CARB pushes for mandatory use of Smartway-approved equipment

| 5/7/2008

California wants all heavy-duty trucks operating in California to be diesel efficient and is also proposing a requirement that trucks be equipped with products approved by the Environmental Protection Agency’s Smartway program.

The proposed EPA Smartway requirement is slated for consideration before the California Air Resources Board in October. The plan is part of California’s efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emission levels to 1990 levels by the year 2020.

The new standards would be enforced beginning in 2010. They would apply to new trucks and some existing trucks, and like most CARB regulations – they’re complicated.

New reefers, dry vans and trailers would be required to have side skirt fairings, and either front-mounted trailer gap fairings or rear-mounted trailer tail fairings.

Trucks already in use, which are model years 2005 and newer, would be required to have low-rolling resistance duals or single wide tires mounted onto lightweight wheels. Trailers would need to have side skirt fairings, and either a front-mounted trailer gap fairing or rear-mounted trailer tail fairings.

All trucks in fleets of 19 trucks or larger would need to have installed half of the above EPA Smartway improvements and report them to CARB by December 2012.

Fleets with less than 19 trucks wouldn’t have to report Smartway retrofits but would have to be fully compliant by December 2014.

Additionally, CARB wants all logistics carriers who contract work in California to be required to contract with truck operators that drive trucks with EPA Smartway technology.

Financing to purchase products approved and certified by EPA Smartway is available. For more information, visit

According to CARB, 74 percent of transportation emissions come from passenger vehicles, while 20 percent come from heavy duty vehicles including trucks, buses and recreational vehicles.

– By Charlie Morasch, staff writer