California Air Resources Board (CARB) targeting trailers

According to Utility Trailer Manufacturing Co., two upcoming rules promulgated by the California Air Resources Board (CARB) will mandate changes to all 53-ft refrigerated and dry-van trailers domiciled in the Golden State over the next two years

According to Utility Trailer Manufacturing Co., two upcoming rules promulgated by the California Air Resources Board (CARB) will mandate changes to all 53-ft refrigerated and dry-van trailers domiciled in the Golden State over the next two years.

The first regulation is CARB’s transport refrigeration unit (TRU) airborne toxic control measure, pegged to go into effect July 17. It will require all refrigerated trailers operating in California that are more than seven years old to be modified or replaced to reduce particulate matter (PM) emissions.

“We’ve seen our customers meet this regulation in several ways,” said Chuck Cole, Utility’s director of training. “This includes installing a CARB-approved diesel particulate filter (DPF), a CARB-approved rebuilt engine, and CARB-approved new engine or a new 2008 model year refrigeration unit.” More information is available at: www.arb.ca.gov/cc/hdghf/hdghg.htm.

CARB’s much broader heavy-duty vehicle greenhouse gas emission reduction measure – slated to go into full effect Jan. 1, 2010 – will require fleets operating 53-ft refrigerated or dry van trailers to use models certified under the Environmental Protection Agency’s SmartWay program, or use trailer aerodynamic devices to achieve 5% fuel savings for dry vans and 4% fuel savings for reefers. Either approach will also require the use of low-rolling resistance tires, wide- base and duals alike, according to Craig Bennett, Utility’s senior vp of sales & marketing.

“This is very serious,” Bennett said. “CARB is focused like a laser on the issue of clean air, and fleets operating in California will have no choice but to comply. Plus, 53-ft trailers only represent the first ‘beachhead’ on this issue; they will be addressing 48-ft and other models next.” More information is available at: www.ar.ca.gov/regact/2008/ghghdv08/ghghdv08.htm

Utility is offering a variety of aerodynamic options to its fleet customers to help them comply with these new regulations, said Bennett, especially as other states may follow suit. “The economic ramifications of these regulations are secondary to CARB’s mind, but fleets domiciled in California really have no choice,” he noted. “As I like to say, ‘denial’ is not a river in Egypt.”

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