CARB explains how to legally use electric, hybrid reefer

By Charlie Morasch, Land Line contributing writer | 7/15/2013

Truck drivers using electric or hybrid reefers in California will want to be sure their refrigeration units meet specific standards set up by the California Air Resources Board.

If they don’t, a series of checks has been set up to nab potential emissions offenders.

CARB Board is warning reefer owners that they will be auditing companies that claim to use electric standby or hybrid electric reefer units to comply with the state’s Transportation Refrigeration Unit regulation.

“TRU owners that are using electric standby or hybrid electric as a compliance option should carefully review this regulatory guidance to ensure they actually qualify for compliance,” CARB said in an email notice. “In the coming months, ARB will be auditing TRU owners that are claiming to comply by using electric standby or hybrid electric. This will include audits to ensure the electric power plugs are being used at nonretail delivery and pick-up locations and the recordkeeping and reporting requirements are being met.”

CARB said to qualify as an electric or hybrid reefer under CARB’s standards, the unit must be registered with the CARB Equipment Registration system, also known as ARBER. The unit also must be plugged into an electric power plug at all non-retail pickup and delivery points in California “when the van is loaded with perishable goods and during initial cooldown,” CARB said in the email.

Also, CARB is requiring manual recordkeeping to show the operation of diesel engine reefers aren’t used at nonretail delivery and pick-up locations. At retail delivery stops – including restaurants, cafeterias, convenience stores and grocery stores – diesel TRU operation is limited to 30 minutes.

Later this fall, TRU owners will be required to update CARB’s ARBER system with electronic tracking to show supplier information. In Jan. 2013, CARB began enforcing its TRU rule to also hold shippers and receivers accountable for uncompliant reefer equipment used in the state.

By Dec. 31, CARB is requiring TRU owners to update the ARBER system with automated recordkeeping.

Reefer owners who are signed up with CARB’s TRU registry should receive more information in the mail, CARB said.

“Letters are now being sent to TRU owners that have indicated they are using electric standby as a compliance option, notifying them of these requirements,” CARB said in the announcement.

To read CARB’s updated guidance for the electric/hybrid compliance option, click here.

For more information on CARB’s TRU rule, click here.

CARB’s TRU Help Line is available at 1-888-878-2826 or 1-916-327-8737.

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