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Old 07-07-2016, 09:54 AM   #1
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CA particulate filter retrofit

I'm considering converting a vintage school bus into a hospitality vehicle. Although I wouldn't have actual passengers I would have people on it eating when stationary. I think it would fall under a limo/party bus designation here in CA. Will I be required to make the bus comply with the diesel particulate filter (DPF) retrofit requirements?
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Old 07-07-2016, 11:25 AM   #2
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I'm considering converting a vintage school bus into a hospitality vehicle. Although I wouldn't have actual passengers I would have people on it eating when stationary. I think it would fall under a limo/party bus designation here in CA. Will I be required to make the bus comply with the diesel particulate filter (DPF) retrofit requirements?
Yes, C.A.R.B states only Motorhome/RV's are exempt.
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Old 07-07-2016, 12:11 PM   #3
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Thanks for the info. I read that there is some sort of weight limit. I.e., all vehicles with a GVW over 26000lbs are captured under the law. Is that correct?
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Old 07-07-2016, 12:20 PM   #4
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Yup, 26,000 is the weight range which separates commercial and non-commercial vehicles. This would exempt a diesel pickup truck. There may be other qualifiers or exemptions but basically only RVs are exempt even though they can be over 26k because they've always been understood to be private vehicles not commercial and because they're most popular with retirees who vote!
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Old 07-07-2016, 01:29 PM   #5
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Yup, 26,000 is the weight range which separates commercial and non-commercial vehicles. This would exempt a diesel pickup truck. There may be other qualifiers or exemptions but basically only RVs are exempt even though they can be over 26k because they've always been understood to be private vehicles not commercial and because they're most popular with retirees who vote!
Actually ALL pickup trucks in Ca are considered commercial & have to meet C.A.R.B regs UNLESS they are 1975 or older. & I found out that any truck with a flatbed are technically supposed to stop at truck scales.
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Old 07-07-2016, 02:26 PM   #6
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Actually ALL pickup trucks in Ca are considered commercial & have to meet C.A.R.B regs UNLESS they are 1975 or older. & I found out that any truck with a flatbed are technically supposed to stop at truck scales.
Wow! Learn something every day! That's really gotta suck for private vehicle owners because either way it's a big hit to the wallet.

Scales / inspection stations vary requirements according to state but it wouldn't surprise me in California... Of course I think its a little unAmerican the way some of these states are basically operating customs checkpoints just to cross state lines yet we can't secure our nation's international borders. But I don't want to get all political about it.
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Old 07-07-2016, 05:02 PM   #7
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Wow! Learn something every day! That's really gotta suck for private vehicle owners because either way it's a big hit to the wallet.

Scales / inspection stations vary requirements according to state but it wouldn't surprise me in California... Of course I think its a little unAmerican the way some of these states are basically operating customs checkpoints just to cross state lines yet we can't secure our nation's international borders. But I don't want to get all political about it.
Let me backup for a moment, Ca considers all trucks commercial for registration purposes, they didn't start smog checking diesels 14000lbs & under until I think around 2010,But they started at 96 & up I believe, some of my memory could be off, also they must have their original equipment installed or any aftermarket add ones must have a C.A.R.B. #.
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Old 07-07-2016, 06:22 PM   #8
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So not necessarily DPF unless that was OE for the model year? That's at least more reasonable I think. I was just thinking any small business owner with a couple of trucks would rather throw on the towel than pay what it costs to retrofit every diesel with an after-treatment system. So many landscapers and small time household movers just closing up shop because they can't afford new trucks but can't afford to 'fix' their old ones but surely they're not 40+ years old! Then you have folks who may have a dually pickup that is diesel to pull their boat or fifth wheel travel trailer, that'd be daunting to have to spend what one of those costs today just to keep enjoying your vacation.
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Old 07-07-2016, 07:40 PM   #9
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I have a friend who's family has owned and operated a small tow company here in sunny Kalifornia since 1949. They have 3, medium duty trucks, two are flat beds and the third is a stump puller. All the trucks are just over ten years old and will have to be retro fitted by years end to the tune of $15,000 each. One of the trucks had been given a 2 year extension for retrofit (for a fat fee of course) and will have to be retired at the end of the 2 years. Needless to say, their business is up for sale. Jack
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Old 07-07-2016, 08:48 PM   #10
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I have a friend who's family has owned and operated a small tow company here in sunny Kalifornia since 1949. They have 3, medium duty trucks, two are flat beds and the third is a stump puller. All the trucks are just over ten years old and will have to be retro fitted by years end to the tune of $15,000 each. One of the trucks had been given a 2 year extension for retrofit (for a fat fee of course) and will have to be retired at the end of the 2 years. Needless to say, their business is up for sale. Jack
Well that's pretty crazy. Is it possible that they could have a GVW of over 26K?

Diesel vehicles of model year 1997 or older are exempt from smog testing. 1975 and older for gas. I own one of each and have owned several more in the last 10 years. But apparently any year diesel must have a DPF if it is over 26K?
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Old 07-08-2016, 01:26 AM   #11
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A lot of info is being thrown out in this thread. Some of it correct and some not.

It is correct that RVs are exempt from the DPF requirement. Everything else starting at 14,050 pounds and up will need to comply with the the regs at some point. There is no single date that covers all vehicles. If you buy a bigger bus, you want to get it switched over from a bus to RV as soon as possible.

A legal pickup truck is not subject to the DPF regs as far as needing to retrofit their vehicle. What does that mean? A F450 with a pickup bed does not fall under the legal definition of a pickup in California.

CA Vehicle Code.
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471. A "pickup truck" is a motor truck with a manufacturer's gross vehicle weight rating of less than 11,500 pounds, an unladen weight of less than 8,001 pounds, and which is equipped with an open box-type bed not exceeding 9 feet in length. "Pickup truck" does not include a motor vehicle otherwise meeting the above definition, that is equipped with a bed-mounted storage compartment unit commonly called a "utility body."
The rules are very confusing and I have spent many hours reading the regs. I can tell you one thing for sure. DO NOT BASE YOUR BUSINESS DECISIONS ON INFO FROM AN INTERNET FORUM. It is worth as much as you paid for it.
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Old 07-08-2016, 02:03 AM   #12
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All this makes me glad I live in a rural GA county where there's no such thing as "emissions testing" and the rule-of-thumb is "if it came from the factory with it, then that's what it needs to have". Some folks are known to hollow out catalytic converters when they get plugged up. Of course it's illegal, but very hard to detect so many folks never get caught.
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Old 07-08-2016, 09:06 AM   #13
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A lot of info is being thrown out in this thread. Some of it correct and some not.

DO NOT BASE YOUR BUSINESS DECISIONS ON INFO FROM AN INTERNET FORUM. It is worth as much as you paid for it.
You seem to know what you're talking about and I agree with your bold statement. I read an official CARB document on the subject that spelled out the schedule for phasing in the rules. As you stated, busses with a GVW of above 14K are also captured by the rules. It was not the full text of the law, but more of a summary sheet.

Do you know how compliance is enforced? I read on that document that fleet owners are required to keep records. Are the vehicles required to report for testing? Are they randomly pulled in for testing at truck scales or roadside checkpoints?

The reason I ask these last questions is that pre 98 diesel and pre 76 gas private use vehicles are generally referred to as "smog exempt" in popular vernacular. However, in truth, they must be emissions legal. But they never have a smog check so owners of these vehicles modify them any way they choose with impunity. For example, a '69 Camaro with an 8-71 blower sticking out of the hood could get a ticket.
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Old 07-08-2016, 09:43 AM   #14
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The reason I ask these last questions is that pre 98 diesel and pre 76 gas private use vehicles are generally referred to as "smog exempt" in popular vernacular. However, in truth, they must be emissions legal. But they never have a smog check so owners of these vehicles modify them any way they choose with impunity. For example, a '69 Camaro with an 8-71 blower sticking out of the hood could get a ticket.
This has nothing to do with the commercial DPF regs. What you mention has to do with regular passenger vehicles. I don't know everything about the commercial stuff because it gave me a headache trying to figure it out. I just try to make sure that I don't buy anything that falls into that category. That is why I read up on it. I just want to stay legal. I don't have the ability to clearly and willfully break the law and have millions of stupid people defend my actions.
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Old 07-08-2016, 11:05 AM   #15
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I just called AZ bus sales and the guy told me that if you use your bus less than 5000 miles per year you don't need to retrofit. I looked up the CARB rule and he was right, but it drops to 1000 miles in 2020. I would easily drive less than 1000 miles per year so it looks like this is workable for me. FYI, he also told me that testing is random, i.e., roadside, not scheduled.
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Old 07-08-2016, 03:44 PM   #16
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I can tell you that at least for commercial vehicles, IE big rigs, the manufacturer has a special emblem on the side which indicates it is CA legal... I'd post a pic if I could. For truckers this has been a sore subject because many owner/operators simply won't drop the dough for a newer compliant truck or a retrofit. They can pay the fine or just turn away California loads. Big fleets buy new trucks so frequently that virtually all of theirs are compliant so no issues there. That being said, along with something stated earlier if accurate, is that with all the technology they have at weigh stations they can easily zero in on noncompliant diesels and send then aside to win a hefty fine. For us as skoolies it's also going to be a challenge apparently because, well, if-it-looks-like-a-bus...
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