Countdown to CARB Compliance

By Elisa Durand, November 10th, 2012 @ 10:38 pm
The holiday season is fast approaching and before you know it, 2013 will be here, which means new fleet regulations. For any fleets traveling through California, listen up! As of January 1, 2013 all heavy duty trucks traveling in the state will be required to haveSmartWay verified aerodynamic devices, in compliance with the latest California Air Resource Board (CARB) regulation (you can read more about the regulation here).

What difference will these devices really make in the long-run?

According to CARB, these aerodynamic devices improve fuel economy by four to five percent on 53-foot or longer box and refrigerated trailers. Devices include, side skirts, gap fairings and boat tail fairings. SmartWay verified tires are also available to help further improve fuel economy, but these are not a requirement, at least not until 2017.

Over time, this requirement will benefit fleets with a reduction in fuel costs. Side skirts have been documented to improve fuel economy by up to seven percent at sustained speeds. Bottom line? These devices can provide a significant long-term return. One supplier even argues that its skirts can pay for themselves in as little as 35,000 miles of trailer use.

What happens January 1, 2013 if fleets don’t have these devices installed?

According to CARB, fleets that don’t have these devices installed will face significant fines. Vehicles that are pulled over for non-compliance could be hit with citations of up to $1,000 per day! Fines can increase even further, to $10,000 per day, for egregious, repeat offenders.

CARB has already publicly stated that they will not accept ignorance as an excuse. The board has been working to publish educational materials for months, which means some fleets need to get their wheels in motion.

How can fleets ensure they get the proper devices installed by 2013?

Research is key. While all verified devices will provide compliance, the quality can vary. Opting for a higher quality device can make the difference between a one-time investment and an annual headache.

And for all the procrastinators out there, you’re in luck! Many device outfitters have prepared for this last minute compliance dash, and have mobile installation teams, call centers and other resources available for fleets.

Are you ready for this CARB device regulation?  Tell us what you’re doing to prepare.
To contact Elisa, click here.