Volvo, Mack engines join CARB clean-idle club

| 5/2/2008

Truckers who want to avoid the off-and-on fiasco created by the California Air Resources Board’s new idling restrictions have a few more engines to pick from that will give them a free pass from the idling regs.

CARB requires all 2008 model-year and later engines to have ECMs programmed to shut off the engine after five minutes parked and 15 minutes without the parking brake engaged. Engines certified to emit 30 grams or less per idling hour are exempt from the requirement, however.

Officials from both Volvo and Mack announced in April that the companies have CARB compliant engines available for order.

Volvo’s family of D11, D13 and D16 engines can be ordered with an optional Low NOx Idle, or LNI, feature. According to Volvo, with LNI the engines are certified to emit 30 gr/hr or less of NOx while idling.

Volvo’s LNI solution involves idling at a low 700 rpm, while also utilizing a low level of exhaust gas recirculation. This reduces fuel consumption compared to higher idle speeds, and lowers NOx emissions, according to Volvo. It also provides faster engine warm-up, so the truck can be driven sooner after a cold start, which saves time and fuel, all with lower emissions.

The Cummins ISX, which is available in some Volvo truck models, had previously been certified by CARB. So all engines built after Jan. 1, 2008, for Volvo trucks are certified to meet the NOx idle limits.

Another new addition to the CARB clean-idle club is Mack, Volvo’s subsidiary.

According to Mack, the CARB certified Mack MP7 and MP8 engines. The Mack MP10 engine is expected to meet the standard when it goes into production later in 2008.

“This feature gives Mack drivers the ability to idle their engines as needed, while still emitting extremely low levels of NOx,” said David McKenna, marketing and sales manager for Mack powertrain, according to a company news release. “Our customers know not to idle unnecessarily, but they will be pleased with having this option. And Mack MP engines are designed to be very fuel efficient while idling.”

“Customers now have the option to specify ‘Idle Emission Certification – CARB 08’ for Mack MP Series engines,” a Mack press release stated.

A CARB-required decal affixed to the hood identifies a truck as meeting the regulation.