Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Lipstick on the pig

A pig is a pig. You can dress it up and put some lipstick on it. But underneath it’s still a pig.

That’s what I can’t help but think every time someone starts going on about how long-haul trucks in Mexico are as good as U.S. trucks.

That is simply not true.

I don’t care if it’s a 2011 top-of-the-line, all-the-bells-and-whistles tractor. It’s still not up to par with trucks in the U.S. – when you look under the hood.

That’s where the standards for the two countries depart. The emission standards for Mexico's new truck engines are equivalent to the 2004 standards here in the U.S. So no matter when that truck was built, if it was built any time after 2007 it pollutes 19 times more nitrogen oxides, nine times more particulate matter, eight times more hydrocarbons than the same engine model years in U.S. trucks. They pollute more, a lot more. Period.

For those who need to see the breakdown, here you go. From a California Air Resources Board report on emissions and the culprits:

 The reason Mexico cannot and does not move forward with its emission standards to try and match the U.S. emission standards – which have added $30,000 to $40,000 to the price tags of new trucks since October 2002 – is because of the overall lack of ultra-low-sulfur diesel in Mexico.

You cannot run low sulfur diesel in 2007 and newer U.S. emission compliant trucks because eventually the fuel will wreck the engine.

It doesn’t matter if the trucks have spanky paint jobs and are dripping with chrome. It’s just putting the lipstick on a polluting pig engine under the hood.


  1. grate job keep the grate work up we don't need unfit and unsafe trucks and drivers on are highways who can't understand are sign

  2. Grate job keep up the grate work we can't allow trucks or. Drivers that wront meat are standers I have lost good jobs

  3. I wonder if the EPA has this information,they can shut every
    thing else down,why can't they get
    into this battle?????

  4. I see plenty of American owned 18 wheelers belching black smoke as they hammer down the highway. And how about the guy down the street with the pumped up Dodge or Ford that smokes like an oceanliner when he nails it from a stoplight?? Why not target the individuals instead of the masses?

  5. Come-on Ican't believe you stooped this low. OOIDA quoting CARB would be like the KKK using NAACP statistics to prove a point. This is very disappointing.

    1. On Dec. 10, 2008 CARB scientist Hien T. Tran admitted to Bart Croes, head of the air board’s research department, that he had lied about having a Ph.D. in statistics from the University of California Davis. Tran was not subordinate researcher in the air resource board's chain of command. He was the lead researcher and coordinated an ambitious, study on diesel emissions that air board leaders thought made a powerful case for sweeping new rules governing the heavy-duty trucks responsible for most such emissions. However, it was found every one of his findings were suspect.

    2. Wasn't it OOIDA and LL that has constantly gone after CARB for their questionable statistics and research, Now you are quoting them as if they're gospel.
    Here's a list of those articles:
    April 8, 2011 – “Why base reefer regulation on model year?”
    December 4, 2009 – “OOIDA calls for suspension of CARB regs”
    December 15, 2010 – “Pending CARB rules create disparity for out-of-state truckers”

    3. Did the author not know that referring to Mexicans as pigs or in a derogatory reference to pigs is considered a racial slur in Spanish?

    All this demonstrates is the author's lack of understanding of the Mexican Culture, total disregard for the facts and an attempt to use information previously refuted by the OOIDA to try to prove their position on the Mexican Cross Border Issue.

    As a life member of OOIDA I'm gravely disappointed.

  6. I understand your frustration with CARB. A lot of truckers will eventually be put out of business by the stunts pulled by that agency – based off the research of Tran.

    However, don’t let your frustration with CARB divert you from the facts. The information contained in the chart is an accurate, factual depiction of the emission regulations in the U.S. and Mexico.

    If it makes you feel better, here’s similar information from a 2007 report for the EPA. It’s just not in as handy of chart form:

    Heavy-Duty Diesel On-Road Engine Standards
    Mexican diesel emission standards for heavy-duty on-road engines were the same as EPA standards for model years 1993-1997 and then, following a tightening of standards in both countries, for model years 1998-2003 as well. However, when the U.S. updated its standards again in 2004, Mexico did not. Instead, Mexico continued to hold to the standards that had been in place for the 1988-2003.

    Another interesting tidbit in the same study:

    1966-1969 1966
    1970-1972 1968
    1973-1974 1971
    1975-1976 1973
    1977-1978 1975
    1979-1980 1977
    1981-1982 1979
    1983 1980
    1984-1985 1981
    1986 1982
    1987-1988 1983
    1989-1990 1986
    1991 1988
    1992 1989
    1993-2003 1993-2003
    2004 2003

    As far as racial slurs, that was not and still is not in any way shape or form a reference to the Mexican people. The piece is very clearly directed at the emission standards of Mexican trucks. This isn’t the first time someone has tried to make this issue about race. I just can’t see how pollution is an issue of race.

    As far as being a derogatory term in Mexico, I hate to point out the obvious, but calling someone/something a pig in the U.S. is derogatory as well. If anything, the point that these engines are “pig” polluters crossed any language barrier that might have otherwise existed.

    If you would like to counter the facts as presented, I’ll be glad to provide you with more research. But that’s where the debate starts and ends on this opinion piece, with the emission standards of the two countries.

  7. I worked for a national towing network for big rigs, and I had a first hand view of the EPA's ridiculous law's effect on trucking. More than 40% of our towing calls were for 2010,2011, and 2012 trucks, that shut down for the emissions electronics malfunctioning. Literally that much. These trucks could not be reset, and actually had to be towed to dealerships. And these situations left drivers stranded in the desert heat, because the engines wouldn't run for them to use AC/heat. These poor guys had to suffer and wait till we could get them help, which sometimes took 16 hrs or more. Thanks to the EPA, our trucks are garbage..right off the assembly line. Crazy.

  8. The keys to patience are acceptance and faith. Accept things as they are, and look realistically at the world around you. Have faith in yourself and in the direction you have chosen. See the link below for more info.


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