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1/27/2017 4:00:00 PM Write a Letter to the Editor Write a letter to the Editor

A Brave New Trucking World — Again?

This story appears in the Jan. 23 print edition of Equipment & Maintenance Update, a supplement to Transport Topics.

This issue of Equipment & Maintenance Update marks the first of 2017, which could be a year of change for the United States and quite possibly for trucking.

Fran Lysiak

As I write this, Republican Donald J. Trump, business mogul and former reality television star, was scheduled to take the oath of office Jan. 20 as the 45th president of the United States.

Given the change in the nation’s leadership, uncertainty abounds in this new year as to what lies ahead for the trucking industry — and the laws and regulations that already have had a profound impact on the research, engineering and design of tractors, trailers, engines, tires and all of the other numerous parts and components of big rigs that are on the road today. Indeed, a page 1 story in the Jan. 2 issue of Transport Topics carried the headline: “‘Expect the Unexpected’ for Trucking, Nation.”

Among the open questions regarding the then-incoming Trump administration was whether the Environmental Protection Agency would reverse course on reducing emissions and imposing fuel-efficiency standards for trucks.

Just this past summer, the Obama administration released its Phase 2 rule on greenhouse-gas emissions for heavy- and medium-duty trucks, pushing the industry to make tractors and trailers that are more aerodynamic and fuel-efficient but safe and durable.

Trucks and their engines have long been regulated on their emissions — including the Phase 1 rule on greenhouse gases now in force — but this latest regulation, crafted by EPA and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, marked the first time trailer makers would face federal mandates on aerodynamics and low-rolling-resistance tires.

While the future of federal regulation on truck emissions may have become cloudier, it was business as usual, for now at least, for E&MU’s first issue for 2017, with a glimpse of the impact on trailer makers with Phil Romba’s column.

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By Fran Matso Lysiak
Equipment Editor

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