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ARB features case study videos of truckers

Dated: August 18, 2011

ARB has documented three video case studies of truckers – two independent owner-operators and one large fleet company – that are recipients of financial incentive programs to clean and modernize their diesel trucks.

The first case study features a long-haul independent trucker named Jaime Barajas of Barajas Trucking in Southern California. Barajas tells viewers about his cleaner-running Volvo truck that he was able to purchase with the help of ARB’s financial incentive programs. Click here to see the video

Demo video 1

The next case study is about another independent trucker named Rojgopal Chunchu from the Bay Area that upgraded to a 2008 Volvo truck with the help of a $35,000 grant from ARB’s Voucher Incentive Program. Click here to see Rajgopal talk about his experience with his new truck.

Demo video 2

The last video is about a larger trucking fleet called Devine Intermodal based in the Sacramento area. This large trucking fleet upgraded 52 of their trucks with the help of ARB’s Proposition 1B grants. Click here to see Carl Dolk of Devine Intermodal talk about his experience with the cleaner trucks.

The state is offering more than a billion dollars in financial incentive programs to help truck owners replace or retrofit their vehicles. The options include Carl Moyer grants, which are designated for early or surplus compliance with diesel regulations; Proposition 1B funds, for air quality improvements related to goods movement; and AB 118, which establishes a low-cost truck loan program to help pay for early compliance with the truck rule. In addition, ARB has integrated these programs so that truckers can get a grant and a loan at the same time, minimizing paperwork and significantly reducing the monthly payments for a new truck loan.

ARB’s financial assistance programs are part of the state's overall plan to cut toxic diesel emissions 85 percent by 2020. For additional information and how to apply for incentive programs, to www.arb.ca.gov/truckstop or call ARB’s diesel hotline at 1-866-6DIESEL.

Diesel exhaust contains a variety of harmful gases and over 40 other known cancer-causing compounds. In December, ARB adopted amendments to a statewide clean on-road diesel vehicle regulation to bring California closer to meeting federally-mandated air-quality standards and deadlines.

Truckers cut drag, save fuel from the tail end

Dated: August 3, 2011
Questions: Karen Caesar

Truckers nationwide are enjoying thousands of dollars in fuel savings thanks to a new device that significantly cuts air drag – and diesel emissions – on big-rig trailers.

Modern tractor-trailers already sport aerodynamic fairings on the tractor and side skirts on the trailer to cut wind resistance. ATDynamics Inc. of South San Francisco has taken the streamlining technologies a step further with an attachment that reduces air drag at the rear of trailers.

The Trailer Tail is a collapsible, origami-like extension affixed to the rear of the trailer. From the side, trucks with their Tails deployed look as though they are travelling with their cargo doors swung wide open. The “doors” actually are light-weight panels extended at angles to deflect the wind.


The panels cut fuel consumption 5 to 6 percent at highway speeds, said Steven Rodger, ATDynamics’ operations manager. Add side skirts to the trailer and the fuel savings can double to 12 percent.

“Trailer Tail’s rear-drag aerodynamics technology has the potential to save the trucking industry $20 billion over the next decade,” Rodger said.

For a big rig averaging 100,000 miles annually, the $2,800 Trailer Tail would pay for itself in a little more than a year, he said.

The idea of streamlining the backs of tractor-trailers is not new, but ATDynamics says it is the first to successfully commercialize the concept. The company has received more than 5,000 orders for the Tail since its introduction last fall, Rodger said.

Rear-air drag – created by a vacuum pocket that pulls the rig backwards – has long been, well, a drag, to the trucking industry. The U.S. Department of Energy estimates that it accounts for as much as 34 percent of a truck’s air resistance.

Less drag means less fuel burned and fewer emissions of toxic diesel exhaust and climate-warming gases.


In May 2011, the California Air Resources Board gave ATDynamics one of its five Business of the Year awards for demonstrating exceptional leadership in voluntary climate change actions.

The Board has adopted a Tractor-Trailer Greenhouse Gas regulation which requires skirts, fairings and other aerodynamic improvements on tractors travelling in California with 53-foot or longer trailers.

Trailer Reporting Deadline for Large Fleets, July 1, 2011

Large fleets must report to take advantage of phase-in option
Dated: June 21, 2011

Please note that this article does not have the most current information. Deadlines have been extended. Please see the TruckStop Tractor-Trailer GHG webpage for information.

Large fleets are strongly advised to visit the California Air Resources Board website before July 1, 2011 to register their trailers and take advantage of the flexible phase-in option to comply with California’s Tractor-Trailer Greenhouse Gas regulation.

If you own a 53-foot or longer box-type (dry van or refrigerated van) trailer and/or a heavy-duty tractor that pulls them, and you operate them at least some of the time in California, this regulation applies to you.


The purpose of the regulation is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions with the use of aerodynamic equipment and fuel efficient tires that also help truck owners save money through improved fuel economy. The following are some of the most frequently asked questions about the regulation and what owners need to do by the July 1, 2011 deadline to take advantage of the flexible “phase-in” compliance option.

Who must act by the July 1, 2011 deadline to take advantage of the flexible compliance option?

Large fleets with 21 or more 53-foot or longer box-type trailers that operate in California, regardless of where they are registered, need to act by July 1 if they want the flexible compliance option.

How do I report and where?

Fleet owners can register their trailers, and in some cases their tractors, online at https://ssl.arb.ca.gov/ssltrucrs/trucrs_reporting/reporting.php. Owners need to create an account and enter their plan.

What does ARB mean by a “plan?”

The “plan” tells ARB how a company plans to get individual trailers to comply over a period of time.

How do I fill out this plan?

Instructions on how to prepare and submit your plan can be found in the Large Fleet Compliance fact sheet or /cc/hdghg/fact_sheets/hdghg_large_fleets.pdf.

What if an owner does not have internet access to submit their plan?

The owner can submit their plan via mail to:
Air Resources Board
Attn: ORHDD Section
9480 Telstar Avenue, Suite 4
El Monte, California 91731

Are there different options that large fleets can choose to comply?

Large fleets have two options to comply with the Tractor-Trailer Greenhouse Gas regulation:

  • Either be in full compliance by January 1, 2013, or;
  • Take advantage of a longer phase-in option.

What do I have to do to take advantage of the longer phase-in option?

Large fleets must submit a compliance plan to the California Air Resources Board that includes a list of trailers in the fleet and the scheduled percentage of trailers to be brought into compliance each year. The phase-in option allows fleets up to five years from 2011 through 2015 to phase-in compliance for their California-bound trailers.

What if I miss the registration deadline on July 1, 2011?

This is the last opportunity for large fleets to participate in the phase-in option. Fleets who don’t meet this deadline must have their trailer fleets in full compliance by January 1, 2013. Small fleets (with 20 or fewer trailers) will have until July 1, 2012 to register for a flexible compliance option.

What if I only go into California once over the next several years?

We offer a three-day temporary pass to allow a non-compliant tractor to pull a trailer in California. Only one pass is allowed per fleet per year. They will be available through 2015.

Details on how to apply for this pass are forthcoming so stay tuned.

Why does California have a tractor-trailer regulation?

In 2006, California’s Governor signed AB 32, a bill designed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to help combat the effects of climate change. ARB’s tractor-trailer regulation helps accomplish this by requiring use of aerodynamic technologies and low rolling resistance tires which reduce drag and improve fuel economy.

How can tractor-trailer owners find out more?

Fact sheets, compliance tools, and regulatory documents are available at www.arb.ca.gov/cc/hdghg/hdghg.htm, by calling ARB’s diesel hotline at (866) 6DIESEL (634-3735) or by email.

ARB offers a two-for-one special for California on-road truck fleets Purchase of a particulate filter by May 1 earns early action credit

Dated: April 22, 2011

This month ARB announced that by installing a particulate filter on one truck, fleets may delay compliance for another truck until January 1, 2017. It’s like a “buy-one-get-one-free” credit, and there is no limit on how many trucks in the fleet can earn it.

The special credit offers fleets another option to comply with the state’s 2008 Truck and Bus regulation, which the Board approved to meet national clean air standards by 2014 and 2023.

“California fleets need to act quickly to take advantage of this special offer,” said ARB manager Tony Brasil. “Fleets owners that do will have more time for other trucks in the fleet to comply with California clean air laws.”

This article focuses on answers to the most commonly asked questions on the special two-for-one compliance credit option.

1. Who can take advantage of the early particulate filter credits?

Privately or federally owned fleets with trucks or buses that must comply with the Truck and Bus regulation can apply the credits toward meeting the particulate matter filter requirements for heavier vehicles with a GVWR greater than 26,000 lbs.

2. How do I earn the credit?

Fleet owners can earn a credit for each vehicle with a GVWR greater than 14,000 lbs. that is retrofit by July 1, 2011 with the best available particulate filter technology.   Fleet owners can also earn the credit by making a minimum 20 percent deposit on a filter by May 1, 2011 as long as it’s installed by October 1, 2011.

3. How does the credit count toward compliance?

The early action credit counts toward compliance with the particulate matter filter phase-in option for heavier trucks with a manufacturer’s GVWR greater than 26,000 lbs. The credit counts as two particulate filters and delays compliance for another vehicle in the fleet until January 1, 2017.

Also, any vehicle that is equipped with a particulate filter prior to January 1, 2014, including those that are retrofitted to earn the early particulate matter filter credit, would comply until January 1, 2020.

4. How do I claim the credit? Do I have to report?

Fleets that earn the credit must keep records of the purchase and particulate matter filter installation and report all vehicle information in the fleet for trucks with a GVWR greater than 26,000 lbs. by January 31, 2012. Helpful information on reporting, the regulation and other requirements can be found at /dieseltruck . While there is no filter requirement for lighter trucks, fleet owners have the option of retrofitting one and by doing so can still earn a credit on a heavier truck. Fleet owners who install a retrofit early on a lighter truck (14,0001 to 26,000 GVWR) must report the vehicle information for that truck as well. 

5. Will I lose the credit if I sell or replace the vehicle?

The extra credits stay with the fleet as long as the retrofitted vehicle remains operational in the fleet up to January 1, 2017, and the engine in the replacement vehicle is one model year newer and has a particulate matter filter that is original equipment or is retrofitted.

6. Do I get credit if public funds were used to pay for the retrofit?

Credits will not be given for partially state-funded retrofits, according to the funding program guidelines applicable to the particular source of public funds used for the purchase.

7. Why do we have the regulation?

Diesel exhaust contains a variety of harmful gases and over 40 other known cancer-causing compounds. In 1998, California identified diesel particulate matter as a toxic air contaminant based on its potential to cause cancer, premature death and other health problems.

For more information on the Truck and Bus regulation, go to: www.arb.ca.gov/dieseltruck or call 1-866-6DIESEL

Air Resources Board makes over $100 Million available to clean up state’s big rig trucks

Dated: April 12, 2011

The Air Resources Board in coordination with six local air districts is offering $106 million in grant funding to help qualified diesel truck owners upgrade or replace their vehicles. Projects selected for funding include upgrades or replacements that achieve the greatest emission reductions per state dollar and also achieve early or extra emission reductions not required by law or regulation.

The program, supported by $1 billion in voter-approved Proposition 1B bonds, has already awarded $230 million to clean up heavy-duty trucks over the past 2 years.

Local air districts are soliciting applications from truck owners to compete for grants to upgrade or replace their vehicles in March/April 2011, with options that include truck replacement, engine replacement (“repower”) or retrofit. Owners can apply to compete for funding from any of these six air districts, regardless of where their business is based:

  • Bay Area Air Quality Management District ($7.5 million in grant funds available);
  • Imperial County Air Pollution Control District ($3 million);
  • Sacramento Metro Air Quality Management District ($9.8 million);
  • San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District ($44.7 million);
  • San Diego Air Pollution Control District ($6.5 million), and
  • South Coast Air Quality Management District with ($39.8 million).

Deadline for applications is April 29, 2011

Eligibility requirements and additional air district contact information can be found below and on the ARB website at: www.arb.ca.gov/gmbond. Once all applications have been reviewed, they will be ranked according to guidelines established by ARB. In general, owners of the oldest and dirtiest vehicles that travel high miles are the most likely to receive funding assistance.

Truck owners are strongly encouraged to take advantage of this opportunity and get their applications in by the deadline.

The $1 billion Proposition 1B Goods Movement Emission Reduction Program is a partnership between ARB and local agencies (e.g., air districts and seaports) to quickly reduce air pollution emissions and health risk from freight movement along California's trade corridors (map). Local agencies apply to ARB for funding, and then those agencies offer financial incentives to owners of freight transport equipment to switch to cleaner technologies.

Diesel exhaust contains a variety of harmful gases and over 40 other known cancer-causing compounds. In 1998, California identified diesel particulate matter as a toxic air contaminant based on its potential to cause cancer, premature death and other health problems.

Proposition 1B grant contact information
District Website Phone # Contact Person
Bay Area Air Quality Management District www.baaqmd.gov/goods 415-749-4994 Grants
Imperial County Air Pollution Control District ($3 million) www.co.imperial.ca.us/AirPollution/1B%20Information.htm 760-482-4606 Matt Dessert or George Sanchez
Sacramento Metropolitan Air Quality Management District http://airquality.org/mobile/goodsmovement/index.shtml 916-874-6276 Pat Robinson
San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District www.valleyair.org/grant_programs/grantprograms.htm#Proposition1B 559-230-5858 SJVAP Email
San Diego Air Pollution Control District www.sdapcd.org/homepage/grants/hints.pdf 858-586-2798
Nick Cormier
Robert Mercado
South Coast Air Quality Management District 909-396-3257 Mei Wang

TRU: Grace period for model year 2003 engines ends March 31, 2011

Dated: March 03, 2011

TRUs are temperature-control systems powered by diesel engines that refrigerate or heat perishable products in semi-trailers, truck vans, shipping containers and rail cars. In order to operate in California, TRUs - regardless of where they are based - must meet the state's standards.

TRU truck

At ARB's November 2010 board hearing, industry appealed for more time to bring model year 2003 TRU engines into compliance. The weight of the faltering economy had made it difficult to get funding for new engines.

Recognizing the need to ease the burden while protecting the health of Californians, the ARB gave industry a 90 day grace period. During this period enforcement officers would not pursue actions against non-compliant 2003 model year TRUs.

The 90 day extension is over March 31, 2011. By then all model year 2003 TRU engines must meet required control standards or owners will face penalties.

TRU truck

ARB inspection teams will be at distribution centers, scales, border crossings, truck stops, ports, intermodal facilities and other locations where TRUs operate, and will issue citations for non-compliance. Penalties for registration violations can be up to $500 each. In-use performance violations may be up to $1,000. Penalties may be even greater if violations go uncorrected.

To help businesses comply with the regulation, financing information is provided on ARB's TRU website under Compliance Assistance Contacts. Some organizations listed offer small business loans. Retrofit device manufacturers, such as Rypos, offer lease programs and financing. TRU owners should contact their local air district to find out about other financial assistance programs.

TRU truck

Purchases of equipment that go beyond TRU requirements may qualify for financial assistance through California's Carl Moyer Program. This program seeks greater emission reductions by getting cleaner engines on the road at least three years before required by law. These grants may not be used to comply with regulations. Funding is limited and awarded to the most cost-effective proposals. More information can be found at TRU Information Charts.

For more information ARB has established a toll-free TRU Help Line available to callers during normal business hours, Pacific Time: 1-888-878-2826. Callers from outside the U.S. should dial (916) 445-5516, or send an email.

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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