You’ve heard the saying, “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.” Well, count me among those who have learned to mix their lemonade in 55-gallon drums.
As you probably know, a few years ago California decided to pass a strict law governing diesel emissions. In theory, it’s a pretty nice idea. After all, who wants to inhale the smoke from dead dinosaurs? Not me. And it can get especially nasty when it hangs over big metro areas, like San Francisco, during dog days.
So, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) enacted a Statewide Truck and Bus Rule. Without going into detail on the finer points, suffice it to say most diesel trucks in operation will soon become obsolete, straining California movers -- some past their breaking point.
California acted in a big way, and it was controversial from the get-go when Governor Schwarzenegger introduced it. Many, including myself, think it to be an overreach. The prohibitions on truckers are huge, and so are the costs. A new, properly equipped tractor costs about $160,000. I know because we just bought two of them (Kenworth T680s—they are sweet). We also purchased two new International bobtails.
When we did the math on our 1995 Freightliner, we couldn't justify getting rid of it. Despite its age, mechanically it’s a young truck—only 150,000 miles. We decided to retrofit it with an approved emissions filter. We’d like to get a million miles out of this truck before we retire it. Here’s a photo after the retrofit.
Our 1995 Freightliner before (top) and after (bottom) the retrofit.
So, despite the cost, EVS Moving is working to make sure we are in compliance with the new law. In fact, we've been right on top of this issue for the last five years. We knew from the beginning it would be a test. Our company is 79 years old and much of our equipment was suddenly made obsolete. But, as the saying goes, that which doesn't kill you only makes you stronger. We decided early on this wasn't going to kill us, and we took the necessary steps to ensure the health of our business. Now, we are going forward with some of the best equipment on the road today.
We've turned a hardship into a competitive advantage.
From left to right, our two new Kenworth T680s, and two new International bobtails.