The Golden State No More: The 3 Worst Things About Hauling in California

Transporters know that every state has its ups and downs when it comes to cross-country trips.

While some regions of the U.S. offer scenic landscapes accompanied by blue skies, others provide less memorable views. When it comes to hauling loads, each state has its own sets of regulations and requirements that are often guided by federal mandates. Depending on who you ask, certain states may get more favorable remarks than others, but there seems to be a widespread agreement that California, albeit picturesque, warm and sunny, can cause headaches for drivers trekking through the Sunshine State.

Here are the three worst things about hauling loads in California:

1. Watch out for CARB: Although diets are a popular trend in the state, Dr. Atkins and the freight industry have little to nothing in common. The acronym stands for the California Air Resources Board, and the legislative body recently passed regulations that will likely affect brokers, freight forwarders, shippers, receivers, motor carriers and their drivers, according to third-party logistics company Choptank Transport. Shippers or receivers located in California must arrange, hire, contract with or utilize trucks and trailers that comply with CARB’s TRU ATCM engine emissions standards. TRUs are refrigeration systems that haulers use to keep food cold while limiting damage to the surrounding environment, the state’s governments website added. Older models need to upgrade their engines to comply with the new regulations as well. Great.

2. California is a gassy state: We’re not exactly sure what California has been eating lately, but one thing’s for sure: There’s a lot of atmospheric pollutants floating in the air on the nation’s West Coast. In fact, WebMD recently named seven different California cities in its “10 Worst Smog Cities in America.” This affects freight drivers specifically because they have to regularly check their vehicles for smog inspections. According to The California Department of Motor Vehicles, these tests are required for all diesel-powered trucks made in 1997 and older or those that have a Gross Vehicle Weight of more than 14,000 lbs, which means transporters may have to pass these tests more often than their larger counterparts. Furthermore, owners of vehicles six or less model years old must pay a smog abatement fee for the first six registration years instead of getting a biennial smog certification. For those traveling through California on delivery trips, take care of the aforementioned vehicular requirements before it’s too late.

3. Fuel prices are rising: Speaking of gas, the cost of fuel has steadily increased over the past five to 10 years. Transportation companies have felt the brunt of the higher prices, especially since the cost of diesel fuel is modestly growing as well. Industry magazine Overdrive’s website reported that California has the country’s most expensive diesel at slightly more than $4 per gallon, citing ProMiles’ Fuel Surcharge Index statistics. Ouch! The West Coast and New England regions were the only two areas of the U.S. that saw fuel prices reach more than $4.

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