California greenhouse gas rule: How will it affect your truck?

| 12/22/2008

California’s newly approved regulation requiring fuel efficiency for big diesel trucks requires several costly add-ons.

The new regulation, which the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association sharply criticized in comments sent to the California Air Resources Board, mandates that trucks entering the Golden State install truck owner’s choice of a combination of aftermarket add-ons beginning in the year 2010.

According to CARB, the new rule means:

  • All trucks pulling 53-foot trailers or longer must use SmartWay-certified low-rolling resistance tires by Dec. 31, 2011.
  • Trailers 53-feet-long or longer must be equipped “with all the required devices” by Dec. 31, 2012, or for single-truck single-trailer operations must comply by Dec.31, 2014, if participating in the optional small fleet compliance schedule.
  • Compliant trailers are equipped with EPA SmartWay-approved:
  • Low-rolling resistance tires,
  • side skirts, and
  • either a front or rear trailer fairing.
  • A single-truck, single-trailer business would have to upgrade its trailer equipment by Dec. 31, 2014, according to David Chen, an air pollution specialist with CARB.
  • All 2011 or later model year trucks pulling 53-foot or longer trailers must be SmartWay-certified.

On Dec. 12, CARB approved its EPA SmartWay regulation, which effectively mandates a program the Environmental Protection Agency had started as a voluntary system to encourage fuel efficiency while saving truck owners money.

To see the comments filed by OOIDA on behalf of small-business and professional truckers, click here.

“While OOIDA can appreciate why the ARB looked to the SmartWay model as a means of potentially reducing greenhouse gas emissions from heavy duty vehicles operating on California highways, it is disconcerting that a program designed as a voluntary partnership between the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and industry stakeholders would instead be co-opted to regulate the motor carrier industry,” read the comments from OOIDA President and CEO Jim Johnston.

CARB staffers have 15 days following the Dec. 12 approval to make public the latest draft, with changes suggested by the agency’s board members. That version will be open for public comment.

More information is available here.

– By Charlie Morasch, staff writer