How have you responded to the EPA deadline?

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“We don’t have any plans to buy for a year, and I don’t think it’s wise to do so before then. We’ll learn a lot more about the engines over the next 12 months.”
Herb Martin, operations manager
Twin City Transportation, Little Rock, Ark.

“We placed an order about 2 1/2 months ago for 40 units to take delivery before the October deadline. Other than that, we’re scratching our heads and wondering ‘can we meet it?’ We’re going to have to buy new equipment. We’ve got a cycle that we buy equipment on, and we have decided that we’re going to continue to buy new equipment as opposed to keeping the older ones running.”
Jim Lincoln, general manager
Reynolds Nationwide Inc., San Antonio

“That’s not going to affect us. We’re all owner-operators. I wouldn’t have a clue how that would make any difference to us. The drivers haven’t even talked about it.”
Mike Bailey, operations
Ace Doran Hauling and Rigging, Georgetown, Ohio

“We haven’t yet. We’re probably going to hold off a year and see what happens. We’re in compliance right now, but we haven’t bought any new equipment for a while. I’ve heard from CAT alone that the new engines are going to cost anywhere from $6,000 to $9,000 more for next year’s models after the new rule goes into effect.”
Rocco Loffredi, president
V&R Cartage, Bolingbrook, Ill.

“A lot of people went haywire and bought new trucks in advance, but I’m a little bit different. For me, it seems like when we changed from leaded to unleaded gasoline, everybody went out and bought cars that run on leaded gasoline because unleaded cars supposedly waste more gasoline. I think it might take the new engines two years to get back to the efficiencies of the engines now, but I didn’t get on bandwagon to buy a whole new fleet of trucks before year-end. Everybody’s philosophy is different, but we’re keeping our equipment right now. The demand for the older engine is so high right now that dealers are not giving you any incentive to buy trucks at a good cost. In February and March I think we’ll have some cheap trucks available, but right now they think they have a niche market. They’re selling trucks to customers with the incentive ‘buy this right now, or you’ll pay $5,000 more after October,’ but I also think the manufacturers will give incentives in March and April to buy the new trucks.”
Sergio Lopes, Jr., director of operations
Jonick-Lopez S.A. de C.V., Brownsville, Texas

“We are going to buy late model used trucks. I’m still working on buying a group right now. We’re either going to buy used or nothing at all.”
Joe Kramer, president
Garner Transportation Group, Findlay, Ohio

“We are basically waiting. We are waiting to see the performance and maintenance standards on the actual engines and field tests. In addition, we are upgrading our older units’ drivelines to give us adequate time to let manufacturers work out any challenges with the new engines. We’ll buy a couple more years that way. Theoretically, this will be an additional $10,000 to $12,000 expense per unit, but it will increase driver comfort. If drivers are OK with this – if they have good, solid trucks to pull freight, the $10,000 to $12,000 investment will buy us enough time to go through the new engine cycle and see what happens when they go into mass production and the cost comes down.”
Kenneth Elliott, chief financial officer
NTB Inc., Byron Center, Mich.

“What we’re doing is holding our trade cycle. We’re not ordering any new equipment. I just placed an order for late model used equipment, but for a carrier of our size, we may only be ordering 10 tractors a pop. The EPA thing doesn’t scare me. We run Detroit Diesels, and I have no concerns about whether or not they will be good enough when they hit the market, but I’ve opted to stick with late model used trucks right now. Pricing is mostly the reason with the economy the way it is. We’ve also found out that in last couple of weeks, a couple of the big boys have decided that they’re not going to purchase new equipment, which caused the price of used trucks to go up. Just last week I was looking at trucks in the $30,000 range and now they’ve jumped up to $38,000. The EPA regulations are OK. We’re primarily Detroit Diesel – that’s all we run. I have no doubt that they will be perfect, but we’re not going to go in that direction right now.”
Rex A. Johnsonbaugh, vice president
J-Line Inc., Altoona, Pa.