GRAIN VALLEY, Mo. — The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA) says if the industry forges ahead with EPA2010 emissions standards, many truckers will be squeezed out of business as a result of higher purchase prices and unproven reliability.
The organization is appealing to US policymakers to postpone the 2010 emissions standards in light of a new study released by NERA Economic Consulting that suggested fleet managers will hesitate to buy new equipment with 2010 emissions controls.
“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.”
OOIDA said Washington should push for a restructured timeline to allow for more breathing room and time to build confidence within the industry.
“With more time, the solutions will become much clearer and environmentally much cleaner,” added Spencer. “Otherwise, there will be a delay in the intended environmental benefit because there is a disincentive to purchasing the new technology. Truckers and fleets are simply going to hold onto their equipment for a longer period of time, if they are able to hold onto it at all.”
The NERA study, which can be reviewed on www.ooida.com, suggested that: trucks will cost considerably more in 2010 (US$7,000-$10,000); there are technological uncertainties that will be employed in 2010; and reduced environmental benefits will be realized due to a pre-buy or low-buy if the plan goes ahead.
Mack Trucks moved quickly to try to quash the OOIDA recommendation. Mack president and CEO Dennis Slagle, said “Mack is fully on track with SCR, a proven technology that delivers significantly better fuel economy, benefiting customers and the environment. Moving the goal post now is not necessary and unfair to those who have invested heavily and worked diligently to meet the clean air goals set out by the EPA.”
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