Govt mandates air-conditioned cabin in trucks from Oct 2025

Date: December 12, 2023. — The government has announced that all new trucks manufactured on or after October 1, 2025, must have factory-fitted air-conditioned (AC) cabins for drivers. This is a significant step toward improving the working environment and safety of truck drivers. With Union Minister Nitin Gadkari’s consent, the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways released the notification.

The minister claimed that he had been eager to implement the AC cabin option ever since taking office. However, there had been resistance from some places who claimed that it would drive drivers insane and raise the cost of vehicles. After considering the wellbeing of the drivers, many of whom work 12- to 14-hour shifts in temperatures between 43 and 47 degrees Celsius, he claimed that he had rejected these reasons. He made the decision to move forward with the mandate.

The ministry first proposed the AC cabin requirement in 2016, but it was postponed for a variety of reasons. According to a ministry official, the industry will need an 18-month transition period to improve its technology and production capacity. He estimated that the additional cost of installing AC cabins in trucks would be in the region of Rs 10,000 to Rs 20,000 per vehicle. This cost would be insignificant when weighed against the benefits of increased driver comfort and reduced fatigue-related accidents.

The ministry highlighted major manufacturers like Volvo and Scania, which currently provide AC cabins in their high-end trucks. It also pointed out the success of luxury buses equipped with AC cabins for drivers. This success contradicted the myth that drivers would become drowsy in AC cabins. According to the ministry, installing AC cabins in trucks would not only improve the workers’ dignity and respect. It would also attract more professional and qualified drivers to the industry. The industry is now experiencing a driver shortage.

The ministry also stated that the mandate for AC cabins was in keeping with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision. He started the Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY) in 2000 with the goal of providing all-weather road connection to rural areas. According to the government, the PMGSY has changed the lives of millions of people. It has connected them to markets, education, health care, and other services. According to the government, the mandate for AC cabins will improve the life of truck drivers. They are considered the backbone of the country’s economy and logistics.

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