Trucking conditions better in January, yet challenges remain

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Trucking news and briefs for Tuesday, March 19, 2024:

Carriers’ conditions improved in January

FTR’s Trucking Conditions Index for January improved to -1.41 from the December reading of -4.3, indicating a less challenging financial environment for carriers.

Freight rates and financing costs were not as negative as they had been during the prior month, although fuel costs were not as favorable as they had been, either. The outlook for trucking conditions has improved but remains in negative territory for most of the year.

“Our forecast for freight volume is modestly stronger, but excess capacity continues to temper our expectations for a market revival,” said Avery Vise, FTR’s vice president of trucking. “Absent a triggering event like a surge in fuel prices, for example, we see a continued gradual drain of capacity that will not begin to shift market fundamentals for months. The eventual rebound also might be uneven as the first signs of improvement could slow the exit of excess capacity and delay a sustained recovery.”

Navistar recalling International LT trucks for turn signal issue

Navistar is recalling approximately 38 model year 2025 International LT trucks in which two wires in the taillight jumper harness may be reversed, causing the turn signal to activate in the opposite direction of what the driver intended. 

As a result, the trucks don’t comply with the requirements of Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard number 108, "Lamps, Reflective Devices, and Associated Equipment."

Dealers will replace the taillight jumper harness, free of charge. Owner notification letters are expected to be mailed May 6. Owners can contact Navistar customer service at 1-800-448-7825 with recall number 24506. NHTSA’s recall number is 24V-180.

Mack accepting 2025 calendar submissions

Mack Trucks Calendar Contest 2025Mack Trucks is now accepting submissions for its 2025 calendar contest.Mack Trucks

The Mack Trucks Calendar Contest is on the hunt for the best-looking Mack trucks for the 2025 calendar edition. A dozen Bulldogs will grace next year’s edition, courtesy of a professional photo shoot provided by Mack.

New for this year, in honor of Mack Trucks’ 125th anniversary in 2025, the oldest Mack truck still working in revenue operation will automatically win a spot in the calendar. The age of the vehicle will be determined by the build date associated with the vehicle identification number (VIN), verified by Mack Trucks. The winner must still be in regular service, as opposed to being an historic or show truck.

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As always, the contest allows Mack customers to submit online their photos and videos of their truck for Mack fans to vote for. The top entries for each category will be featured for one month in the 2025 Mack Calendar.

The entry period for the contest runs from March 18 through the end of the contest. Online voting runs from April 1 through April 30. Voters are allowed to vote once daily for their choice.

  • Several new enhancements have been added to the entry and voting procedures this year to add excitement.
  • Enter before April 1 for 125 bonus votes
  • Submit a video entry, along with your truck photo, and receive another 125 bonus votes; directions for the video are on the entry form 
  • Bonus Vote Days – check Mack’s social media channels regularly for special promotions, when daily votes could count for double or even triple 

In addition, all entries are eligible to be promoted to Mack’s 700,0000+ followers across its social channels. 

The contest is open to trucks in revenue operation; that is, trucks currently working in fleets and not collector or antique vehicles. The voting categories are aligned with Mack’s truck models, the Mack Anthem, Granite, Pinnacle, TerraPro, Mack LR and Mack MD, plus the legacy category detailed above. Full contest rules and procedures are found on the Mack website.

Winners will be announced in early May, and Mack Trucks will schedule a professional photo shoot for each winning entry for the calendar.