Skip Yeakel, the new chairman for the Truck Manufacturers Assn. (TMA), toldFleet Owner that the development of technology to meet the EPA '07 emissions requirements and improvement of truck security are the two biggest challenges faced by the industry.

"Those are big ticket items and we face some tough challenges as manufacturers in meeting them," said Yeakel, director of government and industry relations for Volvo Truck North America. "But if we focus on working together, both within this industry and in partnership with the government, we can overcome those hurdles."

Yeakel explains that the magnitude of change on the horizon from the 2007 rules and truck security needs is daunting from the manufacturing perspective. He said cooperative research may be the only way to find realistic solutions to those issues.

"It took three years of work for us at Volvo to develop engines to meet the 2002 rules," he said. "Now, realistically, we need five years to handle the scope of the 2007 regulations. Yet, at this point, we only have fours years left."

Along the same line, Yeakel says cooperation is of the utmost importance with the new security demands being placed on trucks.

"We really need to forge alliances with the government to preclude our products from becoming weapons of mass destruction," he says. "We need to do this well for the good of our country and the good of our industry."