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| July 02, 2012

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s final rule eliminates the requirement that drivers submit no-defect Driver-Vehicle Inspection Reports after their inspection indicated no issues with the equipment nor were any problems brought to their attention. Agency officials estimated the final rule, effective June 12, will represent an annual costs savings of 1.6 million hours and $54 million dollars.

The new rule lifts only the mandate that drivers file no-defect DVIRs when the chassis is not owned or leased by the motor carrier, such as if the IME is the property of a port facility operator. It also does not change a driver’s obligation to assess the condition of IME for deficiencies.

The FMCSA published the final rule in response to a joint petition for rulemaking from the Ocean Carrier Equipment Management Association and the Institute of International Container Lessors.

Agency representatives estimated the DVIRs take drivers a little more than 2.5 minutes to complete and about 95 percent of DVIRs indicate no defects found.

— Jill Dunn

 

 

SHORT HAULS

 

DIESEL PARTICULATE pollution is down 50 percent in the last 20 years, according to presentations to the California Air Resources Board in May. The experts also challenged CARB to tackle short-lived climate pollutants, which have an atmospheric lifetime of a few days to a few decades, unlike carbon dioxide, which stays in the atmosphere for hundreds of years.

 

CONGRESS HAS been urged by the American Trucking Associations to address several trucking issues while working on the multi-year highway bill, including adoption of an electronic onboard recorder mandate, re-examination of the hours-of-service rules and prevention of a new carrier safety fitness rule before addressing “serious flaws” in the Compliance, Safety and Accountability program.

 

 

Truck makers discuss meeting looming fuel economy standards

 

Glen Kedzie, vice president of energy and environmental counsel for the American Trucking Associations, said the industry will deal with “low-hanging fruit” to meet the first round of changes under the new fuel economy standard that beings in 2014, while the challenge will be in meeting the second round of standards by 2018.

Kedzie was the moderator of a panel that spoke on the subject at the Great West Fleet Executive Conference held in Las Vegas June 13-14.

Kristine Koblenzer, western division manager for Cummins, said, until recently, engine companies have been focusing on meeting particulate matter and NOx level reductions. Starting in 2013 and 2014, the attention will turn to reducing carbon dioxide and improving fuel efficiency since engines are at near-zero levels on NOx and PM.

David McKenna, director of powertrain sales and marketing for Mack Trucks, said OEMs have to maximize operating efficiency of the vehicle, because they are not getting cheaper over time. We have to do our best to make them as efficient as humanly possible.”

Moving forward, McKenna said those changes likely will be incremental, with solutions such as load-based variable power programming, smooth cruise speed options, electronic programmable shifting and other options, each contributing about 1 percent fuel economy gain.

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