Future glider kits will have more restrictions

Jim Park

TORONTO, Ont. — Glider kit trucks have been around for decades, and by the look of the regulatory landscape, they will continue to be available to consumers in years to come. But with a few more restrictions than we have seen.

Following a court challenge in July, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) was forced to suspend an earlier decision not to enforce a 300-unit production cap on glider kits and vehicles that do not comply with Phase 2 GHG emission rules. The EPA said it had decided to withdraw the production cap because it is working to finalize a proposed rule that would repeal “certain emission requirements” on glider kits imposed under the Phase 2 rules established in 2016.

The challenge was brought by the Environmental Defense Fund, the Center for Biological Diversity, and the Sierra Club on July 17. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia ruled in favor of the motion the following day, granting a temporary stay pending a further court order. It’s not clear whether the EPA will try again to remove the production cap or leave it up to the discretion of the court. Nor is it clear what final rule relating to glider trucks might emerge from the EPA under the Trump administration.

The way forward is a little clearer in Canada. Environment and Climate Change Canada published its Heavy-Duty Vehicle and Engine Greenhouse Gas Emission Regulations in Canada Gazette Part 2 on May 30, 2018.

In addressing glider kits, amendments to the rule say users can equip a chassis (the glider kit) with an engine that has a different model-year of manufacture than the chassis provided that the engine has previously been sold to a first retail purchaser (i.e., it’s not a new engine) and one of the following conditions is satisfied:

  • The engine has not reached the end of its useful life since its original date of manufacture;
  • The engine has accumulated less than 160,935 km (100,000 miles) of operation since its original date of manufacture;
  • Less than three years have passed since the original date of manufacture of the engine;
  • The engine is of the 2010 model year or a subsequent model year.

Canada’s heavy-duty greenhouse gas emission regulations come into effect in 2020.



Jim Park

Jim Park was a CDL driver and owner-operator from 1978 until 1998, when he began his second career as a trucking journalist. During that career transition, he hosted an overnight radio show on a Hamilton, Ontario radio station and later went on to anchor the trucking news in SiriusXM's Road Dog Trucking channel. Jim is a regular contributor to Today's Trucking and Trucknews.com, and produces Focus On and On the Spot test drive videos.

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