Two elephants have helped prevent a truck from overturning in Louisiana.
When authorities responded to an emergency call about an 18-wheel vehicle stuck in a muddy lay-by, they found the elephants hard at work.
The Natchitoches Parish Sheriff’s Office said the truck had been hauling three elephants from New Orleans to Dallas when it got into trouble.
Officials were “astounded” by what they saw, a spokesman said.
The truck became stuck when it pulled off the highway and onto a lay-by near Powhatan, Louisiana, shortly after 07:00 local time on March 24.
“When deputies arrived on scene, they were astounded to find two elephants keeping the eighteen wheeler from overturning,” the sheriff’s office said in a statement.
As the truck began to lean towards a ditch, the owner led two of the elephants out of the trailer and corralled them into preventing the truck from falling further.
Recent rains have caused the ground surrounding the highway to become soft, the sheriff’s office said.
Eventually a tow-truck pulled the vehicle to safety, and the elephants were able to rest.
It is not clear who owns the elephants or the truck.
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GM has reported a fall in car sales in December in what was a disappointing month for US car makers.
GM stocks fell 2.4% after it reported a 6.3% fall in sales compared with December 2012.
Ford and Chrysler both reported rising sales, but not the increases that industry analysts were expecting.
Chrysler sold 161,000 cars and trucks in December, up 5.7% on the same period in 2012 and Ford reported a 1.8% rise in December sales.
Analysts said that poor weather in parts of the US kept customers away from dealerships in December.
“At the very beginning of the month the pace of buying was slow because there were so many storms around the country,” said Edmunds.com senior analyst Michelle Krebs.
“Now what we’re seeing is some of the automakers are stretching their December deals into January.”
2013 is expected to be the best year for US auto market since 2007, with total annual sales of about 15.6 million
Kurt McNeil, vice president, of US sales for GM, said: “December started a little slow but sales were stronger later in the month, especially in the week between Christmas and New Year.”
Meanwhile Ford said that a four-day weekend for Thanksgiving late in November may have brought forward sales that would have fallen in December.
For Chrysler the Jeep brand continued to be a strong performer with a 34% rise in sales last month.
With a 9% rise in annual sales, 2013 was the strongest year for Chrysler since 2007.
“Our Jeep and Ram truck brands had a strong finish led by the all new 2014 Jeep Cherokee and the Ram pickup truck,” said Reid Bigland, head of US sales.
Overall, sales in 2013 were strong for the big three Detroit car manufacturers, who were helped along by strong sales of their truck offerings.
Truck sales tend to increase in relation to home sales, which were strong for much of the year as the US economic recovery spurred long-delayed housing activity.
“Trucks on the road are even older than cars on the road,” said Michelle Krebs.
However, Toyota, the third biggest player in the US market, didn’t do as well as the US manufacturers.
Toyota saw sales in December decline by 1.7% from a year ago to 190,843.
Analysts had been expecting Toyota to report rising sales.
However, 2013 is expected to be the best year for US auto market since 2007, with total annual sales of about 15.6 million.
That would be a strong recovery from 2009 when sales fell to 10.4 million during the depths of the recession.
On October 3rd and October 4th, visitors to the first edition of Commercial Motor Live have the chance to test some of the newest HGVs, large vans, or other commercial vehicles.
They can go behind the wheels and drive the latest trucks from Isuzu Truck, Mercedes-Benz, Renault or Volvo, on miles of open track.
Commercial Motor Live is a new event from Road Transport Media, launched under brand name Commercial Motor, a weekly magazine, founded in 1905. The magazine is dedicated exclusively to the commercial vehicles and to the road transport industry in the United Kingdom.
The two-day event is held at one of the largest vehicle testing centers in Europe, Millbrook Proving Ground, Bedfordshire, UK. Constructed in the 1960s by Vauxhall, the General Motors subsidiary, the tracks have been used for the development and demonstration of every type of land vehicle, from motorcycles and passenger cars to heavy goods vehicles (HGVs), military and off-road vehicles. Hill Route, one of the most important tracks, has appeared in motoring television programmes as Top Gear and in the James Bond film, Casino Royale.
Commercial Motor Live 2012 is dedicated to commercial vehicle operators and aims to bring them the latest legislation and technology updates, latest product development updates, and latest vehicles to try.
Fleet managers and business owners, operations managers, and industry stakeholders participate to this event.
Exhibitors include large goods vehicles producers, tires manufacturers, service and fuel suppliers to the road transport industry, such as Goodyear, Isuzu Truck UK, Mercedes-Benz UK, Pullman Fleet Services, Michelin Tyre, Renault Trucks, Scania, Shell Fuel Save Partner, Texaco UK, Toyota Material Handling, Volvo Truck & Bus.
The seminars aim to provide visitors with useful industry information. The programme contains industry advice, legal updates and recent technology developments, such as Road Transport Legislation and Compliance, Drivers: Managing your best assets, Out of Hours Deliveries – Unlocking the Night, Operational Update, Euro-6, Telematics, Tyre labelling, Tachographs.
Visitors at Commercial Motor Live 2012 have the chance to drive for the first time the new Antos, Mercedes-Benz heavy-duty distribution truck.
At Commercial Motor Live 2012 visitors have the chance to drive the new Antos, the new Mercedes-Benz heavy-duty distribution truck, for the very first time.
Also, guests have the opportunity to ride and drive a Unimog, new Canter Hybrid, new Actros and Mercedes-Benz vehicles which have been equipped with Dual Fuel technology.
From Renault Trucks delegates can drive:
Premium Long Distance 6×2 tractor with Privilege cab: 44 tonnes; 460hp EEV.
Premium Long Distance 6×2 tractor with Privilege cab: 44 tonnes; 460hp EEV. Both Premiums are fitted with Optidriver+ automated gearbox, Optiroll controlled ‘freewheeling’ function, intelligent cruise control and EBS/ESP.
Kerax 8×4 tipper with Global cab: 32 tonnes; 380hp EEV; Thompsons Loadmaster 14m³ steel tipping body; Optidriver+ automated gearbox.
Midlum 4×2 rigid with Global cab: 18 tonnes; 270hp EEV; Newlands GRP 8.8m body with Anteo tuckaway 2t tail lift; Optitronic six-speed automated ’box.
From Volvo Truck & Bus, as well as an FM11, there are a dual-fuel FM13, an FLH curtainsider, and an FMX.
FM11 6×2 Globetrotter: 44 tonnes; D11 450bhp; I Shift transmission
FM13 6×2 Globetrotter: 44 tonnes; D13 460bhp; I Shift transmission; dual-fuel LNG
FLH 4×2 rigid medium cab; 18 tonnes; D7 290bhp; Bevan curtainsider with Dhollandia Tuckaway Tail lift; I Sync transmission
FMX 8×4 B Ride sleeper cab; 32 tonnes; D11 450bhp; Wilcox Wilcolite insulated aluminum tipper body; I Shift transmission.