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Yesterday, President Obama announced proposed fuel-efficiency standards for medium and heavy-duty trucks to be implemented.

OOIDA came out in support of small business and owner operators saying, President Obamas proposed fuel-economy standards may put the cost of new trucks and equipment “out of reach for many of America’s hard-working professional truckers.”

President Obama said the mandate would require the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to work with the DOT’s NHTSA to strengthen fuel economy standards and reduce emissions.

OOIDA, and many other trucking advocates, warn the new standards would make the cost of new trucks skyrocket, forcing many smaller carriers to hold onto older equipment.

The EPA estimates that the 2014-2018 emission standards would add approximately $6,200 to the cost of a new truck.

“Shock and awe may be the best way to describe what’s happening to the vast majority in trucking with these proposed regulations,” said Todd Spencer, OOIDA executive vice president. “Each year for the past 10, more and more truckers are squeezed out of the option to buy new equipment because of ever increasing prices due to government requirements that are long on promises but way short on performance.”

Spencer added, “We’re not talking about some 60-watt light bulbs here where poor performance or premature failure is a minor inconvenience. Large trucks are vital tools, essential to our economy and our way of life, and most truck operators are small-business people just getting by.”

The latest fuel-efficiency mandate would require improvements to truck engines, powertrains, aerodynamics and more, including AUPs.

In addition, the EPA and NHTSA would work closely with CARB “with the goal of ensuring that the next phase of standards allows manufacturers to continue to build a single national fleet.”

OOIDA says the proposal does not address the current driving habits of professional drivers or how to help them achieve better fuel economy through proper training.

Spencer pointed out, “Multiple studies have shown the biggest variable in fuel economy is always the driver, accounting for as much as 30 percent of fuel consumption, yet they aren’t trained to maximize fuel economy.”

The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association is the largest national trade association representing the interests of small-business trucking professionals and professional truck drivers. The Association currently has more than 150,000 members nationwide. OOIDA was established in 1973 and is headquartered in the Greater Kansas City, Mo., area.

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