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Trucking coalition wants way around looming CARB emissions rule

ATA, OOIDA among trucking groups seeking dialogue with CARB about ‘supply chain challenges’

A diverse coalition of trucking groups is urging the California Air Resources Board to consider alternative solutions to an emissions rule that would require owners that operate in the state to upgrade their aging equipment to include 2010 model year or newer diesel engines by the end of the year.

In the letter to Richard Corey, executive officer of the California Air Resources Board, 26 trucking organizations, including the American Trucking Associations, the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association and the Western States Trucking Association, urge the regulatory agency to consider provisions to the CARB On-Road Truck and Bus rule deadline of Dec. 31.

Supply chain challenges created by a global pandemic have caused used truck prices to soar because of semiconductor shortages, forcing larger fleets to hold on to their old equipment longer because of new truck order delays. Owner-operators and smaller fleets, including drayage truckers, usually buy their used trucks from large over-the-road carriers, which are typically on a three-year depreciation schedule.

“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 coalition letter states. “The well-documented shortage of new truck availability has forced larger fleets to hold onto their older trucks for longer than is typical, which in turn has reduced the amount of used trucks in the secondary market, causing prices of available trucks to skyrocket.”

The CARB rule covers all diesel vehicles with a manufacturer’s gross vehicle weight rating greater than 14,000 pounds and may impact nearly 80,000 trucks operating in the state.

While there is a provision in the Truck and Bus rule for new truck buyers who are experiencing manufacturer delays, there’s no extension for California truckers who planned to buy used trucks but either can’t find one or can’t afford one because of supply constraints. 

The coalition is urging CARB to consider the following to assist fleet owners:

• A provision that would allow covered fleets to demonstrate the intent to purchase 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 when a dealer/manufacturer cannot provide a purchase order due to lack of build slots. Providing this consideration in the final phase of the Truck and Bus Regulation will hopefully allow truck markets to return to pre-pandemic levels of availability and, more importantly, affordability. 

Joe Rajkovacz, director of governmental affairs for the Western States Trucking Association, headquartered in Upland, California, who helped facilitate the CARB letter, says he’s heard from several trucking company owners that will be forced to shut down before the end of the year if used truck prices continue to rise. In January, used truck prices skyrocketed 83% compared with the previous year.

“We are attempting to engage CARB and get them to discuss viable options to improve the manufacturers delay embedded in the rule and using that framework to allow something similar for used truck buyers which was not contemplated in the original rule,” Rajkovacz told FreightWaves. “Who would have thought 14, 15 years ago we’d be living in the shadow of a global pandemic that killed nearly a million Americans and upended our economy for the past two years.” 

CARB adopted the truck and bus rule in 2008 with the 2010 or newer diesel engine requirement by Dec. 31 being the final phase of the regulation.

“Truck owners unable to locate or purchase affordable used trucks will be forced from the marketplace, adding to the supply chain difficulties that are a significant factor in the inflationary pressures facing our economy,” the letter states.

Matt Schrap, CEO of the Harbor Trucking Association, said the CARB rule would eliminate nearly 8,000 trucks with pre-2010 engines from operating at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, as well as the Port of Oakland, on Jan. 1. 

“With the ongoing supply chain challenges still reverberating throughout the system, we hope that CARB recognizes that this is nowhere near a normal new or used truck marketplace for equipment owners doing business in California,” Schrap told FreightWaves. “Some level of targeted consideration is needed as we head into 2023.”

OOIDA, a trade group headquartered in Grain Valley, Missouri, signed the letter to CARB on behalf of its 140,000 members, which consist mainly of small-business truckers.

“Throughout the pandemic and ongoing supply chain challenges, federal agencies and state governments have adapted regulations to help keep trucks on the road,” OOIDA spokesperson Norita Taylor told FreightWaves. “We hope CARB will follow suit and grant relief for drivers and carriers who cannot currently purchase new vehicles because of insufficient production capacity.”

The letter urges an ongoing dialogue with CARB about the current “supply chain challenges.”

“Considering the investments our members have already made to comply with this regulation, we don’t take a request for an extension lightly,” said Glen Kedzie, energy and environmental affairs counsel at ATA, in a statement to FreightWaves. “However, given the supply chain issues that are affecting parts availability, which are affecting both the new and used truck markets, now is not the time to be forcing the retirement of trucks, especially when replacement options are limited.”

List of coalition members:

  • Agricultural Transportation Coalition 
  • Alliance for Safe, Efficient and Competitive Truck Transportation 
  • American Home Furnishings Alliance 
  • American Trucking Associations 
  • California Cattlemen’s Association 
  • California Moving & Storage Association 
  • California Retailers Association 
  • California Tow Truck Association 
  • California Trucking Association 
  • Construction Industry Air Quality Coalition 
  • Emergency Road Service Coalition of America 
  • Harbor Trucking Association 
  • National Association of Chemical Distributors 
  • National Association of Small Trucking Companies 
  • National Retail Federation 
  • National Tank Truck Carriers 
  • Nevada Trucking Association 
  • North American Punjabi Trucking Association 
  • Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association 
  • Southern California Contractors Association 
  • The Expedite Association of North America 
  • The Transportation and Logistics Council 
  • Transportation Loss Prevention & Security Association 
  • Truckload Carriers Association 
  • United Contractors 
  • Western States Trucking Association

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Clarissa Hawes

Clarissa has covered all aspects of the trucking industry for 14 years. She is an award-winning journalist known for her investigative and business reporting. Before joining FreightWaves, she wrote for Land Line Magazine and If you have a news tip or story idea, send her an email to