September 21, 2018 – Giving Truckers Choices
What is a “glider truck” and what regulations have been proposed for these vehicles?
A glider truck is a vehicle comprised of a newly constructed chassis, frame, and cab combined with a remanufactured engine and transmission system.
All trucks are subject to Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) emissions regulations. However, in 2016 the Obama Administration’s EPA proposed a rule clarifying that gliders must meet the emissions standards for the year in which the vehicle is assembled, not when the engine was manufactured. Only 300 gliders per manufacturer would be exempt from this regulation each year.
What is the problem?
The EPA’s proposed rule would be devastating for the emerging glider industry. It would also hurt drivers, many of whom rely on gliders because they cost about 25 percent less than new vehicles.
Additionally, I am concerned that the glider rule is not justified by credible research. Most recently, a November 2017 study on gliders conducted by the EPA’s National Vehicle and Fuel Emissions Laboratory (NVFEL) only tested two vehicles—far from a reasonable sample size. The study was also comprised by communications between EPA and employees at Volvo, a major manufacturer of new trucks.
What am I doing about it?
Last week, I chaired a Science, Space, and Technology Environment Subcommittee hearing on the integrity of the NVFEL study. EPA will likely reevaluate the 2016 glider rule in the coming months, and I will closely follow all further developments.
What are they saying?
"Our members have experienced firsthand how changes to federal trucking policies can dramatically reshape our industry. These policies always place the heaviest burden on small-business truckers and rarely benefit their operations. The current discussion surrounding glider kits perfectly encapsulates this decades-old problem." – Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association