Super. CAFE standards for big rigs.

posted at 12:45 pm on August 12, 2011 by Jazz Shaw

We’ve had the opportunity to previously discuss the Obama administration’s proposed changes to CAFE standards for the nation’s fleet of passenger vehicles and the downstream effects this will have on auto prices and jobs. Never satisfied with half measures in “helping” us in this struggling economy, the White House has apparently decided to double down and apply similar new standards to long haul, big rig trucks now.

WASHINGTON–President Obama announced the first-ever fuel efficiency and greenhouse gas standards for long-haul rigs, work trucks, and other heavy duty vehicles Tuesday, the second mileage pact with manufacturers in less than a month.

The regulations call for reductions on fuel consumption and greenhouse gas emissions by 2018 of 9 to 23 percent, depending on the type of vehicle. Trucks and other heavy vehicles make up only 4 percent of the domestic vehicle fleet, but given the distance they travel, the time they spend idling and their low fuel efficiency, they end up consuming about 20% of all vehicle fuel, according to the Union of Concerned Scientists.

Experts say that a 20 percent reduction in heavy vehicle emissions would boost fuel efficiency to an average of 8 miles per gallon from 6 miles now.

I’m sorry, but didn’t the president just stand up at a battery factory someplace and tell us that his renewed focus was not only on jobs but on repairing the tanking national economy? I thought I remembered something about that.

Transportation companies have their eye on the bottom line just like everyone else, and fuel is one of their biggest expenses. Does anyone honestly believe that they aren’t already demanding the most gas efficient trucks the manufacturers can provide at a sustainable cost? It’s just how the market works.

So if this plan has the same effect we anticipate ramped up CAFE standards to have on the passenger vehicle fleet, it’s going to cost more for these companies to operate and haul their cargo. And who gets the bill for the increased shipping costs? I’ll give you one guess.

These trucks haul all sorts of things… particularly food. The Lonely Conservative chimes in with what should be a no-brainer.

President Obama and his nasty regulators have set new fuel standards for large trucks. No doubt this will drive up the cost of the food we put on our tables, because that food has to get from point A to point B. Does anyone out there think this won’t drive up the price of our food, and everything else we buy? Hellloooo? McFly?

By now, savvy observers should see something of a disconnect between the stated goals of the Obama administration and the actions of its regulatory agencies. The hits just keep on coming, don’t they?

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When it comes to finding creative ways to cripple the U.S. economy, this administration will leave no stone unturned.

esnap on August 12, 2011 at 2:41 PM

The regulations call for reductions on fuel consumption and greenhouse gas emissions by 2018 of 9 to 23 percent, depending on the type of vehicle. Trucks and other heavy vehicles make up only 4 percent of the domestic vehicle fleet, but given the distance they travel, the time they spend idling and their low fuel efficiency, they end up consuming about 20% of all vehicle fuel, according to the Union of Concerned Scientists.

Most of the “time spent idling” is to keep the driver warm while he’s sleeping in the truck during cold weather. Better fuel efficiency while the truck is moving will not affect fuel consumption when idling! Maybe they need more cheap motels with truck parking out back–it’s cheaper to heat a motel room than a truck cab!

Experts say that a 20 percent reduction in heavy vehicle emissions would boost fuel efficiency to an average of 8 miles per gallon from 6 miles now.

Methinks that the super-genius experts are a tad mathematically challenged. If the fuel efficiency were increased from 6 mpg to 8 mpg (a 33% increase) and emissions per gallon of fuel were unchanged, assume that a truck travels 24,000 miles per year. At 6 mpg it burns 4,000 gallons per year; at 8 mpg it burns 3,000 gallons per year, which would cut fuel consumption (and emissions) by 25%, not 20% !!!

Since trucking companies usually charge by tons * mileage, and fuel costs are an expense, trucking companies have a built-in incentive to buy the most fuel-efficient trucks they can find that can still climb hills between warehouses, at speeds close to the speed limit. Smaller truck engines might not be able to haul large loads, requiring more trips per ton of freight, which might defeat the purpose. If the EPA really wants to cut truck EMISSIONS, what about imposing particulate filters on truck exhausts, and lower sulfur content in diesel fuel?

Steve Z on August 12, 2011 at 2:44 PM

If the EPA really wants to cut truck EMISSIONS, what about imposing particulate filters on truck exhausts, and lower sulfur content in diesel fuel?

Steve Z on August 12, 2011 at 2:44 PM

How about doing nothing for the next 3 years, and concentrate on the economy, growing not harming…

right2bright on August 12, 2011 at 2:50 PM

This too shall pass.

Akzed on August 12, 2011 at 2:50 PM

You aren’t familiar with the way that CAFE standards work. If a company wants to replace it’s rolling stock with newer more efficient models that investment will drive real savings in transport and reduce fuel consumption.

lexhamfox on August 12, 2011 at 1:53 PM

Bull. Right now most trucking companies are skirting bankruptcy. Contracts are signed with vendors to deliver certain loads over certain route “legs”. Cost of fuel increases is capped for the vendor. Any fuel cost increase over a certain amount is born ENTIRELY by the trucking company. Since contracts are annual or multi-year, most trucking companies have already been absorbing massive fuel cost increases.

THERE ISN’T ANY MONEY FOR PURCHASING NEW RIGS!

And even if there were, new rigs aren’t that much more efficient, except when idling. No matter how much you will it, you cannot change the amount of energy contained in a gallon of diesel. So unless you want to start stripping off all that safety equipment (which adds weight and decreases fuel economy), you’re stuck.

How do I know this… talking with a friend of mine from church who OWNS A TRUCKING COMPANY. They currently have over a hundred rigs and have been struggling to stay afloat. You wouldn’t believe the route “legging” nightmare that they have to satisfy from vendors (who are also trying to cut costs)!

But sure, go ahead… ignorance is bliss, and you seem stuck on stupid… you must be one happy camper!

dominigan on August 12, 2011 at 2:53 PM

Most of the “time spent idling” is to keep the driver warm while he’s sleeping in the truck during cold weather…. Steve Z on August 12, 2011 at 2:44 PM

And idling during the summer to keep the refrigerated trucks at the right temp…I bet an accurate statement would be more like only 1/2 of what they estimate, and that would be offset by the added expense in adding the equipment, upgrading and testing and compliance laws.

right2bright on August 12, 2011 at 2:53 PM

Transportation industry is already on its knees, so sure, why not a final blow by the blowhard…

*eyes rolling, head shaking…

jbh45 on August 12, 2011 at 2:53 PM

But sure, go ahead… ignorance is bliss, and you seem stuck on stupid… you must be one happy camper!

dominigan on August 12, 2011 at 2:53 PM

They would be shocked at the amount of federal, state, paperwork involved in a trucking company. The manifests, documents, logs, licensing, etc. needed to be kept up to date and accurate is ridiculous. The paper generated, the time spent, is a true cost of doing business with the government.

right2bright on August 12, 2011 at 2:56 PM

lexhamfox on August 12, 2011 at 1:53 PM

Oh, and one other thing… even idling the new rigs aren’t that much better for my friend. His trucking company specializes in refrigerated runs for goods from food vendor companies. When idling, you have to keep the refrigeration unit running to keep the product cold.

And you also seem a penny wise and a pound foolish. You actually seem to think its a wise idea to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on a new rig just to save pennies when its not on the highway. Real brilliant there…

dominigan on August 12, 2011 at 2:57 PM

Since this was brought about by the Union of Concerned Scientists–I’d think the appropriate action would be to require lobotomies for said scientists. This way we eliminate the “concern” without screwing up the economy.

ReaganWasRight on August 12, 2011 at 3:00 PM

They would be shocked at the amount of federal, state, paperwork involved in a trucking company. The manifests, documents, logs, licensing, etc. needed to be kept up to date and accurate is ridiculous. The paper generated, the time spent, is a true cost of doing business with the government.

right2bright on August 12, 2011 at 2:56 PM

Absolutely! I remember him discussing putting together a proposal for one large company (who I can name, but won’t). They wanted a proposal to cover routes over the entire country with 29 route legs! AND THEY DIDN’T GO END TO END! My friend didn’t know how he was going to pull it off. He had to combine the proposed routes with other vendor legs to try and keep the trucks from running between legs empty.

For someone to come along and blindly suggest spending millions of dollars on new equipment to save pennies is just… astoundingly ignorant!

Does he really think that trucking companies, who have to pay the fuel increases above cap, haven’t been looking at ways to contain fuel usage???

dominigan on August 12, 2011 at 3:02 PM

Since trucking companies usually charge by tons * mileage, and fuel costs are an expense, trucking companies have a built-in incentive to buy the most fuel-efficient trucks they can find that can still climb hills between warehouses, at speeds close to the speed limit. Smaller truck engines might not be able to haul large loads, requiring more trips per ton of freight, which might defeat the purpose. If the EPA really wants to cut truck EMISSIONS, what about imposing particulate filters on truck exhausts, and lower sulfur content in diesel fuel?

Steve Z on August 12, 2011 at 2:44 PM

Absolutely! If you apply a little common sense, you know exactly what will happen…

They will run smaller trucks to meet the fuel economy standard, but more of them… which will actually RAISE the level of emissions!

dominigan on August 12, 2011 at 3:05 PM

You aren’t familiar with the way that CAFE standards work. If a company wants to replace it’s rolling stock with newer more efficient models that investment will drive real savings in transport and reduce fuel consumption.

The CAFE standards apply to the AVERAGE mileage for a fleet of vehicles of various engine sizes. For trucks, smaller engines get better mileage, but can only haul lighter loads. If there’s no major breakthrough in technology, the “fleet average mileage” can increase by selling trucks with smaller engines, which would result in more trips to transport the same amount of freight the same distance. If the same number of ton-miles requires more total miles, the whole scheme could be self-defeating.

One possible side-benefit: more trips would require more truck drivers, which would provide jobs, but their salaries would add to transportation costs, and prices to the end user. The Teamsters would love this!!!

Steve Z on August 12, 2011 at 3:06 PM

PS–this whole proposal could be moot anyway. Since this has not been voted by Congress, it could be rescinded by the next President. Since the proposed CAFE standards would only apply after 2018, when Obama will be out of office, truck manufacturers could ignore this for now, and see what happens in 2012.

Steve Z on August 12, 2011 at 3:13 PM

For a few years now liberals have been pushing their agenda that people purchase and use goods grown or manufactured close to home. This is just another step in their liberal agenda.

They have had their sights on long haul trucking for a long time now and with Dear Leader in office with the power of the regulation pen, they are taking as much advantage of it as they can.

Jvette on August 12, 2011 at 3:15 PM

Knucklehead on August 12, 2011 at 12:55 PM

We know that the Democrats hate farmers, except for paying them not to farm. They love that. Ask any farmer in California’s Central Valley. They can tell you all about it.

http://hotair.com/archives/2010/12/30/californias-central-valley-zimbabwe-west/

theCork on August 12, 2011 at 3:37 PM

Yet another boost for Mexican truckers.

The Ugly American on August 12, 2011 at 3:43 PM

Here in sunny Kalifornia, we’re way ahead of you, thanks to the Air Resources Board. Despite flawed research, Mary Nichols and the rest of the ARB clowns have pushed through regulations on diesel engines. Companies have just a few years to replace their current machines with “new and improved” ones. Despite the fact that most of this type of equipment has roughly a 20 year life span.

The local Red Cross purchased new bloodmobiles a couple of years ago. They’re not driven that far or that often, yet under Commissar Nichols, will now have to be replaced to the tune of $1.5 million dollars.

GarandFan on August 12, 2011 at 12:59 PM

Oh, it’s worse than that.

The study they based this regulation on was demonstrated to be seriously flawed, the risk assessment for diesel particulates was vastly overstated. The principle researcher fudged that report and had bogus credentials (diploma mill). She knew it prior to the vote by the board on the regs, yet sorta forgot to tell anyone about it. And the regs remain (False but True, we just know it!).
Aahnold did nothing, Gov Moonbeam is doubling down on so much stupid I can scarcely believe it, but he is Jerry Brown, so go figure – he’s his own special version of Progressive.
Nichols is an elitist Progressive of the worst sort. When it was pointed out to her that many businesses would fail and that many already had, she said ‘good riddance.’

My wife keeps showing me real estate listings in other states… can’t figure out why….

Venril on August 12, 2011 at 3:55 PM

Justification at the NY Times. And hey, it’s only going to cost $8 billion (with a “B”), and it’s being implemented to combat “global warming” (their term):
 

The Environmental Protection Agency said that the rules would cost vehicle buyers $8 billion, but that would be paid for in fuel savings in a year or two, depending on the vehicle. Total benefits, including less time spent refueling, and lower global-warming emissions, would exceed costs by $49 billion over the lifetime of the trucks, the agency said.

 
Hooray, we’re saved!

rogerb on August 12, 2011 at 4:08 PM

Here’s another new regulation. This time from the DOT:

A new rule being proposed by the federal Department of Transportation would require farmers to get commercial drivers licenses.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, which is a part of DOT, wants to adopt standards that would reclassify all farm vehicles and implements as Commercial Motor Vehicles, officials said. Likewise, the proposal, if adopted, would require all farmers and everyone on the farm who operates any of the equipment to obtain a CDL, they added.

The proposed rule change would mean that anyone who drives a tractor or operates any piece of motorized farming equipment would be required to pass the same tests and complete the same detailed forms and logs required of semi-tractor trailer drivers.

If the DOT reclassifies farm vehicles and implements as commercial vehicles, the federal government will have regulatory control over the nation’s farm workers, estimated at over 800,000, by requiring them to have commercial drivers licenses.

RadClown on August 12, 2011 at 4:17 PM

Honestly, is there no way to stop these ridiculous regulations? So many unconstitutional things are being done that I can’t remember if Congress has to approve any of this. Probably not, but is there some way Congress can step in to stop this stuff. How about the one where farmers are going to need a commercial driver’s license? How stupid is that? Does that include needing one for driving a tractor? A hay baler?

francesca on August 12, 2011 at 4:18 PM

The emission fight on diesels eventually winds up to UREA injection into the exhaust, the science was done in the early 80s in California on diesel locomotives going from Los Angeles to Bakersfield, you can only lean a diesel so much until the exhaust gets to virtually demand to be handled. Jet fuel is not terribly different than diesel or heating fuel, they’re ALL almost the same fuel. Eventually we’ll wind up with urea injection in trucks, airplanes, standby powerplants, etc. By the way, urea injection is basically urinating in the exhaust! The EPA and other federal beauracracies need to be TERMINATED with prejudice!

bigmike on August 12, 2011 at 4:32 PM

How about the “commercial” sport fishing boats, the 60 foot custom jobs that got new engines, and a tax rebate for them to upgrade their old engines so they don’t pollute the highways…of course most of the usage is 30+ miles offshore.
That what has happened the last couple of years…the government fails at everyone of these programs.
Yet you have fools on here trying to convince us the government knows best…

right2bright on August 12, 2011 at 4:32 PM

The efficiencies are easily obtained with existing technology and the proposed standards are specifically weighted towards existing technology rather than something still in a lab.
 
lexhamfox on August 12, 2011 at 1:53 PM

 
Other than less weight and/or less power? (Aerodynamic mods on the trailers don’t apply here, btw)
 
55mph restrictors? That’s the only thing I can figure you mean.
 
I don’t doubt you, I just haven’t heard of any recent developments in engine technology that would give a company/driver such a major advantage over all competitors and the tech is being ignored.
 
Please provide a link that shows the existing technology and cost-per-truck.

rogerb on August 12, 2011 at 4:33 PM

How about the one where farmers are going to need a commercial driver’s license? How stupid is that? Does that include needing one for driving a tractor? A hay baler?

francesca on August 12, 2011 at 4:18 PM

Yes, it covers all farm vehicles.

RadClown on August 12, 2011 at 4:46 PM

This too shall pass.

Akzed on August 12, 2011 at 2:50 PM

Yes, just like a series of kidney stones.

Good Lord, there really is no end to the thrusting and turning of the knife with these ******* ******* in the Obama administration.

They wouldn’t know an over the road truck if one ran them over (hey….) but they can’t wait to throw regulations at them without any consideration whatsoever of the enormous impact it would have on the economy.

These poor truck drivers deserve our thanks and our sympathies. I did a little driving once upon a time and I gotta tell ya that it is a miserable existence. You’re cooped up in this little box with nothing but highway in front of you. There is minimal human interaction, certainly little interaction with anyone who knows you. You get little to no exercise, yet the food you eat is just about the worst for your health that you can imagine. Some of the guys you see hopping out of rigs in truck stops look like their just about dead. Horrible obesity, sloven, etc. Not something that you would ever want to do for a living as far as I can see.

Yet, let’s completely ruin them, shall we?

turfmann on August 12, 2011 at 5:13 PM

Perry calls global warming “all one contrived phony mess that is falling apart under its own weight.”

I think we know what Perry would think of this CAFE bill…

right2bright on August 12, 2011 at 5:26 PM

CAFE = COMMUNISTS ADVOCATING FOOLISH EXERCISES

The whole concept is based on the flawed premise that government knows better than consumers, businesses, and everyone else how to make and buy transportation.

These same statists are the ones who have quadrupled the cost of lumber by burning down forests instead of allowing the private sector to continue the hugely effective forestry techniques which had worked for over 300 years to give us cheap high-quality building materials and MORE trees every year.

The Obamacrats are at war with modern living. They are working to destroy housing, transportation, energy, and food supplies.

landlines on August 12, 2011 at 5:52 PM

Absolutely, completely insane.

But it explains the Obama Regime’s earlier determination to drive up fuel prices – it allows them to claim greater savings and quicker pay-backs for their mandated CAFE standards.

Oh, did I say “mandated” when the manufacturers agreed to them? Well, it’s like Tommy Dorsey “agreed” to sign Frank Sinatra’s release from his exclusive contract. There was a gun to his head, and either his signature would be on the paper, or his brains.

Adjoran on August 13, 2011 at 12:13 AM

I’m waiting for my brother, who is an owner-operator and an Obama supporter to weigh in on this.

It seems to me that the only ones that will be able to survive will be the big trucking companies. Your owner-operator is going to take it in the shorts.\

This is a pattern with the Democrats. They claim to be working for the ‘little guy’ while making it more difficult for them to stay in business.

Owner-operator truckers and non-Teamster Union drivers don’t contribute much to campaigns.

schmuck281 on August 13, 2011 at 4:53 AM

Lexhamfox?

rogerb on August 13, 2011 at 7:06 AM

*crickets*

SwabJockey on August 13, 2011 at 7:49 AM

Many have already been right on the mark here:
This will eliminate small fry competition for the big companies.
We own our own truck & the hubby hauls for local farmers & ranchers hauling all kinds of crops, fertilizer (pellets), cattle, hay, etc.
Our ~2001 Pete gets ~4.8 mpg. And that is pretty decent considering the hauls are ~100-150 miles one way.
With the crippling standards for these AWFUL vfuel blends that don’t hold up to filter systems & the cold weather up here in the Northern Plains, plus all the various taxes & ‘fees’ you have to pay for this & that, plus outrageous mandatory insurance etc., it is a wonder ANY small operator can make a living.
We started the trucking enterprise to offset problems with ranching income.
Govt, with their schemes, do nothing but get rid of mom & pop competition & favor BIG business.
So now while struggling to keep the ranch, we struggle to stay in the trucking business.
These socialists will not be satisfied until everyone is a peon for a huge corporation.
And that is how these huge corporations succeed now.
They lobby the govt to regulate the shit out of us small fries & they just get bigger & bigger bcs the politicnas make them successful.
FDR times all over again.
No one is learning from that miserable failure of a POTUS.

Badger40 on August 13, 2011 at 10:25 AM

Owner-operator truckers and non-Teamster Union drivers don’t contribute much to campaigns.

schmuck281 on August 13, 2011 at 4:53 AM

FDR times all over again. I am just flabbergasted by the glaring similarities btwn Obama & FDR in their quest for procuring votes at the expense of their loyal voting base.
These people who vote Dem are complete morons to support the very policies that slit their own throats.

Badger40 on August 13, 2011 at 10:32 AM

Some of the guys you see hopping out of rigs in truck stops look like their just about dead. Horrible obesity, sloven, etc. Not something that you would ever want to do for a living as far as I can see.

Yet, let’s completely ruin them, shall we?

turfmann on August 12, 2011 at 5:13 PM

They would never survive the hualing my hubby does. Hubby’s hauling work requires hard physical labor on occasion. There’s not too many fat drivers round here.

Badger40 on August 13, 2011 at 10:36 AM

Lexhamfox?

rogerb on August 13, 2011 at 4:37 PM

*crickets* from the commie Canuck

SwabJockey on August 13, 2011 at 9:08 PM

That “easily obtained with existing technology” link sure would be useful, Lexhamfox.

rogerb on August 14, 2011 at 12:58 AM

Was trying to help you out Rog. The know-it-all Canuck is long gone. All he did was sling a little poo and then crawl back to his hidey hole under a bridge…waiting for another chance to blather on a different thread.

As usual, he talks out of his arse. He knows what a limited slip differential is because he watched a couple reruns of My Cousin Vinny. Now he’s an expert.

SwabJockey on August 14, 2011 at 6:30 AM

SwabJockey on August 14, 2011 at 6:30 AM

 
Yeah, I know. I’m just having fun.
 
Sure seems weird to make such an easily verifiable (or disputed- we are online and can quickly check, after all) claim and then run off. I guess when rhetoric is all you’ve got…

rogerb on August 14, 2011 at 7:39 AM

MORONS! Yet another slap in the face to business who’s JOB it is to provide STUFF to people. Now STUFF will cost more. Great.

tx2654 on August 14, 2011 at 9:26 AM

Union of Concerned Left Wing Tool “Scientists”

(Correction to be applied to all references above)

A reminder: “consensus” is a search for political position: “science” is a search for truth. THEY ARE NOT THE SAME THING!

landlines on August 14, 2011 at 2:06 PM

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