California ends 5-minute idling limit exception

07 March 2008

A significant change to California's statewide five-minute idling limit took effect January 1, 2008. The change eliminated the state's exception for sleeping or resting in a sleeper berth. Alternatives to main engine idling are now necessary for supplying cab heating, air conditioning, and power beyond the five-minute limit.

Model 2008 and subsequent model year heavy-duty engines must be equipped with a non-programmable system that automatically shuts down the engine after five minutes of idling or, optionally, meet a stringent oxides of nitrogen idling emission standard. Operators of both instate and out-of-state registered trucks equipped with sleeper berths are now required to manually shut down the engine when idling more than five minutes at any location within California.

Emission producing alternative technologies such as diesel-fueled auxiliary power systems (APS) and fuel-fired heaters are also required to meet emission performance requirements that ensure emissions are not exceeding the emissions of a truck engine operating at idle. Specifically, the regulations requires any diesel APS installed on trucks with 2007 and newer engines to control particulate matter (PM) emissions by either routing the APS exhaust through the PM trap of the truck engine or by retrofitting the diesel APS with a verified level three PM control device that reduces PM emissions by at least 85 percent. For details on the new rules, visit

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