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Distinctive Systems
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February 07 2018
By Mel Holley

A former routeone editor, Mel has more than 30 years’ experience in road and rail transport journalism.

Using AdBlue defeat devices ranks
alongside tacho cheating

West of England Traffic Commissioner, Kevin Rooney, is warning operators that fitting an AdBlue emulator is equivalent to using a magnet to interrupt a tachograph.

He says that operators and transport managers should be aware that AdBlue requires replenishment at a similar frequency to diesel.

He adds that circumventing emission controls is a serious matter – because the emulation device defeats the vehicle’s emission control systems, approximately doubling NOx emissions.

His comments follow a Public Inquiry (PI) where a haulage operator’s transport manager (TM) admitted researching the fitting of the defeat device.

Mr Rooney told the CPC holder that he had a duty to take expert legal advice or contact the DVSA before interfering with vehicle systems.

As a result of his actions, he was disqualified from acting as a TM for a year.

In a second case, Mr Rooney revoked a six-vehicle goods licence after rejecting the operator’s claim that he didn’t know one of his vehicles was fitted with an emulation device.

“The operator bought the vehicle so it could go in to London without attracting a penalty charge and was Euro 6. The AdBlue tank was next to the diesel filler, and an AdBlue gauge on the dash that never moved.

“The operator didn’t notice that this truck never needed AdBlue. That is clear nonsense. He wilfully shut his eyes the absolutely blindingly obvious.”

Fitting of the emulator device returned the vehicle’s NOx emissions to Euro 3 standard, increasing emissions by 2.5 times. Also, as a Euro 3-equivalent vehicle, it should have paid £200 per visit to London.

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