International focusing on truck security

International Truck and Engine Corp. is ramping up its focus on security technology as implementation dates for sections of last year’s Homeland Security Act (HSA) that affect trucking draw near. “We are now facing a range of security changes that mean more oversight from the government and more cost pressures on fleets,” said Phil Christman, vp product development. As a result, Christman said truck OEMs must play a larger role in equipping trucks with security systems. “We have to help customers adapt to such technology with efficiency and as little cost impact as possible,” Christman explained. That job could get complicated as truck security provisions of the HSA are poised to go into effect. In a study of the Act’s truck-related provisions, Vera Gavrilovich, International’s director of market analysis, said some 56% of the Class 6-8 truck market could be affected – primarily those fleets carrying hazardous materials, agricultural and food products, and people (mostly school buses), along with intermodal and cross-border operations. “We think it will cost the trucking industry $88.3 million to comply with new security provisions in the first year, then spend $29 million annually on security every year thereafter,” she said. Gavrilovich noted that all CDL drivers with hazmat certification must undergo federal background checks by Sept. 2 as called for in the HAS. The ongoing effort to conduct such background checks could cost the industry $430 million over the next 10 years, she added. International hopes to help fleets adapt to other potential security requirements, such as real-time tracking and tracing, geo-fencing systems to alert authorities if a truck leaves a predetermined route, along with remote vehicle control and shutdown systems. “Hazmat haulers will face the early rounds of government security regulation, followed by intermodal and cross-border operations, food distribution fleets, and school bus operators,” said Christman. “The key to getting technology in place to help secure those fleets will be cost effectiveness, both in terms of installation and operation.”

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