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California crackdown to target truck tires, too

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Canadian fleets running model year 2010 and older tractors into California after Jan. 1, 2013 will require low rolling resistance tires, in order to comply with the California Air Resources Board’s new...


SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Canadian fleets running model year 2010 and older tractors into California after Jan. 1, 2013 will require low rolling resistance tires, in order to comply with the California Air Resources Board’s new greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions requirements.

But if recent orders from fleets are any indication, many carriers remain unaware of the impending requirement. That’s the observation from John Overing, business unit director, commercial products, with Yokohama. Overing said most fleets typically place orders for new drive tires this time of year, and he’s concerned that more aren’t opting for SmartWay-verified tires when they frequent California. Buying the wrong tire could be a costly mistake, as fleets that get caught running non-SmartWay tires could have to pay hefty fines and then replace their tires early to continue operating in the State.

“My feeling is that a lot of fleets aren’t taking this seriously enough,” Overing told Truck News. “If a fleet goes in right now and buys non SmartWay-verified tires and they are travelling to California, they will need to buy new tires in 2013 and if they’re caught, they’re going to get fined and then have to buy new tires. The fines will be pretty significant and they’re (CARB) taking this pretty seriously.”

Fleets that operate in California should be talking to their dealers about the California requirements before ordering new tractor tires, Overing suggests.

The new rules affect model year 2010 and older tractors pulling 53-ft. or longer box-type trailers, including dry vans and reefers. Trailers won’t require low rolling resistance tires until Jan. 1, 2017.

“Trailers will take longer (to phase in),” Overing explains. “There’s a higher ratio of trailers to tractors, so the tires will take longer to wear out. CARB doesn’t want the tires to be replaced before they wear out because that presents another set of environmental issues, so 53-ft. trailers will be grandfathered until 2017.”

As far as enforcement is concerned, Overing says CARB will likely be out in full force to penalize trucking companies that don’t comply with the requirement.

“We’re seeing and hearing they will be patrolling this heavily,” Overing says. “California is financially strapped and they will do everything they can to make money, so they’re going to come down hard on guys that aren’t (complying).”


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