Channel 19

Todd Dills

Solidarity with the dispatcher, forces against CARB low-use exemption change

| November 14, 2013

Great story out of the Omaha, Neb., World-Herald newspaper about FirstFleet drivers at the terminal there who made a quite public show of solidarity with Rhoda Hawkins, who works in dispatch and payroll there. Hawkins was recently diagnosed with Stage 3 breast cancer, had a double mastectomy in mid-late October and “is scheduled to start chemotherapy treatments next week,” wrote World-Herald reporter Bob Glissman. “The treatments will continue for months, she said, and she expects to lose her hair.”

Amid all that, seven drivers coordinating off-stage showed up at a company meeting their heads shaved completely bald to show their support. Kudos! 

Click through the image to read Bob Glissman's full story.

Click through the image to read Bob Glissman’s full story.

“It was overwhelming,” Hawkins told Glissman. “It touched me that they would take the time to show they care.”

Click through the image to use our interactive graphic to determine your options for getting CARB-compliant under the Truck and Bus rule in 2014.

Click through the image to use our interactive graphic to determine your options for getting CARB-compliant under the Truck and Bus rule in 2014.

CARB’s “Good Faith Effort” first advisory says low-use vehicle exemption still in works
Since we wrote about the California Air Resources Board’s reported preparations to boost the in-state mileage of what could be considered a low-use vehicle on California roadways, we’ve been waiting to see final language of the expected advisory from CARB — will they raise the limit to 5,000? 7,500? Somewhere in between? 

An advisory came out, but it didn’t deliver any clarity. Click here for an advisory CARB issued this week. Essentially, it said, hold on, we’ll come back shortly. It did, however, confirm that efforts were under way.

Before that was released, however, a brief note on the California Trucking Association’s website seemed to suggest that taking advantage of a boost in the low-use mileage exemption would hinge not only on a vehicle’s California miles but all miles, making use of the provision for low-use vehicles in state borders off-limits to the majority of this audience. The CTA’s “Word of Caution on Changes to the Low Use Exemption” reads this way in part: “CTA staff has confirmed that the 5,000 mile proposal will apply to total truck miles, not just miles driven in California.” 


CARB to boost low-use mileage exemption

Good news for owner-operators and fleets in the Eastern U.S. who run to California only occasionally or can keep their in-state miles below the 5,000-7,500 ...

The existing definition of “low-use vehicle” in CARB’s own regulatory language, however, does not refer to total miles, as the California Construction Trucking Association’s Joe Rajkovacz points out. “We are taking a wait-and-see attitude right now in regards to CARB’s expected advisory announcing changes,” Rajkovacz says. “Should the CARB staff put something out that limits the usability of the low-mileage exemption by needing to account for all miles traveled regardless of jurisdiction, that is a fundamental change in the actual regulation.” And, he adds, could open up further cans of worms relative to regulation of motor carriers prices, routes, services…

Here’s the current low-use definition: 

“Low-use Vehicle” means a vehicle that will be operated fewer than 1,000 miles in California in any compliance year.

Find the text of the exemption in the regulations itself via this document, p. 33, which also doesn’t mention anything about “total miles” regardless of state jurisdiction. 

Wait and see, indeed.  

You can use our interactive tool to check your engine’s compliance with CARB’s Truck & Bus Rule via this link. 


UPDATE 11/15: The newly-issued advisory does refer to “total miles” with regard to the low-use vehicle exemption, not just in-state miles, but CARB says it may not formally make regulatory changes before April of next year.  No further clarity there as yet. I’ll do what I can to clarify this in near future. 

  • Grizzly6

    Wont say what California County I’m from, but my wife ran into one of our county supervisors today. He just came back from Sacramento and there’s a 5 year extension in the works over this retrofit thing .In case you didn’t know they already extended it till June 2014 . You just watch and they will keep pushing it out farther and farther .

  • Bigred

    I have a seasonal route that i run and come into Ca. maybe 7 times and carry NUTS to the southeast. In those 7 trips inside Ca. I may put on 3000 miles in the state. I drive a 2004 379 Pete and if I could even get it updated why would I spend the money. I think there are a heck of a lot of O/O`s doing the same thing.

  • Cali trucker

    I have 15 trucks and have had to purchase10 trucks already, replacing 04′-07′ trucks, to the tune of $750k I still have to
    purchase 5 in the next 2 years. Why in the hell do we want it delayed? You people who stuck your heads in the sand when this came into effect in 08′. You all should have seen this coming! Your inability to plan for the future should not be and emergency to the rest of us.

  • Mind Games

    Stop thinking of your self for once in your life! Think of all the other folks who are not as fortunate as you. Damn man I really would like to see my mother who lives unfortunately in the same state as you!
    Look, instead of thinking only of your self try helping others do the same and give out some tips of how you did it.
    You and people like you are the problem with this industry its all about you you you and not about us as a group.
    What if we did the same to people like you who come to our states and made up some law that discriminated against you and California your California trucks???
    We may not all be that much together but if we wanted to we could get real nasty and demand that our highway patrolmen tear your truck apart looking for dope! strives to maintain an open forum for reader opinions. Click here to read our comment policy.