Today’s Pickup: Clean diesel? UC-Riverside study disputes that

Good morning.

Since 2010 EPA emissions regulations went into effect, it has been said that in some areas of the country, the emissions released by heavy-duty trucks are actually cleaner than the air they are emitted into. But a new study by researchers at UC-Riverside calls that into question.

The study, commissioned by the California Air Resources Board, found that for selective catalytic reduction (SCR) – the technology that cleans emissions – to work effectively, a truck’s engine must be at least 200 deg. Celsius, and closer to 250. The study found that, because of things like idling and highway congestion, the engines of many trucks do not heat up enough for SCR to work effectively.

The range researchers found was anywhere from 15% to 70% of the time, depending on application (refuse was the worst), the trucks were not achieving their best smog-reducing performance.

Did you know?

If truck drivers could eliminate the amount of time they spend waiting to make deliveries and looking for safe parking, they could travel an additional 100 miles a day, according to FMCSA.


“A lot of the technology comes from Silicon Valley. They have a responsibility to educate the rest of the American public on the technologies they’re thinking about, technologies which are miles and miles ahead of most people’s understanding.”

Elaine Chao, U.S. Transportation Secretary

In other news:

Trump administration meets with transportation leaders

Transportation leaders from several sectors met with Trump administration officials to begin work on tax breaks and transportation funding. (The Hill)

LTL earnings looking good

Less-than-truckload carriers are indicating second-quarter results will look pretty good this year thanks to strong demand for spring and summer goods and improvement in the oil and gas fields. (Transport Topics)

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Brian Straight

Brian Straight covers general transportation news and leads the editorial team as Managing Editor. A journalism graduate of the University of Rhode Island, he has covered everything from a presidential election, to professional sports and Little League baseball, and for more than 10 years has covered trucking and logistics. Before joining FreightWaves, he was previously responsible for the editorial quality and production of Fleet Owner magazine and Brian lives in Connecticut with his wife and two kids and spends his time coaching his son’s baseball team, golfing with his daughter, and pursuing his never-ending quest to become a professional bowler.