One of the expenses truckers face is paying to upgrade their rigs to meet new environmental emissions regulations for diesel engines. California has the strictest gasoline emissions regulations in the country. If you own a car in this state, then you’ve been through the ritual of the smog check. Until very recently, diesel engines on freight trucks – big rigs that haul almost everything we buy in and out of ports and across the country – haven’t been under the same rules. Now, that’s starting to change.
Oakland has the 5th busiest port in the country. According to the Port of Oakland they support between 50,000 and 73,000 jobs in Northern California, making it one of the Bay Area’s biggest economic engines. The port of Oakland says that economic development is its primary driver, but the truck drivers who make a living running goods to and from the port say deteriorating working conditions are cutting into their bottom line.