The Trucking Industry Looks to the Future at Upcoming Conference

GHPB Staff

Among the growing list of conferences coming to Houston is one focusing on greenhouse gas emissions in trucks. In order to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve overall fuel efficiency, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) jointly issued a rule that established the first-ever standards for both greenhouse gas emissions (EPA) and fuel economy (NHTSA) for heavy duty trucks that become effective with the 2017 model year.

Heavy duty trucks are classified as Class 7 and Class 8; the tractors that pull a flatbed, a tanker, or a big-box trailer. These are the trucks that frequent the port and related port facilities and move the goods to and from the ships that support the foreign waterborne trade of the United States. A Class 7 Truck is a vehicle with a GVWR of 26,000 to 33,000 pounds and a typical GCWR of 65,000 pounds, while a Class 8 Truck is a vehicle with a GVWR that is greater than 33,000 pounds and a maximum GCWR of 80,000 pounds, which is the maximum legal permissible highway weight on the Interstate Highway System. There are over 2.4 million Class 7 and 8 trucks on the road traveling over 160,000 billion miles a year and consuming about 28 billion gallons of fuel.

The Standards promulgated by the EPA and the NHTSA applicable to Class 7 and 8 Trucks for the 2017 model year for both greenhouse gas emissions (EPA) and fuel efficiency (NHTSA) and are shown by following table:

Many factors influence truck fuel efficiency and emissions. In addition to payload, factors such as engine fuel efficiency, aerodynamics of the tractor-trailer combination, and tire type all have a major influence the emissions and fuel efficiency of the tractor-trailer combination. The primary resistance forces are displayed by the figure below:

Power and Resistance Forces – Class 7 and 8 Tractor-Trailer Combination

Source: EPA and NHTSA Announcement of Greenhouse Gas and Fuel Efficiency Standards for Medium and Heavy Duty Engines and Vehicles; FR Vol 76 No 179 Thursday, September 15, 2011, pg. 57116

One of the aspects of engine power is the type of fuel utilized. In addition to diesel fuel, the use of Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) has increased. One of the key benefits of CNG is its lower emission of Carbon Dioxide, the major component of greenhouse gases, making trucks more environmentally friendly.

Greenhouse gas emissions from heavy-duty trucks will be addressed at the “Clear the Air” Transportation Conference to be held on March 2, 2017, from 8:30am – 1:30pm at the Pasadena Convention Center located at 7902 Fairmont Parkway in Pasadena. To register for the conference, please call 281-484-3875 or online at

  • Date February 14, 2017
  • Tags February 2017