Canadian Shipper


Owner operator association worries latest US fuel economy regs will drive truck prices skyward

GRAIN VALLEY, Mo. — New fuel-efficiency regulations announced yesterday by the Obama Administration will drive up the cost of new equipment, the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA) warns.

The second round of fuel-economy standards for medium- and heavy-duty trucks will continue to push the cost of new trucks skyward, OOIDA contends. It says small business truckers will be forced to hang onto older trucks longer under the new requirements.

The EPA acknowledges the 2014-2018 standards will add about US$6,200 to the cost of a new truck, OOIDA says. While figures aren’t yet available for the latest proposal, OOIDA expects there’ll be another increase.

“Shock and awe may be the best way to describe what’s happening to the vast majority in trucking with these proposed regulations,” said Todd Spencer, OOIDA executive vice-president. “Each year for the past 10, more and more truckers are squeezed out of the option to buy new equipment because of ever increasing prices due to government requirements that are long on promises but way short on performance.”

Spencer added, “We’re not talking about some 60-watt light bulbs here where poor performance or premature failure is a minor inconvenience. Large trucks are vital tools, essential to our economy and our way of life, and most truck operators are small-business people just getting by.”

The latest proposal promotes improvements to engine and powertrains, aerodynamics, weight reductions, rolling resistance, hybridization, automatic engine shutdown and accessory improvements for fans, auxiliary power units, air conditioning, etc.

A final rule is to be drafted by March 2016.

Spencer said more focus should be placed on driver training.

“Multiple studies have shown the biggest variable in fuel economy is always the driver, accounting for as much as 30% of fuel consumption, yet they aren’t trained to maximize fuel economy,” he pointed out.