Starting on Jan. 1, no 2011 or subsequent model year 53-ft. or longer dry, refrigerated or curtainside van trailer may be pulled by a heavy-duty tractor on a highway in California unless it is either SmartWay-certified or has been retrofitted with equipment meeting SmartWay technical requirements and specifications for fuel-efficient trailers.

SmartWay requirements for 53' or longer box-type trailers include:

  • Low-rolling resistance tires that provide a 3% fuel economy benefit, relative to mid-range rolling resistance tires.
  • Trailer side fairings and trailer front-mounted gap fairings or trailer rear-mounted fairings or boat tails.

The new trailer requirement is part of a state climate action plan approved by the California Air Resources Board (ARB) in late 2008. That plan, which seeks to reduce state greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels by 2020, includes the Heavy-duty Vehicle Greenhouse Gas Emission Reduction rule. Based on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency SmartWay Partnership Program, the truck rule requires the use of technologies that improve the efficiency of heavy-duty tractors and trailers operating in California.