How Class Eight Truck Costs are Changing the Face of Commercial Trucking

According to reports, retail prices for Class Eight sleeper tractors increased by 17 percent in 2011. The spike then, which can still be felt by motor carriers and owner/operators today, was largely in response to new EPA mandates and federal “engine surcharges” that averaged between $4,000 and $5,000 depending on the engine manufacturer and model. If you’re just thinking about enrolling in truck driving school, these numbers might not mean much to you now, but if your plan is to own your own commercial truck after completing truck driver training you should know how Class Eight truck costs are affecting the industry as a whole.

EPA Mandates

As EPA fuel economy mandates have gone into effect, truck manufacturers and buyers have felt the effect on their bottom line. Although it’s true that these EPA mandates have made heavy-duty commercial trucks cleaner and more fuel efficient, they have also increased the purchase, maintenance, and repair costs associated with the industry’s Class Eight trucks.

Added Truck Costs

In addition to the added expense of upgrading commercial truck engines to meet new EPA fuel economy mandates, there are other requirements of the EPA’s “Smartway Partnership Program” that have added costs to trucks. For example, the addition of low-rolling resistance tires and aerodynamic side fairings/cab extenders have resulted in escalating truck costs each year.

Freight Rates

Partially in response to the added economic pressures of the new EPA mandates, the commercial trucking industry as a whole has incrementally raised freight costs to help recoup some of the money maintaining an EPA-compliant fleet. As carriers and owner/operators start to break even thanks to lower fuel costs, higher rates will eventually mean more profits for the entire industry.

HDS Truck Driving Institute offers a Professional Truck Driver Program that can prepare you to succeed in the commercial trucking industry. Classes start every Monday and include two months of on-the-job training to ensure you’re a confident and capable driver by the time you hit the road on your own. To learn more about our truck driving school in Tucson, call us toll-free at (877) 205-2141.  

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