Trying to navigate through the Air Resources Board website for info on the CARB regulations can be difficult. There’s tons of information and it can be hard to determine what’s relevant to you and what youneed to know for your business. We’ve done some digging, and compiled what you really need to know.

First of all, what is the CARB regulation for trucks and buses again?
The regulation requires diesel trucks and buses that operate in California to be upgraded to reduce emissions. Heavier trucks must be retrofitted with PM filters beginning January 1, 2014. By January 1, 2023, nearly all trucks and buses will need to have 2010 model year engines or equivalent.

What vehicles does the regulation apply to?
The regulation applies to nearly all diesel fueled trucks and buses with a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) greater than 14,000 pounds that are privately or federally owned and for privately and publicly owned school buses. Other public fleets, solid waste collection trucks and transit buses are already subject to other regulations and are not part of the truck and bus regulation. Trucks that transport marine containers must comply with the drayage truck regulation.

Why was another government regulation for the trucking industry created?
Most diesel truck and bus engines created before 2004 have little or no emission controls.  As a result, these vehicles emit large amounts of smog forming oxides of nitrogen and toxic soot into the air. This regulation will significantly reduce toxic emissions and protect public health.  

If this regulation is just for California, why should I worry about it if I don’t drive there?
California is known for being the first state to create new environmental regulatory policies that will eventually be adopted by the rest of the country. First comes the port states, and sure enough it will pass onto the rest of the country. So even if you are not driving in the state of California, you should think down the road to make the best decision for your business in the future.

How can I prepare for CARB Regulations?
1. Look at the condition of your truck. If your truck needs extensive maintenance it may not be logical to spend the additional $16,000-$18,000 to install the emission compliance filter.

  • Conduct a fluid analysis of the major components in your truck.  An estimated 50% of all engine failures or poor performance incidents are associated with cooling system problems. A coolant analysis test can predict major system problems. (ATBS Maintenance Management Program analyzes your fluids and reports back on the conditions of the components, www.atbsshow.com.)
  • Conduct an engine health dynamometer or “dynotest.” A dynotest determines engine health by measuring drive wheel power. While it’s running the technician can also look for leaks, because the engine will be at maximum temperature. The cost is between $300-350 but you could save thousands by determining if you have severe maintenance problems ahead. (Your closest Alliance Service Advantage can conduct a dynotest for you.)
  • Perform an overall inspection of the cab and the rest of the truck. Make sure the truck has good general conditions in all areas. (If the exterior and interior are trashed, doors don’t shut properly, or windows rattle, these forms of maintenance add up quickly.)
2. How long do you plan to drive your truck? 
  • If in a few years you plan to retire or head down another career path, installing the emission compliance filter is not worth the money to replace it in your current truck.  (If your engine was made before 2007 you have until January 1, 2014 before you must add the filter.)
  • If you plan to stay in the industry for years to come, investing in a new truck with better technology may be worth it in the long run. (By January 1, 2023, all vehicles must have a 2010 model year engine or equivalent.)
3. Call external resources to get more information. ATBS business consultants can provide recommendations for your business and get you prepared for the CARB truck and bus regulations. The consultants can work with you to analyze costs associated with the regulation and whether it’s more beneficial for you to install the filter or buy a new truck. You can also call the ArB’s diesel hotline at (866) 6DiESEL (634-3735) for more information on the regulations.
 
Perform these few steps to stay prepared for what’s down the road with CARB regulations so you aren’t blind-sided when the laws come to affect near you.

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Comment ()


Thanks Bill. I just got back from California. Luckily, it was an uneventful trip.

September 19, 2012 19:16:05 PM

To Joey Slaughter, Yes, per the current compliance schedule you can run in California until Jan 1st 2014 without reporting or installing a particulate matter filter. If you would like confirmation from CARB, you can call the CARB Diesel Hotline (866-634-3735). They will want to know the EPA model year of your engine which will be on the engine tag.

September 05, 2012 9:41:29 AM

I like the technology in my 1996 better than what's in the new trucks.

September 02, 2012 1:40:47 AM

Thanks Bill. My 2007 Freightliner does not have the DPF. Can I operate in CA freely until Jan 1, 2014?

August 30, 2012 16:25:32 PM

To Joey Slaughter : 2007 is the year of the DPF (Diesel Particulate Filter). If you have a DPF your truck is compliant until 2023. If it does not have a DPF and you want to run in California you will need to have a DPF retrofitted to the truck by Jan. 1 2014. You might want to sit down before I give you the estimated price to retrofit. $ 14,000 to $ 15,000
2007 was the transition, so your truck may or may not have a DPF.

August 28, 2012 16:34:59 PM

I have a 2007 truck. So do I have to do anything? From the CARB website, I'm not sure what's required.

August 28, 2012 14:29:54 PM

California??? Where's that? In reality and as much as I hate to admit it CARB and the EPA has most trucks and cars running better than ever.Wait a second... I take that back the regulations CARB and the EPA made some of the most briliant engineers design cars and trucks operate better than ever.

I still remember as a young child growing up and going to visit my grand parents in Philadelphia,PA During these trips my eyes would water from the exhaust emisions emited by cars trucks and busses. I can still see the smoke almost totally enveloping the trailers everytime the semi trucks from that era would shift to a higher gear.
The question is would we have done it on our own or did it take the actions of the EPA and CARB. I would like to think "we" would have but I have my doubts. What does everyone else think???

July 31, 2012 18:03:28 PM

California??? Where's that? In reality and as much as I hate to admit it CARB and the EPA has most trucks and cars running better than ever.Wait a second... I take that back the regulations CARB and the EPA made some of the most briliant engineers design cars and trucks operate better than ever.

I still remember as a young child growing up and going to visit my grand parents in Philadelphia,PA During these trips my eyes would water from the exhaust emisions emited by cars trucks and busses. I can still see the smoke almost totally enveloping the trailers everytime the semi trucks from that era would shift to a higher gear.
The question is would we have done it on our own or did it take the actions of the EPA and CARB. I would like to think "we" would have but I have my doubts. What does everyone else think???

July 31, 2012 18:03:23 PM

Very good information to help determine whether to buy a new or used truck.

July 26, 2012 11:28:41 AM

My guess would be the east coast and then it will work it's way to the interior states from both coasts. Similar pattern to recessions...

July 26, 2012 10:58:21 AM

Bill, Any idea on what state or states will be next?

July 26, 2012 8:06:20 AM

Gotta love CARB

July 21, 2012 10:31:38 AM

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About Bill McClusky

I have been in the trucking and construction equipment service industry for 23 years as a service technician, component rebuild specialist (engine, transmission, and axle), service department manager, instructor and consultant. I was a class 8 truck driver for 3 years pulling wet and dry tanks. I have been with American Truck Business Services for 4 years serving as a Business Consultant, Maintenance Consultant, and Instructor.

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