The EPA Heavy Truck Driveby Noise test is used to regulate trucks over 10,000 pounds GVW. The EPA test procedure is based on SAE J366. The EPA/J366 procedure is used both as a regulatory compliance tool and as a development tool. When the test procedure is used as a development tool, the goal is to determine the most cost effective means of meeting the legal requirement. Since J366 was not intended as a development tool, it can be difficult or misleading to use it to make decisions on product configuration.
In order to use J366 successfully in vehicle or engine development, one must understand and properly account for the inherent variability of the J366 driveby test procedure. This paper examines both the extent and some of the sources of J366 driveby test variability. Strategies are proposed to ensure the proper interpretation of test results. Several repeat tests are required to accurately determine a small change in driveby noise level.