For decades Banks and a number of other aftermarket performance, diesel manufacturers had followed the rules set in place for testing automotive aftermarket products for emissions compliance. Parts were designated as being either 50-state legal if they were emissions compliant or “for racing or off-road use only” if they weren’t. Then in the early 2000s word came down that a new testing procedure would take over and that the old testing methods wouldn’t be accepted. Many companies, including Banks, were ready to comply. The problem was that there was no new test outlined… and there wouldn’t be for quite a while.
After years of not having an accredited test procedure for obtaining certification from the California Air Resources Board (or CARB) for aftermarket product testing, shops and manufacturers began running amok. Because there were no rules present, many customers didn’t feel the need to be concerned with emissions, opting to delete performance deadening engine equipment and force-feed as much fuel as possible into the engine to get more performance. The idea of performance at the cost of a clean-running vehicle was of no concern to most, and “rolling coal” was born to indicate that your truck was powerful, and you didn’t care about emissions. Because no one was minding the store, modified diesel trucks quickly became gross polluters.
Banks on the other hand kept producing powerful products that ran smoke-free, even coining the phrase “Clean Performance” with stable performance and race vehicles. Oddly enough, many thought that Banks wasn’t serious enough about performance and making power because their products and vehicles didn’t create clouds of smoke… which is actually an indication of poor tuning and over-fueling. Gale Banks has lived by the motto that smoke is wasted power potential that you can see but could never use. Creating products and clean diesel tuning provides the most efficient way to use the fuel being injected, rather than watching it spill out as clouds of unburnt fuel.
In 2012, the days of Wild West-like attitude towards emissions came to an end as CARB released its rules for obtaining a California Air Resources Board Executive Order (CARB E.O.) number. Banks Power proudly announced that all Six-Gun®, Economind®, and OttoMind® Diesel Tuners available for Ford, GM, and Dodge pickup trucks were covered under a CARB E.O., making them the first diesel performance aftermarket products legal for use in all 50 states. Banks started off 2013 by being the only aftermarket manufacturer to have a full line of emissions legal products for diesel pickups… and stays an example as to what clean performance really means to other aftermarket companies for years to come.