Staying Cool Under Pressure

Nothing in trucking stands still for long, and that includes the rules and regulations.  One of the latest rules to change involves the amount of greenhouse gas emissions a truck can emit.  To meet the new benchmark and reduce emissions, Prime is testing out new refrigerated units by Thermo King.

The new cap on greenhouse emissions comes from the California Air Resource Board, better known in the industry as CARB.  The new rule is set to take effect in 2023, but “we wanted a few years to test out different products to see which one is the best fit for Prime,” says Chris Holtmeyer, manager of fleet maintenance.  “We’ve used Carrier refrigerated units for a long time, and operationally, the way we’re running is sound, but we don’t know which manufacturer will be able to meet CARB requirements yet.  That’s why we’re testing them all out.”

With another two years before CARB’s emission regulations go into effect, Prime is busy testing out the new cooling units.  So far, 100 Thermo King refrigerated unites have been added to Prime’s fleet, and Chris says that with new units on the road, Prime has dedicated time to training its technicians on how to identify and fix problems that pop up in the Thermo King models.

“The new units should be really similar to the Carrier units we already use,” he says.  “That should allow our team to handle repairs quickly, but we need to make sure we’re totally ready to comply with the new regulations when they come into effect in the future.”

Many of these features you see on trucks today are a result of CARB regulations.  For example, skirts for refrigerated units are common across the industry these days, but they were first added as a result of CARB regulations regarding fuel economy.  The skirts increase fuel efficiency by 6%. That might not seem like a big deal, but it can be a big money saver for drivers.

“There are all kinds of CARB laws that are going to come into effect in the next few years,” Chris says.  “These laws are going to be a big deal, and we’ll be ready here at Prime.”

Read more in the Prime magazine, Prime Ways – Family Road Trip

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