Diesel pickup owners defeating their trucks' emissions controls

Yikes! 550,000 pickups without pollution abatement? That’s very unsettling. My guess is that fleet diesels are not modified this way, meaning that privately owned pickups are frequently modified. I only read the executive summary before this post. I wonder how many diesel pickups were sold in the decade.

I think their numbers for PA are low. My county is highlighted as one of the non-adherent counties due to people modifying their diesels, and based on what I’ve seen driving around here for years, I’ll bet the non-compliance number is easily 12-15%+

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Same comments as @pyrolord314 for Florida. Seems the 15% rate is low for my area and way low for the center part of the state with a greater concentration of diesel pickups… or “Clewiston Cadillacs” as I like to call them. $75,000 lifted trucks rolling coal.

There is a very simple solution to this situation… put enforcement on the roads since you can SEE the trucks that “roll coal.” Plea bargain the fines for the truck owner to identify the shops that installed the device, if it wasn’t a DIY job, and prosecute the shop for EPA violations. The problem will solve itself pretty quickly with healthy fines for the guilty. Problem solved.

What will more likely happen, because we are ALL polluter-criminals until proven innocent, the EPA will force each state to emissions inspect every car and truck every year or 2. Those with only tunes, will revert to the factory tune with a 5 minute download, get a green sticker and reinstall the rolling coal tune when they get home. Pollution continues.

Those that removed the other pollution control hardware will be scrambling around the junkyards paying big bucks buying replacements for the emission control devices they removed. Or they will sell those polluting trucks to the economically disadvantaged who will be given an “economic hardship waiver” from compliance and the polluting will continue.

How do I know the second scenario will happen? Because it is EXACTLY what happened in certain counties in the state of Ohio in the 1980’s. It was cancelled after a decade or so because it was completely ineffective.


I had always assumed that the advantage of owning a diesel-powered pickup was towing capability, and this is the only reason why diesel engines are even offered. However, many of the diesel-powered trucks I see (other than ones used as work trucks and registered with commercial plates) have modifications which make them completely unsuitable for their intended use, such as a high lift kit, huge alloy wheels, etc. Even among the privately-owned diesel pickups which are not visibly modified, most are crew-cab models with a super-tiny bed, not very useful for carrying stuff.

And of course, when I see a diesel truck drive by, and release a huge cloud of black soot, more than 9 times out of 10, the truck has a high lift kit, huge alloy wheels, and other silly modifications which make the truck useless for anything other than showing off.


You think people are practical? Diesel used to be cheaper than gasoline, diesel engines more efficient (perhaps they still are). A friend bought a diesel Rabbit in the '70s. There were a few small diesel cars - in response to the run-up in oil prices after OPEC struck in '73 (was it?)

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Had an a coworker who 2 times rolled smoke at me while riding my bicycle home, I don’t know that he modified anything in the exhaust, but after a little talking to he did not do it again.


Trucks of all kinds have become an extension of, or perhaps a measure of, male ego in our country.

I’ve told my daughters to be wary of dating any boy whose identity is clearly tied up in his customized truck or car. If he’ll spend a lot of money making his truck/car look/sound really stupid…you don’t want anything to do with him.


Some have done this to me while I was bicycling. I wasn’t in their way - what was the point?

What’s the point of making someone else hurt? You can make the truck more powerful, maneuverable, etc., but why make someone else worse off?


They want to prove they’re a man

That’s what lifted trucks, loud exhausts and so forth are all about


Just being a jerk!


People have been modifying diesel pickup trucks for 30 years. There are probably 5 times more modified diesels on the road than what is spotted by stereotypical observations.

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Yep, if I had daughters I would tell them the same thing!

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It would be helpful if the report had some context. How much does does one of these egr deleted/coal-rolling trucks pollute vs. an 18 wheeler? If they both pollute similar amounts then, is it really a problem to get all worked over, given that that there are many more Kensworths running around than diesel pickups with the emission controls defeated.

When the coal-rolling brodozer delivers 80,000 pounds of goods in one trip, I’ll take your point, but only from a narrow environmental standpoint, and only insofar as it’s an indicator that we need to clean up the semis too. From a public welfare standpoint, you’re wrong regardless.

These reprobates are rolling coal to blanket people they want to bully with soot. I don’t like bullies. I think bullies should be dealt with harshly, whether it’s the middle school delinquent beating up the nerd or the 25-year-old jackass harassing people who choose lower-pollution modes of transport.

We have enough problems in this country without adding to them by allowing that crap to continue unchallenged.


It didn’t work.


The Tesla Semi is expected to rollout next year. Tesla has a hard time keeping their rollout dates, but it’s on the way. And Tesla is not the only one working on an all electric Semi.

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The Tesla semi is interesting and seems like a really good choice for local/semi-regional use. I don’t see it replacing traditional diesel semis for over-the-road use due to the lack of support infrastructure across the country. Also the battery life (not range) is question, I’m assuming it has very large, very dense, and very expensive battery packs. Due to the high mileage these trucks typically do, the lifespan of the battery pack is bound to degrade more quickly than typical electric car, and require frequent replacement, typical semis will be on the road for twenty years or so before they get replaced. So I wonder what the cost of the replacement battery packs would be and whether or not, it’s financially better in the long run than diesel. I would think that with the continual improvement of electric vehicle batteries that the Tesla semi would be at least somewhat cheaper to keep on the road overall.

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I don’t remember the last time I saw a semi putting out visible smoke. So these jerks are polluting more, and providing zero economic benefit, too.


I agree with that for NOW. But as I’ve said many many times in this forum…this technology is still very new and changing constantly. There are at least 5 different new battery concept startups in the Boston area that I know of. And as more and more electric semi’s on the road then you’ll see more charging stations. 5 years ago I could count on 1 hand the number of charging stations between my town in NH and Boston. I now know of 5 charging stations within 10 miles of my house. The infrastructure is growing rapidly.

Also the vast majority of Semi use is local. Just making local deliveries.