ATA says fleets are pre-buying

Many truck engines certified by EPA to meet the emissions standards effective in October may sit idle, according to a survey conducted by the American Trucking Assns. (ATA). The results show that fleets are or will pre-buy trucks before the October 1 deadline to avoid the new technology, and that fleets are concerned that the engines have not been adequately field-tested. Released in June, the survey

Many truck engines certified by EPA to meet the emissions standards effective in October may sit idle, according to a survey conducted by the American Trucking Assns. (ATA).

The results show that fleets are or will pre-buy trucks before the October 1 deadline to avoid the new technology, and that fleets are concerned that the engines have not been adequately field-tested.

Released in June, the survey was sent to ATA's entire motor carrier membership and to state trucking associations. ATA said 815 responses were received and that they operate 205,000 trucks, or nearly 8% of the nation's fleet.

ATA said 40% of the respondents, who operate 59% of the trucks, said they had bought an extra 8,100 trucks in advance of the deadline. In addition, 90% of the group said that they will not take delivery of a truck with the new engines in the fourth quarter of 2002, and only 22% of the respondents say they will buy new trucks in 2003.

Respondents that plan to buy new trucks will only buy 8,419, which is about 37% of what all of the respondents would buy under a normal replacement cycle.

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