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If You Have a Non-Compliant CARB AG Truck, It’s Time to Create a Plan

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  • If You Have a Non-Compliant CARB AG Truck, It’s Time to Create a Plan

At one time figuring out the CARB laws was like handing a Millennial a paper map and asking them to get you from point A to point B. It wasn’t going to happen.  Although it can still be confusing, most everyone who has been affected by CARB for better or worse are done (for now?). But as 2023 inches closer, there is still a deadline looming for AG.

The low mileage exemption for AG trucks is going away on December 31, 2022.  A lot of owner operators might say, “Why worry about something that is over 15 months away.”  Well, we agree, you shouldn’t worry. But you should have a plan.

The law reads, “only vehicles that operate less than 10,000 miles a year can continue to have the extension until January 1, 2023. Once the agricultural vehicle extension expires for any specialty vehicles or one using the mileage extension, they must be upgraded to a vehicle with a 2010 or newer model year engine.”  Or use the NOx Exempt Flexibility Option. The NOx EFO allows you to run your truck with a level 3 DPF in certain counties in California.

Why It’s Important to Plan Today

There are several factors to why you need a plan in place sooner than later. Right now, we are experiencing a severe shortage of Class 8 vehicles in both the new and used markets. Experts are saying that the supply issue may be here for at least another year. Even scarier for the AG market is that two axle day cabs have always been a challenge to find. You now have a shortage upon a shortage. To make matters more interesting, when the inventory issues are sorted out, finding a low mileage preowned two axle tractor will be like finding a needle in a haystack.

Another Reason to Act Now

Registration mistakes can be costly. There have been many cases where people accidentally register a non-compliant truck .  The DMV will gladly take your money, but your truck will still be out of compliance. If caught running your truck, you will face fines or taken off the road. And good luck getting your money back.

You Can Pay Me Now or You Can Pay Me Later

Our vintage readers will remember the FRAM oil filter commercial.  “If you don’t buy a $3.00 oil filter today, you could be buying a $2,000 engine rebuilt later.”  The same applies for the CARB laws for your AG trucks.  Waiting until the last moment could cost you thousands of dollars unnecessarily.

What Should Be in Your Plan?

Your plan doesn’t have to be complicated.  But make sure you cover the following areas.

  1. You need to decide what type of truck you are looking for. Do you want to purchase new? There will be a hefty up-front cost but you should see savings in the long run. If you are purchasing used, you can save money but, make sure you are clear on whether you want a high or low mileage truck. Both have their advantages and disadvantages.  A low mileage truck may cost you more but is less likely to have a major failure (less likely but not impossible). A higher mileage preowned truck could save you thousands but will cost you more in routine maintenance and repairs.
  2. Even if you qualify for a NOx exemption, is it worth spending the thousands of dollars outfitting your truck with a DPF filter? The upgrade to make your truck compliant may cost more than the truck is worth. You must also take into consideration that the law could change.
  3. Make sure your plan incorporates how to sell your big rig. Pre-emission trucks are not allowed to be sold in California.

As we said, the CARB laws can be complicated, and this is how we understand them. While we believe we are correct, it is always a good idea to get a second opinion.

We wish good luck and may your next harvest be your best.

Resources

CARB Home Page

CARB Warning

Truck and Bus Regulations

 

 

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