The Trucker Chronicles

Business owners that operate busses and trucks in California have been recently reminded by the Air Resources Board to make sure their fleets of commercial vehicles abide by the new state emissions regulations set to take hold at the start of 2013.

Heavy duty vehicles, like busses and trucks that have a gross weight of over 26,000 pounds and were manufactured between the years 2000 and 2004, need to be equipped with diesel soot filters in order to comply with the mandates set forth by the California truck and bus regulation. The only exceptions to these new regulations are emergency vehicles and vehicles that generate low mileage totals.

The new mandates are a part of the state’s diesel risk reduction initiative that’s focused on mitigating diesel emissions in several different ways. As a part of this diesel risk reduction initiative, commercial vehicles manufactured from 1996 through 1999 had to meet similar emissions regulations at the beginning of 2011. Most of the commercial diesel vehicles from 2000 through 2004 will have to make the necessary efforts in order to comply with the new wave of regulations coming in 2013.

The Enforcement Division of CARB believes the efforts to raise emissions standards in the state are leading to improvements in the industry. CARB has been focused on improving the integration of the new regulations by deploying teams to assist with compliance and enforcement throughout the state. CARB compliance has recently exceeded 80 percent as these teams focus on educating business owners and inspecting the appropriate vehicles that are affected by the new regulations

Teams from the California Highway Patrol and CARB inspected over 4,000 vehicles in 40 locations throughout the state as a part of “Gear Up for Clean Truck Month” during the month of August 2012. Inspection teams focused on areas like truck stops, facilities for fleet vehicles, distribution warehouses, weigh stations, roadside stops and other routine locations for trucks and commercial vehicles. Vehicles that don’t comply with the new 2013 rules will be prohibited to operate in the state and will face fines that start at $1,000 per month and increase with time.

The DMV in California can also block registration or impound vehicles that fail to comply with the new 2013 CARB emissions regulations. Business owners should check with the Enforcement or Truck Stop section of California’s website to get additional information about complying with these new regulations. There are additional rules regarding the Small Fleet Compliance Plan, low-resistance tires for tractors and aerodynamic regulations for long trailers that will also begin to take precedent on the first day of 2013 as well.

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