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Today’s Pickup: New electric option for Ford chassis; Colorado lowers driving age; cargo volumes thrive in Long Beach

The Motiv EPIC all-electric chassis will be installed on Ford F-59 glider chassis at a Detroit Custom Chassis plant. Doing this will reduce costs and delivery times, Motiv said. ( Photo: Motiv )

Good day,

Buyers of the Ford F-59 chassis are now able to get that chassis fully electrified during the assembly process after a new collaboration between Motiv Power Systems and Detroit Custom Chassis (DCC). DCC will install Motiv’s all-electric EPIC chassis on F-59 platforms assembled at the Detroit Chassis Plant (DCP).

Motiv said this assembly process will speed delivery times and cut the installation costs as the EPIC system will “seamlessly slot into the same assembly lines producing internal combustion engine-powered chassis.”

“DCP has long served as the production facility for Ford’s F-59 commercial truck chassis. Since a number of our EPIC chassis variants are based on Ford’s F-59, it made perfect sense to implement an OEM build process that closely mirrors the one used by Ford themselves,” said Matt O’Leary, Motiv’s CEO. “With the scale we are focused on achieving in order to meet market demand, this represents a significant step forward for Motiv.”

Production is already underway at DCP, which has capacity to build up to 90,000 chassis a year at its 220,000 square/foot assembly plant on 33 acres in Detroit, Michigan.

“Detroit Chassis has been in high-level strategic discussions with Motiv going back to 2012 and planning for the F-59 rollout accelerated in 2018. We are excited to now finally be able to showcase the Motiv EPIC chassis rolling out of our facility,” said Michael Guthrie, co-chairman and CEO of DCP. “We couldn’t be happier to see Motiv take a leadership position as the first EV commercial chassis produced by our facility. We expect that over time, electric chassis will sell in similar and, eventually, even greater numbers than gasoline and diesel-powered equivalents. It was a natural fit for DCP to be in the forefront of that market shift.”  

Did you know?

After running full steam ahead for months, U.S. trailer orders seem to have finally hit a wall. January’s net orders of 26,000 units, according to ACT Research, is the fourth consecutive month of order decline. Industry backlog, however, still extends to Thanksgiving, with refrigerated models extending to February 2020.


“We are creating a leading global game-changer. The 60 million customers we already have today will benefit from a seamlessly integrated, ride-hailing, parking, charging and multimodal transport services.These five services will merge ever more closely to form a single mobility service portfolio with an all-electric, self-driving fleet of vehicles that charge and park autonomously, and interconnect with the other modes of transport.”

– Harald Krüger, the CEO of BMW Group, on a collaboration with Daimler AG to build mobility solutions

In other news:

U.S. Bank, project44 offer on-demand freight documentation integration

U.S. Bank and project44 have teamed up to integrate project44’s Advanced Visibility Platform with U.S. Bank’s freight payment services. (Logistics Management)

Colorado lowers trucking age – once the federal law allows

Colorado became the first state to officially lower the trucking age to 18 when Gov. Jared Polis signed into law a bill dropping the restriction. However, the law is on hold since the age limit is set by FMCSA. (Transport Topics)

WiseTech acquires Singapore-based tracking company

WiseTech, a global logistics software company based in Australia, has acquired ContainerChain, a tracking software provider based in Singapore for $92 million. (Financial Review)

FMCSA administrator urges drivers to switch to ELDs

FMCSA Administrator Ray Martinez urged drivers using AOBRDs to switch to ELDs before the December deadline to do so. (Heavy Duty Trucking)

Cargo volumes in Long Beach approach record

Ahead for the Lunar New Year, the Port of Long Beach nearly set a record in January, with cargo volumes off just 0.1 percent from the record month of January 2018. (

Final Thoughts

Lytx, a provider of video and telematics solutions, presented its 2019 Driver of the Year and Coach of the Year awards last night at the Lytx User Conference in San Diego. In all, the company recognized top drivers and coaches in six categories. The company also made a donation to Heidi Jenkins, founder of the The Erich Jenkins Change-A-Life Foundation, to support its mission to provide scholarships to deserving youth. Jenkins created the foundation after her late husband was involved in a fatal accident. All the award winners are available here.

Hammer down everyone!

Brian Straight

Brian Straight leads FreightWaves' Modern Shipper brand as Managing Editor. A journalism graduate of the University of Rhode Island, he has covered everything from a presidential election, to professional sports and Little League baseball, and for more than 10 years has covered trucking and logistics. Before joining FreightWaves, he was previously responsible for the editorial quality and production of Fleet Owner magazine and Brian lives in Connecticut with his wife and two kids and spends his time coaching his son’s baseball team, golfing with his daughter, and pursuing his never-ending quest to become a professional bowler. You can reach him at [email protected]