Concerns about Tier 4 emissions rules for reefer engines may be overblown

Owners and managers of refrigerated fleets are approaching the EPA Tier 4 emissions deadline for trailer refrigeration unit (TRU) engines with some trepidation. And after what they’ve gone through with the EPA emissions mandates for big bore engines, who can blame them?

During a recent Driving for Profit seminar, Wendell Erb, president and CEO of Erb Group of Companies, expressed his concern: “I hope that the refrigeration units’ reliability is better than what the trucking units’ has been the last few years,” he said. “Right now, they are generally reliable pieces of equipment attached to the trailers and running a lot of hours. If they are going to start giving us hiccups the way the tractors have, we’re going to have some issues there.”

Addressing a fleet managers’ breakfast at Truck World a couple weeks later, Jerry Moyes, CEO of Swift Transportation, voiced his concern as well, noting California-compliant TRUs could cost $5,000-$10,000 more than today’s designs when the calendar turns to 2013.