Stakeholders urge CARB to delay truck and bus regulation compliance deadline

March 14, 2022

Tyson Fisher


Industry stakeholders are asking the California Air Resources Board to hit the pause button on enforcing the truck and bus regulation compliance deadline during a time of economic recovery.

In a letter to CARB Executive Officer Richard Corey, several trucking industry stakeholders, including the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association, urged the board to consider some leniency with the final phase of the truck and bus regulation compliance schedule set for the end of this year.

According to the final regulation order, all vehicles in California with a gross vehicle weight rating of more than 26,000 pounds must be equipped with a 2010 model year emissions equivalent engine by Jan. 1, 2023.

In effect since December 2008, trucks have been gradually phased in to comply with the truck and bus regulation. Trucks with model year engines 1993 and older were the first forced into compliance. Now in the final phase of the schedule, all trucks must be compliant by the end of the year.

However, a lot has happened over the last 14 years, especially the last several months. Impossible to predict in 2008, the trucking industry—and the economy as a whole—is trying to get its head above water after a global pandemic devastated economies. Adding insult to injury, a global supply chain crisis followed.

Unforeseen circumstances have stakeholders’ backs against the wall as the truck and bus regulation compliance deadline nears, and truck manufacturers are unable to keep up with demand.

“Both California’s and the nation’s economy are still adjusting to the effects from a global pandemic that has stressed supply chains worldwide and more importantly, led to insufficient production of new trucks primarily due to a worldwide shortage of components needed for final truck completion,” the letter states.

In addition to a microchip shortage, production of many other truck parts, including entire engines, has slowed down dramatically. Truck manufacturers have been unable to complete production and meet consumer demand. Basic supply-and-demand economics is pushing used truck prices to exceptionally high levels.

This can be a major problem for a large batch of trucking companies scrambling to be compliant with the truck and bus regulation. If truckers cannot find and purchase an affordable used truck, CARB’s hard deadline may force them out of business, stakeholders warn.

To circumvent these unexpected challenges, stakeholders want CARB to apply some flexibility to the truck and bus regulation compliance deadline, including:

  • A provision that would allow covered fleets to demonstrate intent to purchase of a used vehicle with similar compliance considerations that exist under the manufacturers delay provision in section 2025 (p)(8) of Article 4.5 in Title 13 of the California Code of Regulations.
  • Provide for alternative documentation for delays in manufacturing where a dealer/manufacturer cannot provide a purchase order due to lack of build slots.

“Throughout the pandemic and ongoing supply chain challenges, federal agencies and state governments have adapted regulations to help keep trucks on the road,” OOIDA said in a statement. “We hope CARB will follow suit and grant relief for drivers and carriers who cannot currently purchase new vehicles because of insufficient production capacity. These actions will give truck markets additional time to return to pre-pandemic levels of availability and let truckers keep making critical deliveries.”

As of publication, CARB had not responded to the letter. LL