Daily dispatch, March 4: Daimler launching customer testing fleet of battery-electric trucks

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Trucking news and briefs for Wednesday, March 4, 2020:

The Freightliner eM2 106 and Freightliner eCascadia.The Freightliner eM2 106 and Freightliner eCascadia.

Daimler to begin customer testing of battery electric Freightliners
Daimler Trucks North America is launching the Freightliner Customer Experience (CX) Fleet for its electric truck program. As part of the program, at least 14 DTNA customers will help test the CX Fleet, which consists of all-electric pre-series trucks, including six heavy-duty Freightliner eCascadias and two medium-duty eM2 106 trucks.

The CX Fleet is meant to help Daimler in its commercial electric vehicle development process by deploying trucks in real-world applications.

Over the next 22 months, DTNA will collect and analyze data and feedback from the CX Fleet to continue to improve upon future vehicle design and assist customers navigating a transition to electric fleets.

The Freightliner CX Fleet adds to the 30-vehicle Freightliner Electric Innovation Fleet, which started operation in late 2018 to provide feedback and real-world use data on the integration of battery electric trucks in large-scale fleet operations. The Freightliner Electric Innovation Fleet recently hit a milestone, surpassing 100,000 cumulative miles of operation.

CRST acquires logistics company to expand final mile offering
CRST (No. 18 on the CCJ Top 250) announced Monday, March 2, it has acquired New Jersey-headquartered NAL Group, a final mile logistics company. The terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.

NAL specializes in warehousing services, home delivery of big and bulky consumer durables, complex in-home installation and assembly services, and express courier services.

“The acquisition of NAL Group complements CRST’s service offerings through expertise in final mile logistics and complex in-home installation and assembly services,” said Hugh Ekberg, president and CEO of CRST International. “CRST’s profitable growth has been built with the successful acquisition and integration of quality companies, and CRST is now one of the most diverse and complete transportation service providers in the industry.”

In the past several years, CRST has acquired Specialized Transportation, Inc., Allied Special Products (the specialized division of North American Van Lines), BESL Transfer Company, Pegasus Transportation, and Gardner Trucking, Inc.

Trucking co. owner pleads guilty, sentenced for operating trucks without license
A Louisiana-based trucking company owner pleaded guilty and was sentenced to nine months of probation for operating a commercial vehicle without a CDL, according to the Department of Transportation’s Office of Inspector General.

Joseph Malmay, owner of Jack Malmay Logging, was also ordered not to operate a tractor-trailer without first obtaining the appropriate licenses.

Former Texas DPS employee pleads guilty to CDL scheme
Alonzo Blackman, a former Texas Department of Public Safety employee, pleaded guilty Feb. 13 to conspiracy to commit mail and honest services fraud connected to a scheme to issue fraudulent CDLs, according to DOT OIG.

Blackman allegedly accepted money in exchange for falsely certifying that CDL applicants passed the skills portion of the CDL test when they had either failed or not taken the test. OIG says Blackman gave two co-conspirators temporary licenses for the applicants, and DPS later mailed them permanent CDLs.