Trucking industry needs to retrofit to suit the times: NatRoad

By: Jason Whittaker


The trucking industry should eventually look at retrofitting older vehicles in an effort to comply with stringent emission guidelines to

The trucking industry should eventually look at retrofitting older vehicles in an effort to comply with stringent emission guidelines to be implemented over the coming years, NatRoad CEO Bernie Belacic says.

With the election of the Rudd government marking a shift in Australia’s approach to climate change, Belacic says the industry needs to look toward becoming "pragmatists" in order to improve productivity, boost efficiency and reduce emissions.

However, rather than replacing older vehicles which do not meet Euro 4 or 5 standards, Belacic wants operators to look at fitting technology to improve emissions performance.
"I am hesitant to say we necessarily need to move to new vehicles," he says.
"Quite potentially one can retrofit older vehicles."

While this may reduce the cost to degree, retrofitting vehicles will still be an expensive procedure considering pre-1996 vehicles make up a substantive amount of the freight task.
Accordingly, Belacic says the industry may consider running the initiative alongside governments in order to look at ways of subsidising the costs.

Although the initiative is an option before the industry, Belacic says NatRoad is currently focusing on the mandatory greenhouse emissions reporting scheme to be introduced on July 1, followed in 2010 by a ‘cap and trade’ scheme.

Under the proposal, operators face the prospect of substantive regulatory and compliance costs. Furthermore, the scheme will force operators to report emission and consumption levels once they use 2.5 million litres of diesel.

For the full story on the implications of mandatory reporting see the March edition of ATN magazine, mailed to subscribers in the first week of next month. Call (07) 3854 1286 to guarantee your copy.

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