Having a new President only makes us wonder what changes we expect to see in the trucking industry. Are they beneficial or something we do not agree with?
We have heard a lot about the topic of infrastructure. The new Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao has been making some nice proposals around the topic. Infrastructure improvements may be seen sooner rather than later in the future with her in charge. She has said that she foresees a mix of solutions, both public and private, as the key to quickly reworking our inadequate infrastructure.
The improvement in infrastructure is great, but what about alternative fuels? The fuel economy is important, especially with the Federal Clean Power Plan on uncertain ground, and the 2017 GHG standards might be too. However, most near-term regulations should remain the same. There is hope that the importance of alternative fuels will get more attention. The Department of Energy (DOE) recently gave$7 million in grants to eight universities to study diesel and biofuel blends to create more efficient combustion. Earlier the DOE gave $18 million in grants to support plug-in electric vehicle research. The natural gas refueling infrastructure is increasing.
A Department of Transportation plan to make trucks that weigh more than 26,000 pounds be equipped with electronic devices that would cap their top speed, might be pushed back.
This issue has divided the industry.
Major carriers and the ATA are in support of limiting the speed of heavy-duty trucks. On the other side of the matter, most independent drivers and small trucking companies are in objection of the regulation. Their argument rotates around the representation of unwarranted interference in how they run their businesses and could create a safety hazard when trucks need to pass other trucks.
One more proposed changed that is probably not going to happen right now is the regulation that proposed limiting the length a truck driver could drive without taking a break.
Regulatory issues are not Trumps main concern as of right now. There are bigger things to worry about.