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26 Oct by Vitaliy Dadalyan Tags:

Tighter Capacity Fuels Improved Trucking Conditions

<img width="150" src="http://www.automotive-fleet.com/fc_images/news/m-ftr-tci-3-3.jpg" border="0" alt="

Source: FTR

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Source: FTR

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The FTR Trucking Conditions Index saw an increase in August fueled by tighter capacity brought about by looming regulations.

The TCI increased to a reading of 6.76, continuing a steady rise that is expected to hold sway throughout 2017. Tightening capacity results in better pricing and margins for trucking companies.

“The July and August increases in the Trucking Conditions Index were led by positive changes in capacity utilization and fuel prices,” said Jonathan Starks, FTR's COO. “Fuel prices look to have stabilized during the fall and are unlikely to have a big impact on transportation markets until oil prices move substantially away from $50 per barrel.”

The improvement is largely from the supply side, said FTR, as the current economy and freight markets are in a slow growth phase with unclear direction. FTR expects the TCI to peak in early 2018.

Despite weak reports from truckload carriers, there have been moderate improvements to overall fleet utilization - a trend that FTR believes will remain subdued until mid-2017 when more fleets act to comply with the electronic logging device mandate.

“The third quarter is likely to be the nadir for weak reports and we should begin to see economic improvement, easier year-over-year comparisons, and better overall market conditions as capacity tightens up due to regulations,” said Starks.

“Spot market conditions are beginning to affirm this," he added, "with the dry van market on Truckstop.com showing positive year-over-year comparisons for both load volumes and rates.”

Related: Tighter Utilization Boosts Intermodal Competitive Index

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26 Oct by Vitaliy Dadalyan Tags:

Yokohama Adds Four Sizes to 104ZR Tire Line

Yokohama Tire Corporation has added four new sizes to its 104ZR all-position/steer tire lineup designed for urban and regional applications.

The new sizes added to the 104ZR line include 225/70R19.5, 245/70R19.5, 265/70R19.5 and 285/70R19.5. The tire is still available in its original sizes as well: 295/80R22.5, 9R22.5, 10R22.5, 11R22.5 12R22.5 and 315/80R22.5.

“The 104ZR is a true workhorse that's designed to deliver longer treadwear, low rolling resistance and even wear, making it especially ideal for high scrub applications,” said Tom Clauer, Yokohama Tire manager of commercial and OTR product planning.

The 104ZR features a five-rib, full-depth tread pattern that is designed to deliver a smooth and quiet ride. A serpentine groove pattern reduces premature shoulder step-down and irregular wear to preserve overall tread life.

The tire also uses Yokohama's Zenvironment technology which predicts casing growth and helps with stabilized performance over the life of the tire, longer casing life and improved retreadability. The 104ZR is made of specialized compounds which are strong and pliable, improving treadwear and low-rolling resistance.

Block-shaped stone defense ribs prevent stones from traveling to the bottom of the grooves, reducing casing damage by up to 25% to improve durability and retreadability. Also, an ultra-wide top steel belt increases rigidity across the entire tread surface to improve durability and avoid casing damage.

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