Dirty Secrets: Carriers call for emissions crackdown
TORONTO, Ont. -- Clean air comes at a cost, and it involves the emissions-related changes to exhaust systems and engines, sometimes introducing added maintenance costs and reduced fuel economy in the process. That’s led to one of the trucking industry’s worst-kept dirty secrets. Many truck owners are reprogramming electronic control modules to bypass SCR (selective catalytic reduction) systems, which reduce unwanted NOx by introducing diesel exhaust fluid to the combustion process.
2021: The Medium-Duty Emissions Odyssey
TORONTO, Ont. -- The next round of greenhouse gas (GHG) regulations is due in 2021, but the model year of trucks affected by the rule will actually hit the road about two years from now. And while fleets that operate Class 7 and 8 heavy-duty trucks are already losing sleep over the rule, a significant share of the population operating medium-duty trucks doesn’t even know these rules exist. They’re the kinds of trucks operated by businesspeople and contractors who sees vehicle as a tool for some other business. Think electricians, landscapers, bakers, and plumbers. Their passion is their business, not the truck they use. "Back when the 2007 and 2010, soot and NOx emissions rules kicked in. We had to educate our customers on those changes, as dramatic as they were," says Brian Tabel, executive director of marketing for Isuzu Commercial Truck of America. "Most of them didn't know the change was in place, but they sure noticed the price jump between 2006 and 2010 [Model Year] trucks. Customers that had bought pre-emissions 2006 trucks and were shopping for another one in 2010 were shocked. They were mostly utterly unaware of the changes that had occurred over the past 10 years."
New engine oil categories making the grade
SANTA BARBARA, CA - A new generation of engine oils is in the North American market, passing a battery of tests developed for specific engine brands. But the work of convincing buyers about related features and benefits continues. The transition from CJ-4 to CK-4 and fuel-efficient FA-4 categories has essentially been seamless, says Dan Arcy, Shell Lubricants' global OEM technical manager, referring to formulas that were officially released in December. The chemistry was driven by ongoing calls for longer drain intervals, better fuel economy, lower emissions, and increasing horsepower, after all. And these are hardly the engine oils that have flowed through pumps in years gone by. Oxidation stability had to improve to handle higher under-hood temperatures. When oil oxidizes, it becomes acidic and thickens, Arcy explained during a media briefing in California this week. At the very least, that shortens potential oil drain intervals.
Canadian equipment prices to rise with emission rules
OTTAWA, ON - The federal government has published its plans for new Greenhouse Gas limits that will apply to 2018-29 Model Year equipment, effectively mirroring changes introduced by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The required upgrades will cost Canada's trucking industry an extra $4.1 billion, but save $10.3 billion in fuel, according to the Department of the Environment. When considering the overall lifespan of the affected vehicles, net benefits are expected to reach $8.8 billion between 2018 and 2050. The upgrades are projected to add 8% to the cost of a typical 2027 Model Year tractor, or $11,322. Vocational vehicles in the same model year will cost an extra 4%, or $4,369. Trailers - introduced in emissions standards for the first time beginning with the 2018 Model Year - will see an average 4% price bump on 2027 models. That will be up $1,237. Heavy-duty pickup trucks and vans, meanwhile, will see price tags increase an average of 3% or $1,324 per vehicle.