Last August, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Department of Transportation (DOT) issued Phase 2 emissions regulations, calling for U.S. medium- and heavy-duty trucks to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions by 25% by 2027, when compared to 2018 year-model equipment. While many trucking organizations came out in support of its goals, they also expressed concerns about the added costs of complying.
- The Truck and Engine Manufacturers Association called the rule “highly complex,” and said it could “impose enormous costs” on fleets and owner-operators who have to purchase these trucks, along with the actual truck manufacturers, if the rule doesn’t align with the industry’s needs.
- The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association expressed concerns about the rule’s nine-year timetable for implementation, saying: “Forcing a standard that can lead to problems with reliability and maintenance ultimately has no benefits to the environment if no one wants to buy the product.”
- The American Trucking Associations released a statement saying it’s “cautiously optimistic” about the rule, but “while the potential for real cost savings and environmental benefits under this rule are there – fleets will ultimately determine the success or failure of this rule based on their comfort level purchasing these new technologies.”
Now, there’s talk that the EPA may alter or delay the impending regulations.
The uncertainty stems from a lawsuit filed by the Truck Trailer Manufacturers Association (TTMA) over the trailer-specific portion of the Phase 2 rule. In late April, the EPA filed a court motion to have the lawsuit stalled for 90 days, arguing the agency “could decide to conduct further rulemaking or undertake other actions that could obviate the need for judicial resolution of some or all of the issues raised by” TTMA’s lawsuit. The request was granted, and proceedings will now resume on July 20th, unless the EPA makes changes to the regulations before then – which is still unclear.
To meet the Phase 2 regulations, manufacturers will likely invest in aerodynamic add-ons, lightweighting and low-rolling-resistance tires, among other things. The added costs will trickle down to the fleets purchasing the equipment, who can also take measures to reduce overall costs and find new efficiencies in their workflow. How? Through GPS fleet management solutions.
Fleets can use GPS fleet management tools for:
- Optimized routing to eliminate unnecessary fuel waste and fulfill the most deliveries in the shortest amount of time;
- Regular maintenance schedules/alerts to ensure equipment operates at its best;
- Driver training programs to reduce speeding violations, harsh braking and unnecessary idling, which increase fuel consumption;
- Compliance needs, including the impending ELD mandate.
To learn more about the many benefits of GPS fleet tracking tools, visit http://www.teletracnavman.com/gps-tracking-benefits.