Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association
Contact: Norita Taylor, email@example.com
Headquarters: (816) 229-5791
For Immediate Release
OOIDA warns fuel-efficiency mandate will drive up the cost of equipment
(Grain Valley, Mo., Feb. 18, 2014) – The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA) and its members are warning that the Obama administration’s proposed fuel-economy standards for medium- and heavy-duty trucks could put the cost of new trucks out of reach for many of America’s hard-working professional truckers.
President Obama stood with UPS, Coca Cola and other large corporations Tuesday, Feb. 18, in Maryland to roll out the second round of fuel-economy standards for medium- and heavy-duty trucks.
The mandate once again calls for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to work with the DOT’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to tighten fuel economy standards and reduce greenhouse gas emissions at the manufacturing level beyond an initial round of standards that affects model years 2014 through 2018. OOIDA says the standards will continue to push the cost of new trucks skyward, thereby forcing many small-business truckers and fleet owners to hold onto older trucks and put off buying new equipment as long as they can.
According to the EPA’s own numbers, the 2014-2018 standards will add approximately $6,200 to the price of a new truck. The administration has not yet released how much the second round will increase the cost of those trucks.
“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 engines and powertrains, aerodynamics, weight reductions, rolling resistance, hybridization, automatic engine shutdown and accessory improvements for fans, auxiliary power units, air conditioning, etc., according to a White House document. Many of these technologies are not yet in production and most would have impacts on specialized trucking operations.
The proposal calls for the EPA and NHTSA to finalize a rule by March 2016. It also directs the EPA and NHTSA to work closely with the California Air Resources Board (CARB) “with the goal of ensuring that the next phase of standards allows manufacturers to continue to build a single national fleet.”
In addition, the proposal says the new standards will promote alternative energy for vehicles such as natural gas and biofuels.
OOIDA says the proposal completely overlooks the driving habits of trained professional CMV operators who strive for fuel economy.
Spencer pointed out, “Multiple studies have shown the biggest variable in fuel economy is always the driver, accounting for as much as 30 percent of fuel consumption, yet they aren’t trained to maximize fuel economy.”
The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association is the largest national trade association representing the interests of small-business trucking professionals and professional truck drivers. The Association currently has more than 150,000 members nationwide. OOIDA was established in 1973 and is headquartered in the Greater Kansas City, Mo., area.