November 4, 2019 12:00 AM, EST

New California Regulations for Trailers

There has been some confusion regarding new California regulations for trailers. The new rules (California Phase 2) mainly affect trailer and aerodynamic device manufacturers, but fleets should at least be familiar with the basics of the regulation.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration initially developed the trailer certification standards as part of their federal Phase 2 GHG standards. The standard was initially set to start January 1, 2018, but its implementation was suspended by EPA in late 2017. CARB has now adopted Phase 2 GHG trailer standards identical to the U.S. EPA GHG trailer standards. Those standards (California Phase 2) will start January 1, 2020.

California Phase 2

California Phase 2 applies to trailer manufacturers that sell trailers to California fleets.  Trailer aerodynamic device manufacturers (i.e., those that make skirts, tails, etc. to improve trailer aerodynamics), although not directly regulated, may request pre-approval of devices that improve trailer aerodynamics. 

California Phase 2 can seem confusing because California already has a separate trailer fleet regulation, the Tractor-Trailer GHG (TTGHG) Regulation that applies primarily to the owner-operators of long-haul tractor-trailers that travel on California highways. The TTGHG Regulation has been in place since 2010. It is not limited in applicability to trailers sold in California. It applies to all long-box type trailers, including both dry-van and refrigerated-van trailers, traveling in California. For more information, go to

The good news for fleets is that owners, operators, and fleets do not have additional regulatory requirements under the California Phase 2 rules other than to follow the trailer manufacturer’s maintenance instructions. As part of the maintenance requirement, manufacturers must explain what the owner responsibility is for maintaining the emissions control technologies on the trailer in the owner’s manual. Owners who. modify the trailer from its initial configuration could be found in violation of California Vehicle Code 27156 and title 13, CCR, 2220 et seq., which prohibit tampering of emissions control systems. As provided in Title 40 CFR 1037.655, only modifications for the purpose of reducing emissions are allowed.

We at TrailerBlade believe that no aerodynamic device should ever limit the function of your trailer. That’s why we currently lead all aero device manufacturers with 17 different California Phase 2 pre-approved configurations.  We stand ready to answer any questions you may have regarding this new, or any other trailer regulation. Contact TrailerBlade for more information.

About TrailerBlade

Strehl’s leading brand, TrailerBlade, enhances your tractor trailer by providing a proven 7% savings in fuel economy. Plus, TrailerBlade provides durability and flexibility that last through any challenge a trailer may face on the road. With Strehl’s products on your fleet’s tractor trailers, your trucks look, drive, and perform better. Proven results guarantee an exceptional performance.

Our products are designed to get the highest energy savings available. When you buy a Strehl product, you are buying for life. Inferior skirts leave money on the road. Choose from our line of long lasting and durable Trailerblade products.

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