By becoming certified partners through the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's voluntary SmartWay program, fleet and truck operators can improve or enhance their environmental image, save money on fuel, attract new business and reduce greenhouse gas emissions from their trucks.
While participation in SmartWay's verification process is voluntary, for truck and fleet operators who run their trucks in California, going through the process can also help them meet new regulations adopted by the California Air Resources Board (CARB). Those regulations require fleet and truck operators with 2011 model year tractors or straight trucks that pull 53-foot or longer box-type trailers to use certain SmartWay-verified fuel efficient technologies when they operate in California.
Those technologies include low rolling resistance tires, which must be installed on the trucks, as well as the trailers if they are 2011 model year or newer. A complete list of verified equipment is available at http://www.epa.gov/smartway/transport/what-smartway/verified-technologies.htm.
CARB regulations also establish various deadlines for retrofitting 2010 and older model year tractors, straight trucks, van bodies and box-type trailers with the low rolling resistance tires. All fleets, regardless of where their vehicles are registered, must comply with the regulation when they operate their affected vehicles on California highways.
The SmartWay Partnership Program is an innovative collaboration between the freight industry and federal government to reduce air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions, improve fuel efficiency and strengthen the freight sector. Certification as a SmartWay fleet requires truck fleets and operators to run verified low rolling resistance tires like Goodyear's full line of Fuel Max Technology tires on tractors and trailers, and Dunlop's new FM series.
Through thorough testing, Goodyear has shown that both of these tire lines, when used as a complete system, can improve fuel efficiency by up to 4 percent.
Still, improved fuel economy is not the only advantage to equipping trucks with SmartWay-verified low rolling resistance tires. Fleets and truck operators also can help protect themselves as well as their brokers and shippers from the financial consequences of non-compliance.
CARB can hold California-based brokers and California-based shippers that employ drivers, owner operators and motor carriers equally responsible. One or all of the parties may be fined for operating or using non-compliant vehicles on California highways.
As for the schedule of enforcement, fleets and truck operators with 2010 model year and older tractors will have until Jan. 1, 2012, to replace all of the tires on their tractors with low rolling resistance tires. Fleets and truck operators with 2010 model year and older box-type dry van bodies or trailers will have until Jan. 1, 2013, to replace the tires on those vans and trailers with low rolling resistance tires.
Meanwhile, fleets or operators with 2003 to 2008 model year refrigerated van trailers will have several more years to replace the tires on those trailers with low rolling resistance tires.
To help the trucking industry make the transition to compliance, CARB is offering small and large fleets special opportunities to extend how long they have to come into compliance with the regulations for their model year 2010 and older trailers. The extensions provide a phase-in compliance schedule over a period of four years from 2014 to 2017 for small fleets, and over a period of five years from 2011 to 2016 for large fleets.
Large fleets choosing to take advantage of this option must submit compliance plans to CARB by July 1, 2010, electronically via the agency's website or by mail. Small fleets have until July 1, 2012, to submit their plans. Once the compliance plans are submitted, CARB must review and approve them.
The CARB regulation has different phase-in schedules for small and large fleets. A small fleet is any fleet with 20 or fewer trailers that operate at least some of those trailers in California.
Regulation will be implemented for (1) tractors that use 2 or more open shoulder drive tires and (2) 2011 and newer model year tractors and trailers that use retreaded tires.
Michelin SmartWay verified retreads contribute to fuel savings and emissions reductions
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Three Goodyear truck tire retread products – the G316 AT Fuel Max, the G572 LHD Fuel Max and the G305 ATS Fuel Max – have received SmartWay verification.