By: Paul Sousa, Director of Regulatory and Environmental Affairs
I have had several calls recently from dairymen that have found an unbelievable deal on a used diesel truck, asking me if they should buy it. I do not normally write about truck regulations in the summer since the reporting season for trucks is in January, however, these questions and the impacts of the changes coming this next January deserve some attention now. Starting on January 1, 2023, all extensions that allow otherwise non–compliant trucks to operate will expire, including the Ag truck extensions. In addition, the rule requires that only trucks with 2010 model year engines (mostly 2011 model year trucks since the engine model year is normally one model year older than the truck) or newer will be compliant. Trucks with 2010 model year and newer engines typically use Diesel Exhaust Fluid (DEF) to achieve the emissions standards. This means that ARB will render tens of thousands of trucks obsolete in California. These trucks can be operated anywhere else in the United States, or across the world, but you will not be able to register them for use in California. There are very few exceptions, and I will get into some of those below.
This regulation applies to diesel-powered trucks with a Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) of 14,000 pounds or greater. So, it does not apply to pickups like a Ford F350, RAM 3500, or Chevrolet 3500 but it would apply to a diesel Ford F450, RAM 4500, or Chevy 4500 or larger trucks. There are a few exceptions, but they are very limited. First, the Low Use Exemption will continue for trucks that travel less than 1,000 annual miles and report odometer readings. Secondly, there is a NOx Exempt area of the state (mostly the northern one–third of the state) where trucks need a Diesel Particulate Filter (DPF), but not DEF. This means that trucks with 2007 to 2009 engines that came with a DPF or older trucks that have a retrofit DPF installed can continue to be operated only in these areas. For more information on this follow this link:https://ww3.arb.ca.gov/msprog/onrdiesel/documents/fsnoxexempt.pdf.
Trucks that are not compliant with the regulation starting next year will not be able to renew their registration with the DMV. The options for these trucks include transition to the Low Use Exemption, being reported as NOx Exempt, sold, or registered as non–operational (non–op). The old adage that if something seems“too good to be true” probably applies here. If you have found an unbelievable deal on a 2010 or older diesel truck, there is a reason for the fire-sale price.
ARB also has other regulations that affect diesel trucks. One regulation requires that starting next year, 2023, diesel trucks must pass a“smog check”to ensure that emissions control devices on these trucks are working as intended. There is a lot to keep up with; if you own diesel trucks that may be impacted by these rules do not hesitate to contact me at 209–556–2490 orPaul@wudairies.com.