Don't sit the bench on this one

By Jim Johnston, President and CEO

Small-business truckers are nervous about the new Phase 2 greenhouse gas truck rules – and rightly so. They were the ones hardest hit by the unreliability of the trucks with Phase 1 technology. Now, before those problems are fully addressed, there’s a new proposal on the table, and EPA wants to know what you think.

OOIDA Board members have told EPA officials of their concerns and backed that up with the specifics, which are what the agency must hear. OOIDA told EPA that for mechanics an emissions breakdown is a guessing game. The price of parts and repair of emissions technology is astronomical.

One board member told EPA that small-business truckers just couldn’t afford the $25,000 overhauls they are seeing on trucks with the new emissions technology. Another is concerned about diesel exhaust fluid freezing at 35 degrees in a remote place with no cell service.

Another member voiced concerns about the push for trucks to be equipped with low-rolling-resistance tires. He runs the mountains and needs traction. Forcing him and others who run mountains to use those types of tires doesn’t make sense.

The OOIDA Board asked for the EPA (and its partner in this proposal, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) to listen – and tread carefully before making mandates. I like to think that OOIDA is being heard in this process. As you see in Senior Editor Dave Tanner’s GHG article in this issue, each provision asks for input, opinion and commentary. That’s why it’s important for you to let EPA know what works and what doesn’t. Your expert comments will set the stage for trucking now and in the future.

Comments are due by Sept. 11, 2015. LL