1. What’s Diesel Particulate Filter Mean?
  2. The DPF is Now A Law & Regulation to Remain Compliant
  3. What are DPFs?
  4. How Do DPFs Work?
  5. What Should Be Considered About Smaller Moving Truck or Vehicles?
  6. What Are Common DPF Problems?
  7. Soot Blockage
  8. Ash Build Up
  9. What Are The Benefits of Maintenance?
  10. What Lessons We Can Take From This Article 

1. What’s Diesel Particulate Filter Mean?

In the moving and storage industry, understanding and staying up to date with the regulations of the USDOT is crucial to operating a legal and successful moving company. While there are many regulations put into place, these laws make running your company safer for both the carrier as well as the shipper.

Although we’re discussing large and heavy moving trucks, the idea remains the same. If there is a piece of equipment that is essential to maintain the longevity and quality of your car, most would want to fix the problem. With these types of heavy vehicles, the same rules apply but with a much higher financial risk.

When damaged, a diesel particulate filter can cost somewhere around $5,000 to repair. This is quite a repercussion for not fixing what you thought was a minor problem. It’s always better to be safe than sorry in this situation for the sake of your vehicle as well as remaining compliant with USDOT regulations. If audited by the USDOT, this could result in a very large fine that could have been avoided. 

2. The DPF is Now A Law & Regulation to Remain Compliant

As of 2007 and after, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) required all diesel engines be modeled with a diesel engine particle filter (DPF) in California (as well as states that later followed California’s lead). After 2007, the California Air Resources Board also specified its own regulation in regards to diesel emissions and reducing particulate matter (PM). The CARB now also requires that diesel vehicles have a retrofit diesel particulate filter installed.

3. Retrofit Diesel Particulate Filter

A retrofit DPF, which is a regulation set by CARB, typically involved additional work when it comes to the adding of a particular emission control device. The purpose of the requirement is to eliminate diesel emissions exhaust. This device can be very effective, with some studies showing a reduction of emissions of up to 90 percent in the best of cases.

4. What is a DPF?

They are special devices for diesel based motor carriers that tangibly remove the airborne soot particles, especially in regards to a diesel engines exhaust. Since these are carbon-based, they are harmful to us as people and to our environment, especially in such great numbers. This is why they were implemented in 2007. DPFs are a way to reduce these detrimental diesel emissions that are harmful to humans as well as to the environment.

5. How Do DPFs Work?

DPF’s are typically constructed from ceramic-like materials, though some opt for metal or disposable paper options but are rarely seen. The DPF is positioned in a particular way so that the DPF is located to in a downward position pushing the stream of air into the exhaust. In which case, the soot particles are trapped.

As carbon becomes trapped in the diesel fuel filter, the soot builds up. If the soot does not off, this is a process called ‘regeneration’. This process takes place while the exhaust stream if it reaches a  hot enough temperature. However, depending on the circumstances such as the duty cycle, a truck driving through hill-like terrain leading them up and down can regenerate enough heat to go through the filter without any trace of problems.

6. What Should Be Considered About Smaller Moving Truck or Vehicles?

Other types of moving trucks or large vehicles that run on a lighter duty cycle, also find themselves in need of some help. Typically, lighter duty trucks will necessitate a little boost of active regeneration. This process injects diesel fuel and heats up the filter. Regardless of methodology or technique, the carbon is freed.

A similar issue to other combustion products, particularly the ashes produced from the lube oil, aren’t regenerated and generally tend to clog up the filter and fast. Consequently, the backpressure of the truck will rise, thus affecting engine proficiency, financial stability, and peace of mind.

7. What Are Common DPF Problems?

Although it is more than likely that there are much more DPF problems that are due to other causes, there are two central problems that are seen frequently in DEF services. Although the soot can block up, it can also be cleared out by regeneration, in which case the soot or carbon particles are burned away.

This typically happens around 600 degrees Celsius. DPFs heavily rely on reaching this high temperature in order for regeneration to happen. Otherwise, they will have to rely on extra fuel injections into the exhaust as a way to detect and burn on the carbon particles.

8. Soot Blockage and Regeneration

Regardless, diesel run trucks, especially in the moving industry, cannot rely solely upon regeneration to solve their problems. Soot is a problem that may or may not happen and can be entirely circumstantial. When soot builds up to a point where the warning lights have been activated, this is a clear sign that the driver should pay attention to and take action upon. Problems similar to those mentioned earlier will damage your vehicle should you ignore the issue at hand. Slow-speeds will continue and low idling or even having to stop and restart the truck might happen, which only furthers your DPF problems.

Vehicles who will suffer most are those in urban areas or urban-centric areas. This is because they will only be allowed to drive at slower speeds, thus making these the problems experienced more prominent in urban areas. Without being able to drive to a higher speed, their vehicles cannot regenerate and the soot will continue to block the DPF.

Regeneration is a natural DPF cleaning process that is meant to burn the soot but it must be able to reach high enough speed, RPM, and engine temperature (600 Celcius). This is simply to maintain your DPF system and is not a replacement for taking your DPF in for routine cleaning.

9. Ash Build Up

Similar to soot, ash also tends to build up in the DPF. However, unlike the soot that can be regenerated, ash is tough and will not be burned away, meaning it continues to build up over an extended period of time. After a long time or after around 100,000 miles or so it will have built up to the point where it is necessary to clear out. This process demands an external filter clean or even a possible replacement.

The lifetime of the DPF might be shortened if it’s serviced with the wrong oil. All vehicles that have DPFs require love Sulphated Ash, Phosphorous, Sulphur oils. This will prolong the longevity of the vehicle and will produce minimal ash. As you can imagine, using oil with lower qualities oils may generate more ash and consequently more DPF blockage essentially. A fault regarding the oil system in diesel emission systems is also likely to make the engine utilize more oil than necessary, which can affect the DPF as well.

10. What Are The Benefits of Maintenance?

Maintaining your vehicles, particularly if you work in the moving or trucking industry, is a crucial component to keeping your heavy and expensive truck working. A truck is fundamental in the moving business and it is a large investment. Without proper maintenance, you're losing money by having to put more money into your vehicles later, rather than spending a smaller amount to maintain the diesel truck. 

Regular features that coincide with keeping your vehicle up to date is that it is healthy for the environment. It will support clean air intake and emissions system. This, in turn, will help trigger and control DPF regeneration. Even more benefits of regular upkeep are the restoration of fuel efficiency, DPF performance, and reduces emissions. 

11. Regulations Are Constantly Updating 

Since 2007, those with diesel vehicles, like those in the moving industry, diesel vehicles should be improving in their quality and longevity. While this technological development was quite a game changer, industries adapt quickly. Consequently, with DPF’s are DESs. The DPF industry is growing rapidly and those with heavy-duty trucks such as moving companies. This industry is still new and needs top quality people with expertise to maintain and support diesel vehicles in the moving and trucking industries.

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Did You Know


The trucking industry has made a large historical impact since the early 20th century. It has affected the U.S. both politically as well as economically since the notion has begun. Previous to the invention of automobiles, most freight was moved by train or horse-drawn carriage. Trucks were first exclusively used by the military during World War I.
After the war, construction of paved roads increased. As a result, trucking began to achieve significant popularity by the 1930's. Soon after trucking became subject to various government regulation, such as the hours of service. During the later 1950's and 1960's, trucking accelerated due to the construction of the Interstate Highway System. The Interstate Highway System is an extensive network of freeways linking major cities cross country.

Question As we've learned the Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1956 was crucial in the construction of the Interstate Highway System. Described as an interconnected network of the controlled-access freeway. It also allowed larger trucks to travel at higher speeds through rural and urban areas alike. This act was also the first to allow the first federal largest gross vehicle weight limits for trucks, set at 73,208 pounds (33,207 kg). The very same year, Malcolm McLean pioneered modern containerized intermodal shipping. This allowed for the more efficient transfer of cargo between truck, train, and ships.

Question The Motor Carrier Act, passed by Congress in 1935, replace the code of competition. The authorization the Interstate Commerce Commission (ICC) place was to regulate the trucking industry. Since then the ICC has been long abolished, however, it did quite a lot during its time. Based on the recommendations given by the ICC, Congress enacted the first hours of services regulation in 1938. This limited driving hours of truck and bus drivers. In 1941, the ICC reported that inconsistent weight limitation imposed by the states cause problems to effective interstate truck commerce.

Question In 1976, the number one hit on the Billboard chart was "Convoy," a novelty song by C.W. McCall about a convoy of truck drivers evading speed traps and toll booths across America. The song inspired the 1978 action film Convoy directed by Sam Peckinpah. After the film's release, thousands of independent truck drivers went on strike and participated in violent protests during the 1979 energy crisis (although similar strikes had occurred during the 1973 energy crisis).

Question The public idea of the trucking industry in the United States popular culture has gone through many transformations. However, images of the masculine side of trucking are a common theme throughout time. The 1940's first made truckers popular, with their songs and movies about truck drivers. Then in the 1950's they were depicted as heroes of the road, living a life of freedom on the open road. Trucking culture peaked in the 1970's as they were glorified as modern days cowboys, outlaws, and rebels. Since then the portrayal has come with a more negative connotation as we see in the 1990's. Unfortunately, the depiction of truck drivers went from such a positive depiction to that of troubled serial killers.

Question In 1971, author and director Steven Spielberg, debuted his first feature length film. His made-for-tv film, Duel, portrayed a truck driver as an anonymous stalker. Apparently there seems to be a trend in the 70's to negatively stigmatize truck drivers.

Question During the latter part of the 20th century, we saw a decline of the trucking culture. Coinciding with this decline was a decline of the image of truck drivers, as they became negatively stigmatized. As a result of such negativity, it makes sense that truck drivers were frequently portrayed as the "bad guy(s)" in movies.

Question The number one hit on the Billboard chart in 1976 was quite controversial for the trucking industry. "Convoy," is a song about a group of reckless truck drivers bent on evading laws such as toll booths and speed traps. The song went on to inspire the film "Convoy", featuring defiant Kris Kristofferson screaming "piss on your law!" After the film's release, thousands of independent truck drivers went on strike. The participated in violent protests during the 1979 energy crisis. However, similar strikes had occurred during the 1973 energy crisis.

Question Popular among campers is the use of lightweight trailers, such as aerodynamic trailers. These can be towed by a small car, such as the BMW Air Camper. They are built with the intent to lower the tow of the vehicle, thus minimizing drag.

Question A business route (occasionally city route) in the United States and Canada is a short special route connected to a parent numbered highway at its beginning, then routed through the central business district of a nearby city or town, and finally reconnecting with the same parent numbered highway again at its end.

Question Signage of business routes varies, depending on the type of route they are derived from. Business routes paralleling U.S. and state highways usually have exactly the same shield shapes and nearly the same overall appearance as the routes they parallel, with a rectangular plate reading "BUSINESS" placed above the shield (either supplementing or replacing the directional plate, depending on the preference of the road agency). In order to better identify and differentiate alternate routes from the routes they parallel, some states such as Maryland are beginning to use green shields for business routes off U.S. highways. In addition, Maryland uses a green shield for business routes off state highways with the word "BUSINESS" in place of "MARYLAND" is used for a state route.

Question In the United States, the Commercial Motor Vehicle Safety Act of 1986 established minimum requirements that must be met when a state issues a commercial driver's license CDL. It specifies the following types of license: - Class A CDL drivers. Drive vehicles weighing 26,001 pounds or greater, or any combination of vehicles weighing 26,001 pounds or greater when towing a trailer weighing more than 10,000 pounds. Transports quantities of hazardous materials that require warning placards under Department of Public Safety regulations. - Class A Driver License permits. Is a step in preparation for Class A drivers to become a Commercial Driver. - Class B CDL driver. Class B is designed to transport 16 or more passengers (including driver) or more than 8 passengers (including the driver) for compensation. This includes, but is not limited to, tow trucks, tractor trailers, and buses.


The Federal Bridge Gross Weight Formula is a mathematical formula used in the United States to determine the appropriate gross weight for a long distance moving vehicle, based on the axle number and spacing. Enforced by the Department of Transportation upon long-haul truck drivers, it is used as a means of preventing heavy vehicles from damaging roads and bridges. This is especially in particular to the total weight of a loaded truck, whether being used for commercial moving services or for long distance moving services in general.
According to the Federal Bridge Gross Weight Formula, the total weight of a loaded truck (tractor and trailer, 5-axle rig) cannot exceed 80,000 lbs in the United States. Under ordinary circumstances, long-haul equipment trucks will weight about 15,000 kg (33,069 lbs). This leaves about 20,000 kg (44,092 lbs) of freight capacity. Likewise, a load is limited to the space available in the trailer, normally with dimensions of 48 ft (14.63 m) or 53 ft (16.15 m) long, 2.6 m (102.4 in) wide, 2.7 m (8 ft 10.3 in) high and 13 ft 6 in or 4.11 m high.


As the American Interstate Highway System began to expand in the 1950's, the trucking industry began to take over a large market share. That is, a large share of the transportation of goods throughout the country. Before this era, trains had been relied on to transport the bulk of the goods cross country or state to state. The Interstate Highway System was influential as it allows for merchandise to travel door to door with ease. Since then, truckload carriers have taken advantage of the interstate system, especially when performing a long distance move. Typically, they bring the merchandise from one distribution center of the country to another part of the country. The increase in truckload freight transportation has reduced the time it takes to transport the goods. Whether the freight was manufactured or produced for the different areas internationally, the time it takes to transport goods has decreased dramatically.

Question The 1980s were full of happening things, but in 1982 a Southern California truck driver gained short-lived fame. His name was Larry Walters, also known as "Lawn Chair Larry", for pulling a crazy stunt. He ascended to a height of 16,000 feet (4,900 m) by attaching helium balloons to a lawn chair, hence the name. Walters claims he only intended to remain floating near the ground and was shocked when his chair shot up at a rate of 1,000 feet (300 m) per minute. The inspiration for such a stunt Walters claims his poor eyesight for ruining his dreams to become an Air Force pilot.

Question Unfortunately for the trucking industry, their image began to crumble during the latter part of the 20th century. As a result, their reputation suffered. More recently truckers have been portrayed as chauvinists or even worse, serial killers. The portrayals of semi-trailer trucks have focused on stories of the trucks becoming self-aware. Generally, this is with some extraterrestrial help.

Question The Federal-Aid Highway Amendments of 1974 established a federal maximum gross vehicle weight of 80,000 pounds (36,000 kg). It also introduced a sliding scale of truck weight-to-length ratios based on the bridge formula. Although, they did not establish a federal minimum weight limit. By failing to establish a federal regulation, six contiguous in the Mississippi Valley rebelled. Becoming known as the "barrier state", they refused to increase their Interstate weight limits to 80,000 pounds. Due to this, the trucking industry faced a barrier to efficient cross-country interstate commerce.

Question In today's popular culture, recreational vehicles struggle to find their own niche. Travel trailers or mobile home with limited living facilities, or where people can camp or stay have been referred to as trailers. Previously, many would refer to such vehicles as towable trailers.

Question The Department of Transportation (DOT) is the most common government agency that is devoted to transportation in the United States. The DOT is the largest United States agency with the sole purpose of overseeing interstate travel and issue's USDOT Number filing to new carriers. The U.S., Canadian provinces, and many other local agencies have a similar organization in place. This way they can provide enforcement through DOT officers within their respective jurisdictions.