Jason Cannon December 21, 2014
“With barely more than a week left in 2014, President Barack Obama has signed off on a measure that increases small-business expensing and bonus depreciation … for 2014.
Obama signed Saturday H.R. 5771, which effectively renewed several expired tax provisions to benefit car and truck dealers and their customers. The measure passed both houses of the Senate earlier this month.
Among the benefits was bonus depreciation, which allows car and truck dealers and their customers to expense a larger portion of equipment purchases for 2014. The bill includes an extension of the 50 percent bonus depreciation deduction for new business equipment acquired and placed in service in 2014. In addition to these changes, there is an extension of the additional $8,000 in first-year depreciation for certain business vehicles purchased in 2014.
The bill contains a retroactive increase of the limit on business equipment eligible under Section 179 small business expensing to $500,000 for eligible new and used equipment purchased in 2014. Without this bill, the maximum eligible for Section 179 expensing in 2014 would have been $25,000.
Dealers and their customers must act quickly to take advantage of these tax benefits, because it expires Dec. 31.
American Truck Dealers (ATD) encourages dealers and their customers to consult their tax advisors to determine the exact amount of their potential tax savings, which depends on their own particular tax situation and the provisions described above.”
This is great news if you have purchased or are in the market to purchase a new or used truck or trailer before the end of the year.
Prices for used trucks in theUnited Statesremain near record highs as strong demand outweighs a growing supply of late model units, dealers and analysts said.
The average retail price for a used class 8 sleeper sold in August was $60,459, just below July’s $60,767, which is the all-time high, American Truck Dealers reported. August’s price was up 11.8% from $54,090 in the same month last year.
Separately, ACT Research said average pricing for all used Class 8 trucks-including retail, wholesale and auction sales- was $47,467 in august, a slight decline from July but up from $41,000 a year earlier.
The top five months on record for used-truck prices were April through August, ACT said.
“Pricing has just been strong” said Steve clough, president of used-truck dealer Arrow Truck Sales, which is part of the Volvo group. “The need for trucks has been pretty consistent and the supply has been really, really tough.”
The key factor contributing to that inventory challenge is the low number of new trucks built during the recession, which are now among the prime models for the secondary market.
Alkane Truck Company, based in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, is proud to announce the delivery of its liquid propane-powered, Class 7 trucks to the U.S. market. The cab-over line of LPG trucks are in the final stages ofintegration and certification and will be available to more than 130 established dealerships in the U.S. and Canada by Winter 2014.
The trucks are currently in the finishing stages with Alkane’s engineering, development and fabrication firm in northern Michigan. The stringent U.S. certification processes ensures that all EPA, CARB and DOT inspections are met, and includes specific vehicles compliance for engines, transmissions, fuel systems, windshields, headlights, brakes and bumpers.
The Class 7 Trucks will be offered in 26,000GVW and 33,000GVW weight classes and will be equipped with the PSI 8.8 Liter, GM block, liquid propane engine. They have an Allison 3000 series, 6 speed automatic transmission and the Bi-Phase, durability tested, liquid propane fuel system.
Alkane Truck Company sees liquid propane Autogas as the optimum alternate fuel for trucking in the U.S. At the end of summer 2014, propane Autogas averaged $1.15 per gallon when dispensed with fleet volume discounts. When compared to diesel at $3.85 per gallon, it is clear to see the fuel savings benefits with the plentiful and domestically produced LPG.
Liquid propane is much easier to handle and transport than other natural gasses like CNG (compressed natural gas) or LNG (liquid natural gas). Liquid propane can be stored at 120psi and does well at air temperatures.
According to Bob Smith, CEO and Founder of Alkane Truck Company, natural gas fuels are the alternative fuels of choice that will ensure a bright future for the U.S. economy. “Whether CNG, LNG, or LPG, Natural gas fuels are clean-burning, abundant, cheap, and domestically produced. In light of the current geo-political climate that could worsen overnight, imported oil is not a reliable source. And, in an economy so dependent upon the continuity of transportation across our nation, having a domestic, reliable fuel source then becomes a matter of national security. It only makes sense to transition as quickly as possible to our own plentiful fuel source; natural gas, and away from foreign oil dependency.”
Alkane Truck Company will offer a sneak peak of the finalized line of Class 7 trucks at the 2014 Southeast Alternative Fuels Conference & Expo Raleigh, NC this October. The Raleigh Convention Center will host the event from October 22-24.
As America’s Truck dealers recognize the benefits of Propane Autogas, they are quickly signing on to become authorized dealerships for LPG-powered trucks. Several dealers have reported pressure from their customers to offer alternative fuel options. They see adding LPG powered trucks to their sales centers as a matter of meeting customer demand.
New technology has brought a new level of performance to LPG powered vehicles. Many in the trucking industry were skeptical of Autogas, given its previous rocky ignition history. But, with new direct liquid injection and cold start technologies, fleets around the country are seeing impressive performance and cost savings results. One Georgia county fleet has reported annual savings of over $135,000 in the first year.
Refueling LPG vehicles is very similar to refueling gasoline of diesel counterparts, making the transition to Antogas an easy one for many fleet operators. There are over 2,800 propane refueling stations across the country, the most of any other alternative fuel type in the U.S. But, should fleets decide that a centralized, private station better suit their needs, they can rest easy knowing that the construction of a propane Autogas station is significantly less than compressed natural gas (CNG) and liquefied natural gas (LNG). In fact, several propane marketers across the country will install the pumps for very little to no upfront fee to end user.
With 147,000 on-road propane vehicles in the United States, it is one of the most popular alternative fuel types in the country today. Steve Rayborn, National Sales Director for Alkane Truck Company, sees even more growth potential for Autogas vehicles. “There are very few dedicated propane powered commercial trucks offered by major manufacturers today,” Rayborn says. “We’ve seen a tremendously positive response for our truck line that will meet this new wave of alternative fuel demand.”
Alkane Truck Company manufactures 100% dedicated natural gas, Class 7 and Class 8, direct liquid injected propane powered Trucks. Their new line of 26,000 and 33,000 GVW trucks will be delivered to the American Marketplace in the second quarter of 2014.
Approximately 98% of the propane used in the United States is produced in the United States. Being able to operate on a viable domestic fuel source, is an attractive idea for many American fleets. Truck Dealerships around the country are quick to recognize this fact, and are excited to offer LPG powered options to their customers. In fact, several American dealerships are rushing to lock in their sales territories with alternative fuel vehicle manufacturers like Alkane Truck Company; looking to offer all of the benefits of Propane Autogas to their customers.
For more information on Alkane Truck Company, please visitwww.alkanetruckcompany.com.
Alkane Truck Company unveiled its new Class 7 cab–over truck at the Southeastern Alternative Fuels Conference and Expo in Raleigh, North Carolina this past Wednesday. The Conference and Expo covered biodiesel, electricity, ethanol, propane and gas, featured speakers from around the Southeast and covered topics such as Autogas for the golf resort and turf industry, policy and trends relating to air quality and economic development, increasing fleet efficiency while saving money, self-driving or autonomous cars, fuels of the future and ride sharing, to name a few. Conference attendants and participants were enthusiastic about the unveiling of Alkane’s dedicated propane Autogas powered truck, favorably commenting on its power and price point.
Alkane’s class 7 cab-over truck is offered in both 26,000 and 33,000 GVW weight classes and is certified EPA, CARB and DOT for use on US highways. The power train is a GM block, PSI 8.8 liter engine with the 2500 Series Allison 6-Speed automatic transmission. The fuel system is durability-tested and proven and is provided by Bi-Phase Technologies. Alkane Truck Company is a 100% dedicated natural gas truck manufacturer headquartered in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. This truck featured at the Raleigh show will be in full production in the first quarter of 2015. Triad Services Group near Chicago, Illinois completed engineering, modification and integration of all the power components.
Alkane’s integration and assembly is completed in the company’s 100,000 sq. ft. facility in Summerville, South Carolina. Coastal Logistics Group and Triad Services Group will oversee the assembly process.
Alkane Truck Company will sell these vehicles through its established network of 130 truck dealerships throughout the U.S. and Canada. The cab and chassis can be fitted with various bodies from a variety of suppliers to accommodate niche market needs that include: the refuse industry, the beverage delivery industry and the propane delivery industry.
On the last day of the Alternative Fuels Conference, a panel of speakers, including government personnel and research specialists, fielded questions about the future of transportation, about research by the U.S. Department of Energy, the smart grid, autonomous vehicles and future fuels. Alkane sees natural gas as a key component of America’s energy future. Transitioning away from foreign oil dependency and taking advantage of domestically produced natural gas is the motivation that moved Alkane’s founder and C.E.O., Bob Smith. “Natural gas is the future of America’s national security. We must move as quickly as we can away from high-priced foreign oil towards clean-burning and inexpensive, natural gas.”
By Susan Haigh
Connecticut truckers called on state legislators to create a new sales tax exemption for repairs to vehicles damaged by chemicals that the Department of Transportation uses to clear highways of ice and snow.
Mike Riley, president of the Motor Transport Association of Connecticut, said it is unfair for the state to collect additional tax revenue from repairs prompted by the DOT’s use of magnesium chloride. Parts and repair services on motor vehicles are subject to the 6.3% sales tax.
“I can’t believe the kind of damage that’s been dome by the stuff,” said Riley, adding that all of his 800 member-companies have complained about damage from caustic road chemicals.
Gov. Dannel P. Malloy questioned the feasibility of such a tax exemption and said it would not be in the state’s best interest.
“I would caution that we probably don’t want to be the final guarantor of these kinds of products,” Malloy said, adding that motorists can take steps to protect their vehicles, such as coating the undercarriages.
Also, the Governor said, people can write off the depreciated value of a commercial vehicle on their taxes to help offset the cost of damage.
A bill moving through this year’s legislative session would require DOT to study the chemical road treatments it uses and to analyze their corrosive effects on vehicles, infrastructure and the environment, as well as the cost of such damage. DOT also would have to study alternative techniques and products, such as rust inhibitors.
State Rep. Pamela Sawyer, the lawmaker who proposed the study, said she can understand why Riley is pushing for the tax exemption, considering the damage the chemicals can cause. She said auto repair shop owners have told lawmakers about how they used to replace a few brakes lines a month and now replace up to 20 sinceConnecticutbegan using the chemicals.
“The increase has been exorbitant,” Sawyer said.
Since 2006, the state DOT has been treating the roads before a storm with sodium chloride brine, which the department said has significantly reduced accidents on major river crossings.
It has also helped keep snow and ice from bonding to the pavement, provided snow plow drivers more time at the onset of a storm, reduced salt use and ensured bare pavement soon after a storm. Beside the pre-treatment, the state uses a mixture of salt and magnesium chloride to prevent snow from bonding to the road.
“Let me assure you that we have spent a lot of money this year preparing our roads and blown through our budget, quite frankly in the millions of dollars,” Malloy said.
Medium duty truck sales climber 23.5% in March from a year ago, the strongest growth rate in 11 months, wardsauto.com reported.
U.S.retail sales of Classes 4-7 trucks rose to 15,542 units last month compared with 12,585 in March of 2013.
Last month’s gain followed a 0.1% dip in February, but medium duty sales have risen on a year-over-year basis in 11 of the past 12 months, Ward’s figures showed.
Sequentially, March sales jumped 26.8% from February’s total of 12,258.The recent rise in medium-duty sales in “an affirmation the the pickup people wre expecting this year is developing” said Steve Tam, vice president at ACT Research Co.
Construction activity continues to drive demand for medium duty vehicles, he said. Residential construction figures have been “a little bit choppy, but in general they’re still continuing to improve” Tam said. “I think the moderate rate of growth that we’ve been seeing will continue.”
In the first quarter, medium duty sales totaled 39,950 trucks, a 9.1% gain from the same period in 2013, Ward’s said.
The medium-duty market’s growth mirrored class 8 sales, which rose 25.6% in March from a year ago.
However, one truck dealer said local governments continue to delay replacement purchases for their fleets.
Mike Lunsford, general manager at Triple T Parts & equipmentCo., said his company’s largest medium-duty customers are municipalities, which have generally held off on buying new trucks “we’ve got two municipalities right now that are on a spending freeze until the end of June,” Lunsford said. “We’re kind of handcuffed until then.”
Although heavy-duty truck sales at his dealership were “extremely good” in March, medium-duty sales were below expectations, Lunsford said.
Lunsford said municipal fleets are trying to “milk the last mile” out of their aging trucks. Triple T’s service department works on many municipal vehicles that are “just barely on their last leg,” he added.
Escalating maintenance costs on those trucks eventually will convince them to return to the market for new trucks, he said.
Lasts month’s medium-duty growth was strongest on Class 6, where sales jumped 40.4% from a year ago to 5,622 units. In the first quarter, Class 6 sales totaled 13,559, up 11.8% from the same timeframe last year.
Meanwhile, March sales of Class 7 trucks climbed 19.6% year-over-year, to 4,037 units. First quarter sales rose 6.1% to 11,171.
Combined sales of Classes 4 and 5 trucks increased 13% to 5,883 last month. Three-month sales for that category totaled 15,220, a 9% gain from a year ago.
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