The days of rolling coal are coming to an end.
America is a nation that has been obsessed with trucks for over a century. Today, trucks have become more than just a symbol of the blue-collar work ethic, but have transformed into status symbols and even a way of life. Just like any other car scene, trucks enjoy a massive aftermarket following, with some making over 2,000 hp with modifications.
Diesel trucks such as the Ram Heavy Duty and Ford F-450 Super Duty are popular models to modify, but as it turns out, rolling coal isn't great for the environment (as if we didn't already know that). According to the US Environmental Protection Agency, diesel trucks that have removed or modified their emission controls pollute exponentially more than their unmodified siblings.
According to the EPA's air enforcement division, it is estimated that over 550,000 medium trucks have had their emissions systems modified in some way to increase performance. The EPA's study was limited to class 2b and class 3 diesel pickups with gross vehicle weights between 8,501 and 14,00 0lbs, and investigated cars that had been tampered with between 2009 and 2020.
According to the report, 570,000 tons of excess NOx and 5,000 tons of excess diesel particulates are thrown into the atmosphere by these trucks. "Due to their severe excess NOx emissions, these trucks have an air quality impact equivalent to adding more than 9 million additional (compliant, non-tampered) diesel pickup trucks to our roads," the report says.
And the state with the most coal rollers? That would be North Dakota. The EPA rates that 18.6 percent of trucks in the state have had their emissions systems tampered with. On the other hand, California has seen only 1.8 percent of its truck population modified. North Dakota is obviously a sparsely populated state. Texas is the leader if you look at physical numbers, with over 65,000 modified trucks according to the EPA. With international emissions scandals such as Volkswagen's dieselgate forcing more attention on the subject, could the days of rolling coal be over? It seems so.