CARB Reminder on Contractor Practices and Guidelines on TRU (reefer) Requirements

Brokers, forwarders, shippers and receivers that hire motor carriers to transport perishable goods on California highways are reminded by the California Air Resources Board to “re-establish due diligence in their hiring practices” in 2014.

December 31, 2013 was the deadline for model year 2006 transport refrigeration unit (TRU) and TRU generator set engines to meet the TRU Regulation’s in-use performance standards.  As a result, there may be some noncompliant TRU and TRU genset engines that cannot legally operate in California, says CARB.

“Any business entity that hires motor carriers to transport perishable goods on California highways and railways must require the carriers they hire or contract with to only dispatch TRUs or TRU generator sets that comply with the TRU’s in-use performance standards.”

TRU Advisory 13-25 explains what this means for the hiring business entities (e.g. freight brokers, forwarders, shippers and receivers) that hire refrigerated motor carriers.

The following advisory lists some strategies that a hiring business may use to make sure they only hire motor carriers with compliant TRUs:

1. Now is a good time to notify the refrigerated carriers you plan to do business with in 2014 to bring their TRUs into compliance, register their TRUs in ARBER, and only dispatch compliant TRUs on California highways and railways.  Notify them that you will not hire a carrier that can’t show you that they are compliant with ARB’s in-use performance standards.

2. Before you hire a refrigerated motor carrier to transport perishable goods on California highways or railways, require them to show you they can supply TRUs that are compliant with the TRU Regulation’s in-use standards.  Require them to provide you with a current ARBER Certification Page for each of their TRUs.  Build a file for each carrier you do business with that includes their current ARBER Certification Pages for the TRUs they will dispatch on California highways or railways.

3. Encourage the carriers you do business with to only operate 100 percent compliant TRUs and to make sure they are listed on ARB’s 100 Percent Compliant Carrier List, if they plan to do business with you.  Check ARB’s 100 Percent Compliant Carrier List to ensure the carriers you hire are currently listed as 100 percent compliant with ARB’s TRU Regulation in-use standards.

4. When you advertise for an available load, make sure you require ARB-compliant TRUs.  For example, the equipment specification on a load board should require an ARB-compliant TRU if the load could travel on California highways or railways.

5. Contracts with refrigerated carriers need to include language that requires an ARB-compliant TRU if the load could travel on California highways or railways.

6. Shippers should use bills of lading (or equivalent freight documents) for refrigerated loads that include bold language that the carrier or their agent signs next to, certifying that the equipment used to transport these goods is compliant with ARB’s TRU Regulation in-use standards.

Also in 2014, CARB plans to check refrigerated carrier drivers for the documentation they are now required to carry.  The TRU Regulation requires that:

• The hiring business entity must provide contact information to the carrier for their driver about the hiring business entity, shipper, and receiver.

• Motor carriers are responsible for providing the driver with contact information for the shipper, receiver, and business entity that hired the carrier.

• Drivers must, upon request by authorized personnel, provide their driver’s license, vehicle registration, bill of lading or freight bill (if loaded) with the origin and destination of the freight being transported, and contact information for the carrier, shipper, receiver, and business entity that hired the carrier.

For more information on the TRU regulation and compliance guidelines, see the following links:

TRU Advisory 13-25 provides more detailed information and is available here.

Guidance for Brokers, Forwarders, Shippers, Receivers, Carriers and Drivers for Hiring and Contracting TRU-Carrier Transport of Perishable Goods on California Highways and Railways can be found here.

For general information about the TRU Regulation, click here.

The ARBER registration website is here.

TRU Advisories are listed here.

Otherwise, contact the TRU Help Line at 1-888-878-2826 or call 1-916-327-8737.