The Truck Renting & Leasing Assn. (TRALA) believes an incentive package is necessary to convince fleets to buy low-emission truck technology in 2007 and 2010, but thinks the industry faces an uphill battle to get them.

“The main goal with incentives – tax credits or otherwise – is to encourage the purchase of trucks in 2007 and 2010 in order to maximize the environmental benefits of the lower-emission technology while minimizing market disruptions,” Tom James, TRALA’s vp-legislative affairs, told Fleet Owner.

“However, it’s going to require a lot of work to get an incentive package,” he added. “It’s going to require a long-term education effort to get U.S. Congressmen and their staffs to recognize how bad a market disruption on the order of what we experienced in 2002 can be.”

James also noted that the trucking industry could present economic models detailing how a “pre-buy” can throw truck manufacturing and new and used truck sales cycles out of whack, but that it may not help as much as hoped.

“For most on Capitol Hill, it’s hard for them to realize how bad a disruption a pre-buy can be until it happens,” he explained. “It’s not a real crisis until it actually occurs.”