Author: Vitaliy Dadalyan

18 Jul by Vitaliy Dadalyan Tags:

Earnings Watch: J.B. Hunt Improves Second Quarter Profit by 2%

Trucking and intermodal giant J.B. Hunt Transport Services Inc. (NASDAQ:JBHT) reported on Monday its second quarter profit increased just slightly, falling short of Wall Street expectations.

Net earnings totaled $105 million compared to $103 million a year earlier. Earnings per share were 92 cents versus 88 cents, 5 cents less than a consensus estimate in a poll of analysts from Zacks Investment Research.

Total operating revenue for the most recent quarter was $1.62 billion, up 5% from the second quarter 2015, as total operating revenue excluding fuel surcharges increased 9%.

The company attributed the increase in revenue to load growth of 9% in its intermodal business and a 62% jump in its third-party logistics operation, Integrated Capacity Solutions. It also saw a 5% increase in revenue-producing trucks for its dedicated operations and an 11% increase in the average fleet count for its trucking business segment.

Despite the increases, the Arkansas-based operation revised downward its outlook for all of 2016, predicting revenue rising 7% over the previous year, down from its earlier expectation of a 9% to 12% increase. It expects operating income to increase 5%, down from an earlier projection of an 8% to 11% rise.

J.B. Hunt's biggest operation, intermodal, saw second quarter revenue increase 3% to $933 million as operating income fell 11% to $105.6 million. It was affected by a 5% decrease in revenue per load despite the gain in volume growth. The quarter ended with 81,243 units of trailing capacity and 5,244 power units assigned to the dray fleet.

The company's dedicated segment saw a 4% increase in revenue, totaling $383 million, as operating income jumped 24% to $50.5 million.

The dedicated segment reported it had 132 more revenue-producing trucks compared to the first quarter, and 350 more compared to last year's second quarter. Approximately 87% of these additions represent private fleet conversions versus traditional dedicated capacity fleets, according to the company. Customer retention rates remain above 98%.

The company's Integrated Capacity Solutions segment saw a 17% increase in revenue, hitting $204 million, as operating income leapt 122% to $10.9 million.

ICS revenue was up 17% compared to the second quarter 2015. Volumes increased 62% while revenue per load decreased 28%, primarily due to freight mix changes driven by customer demand and lower fuel prices compared to second quarter 2015.

Lastly, J.B. Hunt's truck operations had a 1% increase in revenue, totaling $98 million as operating income fell 9% to $8.9 million.

Revenue excluding fuel surcharges increased 6% for the truck division, primarily from an 11% increase in average fleet count. Rate per loaded mile excluding fuel surcharges was down approximately 5%, primarily from customer-driven freight mix changes, including a 5.8% increase in length of haul. Core customer rate increases were up 0.9% compared to the same period in 2015. At the end of the period, the trucking segment operated 2,186 tractors compared to 2,073 a year ago.

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18 Jul by Vitaliy Dadalyan Tags:

Speed vs. Quality

These days, it seems like there is a lot of focus on getting trucks in-and-out of the service bays as quickly as possible. That certainly is an admirable goal because we all know the name of the game in trucking is uptime. It's maddening to have trucks sitting in the yard or on a service provider's lot waiting for bay space availability or parts.

Those are the areas where speed should matter. Better service scheduling can help eliminate some of that pointless waiting time.

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18 Jul by Vitaliy Dadalyan Tags:

New Minimizer mini catalog now available

Minimizer's new mini catalogs have been updated with the company's newest product – Heavy Duty Truck Seats.

“The seats spent years in development, partially due to the fact we were very specific with the features. We wanted our seats to stand out from the rest. The result is a standard that no other aftermarket seat can match,” Kruckeberg said.

The Long Haul Series joins Custom Molded Floor Mats as part of Minimizer's In the Truck product collection.

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18 Jul by Vitaliy Dadalyan Tags:

Ford Ups Power, Torque, Hauling Capabilities for 2017 Super Duty Pickups

<img width="150" src="http://www.automotive-fleet.com/fc_images/news/m-17fordf250lariat-4408-hr-1.jpg" border="0" alt="

Photo: Ford

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Photo: Ford

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Ford Motor's 2017 F-Series Super Duty pickups with aluminum bodies have higher engine output ratings and more towing and hauling capability than ever, while “smart” technologies make backing and monitoring trailers easier, the company announced Monday.

"Military-grade" aluminum alloy and high-strength steel help reduce weight by up to 350 pounds, depending on cab configuration, compared to earlier models, the announcement said. More robust components throughout the chassis also enable the higher hauling capacities.

The 6.7-liter Power Stroke V-8 turbo diesel boosts horsepower to 440 and torque to a class-leading 925 lb-ft for all F-250 to F-450 pickups, and the 6.2-liter V-8 gasoline engine's torque goes to 430 lb-ft with 385 hp. said Doug Scott, Ford's truck marketing manager.

“This is the best heavy-duty truck we've ever made,” he said. “We listened to our customers and created the toughest, smartest and most capable Super Duty ever.”

Foundational improvements for 2017 Super Duty pickups include fully boxed frame rails and redesigned crossmembers that are more than 95% high-strength steel, and are up to 24 times stiffer than the previous frame to support increased towing and hauling. The new aluminum-alloy body is more dent and ding resistant than the previous steel body.

Ford's F-450 Super Duty SuperCrew 4x4 now has a maximum gooseneck tow rating of 32,500 pounds – 1,290 pounds more than its nearest competitor, a regular cab two-door pickup, Scott said. Maximum fifth-wheel towing is increased to 27,500 – 2,500 pounds better than the nearest competitor.

Maximum conventional towing is increased to 21,000 pounds – 1,000 pounds better than the nearest competitors' trucks and without the need for a weight-distributing hitch. Maximum conventional towing for an F-250 with the new trailer tow package, and F-350 single-rear wheel pickup, are increased to 18,000 pounds.

Maximum gross combined weight rating for truck and trailer now tops out at a class-leading 41,800 pounds. That is more than half the maximum weight of an 18-wheel tractor-trailer combination on most federal highways, he said.

Super Duty also offers adaptive cruise control and collision warning with brake support for heavy trailers, allowing drivers to traverse steep mountain grades while maintaining speed, even with a gooseneck trailer weighing 32,500 pounds.

A center high-mounted stop lamp camera provides visibility into the cargo box, which is especially helpful when hooking up gooseneck and fifth-wheel trailers. An Ultimate Trailer Tow Camera System uses four digital, high-definition cameras to give the driver a 360-degree bird's-eye view surrounding Super Duty.

Trailer Reverse Guidance provides visual cues and tips to help ease backing up a trailer. A first-ever factory-available trailer camera can be custom-placed on a trailer to improve visibility backing up.

A Blind Spot Information System, or BLIS, with trailer tow includes the length of the trailer up to 33 feet long; BLIS uses radar sensors in the tail lamps to monitor areas that may not otherwise be visible to the driver. Tire pressures can be monitored from inside the cab while stopped or moving.

Maximum payload of the 2017 Super Duty F-350 is 7,630 pounds, which Scott said is more than any competitor. The F-250's maximum payload is 4,200 pounds, or 600 pounds over its nearest competitor.

Diesel and gasoline engines use a TorqShift six-speed SelectShift automatic transmission. The F-250 pickup with 6.2-liter gasoline V-8 gets a new TorqShift-G six-speed automatic for improved fuel economy and capability.

The Super Duty series goes on sale this fall.

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