Congress, the Supreme Court, Department of Transportation and other federal agencies, and won several awards for his work, at Traffic World.

FHWA Forum Aims at Image of Transport

The Federal Highway Administration will conduct a symposium on improving transportation communications with the public Dec. 3-4 at the Radisson Plaza Hotel in Alexandria, Va.

The meeting has two goals: to make people more aware of transportation concerns and to improve their perception of transportation. It also aims to better cooperation among communications professionals in various transportation sectors.

Pilots' Union, Airborne Express At Odds

WILMINGTON, Ohio (AP) — The union for Airborne Express pilots has filed a federal lawsuit against the Seattle-based overnight-delivery company and is starting a protest against what it says is intimidation of flight crews over safety issues.

The union, Airline Professionals Association Local 1224, said Thursday that pilots will refuse voluntary overtime and will set up informational pickets.

Scania Reports Profits Are Up 22% Through Third Quarter

PARIS — Scania, the Swedish heavy truck builder, has reported profits of $317 million through first nine months of this year, a 22% increase over the same period in 1997.

Scania attributes the rise in profits to a 15% increase in sales in Europe, where it now has a 15.1% share of the Class 8 truck market. In Latin America, truck sales dropped by 18%, and Scania’s share of the Brazilian market fell from 39.5% to 32.7%.

Oregon Posts Tax Proposal on Web

Trucking companies may go to the Oregon Trucking Associations Web site to find out how much they would pay under OTA’s proposed alternative to the state’s weight-distance tax.

Oregon’s weight-distance, oldest in the country and the model for those that have followed over five decades, now tops out at 13.65 cents for each mile a full-weight truck travels through the state.

Daimler-Benz Sales Continue to Rise

PARIS — The world’s largest truck builder, Daimler-Benz is continuing on a record pace for sales and profits this year.

Through the first nine months, operating profit for the Commercial Vehicles Division has reached $848 million on revenues of $20.1 billion, an increase of 20% over the same period last year.

Worldwide, Daimler has increased unit sales by 19% to 355,600 vehicles (3.5 tons and up).

Congress Offers Little Help for Customs' Aging Computer System

The U.S. Customs Service didn't get the funding from Congress it wanted to upgrade its aging computer system, so importers may end up stuck with the bill.

Customs' computer system is 14 years old and has been operating near capacity for months. Things came to a head in September when it got so overloaded it crashed twice, forcing companies to find other ways to file import documents, 98% of which are usually handled electronically.

Dana Buys Engine-Parts Plants

TOLEDO, Ohio (AP) — Automotive supplier Dana Corp. of Toledo announced it has reached a definitive agreement to buy the engine-parts business of Federal-Mogul Corp. of Southfield, Mich., for $430 million.

Federal Mogul acquired the engine parts operations in its purchase this year of British auto component maker T&N PLC but agreed to sell them to satisfy federal anti-trust concerns.

Durable-Goods Orders Post 4th Consecutive Increase

WASHINGTON (AP) — Orders to American factories for big-ticket durable goods rose 0.9 percent in September, pulled higher by demand for automobiles, communications equipment and military goods.

The unexpected fourth consecutive increase brought orders to a seasonally adjusted $192.1 billion, the Commerce Department said today. Economists had expected about a 1 percent drop, with world financial turmoil diminishing demand for U.S. products.

Oregon Gov. Wants More Troopers

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — Gov. John Kitzhaber will ask the Oregon Legislature to hire 100 more state troopers to patrol highways.

The Democratic governor also said Tuesday that his $10.8 billion spending plan would not require new taxes. But he said he likely will back a gas tax increase that a business lobbying group plans to submit to the Legislature. He made the comments at a news conference.

Mr. Kitzhaber said the hiring of 100 more state troopers would be a big step toward improving safety on Oregon's streets and freeways.

Displaced Workers to Be Trained As Truck Drivers With Federal Grant

The U.S. Department of Labor will award a $1.2 million grant to the ATA Foundation to train workers who've lost their jobs in other industries to become long-haul truck drivers.

Susan M. Coughlin, director of the ATA Foundation, said the grant, which should be finalized over the next few weeks, is part of a project to address the nationwide driver shortage.

Trucking Executives Lend New Orleans School a Helping Hand

NEW ORLEANS — Nearly 150 trucking executives joined community volunteers on a sunny Saturday in New Orleans to paint, plant and rejuvenate their industry image.

"We've been fortunate to have been involved in trucking and transportation," said Roger Roberson, president of Roberson Transportation of Champagne, Ill. "We believe you got to give something back. It's something we've always taught our kids."