Shell Starship 3.0 set to make cross-country tour

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Trucking news and briefs for Monday, May 20, 2024:

Shell’s Starship 3.0 embarking on cross-country tour

Shell Starship 3.0The Shell Starship 3.0 will embark on a cross-country tour following next week's ACT Expo in Las Vegas.Shell

Building on a successful demo run on the West Coast lass fall, the Shell Starship 3.0 is hitting the road again to show off the truck’s efficiency and carbon reduction.

The truck, equipped with a Cummins X15N natural gas engine and powered by compressed natural gas (CNG), was on the road last week on a route throughout North Carolina.

During the run, performance data will be collected to show the CO2 reduction and freight ton efficiency (FTE) capabilities of Shell Starship 3.0. These results will be third-party monitored and verified by the North American Council for Freight Efficiency (NACFE), as has been done with all previous Starship demonstration runs.

“The Shell Starship initiative continues to provide guidance on ways that advanced, currently available technologies can offer road transport efficiencies to fleets and drivers,” said Tom Mueller, General Manager of Shell Commercial Road Transport Lubricants. “Gathering added performance data with the natural gas engine-powered Starship will build on the previous run and provide us more information to share with fleets about how they can reduce their energy usage and carbon emissions without losing focus on the cost of their operations.”

In addition to last week’s run in North Carolina, the truck will begin a nationwide tour starting at the Advanced Clean Transportation (ACT) Expo in Las Vegas from May 20-23. The truck will participate in the vehicle demonstration ride portion of the show, which focuses on advanced clean vehicles and technology. Shell Starship 3.0 will then travel to Shell Rotella SuperRigs at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth, Texas, from May 30 to June 1. The following week, the truck will travel through Texas for stops at Shell’s Woodcreek headquarters and the Shell Technology Center in Houston.

Starship 3.0 will then visit key Shell partners and customers throughout the U.S. The tour will end in early fall with stops at Shell CNG stations in California.

[Related: Re-assembly of Starship 3.0 underway as Shell, Cummins prep for run]

Penske employees oust machinists union at two locations

Majorities of Penske Truck Rental employees at locations in Minnesota and Tennessee have voted to remove the International Association of Machinists (IAM) union from their respective workplaces.

The decertification petitions were filed by workers with free legal aid from the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation in April with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), asking the agency to hold votes to formally remove IAM union officials’ bargaining power.

On May 1 in Minneapolis, workers voted 26 to 7 to remove IAM District Lodge No. 77 union officials. The NLRB-supervised decertification election took place after Penske employee Kyle Fulkerson submitted a petition on April 4, 2024, signed by a majority of his coworkers, asking the NLRB to hold a vote to remove the union from the facility. 

The decertification become official on May 8 following a one-week objection period, which passed with no union challenge.

In Tennessee, Penske employee David Saylor filed a decertification petition on April 11 backed by a majority of the employees at the downtown Nashville Penske location. On May 8, they voted 15 to 8 to oust IAM District Lodge No. 735. On Thursday, May 15, the vote became finalized.