Overdrive Staff | March 01, 2010

The original guidance issued in February 2009 required engine performance to be degraded after a truck travels 2,000 miles or 40 hours on an empty DEF tank. The revision removes this provision and eliminates specific limits on mileage or time trucks should operate with empty DEF tanks. 

Navistar sued EPA over the February 2009 guidance, saying that the agency could not allow SCR without an opportunity for public comment. The truck maker, which is not using SCR to comply with 2010 emissions-reduction rules, argued that EPA’s regulation in 2001 stated that SCR would not be feasible.

In October, EPA asked a federal appeals court for a 60-day stay to halt legal proceedings. The court rejected EPA’s request, but the agency reissued the guidance anyway. In a Dec. 30, 2009, letter to engine manufacturers, EPA’s Karl Simon explained the revision as clarifying the intent of the original guidance, which was not intended as “binding requirements.”

In a supplemental brief filed last month, Navistar said the new guidance merely renames the previous “certification requirements” as “possible approaches” and substitutes the words “reasonably short” mileage for the specific mileage during which no NOx control is required.

EPA has until March 11 to respond to Navistar’s claims.

— Avery Vise

Short hauls

U.S. TRUCK TONNAGE calculated by the American Trucking Associations jumped 6.6 percent in December over the same month in 2008, the first year-over-year increase in 15 months, ATA said. ATA’s seasonally adjusted for-hire truck tonnage index increased 2.1 percent in December from November after a 2.6 percent decrease from October to November.

VIRGINIA is reopening 19 highway rest stops that were closed last year to save money. Twelve of the rest stops were scheduled to reopen by March 17, and the final seven by April 17.

NAFTA TRADE using surface transportation was 2.9 percent lower in November 2009 than in November 2008, dropping to $58.9 billion, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation. The value of U.S. surface transportation trade with its North American Free Trade Agreement partners Canada and Mexico fell 4 percent in November 2009 from October 2009.

DIESEL FUEL will average $2.95 a gallon this year and climb to $3.16 in 2011, the Department of Energy predicts. Diesel averaged $2.46 in 2009.

Paccar’s engines due this year

Paccar announced the official introduction of its MX series diesel engines and the opening this summer of its new engine plant in Columbus, Miss., during a press event at the Paccar Technical Center in Mount Vernon, Wash., on Feb. 5.

Not many companies are taking such steps during “the worst economy in decades,” said Paccar Chairman and CEO Mark Pigott. He credited Paccar’s ability to invest more than $1 billion in its engine initiative over the last decade to “a conservative business approach and long-term focus.”

The MX series, which will be standard on all Kenworth and Peterbilt trucks, features an in-line, six-cylinder design with four valves per cylinder. Five separate engines make up the MX series, with power ratings ranging from 380 to 485 horsepower and 1,450 to 1,750 pound-feet of torque.

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