CARB-TRU Carrier Compliance


Image source: California Air Resources Board©

In a nutshell, if arranging transport of refrigerated freight in the state of California during the peak produce season, shippers, freight brokers and freight forwarders are responsible for verifying CARB-TRU carriers.


The CARB “suggest” that brokers and forwarders need to use the following strategies to ensure hiring a compliant carrier:

  • Businesses should consider sending an annual notice to their carriers indicating that only carriers listed in the ARB’s 100%-compliant database will be considered when arranging freight that travels on California highways and railways
  • Businesses (shippers) should include adequate language in their contracts contract-agreements between shipper and broker or forwarder, or receiver and broker or forwarder that clearly requires only ARB-compliant TRUs to be dispatched on California highways and railways
  • When posting loads on load-boards, brokers should indicate that the refrigerated equipment required will travel on California highways or railways and the TRU used for the load must by ARB compliant
  • A broker should document the hiring and contract correspondence with the carrier showing that the carrier was adequately informed that an ARB-compliant TRU is required and that the carrier confirmed the contractual obligation to only dispatch ARB-compliant TRUs on California highways and railways
  • Brokers are to include contract language that clearly states that only ARB-compliant reefers be dispatched on California highways and railways. For example, “Carrier or its agent certifies that any TRU equipment furnished will be in compliance with the in-use requirements of California’s TRU regulations.”  This language should be highlighted and bolded and provide a space for a signature of acknowledgment
  • Brokers are to require the carrier to provide the ARBER-certification page to show that the dispatched unit is compliant. This document may also be used to show that there was a reasonable expectation that only certified-compliant reefer equipment would be used for a specific job, if the specific IDN is called out in the contract


There are certain exemptions, including any trailer TRU housing that remains attached to a trailer van, but the fuel tank and battery have been removed and a label with the word “NON-OPERATIONAL” has been affixed or attached to the housing in letters that contrast sharply with the color of the TRU housing and can be seen 50 feet during daylight hours when the vehicle is stationary.


All persons found be to in violation of this regulation, may be citied and subject to the penalty provisions set forth in the California Health and Safety Code. The penalty is $1,000 for each occurrence.

If a carrier is found to have violated the requirement to dispatch only ARB-compliant TRUs on California highways or railways, the broker should take preventive steps to ensure no further hiring of that non-compliant carrier will happen.

Sources: and

CARB-TRU carrier compliance within SaferWatch™

To search for TRU compliant carriers simply select the option “yes” from the drop-down menu of SaferWatch Power Search (click to enlarge):

CARB-TRU Carrier Compliance


To check if a specific carrier is TRU compliant, check the “Operations” section on the carrier’s profile page (click to enlarge):



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