What’s in Print

Engineers tackle key issues

New twists continue to surface in the Phase 2 of greenhouse gas regulation developed by the Environmental Protection Agency and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

The massive regulation was a focal point of the engineering committee meeting of this year’s TTMA convention, principally because it has major effects on trailer manufacturers both in Canada and the United States. Discussion of the GHG2 centered on the following:

•  How do trailer manufacturers register with EPA? It’s an involved process using EPA’s Verify system. However, the system was not ready at the time the meeting was held (April 27). Some members reported that they are still having to register as truck manufacturers, while others at the meeting said that they were told the Verify system would be ready as May 1.

•  Tire availability. Another compliance concern is a lack of low rolling resistant tires that are required under the regulation. Members said that no tires are available in small sizes that comply with the LRR tire requirements. John Freiler, TTMA’s engineering manager, will work with the engineering committee chairman George Gauntt to draft a letter on the subject.

•  Another in-cab light. One of NHTSA’s areas of the standard is a requirement for an in-cab lamp for the mandatory tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS). The net effect is that these systems will only be available for trailers with dedicated tractors.

•  CARB weighs in. Engineers briefly discussed comments made recently by the California Air Resources Board (CARB). The board plans to require the EPA label to include tires’ actual rolling resistance.

•  The Canadian version. A Canadian version of the GHG2 regulation is expected to be similar to the US counterpart. The Canadian Transportation Equipment Association was planning to meet with Canadian officials to discuss the issue. The committee requested that TTMA staff attend.

Other committee business included reviewing a variety of recommended practices and technical bulletins, along with reports on multiple topics. Among them:

•  A forthcoming technical bulletin titled “A Users Guide to EPA Regulations for Trailers.”

•  An update on the growing requests for more amber strobes on heavy haulers.

•  A review of work being done by the Society of Automotive Engineers’ task force on multi-voltage for trucks and buses. SAE is considering the use of higher voltage for trailers.

The next meeting of the TTMA engineering committee is tentatively scheduled for August 3 at the Embassy Suites Hotel in Alexandria, VA. The agenda will include a training session on the TREAD Act, a joint industry and government meeting, and meetings of the Tank Engineering Committee meeting in the afternoon. ♦

 

 

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