Cargo Handling Equipment FAQ
This page last reviewed October 06, 2015
This page contains some of the most commonly asked questions regarding the Cargo Handling Equipment Regulation. Additional FAQs will be added as needed.
My facility is not at a designated major "port" like the Port
of Oakland or Port of Los Angeles, but we have a dock. Do I have to
comply with the Cargo Handling Equipment (CHE) regulation?
Possibly. If your dock is visited primarily by ocean-going vessels, and cargo is loaded or unloaded from or to those vessels, then your facility is included in the regulation.
I have diesel aerial lifts and other
off-road equipment at my terminal that is never used to handle cargo at
any time, but the equipment is used for maintenance purposes. Does it
have to comply with the CHE regulation?
Yes; the definition of cargo handling equipment also includes equipment used to perform maintenance and repair activities that are routinely scheduled or that are due to predictable process upsets.
Are on-road trucks that come onto the
terminal to pick up or deliver cargo included in this regulation?
No. The Cargo Handling Equipment Regulation applies to vehicles used primarily off-road. On-road drayage trucks are used primarily for on-road transport and are coverd under the In-Use Drayage Truck Regulation.
Is my on-road sweeper included in the
Currently, if the sweeper is operated primarily off-road, such as on non-public roadways, parking lots, and terminal activity areas, it is included in the CHE regulation. However, staff is proposing changes to the regulation that our Board will consider in December 2008 to exempt sweepers and mobile cranes (other than rubber-tired gantry cranes). Please see FAQ #36 for more information on the proposed regulatory changes..
- What if my equipment/vehicle has more
than one engine?
Only the main (motive/propulsion) engine is required to comply with the CHE regulation. Auxiliary engines are considered portable engines, and those over 50 horsepower are required to comply with the Portable Equipment Airborne Toxic Control Measure. Information on that regulation and its requirements is available on our website, including ARB staff contacts at the bottom of the web page. However, staff is proposing changes to the regulation that our Board will consider in December 2008, to exempt sweepers and mobile cranes (other than rubber-tired gantry cranes). These two vehicle types often have two engines. Please see FAQ #36 for more information on the proposed regulatory changes.
Is a forklift considered a yard truck?
No; for the purposes of the CHE regulation, a forklift is considered non-yard truck equipment, and specifically, falls under the basic container handling equipment category.
Is a RoRo tractor considered a yard
Yes. A RoRo tractor looks like a yard truck but usually has additional features (such as four-wheel drive and sometimes a more powerful engine). It performs similar functions as a yard truck and can actually be used in place of a regular yard truck in normal yard truck applications.
Does my gasoline or propane powered
equipment have to comply with the CHE regulation?
No, but there is a regulation for off-road large spark-ignited (LSI) engines that might be applicable. View information regarding the LSI regulation.
Are vehicles that are used to
transport personnel required to comply with the CHE regulation?
If the vehicles are only used to transport personnel, then they are not required to comply with the in-use performance standards, but they must still comply with recordkeeping and reporting requirements.
Are fuel trucks required to comply
with the CHE regulation?
If the trucks are owned by the terminal, port, or intermodal rail yard and are used only to pick up and deliver fuel, then they are not required to comply with the in-use performance standards, but they must still comply with recordkeeping and reporting requirements. Fuel trucks owned and operated by a company other than the terminal, port, or intermodal rail yard do not need to be reported.
Have any alternatives to the labeling
requirement been approved for use?
Yes; the individual piece of cargo handling equipment may be marked with a visible, unique identification number or barcode which corresponds to the required label information in an electronic or hardcopy file that is immediately accessible at the time of inspection by the enforcement agency. Any owner or operator using this alternative in lieu of the label must notify the Air Resources Board in writing (mail, fax, or e-mail). For more information, please refer to Enforcement Advisory #361.
Do I have to notify ARB as soon as my
equipment is in compliance?
You have to submit to ARB a Demonstration of Compliance by January 31st, following your required compliance date, which is always December 31st of the required compliance year. For example, if you comply in March 2008, you do not need to submit the Demonstration of Compliance until January 31, 2009. The reporting forms available on our website can help to simplify this, and they also include a Demonstration of Compliance section for you to complete and submit to ARB.
I sometimes rent equipment that I
operate. Who is required to do the reporting?
Only rental equipment that was in-use at a port or intermodal rail yard as of January 1, 2007 needs to be reported. Either the owner or operator can report, but it's best to leave that responsibility up to the owner, since it's their equipment that will have to comply. However, it's important that when you rent or lease equipment, you confirm that the equipment is compliant, since both the operator and the owner may be cited if violations occur. Additionally, recordkeeping requirements still apply, so it's also important to be sure the records, including required labeling, accompany any rented or leased equipment.
- As a rental agency, what are the
requirements to rent out a yard truck to be operated at a port or
intermodal rail yard on or after January 1, 2007?
The yard truck must be equipped with an on-road engine that is certified to the current model year standards (i.e., if it is rented in 2007, then the engine must be certified to the 2007 on-road diesel engine standards; if it is rented in 2010, then the engine must be certified to the 2010 on-road diesel engine standards, etc.). It's important to note that engine standards typically span over multiple years. For instance, the 2007 standards go through the 2009 model year, so if you are renting out a yard truck to be used at a port or intermodal rail yard in 2009, it must have a 2007 or later model year certified on-road engine.
As a rental agency, what are the
requirements to rent out non-yard truck equipment to be operated at a
port or intermodal rail yard on or after January 1, 2007?
If there is a 2007 or later certified on-road engine available for the specific equipment type and application, then that is what is required. However, on-road engines will not be applicable to most non-yard truck equipment, in which case the equipment must have an engine that, at the very least, meets the current model year standards for the rated horsepower (i.e., if it is rented in 2007, then at the least, the engine must be certified to the 2007 off-road standards for the rated horsepower, which for most engines will be Tier 3). Additionally, the highest level verified diesel emission control strategy (VDECS) available must be installed within a year after the rental/lease begins (or within six months of VDECS becoming available if one isn't available that first year), but only IF the equipment is to remain in operation at the port or intermodal rail yard for more than a year.
As a rental agency, do I need to
Only if the rental/lease agreement for the equipment that's currently being used at a port or intermodal rail yard began prior to January 1, 2007. However, recordkeeping requirements still apply; see FAQ # 17 below for more information.
- I'm a rental agency, and my
rental/lease agreement for the equipment that's currently being used at
a port or intermodal rail yard began prior to January 1, 2007. Will I
have to retrofit the equipment?
You will have to meet the requirements for in-use equipment per the compliance schedules provided in the regulation, Tables 1 through 3. If the equipment is a not a yard truck, retrofitting with the highest level VDECS available is a compliance option. If the equipment is a yard truck, there are currently no VDECS available that will bring you into compliance with the regulation, so you will have to replace the yard truck with one equipped with a 2007 or later certified on-road engine (or a final Tier 4 off-road engine if your required compliance date is after final Tier 4 engines become available in 2014). The required compliance dates in Tables 1 through 3 of the regulation are determined by the model year of the engine(s) and equipment type (yard truck or non-yard truck).
- What kind of recordkeeping is
As of December 31, 2006, any equipment operated at a port or intermodal rail yard must have records kept onsite at all times, including a labeling requirement for each piece of equipment (or an alternative method approved by the Executive Officer - see FAQ #11). These requirements apply whether the equipment is owned, operated, rented, leased, etc. Because there is very detailed information required for recordkeeping, please refer to the CHE regulation, subsection (i) for a list of recordkeeping requirements.
- What is a VDECS?
VDECS is an acronym for Verified Diesel Emission Control Strategy and refers to an emission control device, designed primarily for reducing diesel particulate matter (PM) emissions, which has been verified by the Air Resources Board under the Verification Procedure regulation. The Verification Procedure provides a way to thoroughly evaluate the PM emission reduction capabilities of a variety of diesel emission control strategies as part of a retrofit in-use program. It ensures that emission reductions achieved by a control strategy are real, the device is durable and covered by minimum warranty requirements specified in the Verification Procedure, and that production units in the field are achieving emission reductions which are consistent with their verification.
- What VDECS are available for non-yard
A list of all VDECS for all types of diesel engines (i.e., on-road, off-road, stationary, etc.) is available on our Verification website. The website also contains specific information and requirements for each VDECS, based on the level of diesel PM emission control:
Level 3 is
at least 85 percent reduction;
- Level 2 is
at least 50 percent reduction; and
- Level 1 is
at least 25 percent reduction.
It is important to confirm the VDECS that are available for your specific engine and application before making any purchasing decisions. Please remember that if retrofitting in order to comply with the regulation, the highest level available VDECS must be installed.
- Level 3 is at least 85 percent reduction;
- How will I know when new VDECS become
You can subscribe to the Diesel Retrofit Program list serve in order to be notified via e-mail whenever new devices become verified as VDECS or whenever changes are made to current verifications. To subscribe, just follow the instructions on our website.
If I buy a new, current model year
vehicle in order to comply for my in-use non-yard truck piece of
equipment, and it has the cleanest available certified off-road engine
for the horsepower rating, do I still need to install highest level
Yes, but only if a VDECS is available for your specific engine; additionally, you have up to a year after purchase to install the VDECS. If no VDECS is available for your specific engine that first year, then you must install one within six months of it becoming available.
- If I'm going to replace my equipment
in order to comply with the regulation, does the one-year compliance
extension for engines near retirement apply?
The Compliance Extension for an Engine Near Retirement, section 2479 (f)(1) of the regulation, applies to both yard trucks and non-yard truck equipment. If you are downsizing your fleet by retiring a piece of equipment you may use the one-year retirement extension. However, you may not use the retirement extension for equipment that is being replaced with new equipment in order to comply with the regulation.
The intent of this provision is to allow facilities that know they are planning on retiring a piece of equipment to have a one-year extension of the compliance date. Retire or Retirement means “an engine or vehicle that will be taken out of service by an owner or operator and will not be operated at a port or intermodal rail yard in the State of California.” The expectation is that this piece of equipment is no longer needed in the foreseeable future and will not be replaced, at least not immediately after the one-year extension. In other words, the retirement extension is not to be used to get an additional year of operation for an older piece of equipment that will be replaced at the end of the one-year extension. However, this does not limit your ability to buy a new piece of equipment in the future when volumes are up or your business expands, etc.
Additional information can be found in Enforcement Advisory 361.
When determining the percentage of
equipment in each model year group, do I use the equipment model year
or engine model year?
The model year groups are based on the engine model year.
- If a VDECS is available for my
specific non-yard truck engine, can I still choose to install an
experimental control under the compliance extension in subsection
No. That compliance extension is only an option if no VDECS are available for your specific engine.
- Can I choose to install a Level 1
VDECS on my non-yard truck equipment if a Level 2 or Level 3 VDECS is
available for my specific engine(s)?
No. The regulation requires that if you choose to retrofit in order to comply, you must install the highest level VDECS available for your engine.
- Once I have installed the highest
level VDECS available for my non-yard truck equipment, will I have to
upgrade it to a higher level VDECS if one becomes available?
No, unless the VDECS you installed fails outside of its warranty period, at which time, you must install the highest level VDECS available at the time of replacement (and within 90 days of the original VDECS failure). As an alternative to replacing a failed VDECS, you can elect to replace or repower with a compliant, new engine.
- Will I be required to replace my 2007
certified on-road yard trucks once the 2010 on-road engine standards or
Tier 4 off-road engine standards become effective?
No; the regulation does not require further replacement or upgrades for yard trucks or non-yard truck equipment equipped with 2007 or later certified on-road engines. However, if the 2007 yard truck reaches the end of its useful life or is otherwise in need of replacement after January 1, 2010, it must be replaced with a yard truck equipped with a 2010 or later certified on-road engine.
Is my local air district enforcing
No; the Air Resources Board is enforcing the CHE regulation.
- Will I be notified in advance of a
In most cases, an enforcement agent will contact you to schedule an inspection. However, unannounced inspections may also occur.
- If I retire equipment in order to comply with the regulation,
but I'm not able to sell or scrap it right away, will I be cited during
an inspection if the equipment is still on my property after my
required compliance date?
If the owner or operator is unable to remove a retired cargo handling equipment vehicle from the facility by the required compliance date (i.e., it's pending sale or scrap), the owner or operator will be held to the following standards for each applicable vehicle:
a. all fluids (i.e., oil and fuel) must be removed from the vehicle; and
b. the battery(ies) must be removed from the vehicle; and
c. the vehicle may not remain on-site for more than one year after the required compliance date. In other words, if the vehicle were required to comply by December 31, 2008, it must be removed from the terminal no later than December 31, 2009. If any of the above conditions are not met, citation(s) may occur.
- Who can I contact if I have questions
regarding enforcement advisories, inspections, or citations?
Please contact Mr. H. Cuauhtémoc (Témoc) Pelayo at 626.575.6779.
How do I stay informed of any new
information regarding the CHE regulation?
The best way to stay informed is to subscribe to our e-mail list serve.
- Who do I contact if I have questions
about what the regulation requires or need help determining my required
Please contact Michele Houghton at 916.327.5638, or you can visit our website.
Where can I get a copy of the regulation?
All regulatory documents, including the Regulation for Mobile Cargo Handling Equipment at Ports and Intermodal Rail Yards, are available on our website.
- Are any changes to the regulation being proposed?
Yes; staff is proposing to exempt sweepers and mobile cranes (other than rubber-tired gantry cranes) from the Cargo Handling Equipment Regulation so that they will be covered under either the In-Use Off-Road Diesel Engine Regulation or the Proposed On-Road Truck and Bus Rule, depending on the engine configuration. The Board will consider these changes, along with similar changes to other rules, at their public meeting on December 11-12, 2008. An explanation of the changes and how they will affect sweeper and mobile crane owners and operators is discussed in Advisory 382, which was issued in October 2008.