July 31, 2008
‘Electrified Truck Stops’ the Latest Strategy to Cut Fuel Costs
So-called "electrified truck stops," along with on-board tools such as auxiliary power units, have drawn interest from some truckers in part to reduce pollution and engine grind from idling and abide by a growing number of anti-idling guidelines nationwide, according to the Associated Press.
Many companies have turned to installing auxiliary power units, which allow drivers to have heat or air conditioning inside the cab during rest breaks without having to run the engine — using just a fraction of the fuel used otherwise.
Trucker Marlin Burkholder said he doesn't go on overnight runs for his company, H.F. Campbell & Son Inc., in Millerstown, Penn. He will, though, use the auxiliary power unit to keep the cab comfortable while reading or napping if he has to wait for a load.
"We just switch that on, it keeps the truck comfortable and it keeps idling time down," Burkholder said during a recent stop.
The units can be costly. H.F. Campbell & Son president Frank Campbell had each of his 50-plus trucks outfitted with the roughly $8,000 power units within the last two years, hoping in part to save on gas.
Despite the high cost of the units, Jim Runk, president of the Pennsylvania Motor Trucking Association, said many truckers are using such options now because fuel prices are at a point where "they just can't put up with it," according to the Associated Press.