OOIDA concerned with new engine standards

GRAIN VALLEY, Mo. — The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA) is asking U.S. policymakers to rethink implementing engine emission standards at this time.

OOIDA’s concern about the upcoming 2010 U.S. EPA regulations regarding engine emissions is in response to new research predicting a dramatic drop in new truck and engine purchases which will ultimately lead to a break down in the trucking industry.

NERA Economic Consulting released the study detailing implications for the 2010 emission requirements. The study indicates truckers and fleet managers will ultimately decide not to buy new engines and trucks because of financial reasons and user uncertainties.

This will eventually mean huge job losses and a lack of choices for trucking equipment consumers of all sizes.

“With record-high diesel fuel prices earlier this year, trucking companies have already faced nearly insurmountable challenges trying to stay in business,” said Todd Spencer, executive vice-president of OOIDA. “It’s the worst possible time for the trucking industry to take on a high stakes gamble with no known level of reliability of the technologies or return on investment.”

The association would like the Administration and Congress to push for a restructured timeline, phasing in the new emission standards to allow ample breathing room and build confidence within the trucking industry. This would provide time to prove the worthiness of new engines, give the economy an opportunity to recover and explore new fuel alternatives.

According to the NERA report, costs of trucks coming off the assembly line, in complying with 2010 emission standards, will run between $7,000 and $10,000 more per vehicle. This is nearly $21,000 more per truck higher than in 2004.

Furthermore, there will be an additional weight of between 300 and 500 lbs. for some models utilizing new technology.

The association has been dedicated to a cleaner environment and is an affiliate in the SmartWay Transport Partnership with the Environmental Protection Agency. However, OOIDA has reviewed recent news reports showing that sales and production of diesel engines and trucks have begun to slow dramatically.

Manufacturers are laying off workers and closing production lines in anticipation of lower sales. Fleets, both small and large, are signaling that they will hold on to existing, older equipment, instead of making purchases of newer technology.

“While Congress and the Administration continue to address our economic crisis by focusing their attention on the Big 3 automakers after bailing out Wall Street ventures gone bad, the engine that drives the trucking industry is headed for a cliff looming just ahead,” added Spencer.

The NERA report is an update to a previous study done in January of 2005 in anticipation of a similar emission requirement in 2007.

The full report can be viewed here.

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