At the rate things are going, you have to wonder if tomorrow's big rigs will have much room for drivers or even freight. As the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration continues its push to get trucking firms to install electronic on-board recorders in their fleet vehicles, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has come up with an on-board-device proposal of its own.
The EPA has issued a notice of proposed rulemaking to require on-board diagnostic (OBD) systems on heavy-duty engines used in highway vehicles weighing over 14,000 pounds. The diagnostic systems, similar to the systems that have been required on passenger cars since the mid-1990s, would monitor the emissions control systems of large trucks for malfunctions and alert the vehicle operator to any detected need for emission-related repair. This proposal also makes changes to certain existing OBD requirements for smaller highway heavy-duty diesel trucks.
The agency is currently seeking public comments on the proposal, EPA Docket No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2005-0047. Comments are due March 26.