Today’s Pickup: Court halts trailer portion of EPA Phase 2 greenhouse gas rules

( Photo: Shutterstock )

Good day,

The trailer portion of EPA’s Phase 2 greenhouse gas regulations will be on hold following a federal appeals court hearing on Friday. The court, with the support of EPA which did not challenge the ruling, stopped implementation of the rule that affects trailers.

The Trump Administration has indicated that it may withdraw the trailer requirement. The Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia ruled the Truck Trailer Manufacturer’s Association (TTMA) had “satisfied the stringent requirements for a stay pending court review.”

“The [Clean Air] Act only permits regulation of ‘new motor vehicles’ and ‘new motor vehicle engines.’ And the Act expressly defines the term ‘new motor vehicles’ to mean ‘self-propelled’ vehicles,” TTMA said in a court filing. “Trailers are not self-propelled. They emit nothing, and they lack engines or any other means of propulsion. They can move only when pulled by a tractor or another heavy-duty truck.”

Back in August, TTMA received letters from EPA and NHTSA stating that they were reviewing the rule. Among the group’s objections are that EPA lacks authority under the Clean Air Act to regulate a trailer, which has no motor; that EPA used unrealistic speed assumptions in crafting the rule as most trailers do not travel at highway speeds for long periods of time; and that EPA’s rules would add equipment and weight to trailers without adding any benefit.

Did you know?

According to PriceWaterhouseCoopers Holiday Outlook, consumers are expected to spend 6% more this holiday season than last year.


“The industry changes every single day. It’s part of what I love about trucking.”

Dave Manning, president of TCW, and new chairman of ATA

In other news:

Spartan wins $214M contract from USPS

Spartan Motors’ Utilimaster brand will supply 2,000 cargo body vehicles to USPS over two years under a $214M contract. (Fleet Owner)

A vote of confidence for electric trucks

The vice president of truck sales at BYD remains confident in the future of battery-electric trucks, and believes BYD will be at the forefront of that expansion. (

Meet the new chairman of ATA

Dave Manning­­­­ has seemingly navigated the world of intermodal quite easily as president of TCW, now he will guide the ATA as its next chairman. (Transport Topics)

DOT moving forward with split sleeper study

The U.S. DOT said it is moving forward with a proposal to study split sleeper impact on drivers and whether there may be flexible options for rest that work better than strict mandates. (CCJ)

Online shoppers want faster delivery, but they don’t want to pay

A holiday outlook survey of online shoppers finds that customers increasingly want items delivered faster, with 39% expecting items within two days, but few want to pay extra for the service. (Supply Chain Brain)

Final Thoughts

The DOT will study split sleeper berth and its impact on drivers and their rest. With the requirement of ELDs in December, split sleeper berth makes more sense than ever before, allowing drivers to rest when they are tired.

Hammer down everyone!

Stay up-to-date with the latest commentary and insights on FreightTech and the impact to the markets by subscribing.

Show More

Brian Straight

Brian Straight covers general transportation news and leads the editorial team as Managing Editor. A journalism graduate of the University of Rhode Island, he has covered everything from a presidential election, to professional sports and Little League baseball, and for more than 10 years has covered trucking and logistics. Before joining FreightWaves, he was previously responsible for the editorial quality and production of Fleet Owner magazine and Brian lives in Connecticut with his wife and two kids and spends his time coaching his son’s baseball team, golfing with his daughter, and pursuing his never-ending quest to become a professional bowler.