Tuscon’s Inland “Port” Received International Freight

Nearly a decade ago, a privately owned inland “port,” working with Union Pacific Railway, began shipping and receiving domestic freight.

In late May, this same port received a shipment from Asia, marking the ports entry into the world of international shipping.

Relying on rail, such a system bypasses the need to ship the containers from the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach by truck, and bypassing California’s CARB diesel regulations.

CARB Cracking Down on Port Freight Loophole

timthumb  The California Air Resources Board is going to crack down on so-called “dray-off” activities. A dray-off is when a port-regulations-compliant truck transfers its load to a non-compliant truck.

Drayage trucks, trucks that are carrying intermodal freight from ports or rail yards, have been subject to more stringent, and earlier enforced regulation than other freight trucks.

It became common for compliant trucks to move in and out of ports and rail yards and transfer their freight to non-compliant trucks outside of the ports.

Amendments to the Drayage Truck Regulations made the transfer of drayage from compliant to non-compliant trucks illegal within the borders of the state of California.

   While these amendments have been in place for some time, reporting of dray-offs relied mostly on informants calling CARB. In 2012, CARB performed more than 3600 inspections on trucks suspected of dray-offs, which resulted in 261 citations.    

Out-of-State Operators Counseled to Stay Out of California

“If you only derive a small percentage of your revenue from California, consider no longer operating there,” is how Ken Rutherford’s OverdriveOnline.com column started.

Rutherford went on to state several reasons why out-of-state operators would find it difficult to run a profit in California:

  • CARB-certified retrofits on 1996-2006 trucks can const $15,000 to $20,000.
  • Retrofitted trucks can lose up to ½ mile per gallon in fuel mileage.
  • 2007 and newer trucks can cost twice as much per mile in maintenance than 2004 and earlier trucks and suffer from increased down time.

California Environmental Regs Squeezing Out Owner-Operators

Owner-operators are being slowly squeezed out of the California market, according to a panel discussion at the 2013 Fleet Executive Conference in Las Vegas.

Prices for compliant used trucks can get as high as $100,000 for trucks with 250,000 miles or more, but only about 10-percent of owner-operators can qualify for such a loan.

Meanwhile, trucks older than 2007 model year, trucks that will no longer be compliant, are plummeting in value on the used truck market.

The result is that the owner-operator model in California is becoming economically unfeasible.

Hot Weather! Check Your Oil Levels

As summer approaches, proper lubrication levels become critical. As the ambient temperature rises, transmission and differentials will operate at higher temperatures.

As these operating temperatures increase, a low lubricant level, which might not have been a problem in January, might now result in a costly repair.

ESW CleanTech Acquires Cleaire’s Assets

Cleaire LogoESW CleanTech has acquired the assets of the now defunct Cleaire, a leading manufacturer of diesel particulate-matter filters.

Cleaire ceased operations in January after a costly CARB-mandated recall of their Longmile line of filters.

Officals in the state of Washington have indicated that the Longmile filter may have played a role in the costly 2011 Monastery Fire, compensation for which is currently in litigation. .

According to the California Air Resources Board (CARB), ESW CleanTech will continue to provide technical assistance and warranty support to the Cleaire line of DPFs and will complete the Longmile recall.

ESW CleanTech is a manufacturer of a DPF as well, the ESW ThermaCat.