It’s been a while since I checked in with California-based independent owner-operators Tom and Karen Moore (pictured, right), the proud owners of the 1999 International 9400 they’ve had a in a sort of stare-down with the California Air Resources Board over the course of the last year. In the interim, they decided to make their way out of the trucking business, particularly given CARB’s Truck and Bus Rule, which despite available extensions is putting the rig outside the legal powertrain boundaries as of this year.
On New Year’s Eve, the pair were working through paperwork to “request an extension to run our truck in the state,” says Karen Moore, as they work toward selling it. CARB’s offer of a six-month extension into 2014 required owners to register with CARB, which the Moores had already done, and likewise to show the board “good faith” efforts at compliance — namely that purchase orders had been placed either for a retrofit, a new engine or a new truck.
“Our method of compliance,” however, the Moores noted in their extension application, was to “sell the truck and get out of trucking.” The reasoning that they gave for why they should be allowed to operate in the state without upgrade was that they would have to leave the state in order to sell the truck.
CARB has “made it impossible to sell the truck” within California, notes Tom. “We will probably die with that truck unless we leave California to sell it somewhere.”
The Moores, they know, “are not alone,” Tom adds.
Yesterday, they received a call from a CARB representative who told them that, while no official extension would be available for them, given their compliance method, they needn’t worry too much about enforcement in their efforts to drive into and out of the state. “We’re not going to have people at the borders,” said Karen, paraphrasing the representative. “If you do get pulled over, basically it’s a citation that you receive from the highway patrol” like any other.
“At this point,” Karen adds, “we’ll just take our chances and plead with the officers” should they get pulled over.
When we talked yesterday, the Moores were planning a three-week round hauling freight around the country, outside of California, as a possible final run this month before hanging the business up for another venture.
Affected tractors are equipped with an automated Eaton UltraShift Plus or Eaton Advantage Transmission with right hand stalk shifter. In the affected trucks, the display on the instrument panel can indicate “N” when the shifter is set into “D” or “R,” causing the truck not to move.