FAQ Banner

Transport Refrigeration Units (TRU) and Generator Sets
Airborne Toxic Control Measure

Dated: December 21, 2009

Transport Refrigeration Units, or TRUs, are temperature-control systems powered by diesel engines that refrigerate or heat perishable products hauled in various containers such as semi-trailers, truck vans, shipping containers and rail cars. All TRUs, regardless of where they are based, must meet in-use performance standards to operate in California. ARB has collected a few of the most commonly asked questions and provided answers below.

Why do we need to cut emissions from TRUs?

TRU engines spew diesel exhaust, a toxic air contaminant, into the communities where they operate such as truck stops and distribution centers. Diesel exhaust has been known to cause cancer, heart disease and respiratory problems.

What are the basic requirements of the TRU regulation?

  • There are specific requirements for engines and terminals. California-based TRUs and TRU generator sets should have been registered with ARB’s equipment registration system by July 31, 2009. Although the deadline has passed, owners are still encouraged to contact ARB to register their engines.
  • Registration for TRUs based outside California is voluntary but is highly recommended because it will streamline the inspection process and get trucks back on the road more quickly. Registration for out of state engines is continually accepted. Information about this process can be found at the TRU website.

    When a completed registration application is submitted and the TRU is found to be in compliance, ARB will issue an identification number, or IDN. The owner is required to attach the IDN to both sides of the TRU within 30 days of the issue date. For instructions about how to attach the IDN can be found here.

  • Terminal operators where TRUs or TRU generator sets are operated, garaged, maintained or dispatched should also have submitted an operator report by July 31, 2009. The report consists of the terminal’s physical address, contact information and a list of the IDNs that ARB assigns to that terminal.

What do I need to do to get my current engine in compliance with the regulation?

TRU owners and operators can comply with the regulation by retrofitting the engine with a verified diesel particulate filter, or by installing an alternative technology that eliminates diesel emissions. The ARB TRU website has more information on:

Replacing a TRU engine with a newer one may also be an option, but this technology only extends compliance with the regulation for an additional seven years beyond that newer engine’s model year.

Are there any plans to delay the TRU regulation?

No. There are several compliance options available provided owners order them with enough time to meet the regulatory deadlines. ARB delayed enforcement of the initial phase of the regulation, granting model year 2001 and older an additional 12 months to comply which delayed enforcement until Dec. 31, 2009.

How is the regulation going to be enforced?

ARB inspection teams will be at distribution centers, scales, border crossings, truck stops, ports, intermodal facilities, and other locations where TRUs operate to perform inspections. ARB will issue citations if a TRU is found to be noncompliant and penalties for registration violations will be up to $500 per violation. Failure to meet the in-use performance standards may be up to $1,000 per violation.

Additionally, penalties may even be greater if the violation continues uncorrected or if there is company history of noncompliance. Owners may request a settlement conference to appeal the citation or request a penalty adjustment.

Is there financial assistance available?

A list of financing options is provided on the TRU Website under Compliance Assistance Contacts. Some of the organizations listed offer small business loans. Retrofit device manufacturers, such as Rypos, offer lease programs and financing to purchase diesel particulate filters.

TRU owners should contact their local air district to find out about other financial assistance programs.

Companies considering purchases of equipment that go beyond the TRU regulation should consider applying for assistance through the Carl Moyer Program. The Carl Moyer Program is intended to generate surplus emission reductions that are not required by law for at least three years. These grants may not be used to comply with regulations. Funding is limited and awarded to the most cost-effective proposals.

A more detailed explanation can be found at TRU Information Charts.

How can I contact ARB staff if I have questions?

ARB has established a toll-free TRU Help Line that is available to callers during normal business hours, Pacific Time, at 1-888-878-2826. Callers from outside the U.S. should call (916) 445-5516. You can also send an email.

ARB Debuts California Truckin' Q and A

Dated: October 08, 2009

“Truckin’ News Q and A” is a new monthly column published by the California Air Resources Board to answer questions from the heavy duty diesel driving community regarding compliance with ARB regulations that affect the trucking industry.

Each month the column will address questions concerning both current and upcoming regulations and will provide answers that we hope are concise and easy to understand. Topics will include the State Heavy Duty Truck and Bus regulation, SmartWay technologies for long haul trucks and trailers, port and drayage truck requirements, and other laws and activities pertaining to diesel engine owners. The first column will feature the most commonly asked questions about the upcoming deadlines for trucks that service the ports.

“This regular feature will offer a great opportunity for truckers to learn not only the details of our trucking regulations, but also the reasons they have been adopted. California leads the nation in its efforts to clean up air quality, and truckers play a vital role in making that happen,” said Tony Brasil, Chief of ARB’s Heavy Duty Diesel In-Use Strategies Branch.

Brasil, an ARB veteran who has traveled the state soliciting stakeholder input on a variety of ARB measures, will pen the column. He enjoys tackling tough questions from the public and will be regularly tapping into the expertise of ARB management and staff to best cover all the topics.

”California Truckin' Q and A” can be added to any print or online publication as a syndicated feature. Many readers will be surprised to learn some of the facts regarding ARB diesel regulations, deadlines, compliance options, and financial assistance opportunities. In the future, readers may also have an opportunity to submit their own questions on the “Truckin’ News Q and A” website.

If you have a question you would like to see answered in the “Truckin’ News Q and A” column, send an email.

A listserve will also be available in the first issue to subscribe to the monthly Truckin’ News Q and A.”

Back to the top

Other FAQ Topics
Other years articles
About the Newsletter

In each column of the California Trucking News, we answer the most commonly asked questions about diesel truck topics.

For further questions contact the ARB California Trucking News Editor