How Does Emission Reduction Regulation Affect Your Trailers?

California Air Resources Board

The Summary

On December 12, 2008, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) adopted new regulations to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from heavy duty vehicles: The CARB Heavy-Duty Vehicle Greenhouse Gas Emission Reduction Regulation. These regulations require heavy duty tractors and 53-foot trailers operating in California to meet certain efficiency criteria developed by the U.S. EPA SmartWay Partnership Program, including the use of aerodynamic trailer fairings.

Freight Wing can help keep you in compliance at the lowest possible cost. Contact us for more information about equipping your fleet.

Who does this apply to?

Learn more about SmartWay

This regulation requires 53-foot or longer dry van and refrigerated trailers as well as the tractors pulling these trailers to be equipped with EPA SmartWay approved technologies.

Tractors and trailers traveling in California, regardless of where they are domiciled, are subject to the requirements.

Exemptions to the rule

These requirements do not apply to:

  • drop-frame trailers
  • chassis trailers
  • curtain side trailers
  • box-type trailers less than 53 feet in length
  • HD tractors or box-type trailers that have been granted exemption under section 95305 of the rule

The short haul 95305 exemption is provided for tractors or trailers operating within a 100 mile radius of where they are based and dispatched. This exemption also applies to tractors that operate 50,000 miles or less annually. You must submit an application to obtain this exemption. Drayage tractors pulling 53 foot or longer dry van or refrigerated trailers which originated or are destined for a port or rail yard within 100 miles are also exempt.

What are the trailer requirements?

Semi Trailer with Belly and Gap Fairings for More Fuel Savings
Aero Compliance Example # 1
Freight Wing Belly and Gap Fairing
Semi Trailer with Belly Fairings
Aero Compliance Example # 2
Freight Wing Aeroflex Skirting

All applicable trailers must meet one of the following requirements:

  • A SmartWay certified trailer
  • Equipped with SmartWay approved tires and side skirts for refrigerated trailers and a front or rear fairing in addition to the approved tires and side skirts for dry vans.
  • Equipped with SmartWay approved tires and aerodynamic trailer technologies meeting 4 percent fuel savings for refrigerated trailers or 5 percent fuel savings for dry-vans.

When does compliance begin?

First you should know is that starting on January 1, 2010 all new 2011 model year and subsequent applicable trailers have to be in compliance with the above requirements. CARB has included incentives to bring part of your pre 2011 trailers into compliance. If you do not take advantage of such incentives, you have until January 1, 2013 to bring all applicable trailers into compliance.

Pre-2011 trailer optional compliance schedule

  2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016
Large Fleet 5% 15% 30% 50% 75% 100%  
Small Fleet -- -- -- 25% 50% 75% 100%

These compliance schedules are optional but if you wish to take part in one you need to file a document labeled “Large Fleet Compliance Plan” (21+ trailers), or labeled “Small Fleet Compliance Plan” (20 or less trailers) with information about the trailers in your fleet and how you intend to bring them into compliance. Make sure to include an early compliance option report in this document to get credit for the trailers you brought into compliance before December 31, 2009.

2003 through 2008 refrigerated trailer compliance option

The following chart sets out an optional schedule of compliance for 2003 through 2008 refrigerated trailers equipped with 2003 and subsequent model TRU’s.

Compliance Deadlines Trailer model years
December 31, 2017 2003, 2004
December 31, 2018 2005, 2006
December 31, 2019 2007, 2008

A “Refrigerated Fleet Compliance Report” must be provided to CARB by July 1, 2012 as per 25308(b). If trailers in your fleet are found to not be in compliance with the schedule or properly reported, you could be required to bring all applicable trailers into compliance by December 31, 2012.

For Further Information

This summary of CARB’s new measure should help give you a picture of what is needed in order to bring your trailers into compliance. It is important to note that this is only a guide and that the complete CARB Heavy Duty Vehicle Reduction Measure can be reviewed at:

Financing Options

Financial aid and low interest loan programs are currently being developed so check back with Freight Wing for updated information. You can also find options from the EPA SmartWay’s low interest loan program at:

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