kscarbel2

BMT Benefactor
  • Content count

    10,255
  • Joined

  • Last visited

  • Days Won

    41

kscarbel2 last won the day on March 17

kscarbel2 had the most liked content!

Community Reputation

2,700 Excellent

About kscarbel2

  • Rank
    BMT Certified Know-It-All!

Profile Information

  • Gender
    Male
  • Location
    United States

Recent Profile Visitors

6,107 profile views
  1. Billy, my thought is, the "Odds and Ends" thread is designated "for non-truck related topics", including current events. (The "VIP Lounge" is also broad topic) BMT's general guidelines on posts are, no name-calling, personal insults or threats. And no profanity or vulgarity. Some of the posts can be high spirited at times, but in general BMT members are a high caliber group of people that contribute to the website being unparalleled in nature. We all need to remember that everyone has a right to their own opinion. And there's absolutely no point to getting high blood pressure over another person's thoughts (opinions). If you disagree with another person's opinion, ignore it and move on. A few things in life are still so simple and effortless. Some healthy discussions on current events and other in the "Odds and Ends" thread isn't a bad thing, if members express themselves reasonably. There are a lot of very intelligent people here that bring some legitimate viewpoints to the table. Even though opinions may conflict with each other at times, it doesn't mean they're without merit.
  2. A little Tatra history.................. Beginning with the Tatra 111. No frame, in the conventional sense. 210 horsepower Model V910 air-cooled V-12 engine. .
  3. SILK WAY RALLY 2017: All drivers of Team PETRONAS De Rooy IVECO in the top ten of Stage 12 IVECO Trucks Press Release / July 21, 2017 Team Leader Gerard De Rooy, on his Powerstar Evo 2, crossed the finish line in this difficult stage in 4th position, ahead of his teammates. Artur Ardavichus finished in 7th place on his Powerstar, improving his overall ranking to 4th place two stages from the end of the Silk Way Rally. Ton Van Genugten and new co-pilot Bart De Gooyert arrived 8th, placing the third IVECO truck in the top ten of the day. For Team PETRONAS De Rooy IVECO yesterday’s stage, from the bivouac in Jiayugan to Alashan Youqi, finished with very good results. Team leader Gerard De Rooy did particularly well, crossing the finish line with a time of 4h14m33s. The new completely renovated Powerstar arrived fourth in the day’s stage: “We lost time because of a problem with a tyre, otherwise we could have made an even better time – said Gerard – We enjoyed very much driving in the dunes: the cloudy weather and milder temperature helped us”. Artur Ardavichus, behind the wheel of the other IVECO Powerstar, drove carefully avoiding risks in order to maintain or improve his place in the overall. Marco Alcayna Ferran, in his second stage as co-pilot (he replaced injured Belgian Serge Bruynkens) explained: “Today we faced beautiful dunes. I will say it was one of the most difficult legs since the beginning of the rally. The truck has a lot of power and this was really important to cross the long kilometers of sand.” Thanks to the result obtained yesterday after leg 12, the Kazakh pilot is in the 4th position of the general with an advantage of more than 12 minutes ahead of Nikolaev’s Kamaz. Dutchman Ton Van Genugten (#306) also completed the SS12 in the top ten of the partial classification, crossing the finish line in 8th place. Now in his second day with new co-driver Bart De Gooyert, he drove faster and he was also able to improve the overall position: behind the wheel of his IVECO Trakker, he is now in 7th place. Thanks to the team’s mechanical experts – John Peeters, Niels van Tilborg, Ramon Peters, Franklin Geerts, Paul Starmans, Peter van Rooij, Corne van Drunen, Clim Smulders, Koen Hendriks and Pjotr Hylla – Team PETRONAS De Rooy IVECO was able to resolve all unforeseen events occurred in the particularly tough stages of the Silk Way Rally. Today, July 21st, competitors left early to face magnificent landscapes and especially to cross cathedrals of dunes in the first special stage. The show promises to be really great. The second SS also includes a lot of navigation with some small but very technical sections of dunes. It is a pure pleasure to surf in this sand especially on the ridges and this should allow the most adventurous to save a lot of time. This leg will probably add some pages to the history of the Silk Way Rally. Total distance: 690.31 km of which 318.66. Stage 12 results – Silk Way Rally 2017 1. Airat Mardeev (Kamaz) 4h04m08s 2. Anton Shibalov (Kamaz) +2m15s 3. Eduard Nikolaev (Kamaz) +3m01s 4. Gerard De Rooy (IVECO) +10m25s 5. Siarhei Viazovich (Maz) +13m33s ---- 7. Artur Ardavichus (IVECO) +22m20s 8. Ton Van Genugten (IVECO) +23m13s Overall classification – Silk Way Rally 2017 1. Dmitry Sotnikov (Kamaz) 38h16m38s 2. Anton Shibalov (Kamaz) +3m04s 3. Airat Mardeev (Kamaz) +17m54s 4. Artur Ardavichus (IVECO) +2h03m14s 5. Eduard Nikolaev (Kamaz) +2h15m53s ---- 7. Ton Van Genugten (IVECO) +8h42m34s 13. Gerard De Rooy (IVECO) +215h24m54s Starting order for SS14 – 21th July 2017 ----- 06.33 Airat Mardeev (Kamaz) 06.37 Anton Shibalov (Kamaz) 06.43 Gerard De Rooy (IVECO) ----- 06.57 Artur Ardavichus (IVECO) 06.59 Ton Van Genugten (IVECO) .
  4. Commercial Carrier Journal (CCJ) / July 21, 2017 For the 10th consecutive year, trucking companies will see increased fees on the Pennsylvania Turnpike in 2018. The Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission (PTC) approved a 6 percent increase for both E-ZPass and cash customers, which will take effect Jan. 7, 2018. The increase will see the most common toll for a Class 8 truck increase from $23.60 to $25.01 for E-ZPass and from $33.10 to $35.08 for cash. The annual increases of 3 to 6 percent are expected to continue for the Turnpike through 2044, according to PTC Chairman Sean Logan in 2015. According to a statement from the turnpike authority, such increases are required to meet the PTC’s various funding obligations, which include supporting PennDOT’s improvements along the 550-mile toll-road system.
  5. Ford overhauls design with 2 key teams Automotive News / July 21, 2017 Ford Motor Co. is shaking up its design team to shorten product development cycles and better define the group's overarching strategy. The changes expand Ford's strategic design group to enable designers to work more collaboratively at a centralized location in Dearborn, Mich. Designers are grouped into two camps: one covering cars and crossovers, and another handling trucks, SUVs and commercial vehicles. The automaker is bringing Joel Piaskowski, director of Ford of Europe design, to the U.S. as global director of design overseeing cars and crossovers. Chris Svensson, design director of the Americas, has been named global director of design overseeing trucks, SUVs and commercial vehicles. David Woodhouse, director of Lincoln design, has been named director of global strategic design in addition to his duties with Ford's luxury brand. In his new role, Woodhouse will oversee the expansion of Ford's global strategic design group. Amko Leenarts will replace Piaskowski as director of Ford of Europe design. In addition, Freeman Thomas, strategic design director based at Ford's advanced design studio in Irvine, Calif., will retire at year end. Thomas managed the company's advanced design studios in Dearborn, Irvine, London and Shanghai. Moray Callum, Ford's vice president of design, said the changes are meant to enhance the team's thinking. He said the company will focus even more on consumer experiences through design-thinking and human-centric approaches. One of Callum's biggest goals, he said, is to shorten product development times so that a new vehicle's final designs are set closer to when it goes on sale. "If there's a strong strategy behind decisions, it makes decisions easier," he told Automotive News. Ford has a number of new vehicles on the horizon, including the Bronco SUV, Ranger midsize pickup, an electric SUV and an autonomous vehicle. Callum said as vehicles add self-driving capabilities, design becomes more important. "I don't think design will ever matter less" than it does now, he said. "What we're communicating by our design is very important. We want people to trust the car and the brand and we need to communicate that in the exterior and interior design." Over the last five years, Callum said, his team has nearly doubled in size. Ford will soon break ground on a new design center as part of a decadelong transformation of its Dearborn campus. Callum said the changes to the design team were in the works before CEO Jim Hackett took over in May, but that it fits in seamlessly with his desire to transform the company. Callum said, "We see him as a great supporter of design overall."
  6. Bill Gross warns of recession risk if highly levered economies hike rates Reuters / July 20, 2017 NEW YORK - Highly levered domestic and global economies including the United States, which have "feasted" on easy monetary policies in recent years, cannot withstand a normalizing of short-term interest rates without running the risk of a recession, influential bond investor Bill Gross of Janus Henderson Investors warned on Thursday. In his latest Investment Outlook, Gross, who runs the $2.1 billion Janus Henderson Global Unconstrained Bond Fund, said Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen and other global policy makers should not rely on historical models "in an era of extraordinary monetary policy. "The adherence of Yellen, Bernanke, Draghi, and Kuroda, among others, to standard historical models such as the Taylor Rule and the Phillips curve has distorted capitalism as we once knew it, with unknown consequences lurking in the shadows of future years," Gross said. He was referring to Yellen's predecessor at the Fed, Ben Bernanke, European Central Bank President Mario Draghi and Bank of Japan head Haruhiko Kuroda. Economists John Taylor and A.W. Phillips devised models for guiding interest-rate policy based, respectively, on inflation and the unemployment rate. Those models disregard the importance of private credit in the economy, according to Gross. Gross said that over the past 25 years, the three U.S. recessions in 1991, 2000 and 2007-2009 coincided nicely with a flat yield curve between three-month Treasury bills and 10-year Treasuries. "Since the current spread of 80 basis points is far from the 'triggering' spread of 0, economists, and some Fed officials as well, believe a recession can be nowhere in sight," Gross said. But monetary policy following the collapse of investment bank Lehman Brothers in 2008 has been abnormal, and global central banks "can’t seem to stop buying bonds, although as compulsive eaters and drinkers frequently promise, sobriety is just around the corner," he said. Gross said most destructive leverage occurs at the short end of the yield curve as the cost of monthly interest payments increase significantly to debt holders. "While governments and the U.S. Treasury can afford the additional expense, levered corporations and individuals in many cases cannot," he said. Since the Great Recession, more highly levered corporations, and in many cases, indebted individuals with floating-rate student loans now exceeding $1 trillion, cannot cover the increased expense, resulting in reduced investment, consumption and ultimate default, Gross said. "Commonsensically, a more highly levered economy is more growth sensitive to using short-term interest rates and a flat yield curve, which historically has coincided with the onset of a recession," he said.
  7. SILK WAY RALLY 2017: Gerard de Rooy achieves best result of the team in the 11th Stage IVECO Trucks Press Release / July 20, 2017 Team Leader Gerard De Rooy finishes Stage 11 in 7th position, ahead of his teammates. Spanish co-pilot Marco Ferran Alcayna moved from Van Genugten’s Trakker to Ardavichus’ Powerstar to replace injured Serge Bruynens. Bart De Gooyert is Van Genugten’s new co-pilot. The 11th stage of the 2017 Silk Way Rally between Dunhuang and Jiayuguan, situated at the western end of the Great Wall, was the eve of the two stages considered to be the most enjoyable but also the toughest of the rally. Yesterday morning Gerard De Rooy started at 9.09 after his teammates, and crossed the line on his IVECO Powerstar #302 in 2h35m13s, just 5m45s from the winner. “Our truck is finally really good, we had a clean stage without stops and problems – explained Moises “Moi” Torrallardona, Gerard’s experienced co-driver – We drove sometimes faster and at times slowly, the track was soft at the start and harder at the end but we enjoyed it very much. Now we are waiting for the big dunes of tomorrow: Gerard is one of the best drivers on sand and the truck is ok.” In spite of the good result, Team leader De Rooy lies in 14th position of the overall. There was an important change in the crew of Powerstar #310 driven by Artur Ardavichus: due to a stressed nerve incurred on a violent impact during a special stage, Belgian co-driver Serge Bruynkens had to retire from the rally. Marco Ferran Alcayna, Ton Van Genugten’s co-pilot, has replaced him and will continue as Ardavichus’s co-driver until the end of the rally. Dutchman Bart De Gooyert will join Ton Van Genugten and expert crewmate Bernard Der Kinderen crew on board the IVECO Trakker #306. “Today the stage was really technical like yesterday, fast and bumpy. I’m sorry for the physical problem that forced Serge to retire from the race before the end but, unfortunately, it’s part of the game” explained the Kazakh pilot. Ardavichus finished the 11th stage in eighth position just 14s behind De Rooy. He maintains his 5th place in the general ranking with a good advantage of more than half of an hour on Kamaz pilot Eduard Nikolaev. Ton Van Genugten drove his IVECO Trakker slowly in the first part of the stage to test his new crew, then picked up speed. “We quickly developed a good feeling with Bart, mechanic and co-driver, and this allowed us to make our race in the best way.” He crossed the finish line in 2h44m04s. Today, July 20th, will take place one of the two toughest stages – from Jiayuguan to Alashan – with beautiful dunes at the beginning and more at the end. Navigation will play the lead role in this stage where all types of terrain will be represented. Pilots will need to call on their best driving abilities. Stage length: 483.79 km of which 254.75 km of special. Stage 11 results – Silk Way Rally 2017 1. Martin Kolomy (Tatra) 2h29m28s 2. Anton Shibalov (Kamaz) +0m49s 3. Dmitry Sotnikov (Kamaz) +1m07s 4. Airat Mardeev (Kamaz) +3m18s 5. Eduard Nikolaev (Kamaz) +3m40s ----- 7. Gerard De Rooy (IVECO) +5m45s 8. Artur Ardavichus (IVECO) +5m59s 10. Ton Van Genugten (IVECO) +15m12s Overall classification – Silk Way Rally 2017 1. Dmitry Sotnikov (Kamaz) 33h58m25s 2. Anton Shibalov (Kamaz) +14m54s 3. Martin Kolomy (Tatra) +29m23s 4. Airat Mardeev (Kamaz) +31m59s 5. Artur Ardavichus (IVECO) + 1h54m59s ----- 9. Ton Van Genugten (IVECO) +8h33m26s 14. Gerard De Rooy (IVECO) + 215h28m34s Starting order for SS12 – 20th July 2017 ---- 07.42 Martin Kolomy (Tatra) 07.44 Anton Shibalov (Kamaz) ---- 08.02 Gerard De Rooy (IVECO) 08.04 Artur Ardavichus (IVECO) 08.09 Ton Van Genugten (IVECO) .
  8. SILK WAY RALLY 2017: two IVECO trucks again in the top ten of overall ranking after 10th Leg IVECO Trucks Press Release / July 19, 2017 Artur Ardavichus, the Kazakh driver on board the Powerstar #310, finished the daily stage in sixth place and remains fifth in the overall. Dutch pilots Ton Van Genugten and Gerard De Rooy crosssed the finish line of this third Chinese stage in 8th and 9th place respectively. Van Genugten is firmly in 8th position of the partial general ranking, while Team leader De Rooy is 16th. The third stage of 2017 Silk Way Rally hosted in Chinese territory started from Hami and reached Dunhuang after crossing a big wadi with magnificent landscapes: about 320 km of special stage (total distance 517.53 km), very fast at the start and then more technical and slower with many changes of direction. Ardavichus was again at the daily start line ahead his teammates. He finished this SS with a time of 3h43m58s, just 8m37s behind the first. Thanks to his careful driving, the Kazakh was again in 5th position of the overall ranking after ten hard stages. He really could be the man of this edition of the famous rally raid for Team PETRONAS De Rooy IVECO, beside Russia, Kazakhstan and China. This stage of the Silk Way Rally was more difficult for the other two members of the team: De Rooy, who started just behind Ardavichus, was slowed down by some mechanical issues and lost about half an hour. “The special was very nice with some amazing passages and the truck felt good even if not in optimum conditions. We are waiting for the special and the dunes of tomorrow” – said Gerard who placed 9th in the daily ranking. The third man of PETRONAS De Rooy IVECO Team, Ton Van Genugten, now in 8th position of the partial overall, drove faster in the second part of the leg to recover the time lost to help De Rooy when he got in trouble 30 km before the finish. Behind the wheel of his IVECO Trakker #306, he arrived 8th in the stage at Hami-Dunhuang. The general classification after leg 10 sees him in 8th position. Today, July 19th, as the first special was due to be run in a region that has very recently declared a nature reserve by the Chinese authorities, the organisers of the Silk Way Rally have decided to cancel ES11A while maintaining the second timed special (ES11B) of the 11th stage. Held in wide sand river and between the canyons, it will be very fast at the end. Stage 10 results – Silk Way Rally 2017 1. Eduard Nikolaev (Kamaz) 3h35m21s 2. Martin Kolomy (Tatra) +1m29s 3. Dmitry Sotnikov (Kamaz) +2m29s 4. Anton Shibalov (Kamaz) +3m14s 5. Airat Mardeev (Kamaz) +5m47s 6. Artur Ardavichus (IVECO) +8m37s ---- 8. Ton Van Genugten (IVECO) +29m27s 9. Gerard De Rooy (IVECO) +29m46s Overall classification – Silk Way Rally 2017 1. Dmitry Sotnikov (Kamaz) 31h27m50s 2. Anton Shibalov (Kamaz) +15m12s 3. Airat Mardeev (Kamaz) +29m48s 4. Martin Kolomy (Tatra) +30m30s 5. Artur Ardavichus (IVECO) +1h50m07s ----- 8. Ton Van Genugten (IVECO) +8h19m21s 16. Gerard De Rooy (IVECO) +215h23m56s Starting order for SS11 – 19th July 2017 ---- 08.46 Eduard Nikolaev (Kamaz) 08.52 Martin Kolomy (Tatra) 08.54 Dmitry Sotnikov (Kamaz) ---- 09.02 Artur Ardavichus (IVECO) 09.08 Ton Van Genugten (IVECO) 09.09 Gerard De Rooy (IVECO)
  9. Trump to end CIA support for ‘moderate’ anti-Assad forces in Syria RT / July 20, 2017 The White House and CIA have reportedly decided to end a covert operation to arm the so-called moderate Syrian rebels. The US has allegedly pumped some $1 billion into train-and-equip efforts with questionable outcomes. On Wednesday, US officials told the Washington Post (WP) and Reuters that Trump has decided to put an end to the covert CIA plan which began arming and training the so-called moderate Syrian rebels in 2013. Authorized by President Barack Obama, the secret Timber Sycamore weapons supply and training initiative has served as the backbone of Washington’s strategy to topple the Syrian President Bashar Assad. Two US officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity with Reuters, said the covert CIA scheme has produced little results. The Washington Post meanwhile claimed, based on their sources, that Trump’s reported intention to stop arming the rebels is the American president’s way of finding common ground with Russia on Syria. Moscow has always warned against arming the so-called moderate rebel groups in Syria, pointing out that weapons supplied to them often fall into the hands of jihadist groups such as Jabhat al Nusra and Islamic State. Trump’s decision to end the CIA program was reportedly taken in consultation with CIA Director Mike Pompeo and national security adviser H.R. McMaster ahead of his meeting with President Vladimir Putin in Hamburg earlier this month. During that meeting, on the sidelines of the G20 summit, Trump and Putin reached a ceasefire agreement for southwest Syria. The scrapping of the CIA’s Timber Sycamore program was not a precondition for the ceasefire negotiations, the US officials insisted. Without sharing the details of the program’s demise, the unnamed US officials claimed that Timber Sycamore would be phased out over a period of months. The WP report also said the decision to end the operation is being supported by the Jordanians, where some of the CIA training has been taken place. Varied US arms and training strategies to bolster rebel groups in Syria under the Obama administration have been notoriously underwhelming. In 2015, General Lloyd Austin, CENTCOM commander at the time, told Congress that only four or five of US-trained fighters have gone to Syria of the 5,000 the Pentagon envisaged. Earlier that year, the then Defense Secretary Ash Carter told the Senate Armed Services Committee Carter that less than 1 percent of the pool of 7,000 Syrian volunteers for the US-funded train-and-equip program had made it through the vetting process. “As of July 3, [2015] we are currently training about 60 fighters,” Carter said. “I can look out at your faces and you have the same reaction I do, which is that that's an awfully small number.” The Reuters report notes that the US will continue to support select Syrian rebel groups with airstrikes and guidance as part of a separate effort. In February, Reuters reported that the US had frozen the CIA-run program after rebels in northwest Syria came under major attack by Islamists. The alleged suspension of the program, which included salaries, training, ammunition, had nothing to do with Trump replacing Barack Obama as president, two US officials familiar with the CIA program told Reuters at the time.
  10. Turkey leaks secret locations of US, French troops in Syria France 24 / July 20, 2017 Turkey’s state news agency on Tuesday published the locations of secret US military bases in Syria as well as details on the numbers of US and French troops stationed there, sparking the ire of fellow NATO member states. In the latest display of tensions between Turkey and other NATO member nations, Turkey’s state-run Anadolu news agency earlier this week published a detailed report of the secret locations of US military bases, operational posts and military posts inside Syria. The 620-word news report also included the numbers of US soldiers and French special forces stationed at these locations. The unprecedented leaking of sensitive battlefield information by the state-run news agency obviously had official Turkish backing, according to Jasper Mortimer, FRANCE 24’s Turkey correspondent. “It certainly was intentional. Anadolu agency is the hand-servant of the [Turkish] government. It would not have published this report without the green light from the top of government,” explained Mortimer, reporting from Ankara, adding that the revelation of troop numbers was particularly serious. “War correspondents do not give the number of troops in the unit to which they are attached. That is seen as giving information to the enemy. But here, Anadolu agency appears to have done exactly that.” ‘Advertising’ battlefield secrets The report, “US increases military posts supporting PKK/PYD in Syria,” lists US positions in Kurdish administered area of northern Syria and is the latest display of Ankara’s ire over Washington’s support for the PYD (Democratic Union Party), which Turkey views as the Syrian affiliate of the proscribed Turkish PKK (Kurdistan Workers’ Party). The PYD is the political umbrella of the YPG (People’s Protection Units) which part of the US-led military operations against the Islamic State (IS) group in the region. “Turkey sees the YPG as an affiliate of the PKK and Turkey has long called on Washington to withdraw support for them. But there’s a difference between calling on America to withdraw support and actually advertising the details of that support,” said Mortimer. The US denies working with Kurdish separatists and maintains the YPG is part of the SDF (Syrian Democratic Forces), which includes a large component of Arab troops. French special forces on the ground The leaked details of US positions inside Syria include three US military posts in the northern Syrian province of Raqqa, home to the IS group’s de facto capital. The report mentions the presence of US and French special forces stationed in a military post located on a hill south of Kurdish-administered town of Kobani. At a military base in Ayn Issah, a town in northern Raqqa, troops included “200 US soldiers and 75 French special forces units,” the report added. Operational capacities of the locations, including bases that are large enough for military helicopters and cargo planes are also detailed, as well as weapons arsenal that include artillery batteries, rocket launchers and armored vehicles. Lives at risk, says Pentagon The report sparked strong condemnations from the US Defense and State Departments on Wednesday, with the Pentagon warning that the leaks could put lives at risk. "The release of sensitive military information exposes coalition forces to unnecessary risk and has the potential to disrupt ongoing operations to defeat ISIS," Pentagon spokesman Eric Pahon told reporters on Wednesday, using another acronym for the IS group. French officials have not yet responded to the Turkish news report. When contacted by FRANCE 24, a French foreign ministry press officer said an official statement was not expected on Thursday. The latest Anadolu report marks another step in the deterioration of US-Turkey relations, with Ankara accusing Washington of failing to expedite the extradition of Pennsylvania-based Turkish cleric, Fethullah Gulen. Ankara blames Gulen for masterminding the July 15, 2016 coup attempt, a charge Gulen denies. Tensions have also been simmering between Turkish military and NATO officials based in Brussels. Turkey is NATO’s only Muslim-majority member with the alliance’s second-largest standing army. In December 2016, NATO’s top commander, Gen. Curtis Scaparrotti warned of a “degradation” of the alliance’s command operations following Turkey’s dismissal of “talented, capable” senior Turkish military officials in massive purges after the July 2016 coup attempt.
  11. Behind every individual is a unique story. Stereotyping is, in theory, wrong. But having said that, there is a lot of truth to David's thoughts. He calls a spade a spade (he's a straight talker), which I like and respect (why waste time beating around the bush).
  12. Transport Topics / July 19, 2017 U.S. retail sales of Class 8 trucks in June climbed to an 11-month high amid a moderately improving economy, experts said, but at just over 17,000 were down nearly 6% year-over-year; and through the first six months of the year, sales were off 19%. Sales reached 17,310, down 5.7% compared with 18,354, a year earlier, WardsAuto.com reported. Year-to-date volumes hit 84,331, compared with 104,158 in the 2016 period. One analyst, however, suggested 2017 ultimately may produce stronger sales than 2016. “Last year, [with sales] we started high and ended low. This year, we started low and expect to end high. Starting soon, and maybe in July, year-over-year sales are going to be increasing,” Don Ake, vice president of commercial vehicles at the research company FTR, told Transport Topics. “Sales have been the tail of the dog so far in market indicators,” ACT Research Co. Vice President Steve Tam said, referring to stronger gains in year-over-year orders and production. Demand going forward is likely to be aided by what American Trucking Associations Chief Economist Bob Costello called “a moderate [but uneven] improvement in the economy.” “We are to go from a 1.2% gross domestic product in the first quarter to about 3% in the second quarter then high 2’s or mid 2’s after that for the rest of the year,” Costello said in July. June sales showed both gains and losses, year-over-year, depending on the respective the truck maker. But all truck makers saw sales fall year-to-date, compared with the 2016 period, Ward’s said. Freightliner remained the market leader for June and the first half of 2017. In June, Freightliner’s sales fell 6.1% to 6,313, good for a 36.5% market share, compared with a year earlier. Also, Freightliner’s year-to-date market share slipped to 37.8%, compared with 40.4% in the 2016 period. Freightliner is a unit of Daimler Trucks North America. Three truck makers posted sales gains for June: Peterbilt Motors Co., International Trucks and Western Star. Peterbilt saw a 19.2% jump to 2,781 trucks and a 16.1% market share. Year-to-date, its share increased to 15.9%, compared with 13.1% in the 2016 period. Peterbilt is a brand of Paccar Inc. International had a 10.2% increase to 1,710 trucks, good for a 9.9% share. For the first six months, its share slipped to 10.4% from 11.2% in the 2016 period. International is the brand of Navistar international Corp. Small and medium-size fleets are buyers and leasing companies “have a pretty strong presence” in the market now, Jeff Sass, senior vice president, North America truck sales and marketing for Navistar International Corp., told TT. One truckload carrier told TT it plans to add Class 8s powered by diesel and others by compressed natural gas, depending on the application. “We plan to source 10 new diesel trucks this year from Kenworth Truck Co. [a Paccar brand] to maintain our company fleet size. Some of our older company trucks have already moved into our lease-purchase program,” said Rich Casoli, vice president of business operations for Beemac Trucking. “Also, we also are looking to add on and replace some of our CNG trucks in 2018. That is our plan currently. All of our CNG tractors are running in extreme regional applications,” he said. “If we have a need to add a company truck that is in our regional application we would go with CNG. If it is an over-the-road application, we would go with diesel,” he said. Beemac is based in Ambridge, Pa. It uses 300 owner-operators in addition to 50 company trucks, 20 of which use compressed natural gas. Beemac considers itself a pioneer in pairing open-deck trailers with CNG tractors. Casoli said business this year is “phenomenal” and he expects growth among regional customers in 2018, too. Among other truck makers, Kenworth’s June sales year-over-year dropped 7.7% to 2,530, good for a 14.6% share. Year-to-date, its market share was flat at 14.1%, compared with the 2016 period. Kenworth is a Paccar Inc. brand, too. Mack Trucks sold 1,764 units in June, down 14.2%, and good for a 10.2% share. Year-to-date, Mack’s share rose to 9.3%, compared with 8.6% in the 2016 period. Volvo Trucks North America notched sales of 1,630, down 33.9%, earning it a 9.4% share. Year-to-date, its share fell to 9.6% from 10.1%. Niche truck maker Western Star — also a unit of DTNA — saw sales increase to 560 trucks, up 23.6% from a year earlier, and good for a 3.2% market share. Its year-to-date share was 2.8%, up from 2.5% a year earlier.