The federal Phase 2 Greenhouse Gas and Fuel Economy rules released recently will phase out the practice of building completed glider kits with EPA 1998 engines for sale to the public. These restrictions essentially limit the glider kit industry to its original purpose - namely, mating the drivetrain of a wrecked or worn-out truck with a new body and chassis.

In recent years – particularly since Diesel Particulate Filters were introduced for the 2008 model year – a cottage industry of building completed glider kits with pre-emissions engines has sprung up. Historically, the glider kit industry’s main purpose was to provide the owner of a damaged or worn-out truck with a new chassis, using that unit’s rebuilt engine. By contrast, over the past decade, completed glider kits have essentially become an alternative to a new or used truck. Constructors are sourcing rebuilt, EPA 1998 engines and installing them into new OEM glider chassis. These completed trucks are stocked on dealers’ lots for sale to the public. The Phase 2 emissions regulations will eventually end this practice.

For calendar year 2017, the new federal rules will cap each constructor’s output of completed, pre-emissions units to the greatest number built in any year between 2010-2014 (although they can build additional units with current emissions spec). Provisions beyond 2017 are still being finalized, but it is likely that constructors will be limited to the repair/rebuild business and construction of completed gliders with current-spec engines.

So, what are the real world implications of these rules? The larger constructors will most likely ramp up production of pre-emissions gliders this year in anticipation of the curtailment next year. As such, there should be completed pre-emissions gliders available well into calendar year 2018 if not later. It is likely there will be buyers for most of these units, even given the uncertain freight outlook for upcoming quarters. At this point, any increase in supply of pre-emissions gliders should not notably impact their value in the used market, due to relatively strong demand for these trucks. Keep up with our assessment of used glider values in NADA Online or the ATD/NADA Official Commercial Truck Guide.