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Trucks get green option

United States
The Sierra Vista Herald
16/08/2010
Dana Cole

Amid global warming concerns and efforts to curb emmissions, two southern Arizona truck stops are going green.

As part of an anti-idling truck electrification project, Arizona Department of Environmental Quality officials announced the construction of electrical hookups for long-haul diesel trucks at two Cochise County truck stops. Designed to reduce emissions along southern Arizona’s highways, a minimum of 60 units will be installed at the Gas City truck stop located at the intersection of State Route 90 and I-10 in Benson, as well as 30 units at the Sun Mart truck stop in the community of San Simon, 12 miles west of the Arizona-New Mexico border.

“When long-haul truck drivers stop for a rest, they typically leave their trucks running to heat or cool their cabs and to power appliances they have on board,” explained Mark Shaffer, director of communications for ADEQ. “The electrical hookups will allow drivers to turn their engines off, reducing emissions and saving the truck driver money in fuel.”

Each of the parking spaces will include cooling and heating units for the rigs so truckers can turn their engines off while they sleep or relax. Groundbreaking for the two projects is expected to take place sometime in mid-September, with units fully operational by mid-October.

“This is a major surge for greener truck stops that will pick up speed throughout the state,” said ADEQ Director Benjamin H. Grumbles. “With technology and innovations, we can say no to wasteful idling and yes to clean air and energy conservation.”

The $1.7 million project is made possible through American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funding from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Federal regulations require long-haul truck drivers to rest at least 10 hours for every 14 hours of driving. The electrical hookups allow truckers to air condition or heat their cabs and cargo units, much like the hookups for mobile homes at RV parks, Shaffer said.

Karen Rasmussen, president and chief executive officer of Arizona Trucker Association, said any measures that reduce emissions and save fuel costs are endorsed by the association. Many trucking companies, she added, already have self-contained units on board that are generator powered and provide the same benefits as the hookup option.

“Any good business person running a trucking fleet is going to be concerned about their driver’s comfort in the cab,” Rasmussen said. “Since you don’t want trucks idling when they don’t need to be, this gives truck drivers another alternative to an on-board system.”

According to ADEQ projections, the cost of the electricity is expected to be less than half of what it would cost to leave the engines running. Payment for the electricity will be made at on-site kiosks which will accept credit cards.

Sierra Vista resident Mike Schmidt, who is an owner-operator truck driver with a major moving company, travels all over the United States and Canada. “You burn about a gallon of diesel an hour, not to mention the wear and tear on the motor, when you keep one of those big trucks idling,” he said. Schmidt’s truck is equipped with an auxiliary generator unit, which he starts up as soon as he turns his truck’s engine off. “But if I didn’t have my own generator, I would more than likely use that system,” he said.

The anti-idling project is expected to make a significant contribution toward reducing emissions in Arizona’s border counties where areas of high particulates have been identified.

Also …

The following information has been provided by the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality.

Studies have shown that a typical long-haul tractor-trailer idles about 1,830 hours per year. Nationwide, this practice annually consumes 838 million gallons of diesel fuel and emits 11 million tons of carbon dioxide, 180,000 tons of nitrogen oxide and 5,000 tons of particulate matter, according to the U.S. Department of Energy.

 

The news content in this section is responsibility of the information agencies and does not necessarily reflect the position of the Government of Mexico on this or other related topics.

El contenido de las noticias que se presentan en esta sección es responsabilidad directa de las agencias emisoras de noticias y no necesariamente reflejan la posición del Gobierno de México en este u otros temas relacionados.

    

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