Overdrive Magazine

October 2019

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14 | Overdrive | October 2019 N E W S Two bills signed into law last month by California Gov. Gavin Newsom will further crack down on heavy- duty diesel truck emissions in the state. One law establishes smog checks for trucks to register and/or operate in California, while the other is designed to accelerate the move away from diesel-powered trucks to zero-emissions vehicles by pressing the state to phase out diesel-powered trucks by 2050. The smog check law establishes a Heavy-Duty Vehicle Inspections and Maintenance Program to test the effectiveness of the control of emis- sions and oxides of nitrogen (NOx) and particulate matter. The law allows for using onboard diagnostics system data and testing to measure emissions-control effectiveness. A $30 fee will be collected as part of the program for testing. The new testing will be more in-depth than the state's current Periodic Smoke Inspection Program (PSIP), which measures smoke opacity levels in trucks owned by California-based fleets. The new law calls for the California Air Resources Board to sunset the PSIP. It also will apply to all diesel trucks weighing more than 14,000 pounds, including single-vehicle fleets. Joe Rajkovacz of the Western States Trucking Association said WSTA is opposed to the emissions testing law because CARB "had already moved toward reducing opacity limits, and we weren't objecting to that. This is not only redundant, but also costly." Another point of concern in the law, Rajkovacz said, is giving emis- sions testers access to engine control module (ECM) data. He said CARB has said it only wants emissions data from the ECM, but there is "certainly a lot of other data with it." Under the new law, CARB would create a pilot program to develop and test technologies to bring heavy- duty vehicles into the new program. Within two years after the comple- tion of the pilot program, the pro- gram would be fully implemented. The law also requires CARB to estab- lish a way for out-of-state truck own- ers to verify compliance. Truck owners whose trucks fail the emissions test can be issued a $50 temporary permit for 60 days, allow- ing them to operate while working to become emissions-compliant. — Matt Cole New California laws get tougher on emissions PFJ names Road Warrior Through online voting, Tennessee-based truck driver Timothy Chelette was chosen as Pilot Flying J's 2019 Road Warrior grand-prize winner, earning $10,000. Chelette, based in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, drives for Big G Express and has more than 1.9 million accident- free miles. He raised more than $30,000 for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital through an annual motor- cycle ride he created. Rodney Hagan of Webster, Florida, and William McNamee of Christopher, Illinois, were named the second- and third-place winners, earning $5,000 and $2,500, respectively. The three finalists' nominators received $500 each. FMCSA proposes UCR fee reduction The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration proposed a decrease in Unified Carrier Registration fees in 2020 and beyond for trucking companies, brokers and freight forwarders. In a notice of proposed rulemaking published Aug. 27, FMCSA proposed a fee reduction of 12.8% below the 2018 registration fee levels for 2020 "to ensure that fee revenues do not exceed the statuto- ry maximum, and to reduce the excess funds held in the depository." In 2021, fees would increase from 2020's proposed level but would be reduced from the 2018 level by approximately 4.2%, the agency stated. Carriers with one or two trucks paid $69 in 2018 and $62 in 2019. Under the new UCR fee proposal, these companies would pay $60 in 2020. Fees graduate higher for carriers with more trucks. Carriers with 3-5 trucks would pay $180; 6-20 trucks, $357; 21-100 trucks, $1,248; and 101-1,000 trucks, $5,946. Carriers with more than 1,000 trucks would pay $58,060. — Matt Cole

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