Daimler Truck closing two plants while looking for improved profitability

Discussion in 'Commerical Transportation' started by xcel, Oct 15, 2008.

  1. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Layoffs, reorg’s and outsourcing to less expensive labor markets are affecting big rig employees too.

    [xfloat=left]http://www.cleanmpg.com/photos/data/501/2008_Freightliner_Cascadia_towing_through_the_Rockies.jpg[/xfloat]Wayne Gerdes – CleanMPG – Oct. 15, 2008

    Freightliner Cascadia – Daimler’s most fuel efficient big rig towing a load in the West and will be built in Mexico.

    Daimler Trucks North America (DTNA) announced plan‘s to eliminate the Sterling truck brand effective March 2009. As a result of the decision, the St. Thomas, Ontario, plant will cease truck manufacturing operations in March 2009, concurrent with the expiration of the existing agreement with the Canadian Auto Workers. The plant currently manufactures Sterling medium and heavy-duty trucks.

    The stronger sellers from the former Sterling line will be added Additions to the Freightliner and Western Star product ranges will be made to address market segments that have been served exclusively by Sterling offerings in the DTNA stable.

    DTNA will also close the Portland, Oregon, Truck Manufacturing plant, in June 2010, when current labor contracts there expire as well. Western Star commercial production will be assigned to the company’s Santiago, Mexico plant, while production of Freightliner-branded military vehicles will take place at one of the company’s facilities in the Carolinas by mid-year 2010.

    Start of production at DTNA’s new Saltillo, Mexico manufacturing plant will occur as planned in February 2009. The plant will produce Freightliner’s new flagship Cascadia model.

    An estimated 2300 workers in the St. Thomas and Portland plants will be affected by mid-2010, on timelines related to the plant closures noted above. This figure includes 720 workers at the St. Thomas plant to be laid off in November 2008 as already announced in July.

    The company also plans to reduce its salaried workforce by approximately 1200 positions, with over half directly related to the Sterling brand. A voluntary separation program will be available as well as other measures to offer flexibility and choice to affected employees.

    As a result of the measures cited above, DTNA expects to achieve annual earnings improvements of $900 million by 2011.
  2. lamebums

    lamebums Member

    Hi Wayne--

    I am curious as to what FE the Cascadia gets?
  3. atlaw4u

    atlaw4u Well-Known Member

    If memory serves me correctly the Cascadia is rated for 7 miles to the gallon. However, real world reports are showing a range from 5 to 6.5.
  4. lamebums

    lamebums Member

    I would assume that because the truckers are doing 75+ :(
  5. atlaw4u

    atlaw4u Well-Known Member

    Many commercial truckers are now speed limited to 62-68 mph and many have been trained and use quite a few hypermiling techniques.
  6. Shiba3420

    Shiba3420 Well-Known Member

    I'm hoping pulse & glide isn't amoung them.
  7. Kacey Green

    Kacey Green Well-Known Member

    The nicer ones have been P&Ging for years, since before I could drive or even ride a bike.
  8. kryten428

    kryten428 Well-Known Member

    Heavy trucks don't have anything like an EPA rating due mostly to so many variables in the real world. Bridgestone tires have done studies in the past that rate different factors affecting FE. By far the leading effect on FE is the driver, the best drivers can get up to 35 % better FE than a poor driver or one who doesn't care. Closely related to the driver is speed, for every 1 mph over 55 fuel economy drops .1 mpg. Eg. if you get 6.5mpg at 55 you will only get 5.5mpg at 65 mph. Somewhere around third is gross vehicle weight. The studies have shown for every extra 10000 lbs fuel economy will drop 4.4 %. If anyone is interested Bridgestone has this booklet on their website www.bridgestonetrucktires.com Unlike cars, unless trucks are doing the same job over the same routes it is impossible to compare them. I have to work very hard to maintain 6.5 mpg in the mountains but the company trucks (think of the phrase drive it like you stole it) will only manage about 5.5 to 5.7 doing the same job. These same company trucks will do 6.3 to 6.7 or so on the prairies.


    the url for pamphlet is www.trucktires.com/bridgestone/us_eng/brochures/catalogs/fuelecon/index.asp
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2008
  9. rweatherford

    rweatherford Times my Mileage by Six

    I regularly achieve 6.5 - 7 MPG doing local hauls of 50-60 miles one way. I gross at 80,000 when full and 24.000 when empty. Yes I can tare 28 tons. I deadhead half of the miles and only drive about 40 miles without having to stop or slow down to change direction. I try to keep the tires at 120 PSI. The truck is a Freightliner FLD112 daycab with a Cummins M11, 9-spd direct and 3.27 gears with 11R22.5 tires. Not aerodynamic at all. I try to stay around 60 MPH. Not too bad for an old farm truck.

    Cummins also has a "white paper" and drivetrain spec program to maximize efficiency. I think Detroit used to tout being the most efficient, but no one has more power down low in the RPM range than Cummins for a each HP rating.
  10. WriConsult

    WriConsult Super Moderator

    Thanks for the realworld real-trucker FE info, guys.

    This plant closure will clobber us hard in Portland. 1000 good paying jobs going away next year. Freightliner's been cutting back for years though, and with the current pain in the trucking industry this move is not exactly unexpected. But it will still hurt.

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