For the 1.7 million truckers in the United States, their trucks are homes away from home. During overnights and rest breaks, they need to eat, relax, catch up with their families and get a good night’s sleep. The problem? Most truckers power appliances, computers, heaters and air conditioners by idling their engines — some up to 8 hours a day, more than 300 days a year — which wastes fuel and money and pollutes the air. Check out our infographic to learn more about the truck idling issue and some of the solutions the trucking industry is starting to use to save fuel.
As part of an ongoing efficiency and conservation effort, President Obama announced this week that his administration will set higher fuel-efficiency standards for medium- and heavy-duty trucks by March 2016, a move that could reduce dependence on foreign oil, cut fuel costs, and lower consumer prices.
Back in July, we wrote about five people and organizations that were doing a great job of spreading awareness about idling. Every week we hear about more people and projects that are working to raise awareness about idling, so it’s already time to expand our list.
As part of our new anti-idling campaign, iturnitoff.com, we’ve been talking a lot about a simple personal change that can make a big difference — restarting your car instead of idling. But what if you drive a truck for a living? Drivers of heavy vehicles and tractor trailers often take breaks or even sleep in their trucks, and turning it off in extreme weather becomes is a safety issue rather than an environmental one. But with new anti-idling laws that can carry steep fines for idling more than a few minutes, not to mention the harmful impact on the environment, companies are starting to take note and explore alternative solutions.
Cummins Inc. and Peterbuilt Motors recently announced the impressive results of the test of their “SuperTruck,” a tractor-trailer designed to cut fuel usage by half through aerodynamics and a higher-efficiency engine. Under real-world driving conditions, the SuperTruck’s fuel economy was found to be 54 percent higher than a regular long-haul truck, averaging nearly 10 miles per gallon (mpg).