With the New Year upon us, the Environmental Protection
Agency is making its own resolution for 2007 - fewer emissions from the
As most truckers know, Monday, Jan. 1, marks the first day
for new EPA regulations aimed at reducing emissions from diesel engines. Under
the new rules, all new truck engines sold will produce an estimated 98 percent
less particulate matter.
The new emissions standards arrive just a few months after
the requirement for ultra-low sulfur diesel (ULSD) to replace low-sulfur diesel
as the standard went into effect.
For many fleet managers and owner-operators hoping to buy
new, the updated engine requirements - which are expected to add thousands of
dollars to the cost of a new truck - have caused a significant pre-buy of 2006
model-year and older models.
A number of OEMs,
including Freightliner, International Truck and Engine Corp., and Volvo, have
announced layoffs at several of their truck-making facilities, citing pre-buy
and lagging sales as two of the leading causes.
And if you think the
2007 standards are tough, you haven't seen anything yet. In 2010, the EPA will
implement another set of particulate-reducing regulations - a standard that
already has engine manufacturers scratching their heads as they try to figure
out the best possible way to build compliant trucks.