From the Desk of Gale Banks
Banks Passes New Diesel Test – Customers Secure
June 3, 2010
Dear Members of the Media and Fellow Gearheads,
On March 9, 2010 I sent a letter to Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, and copied all of you. The purpose of that letter was to bring awareness of the jeopardy facing the diesel aftermarket in California.
In 2002, we at Banks recognized that an impossible situation existed for aftermarket diesel tuning and air flow improving products. Due to a change by the California Air Resources Board (CARB) in 2000, no new emissions compliance test capable of being run by an aftermarket company had been defined.
At the suggestion of CARB, Banks developed and proposed a new test procedure in 2002. We performed that test on a Dodge Cummins pickup equipped with Banks product and submitted the results to CARB.
Our test comprised an FTP (Federal Test Procedure) and a similar but higher power test called a US06. Both would utilize a chassis dynamometer, and both could be performed by companies in the diesel aftermarket.
Over the next 8 years both Banks and SEMA presented alternative test methods, ran tests using the proposed test methods, and submitted the results to CARB. All of this was done in a good faith effort to find a viable test. Without a test procedure we could not demonstrate that our products are designed and engineered to meet applicable emissions standards.
Since the early ’80s our products, both gas and diesel, have complied and we currently hold 82 CARB issued Executive Orders (EOs). This overwhelmingly demonstrates our ability to engineer emissions compliant equipment. No Banks product, gas or diesel, has ever failed to comply where a test was available.
Until recently all of our efforts to get a viable test procedure were unsuccessful. However, with help from Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger’s office, State Senators Gloria Romero and Bob Huff, State Assemblymen Anthony Adams and Dr. Ed Hernandez, Azusa Mayor Joseph R. Rocha, Irwindale Mayor H. Manuel Ortiz, the extraordinary staff of all of these officials, the lobbying firm Joe A. Gonsalves and Son, not to mention some personal coaching from Jay Leno, we have found resolution with CARB.
Banks Reaches Milestone Decision With CARB
On April 7, 2010, the California Air Resources Board notified Gale Banks Engineering “with no alternative test procedure available, ARB staff suggested that it would be in the best interest of Gale Banks Engineering to direct its efforts to obtain an Executive Order toward the chassis certified Dodge Ram with the 6.7L diesel engine.”
For all other products awaiting testing, “ARB is proposing the attached test procedures for testing these products be used. The testing format is similar to that used on the 6.7L Dodge Ram with the addition of two steady state high load test points in a baseline and modified testing configuration.” These new test procedures include the FTP and US06.
This test series marks a new era in performance diesel emissions compliance and sets the stage for our entire industry to now comply.
To celebrate our recent success I am pleased to announce that the Banks Six-Gun diesel tuner for the new 6.7L Dodge Cummins has passed utilizing the new testing format, and will be the first diesel tuning product to be issued an EO using this testing protocol.
And here’s the best news; Banks customers will be able to comply with California’s new diesel smog check program. All Banks products awaiting EO testing will pass the visual inspection portion of the diesel smog test. Furthermore, CARB will give all members of the aftermarket until June 30, 2010 the opportunity to submit EO applications, and receive the same treatment for their customers.
I believe that Diesel is an important “bridge technology” to the future. Now that we have a means to compliance, we at Banks as well as the rest of the aftermarket can go back to what we do best; designing and selling products that enhance the natural efficiency and power advantages of diesel, while keeping them clean. At Banks we call that, “keeping them green while making them mean.”
Thank you all for your words of encouragement and ongoing support.