Trucks at Work

Finding anti-idling rules

One of the fastest growing headaches for truckers -- among MANY headaches large and small -- is the rapid proliferation of anti-idling regulations by state, county, even townships, across the U.S. Whether you agree or disagree with regulatory efforts to restrict idling is almost beside the point -- you need to know which locations have what rules or you'll never be able to stay in compliance from the get go.

That's where a new website from automotive and heavy-duty truck component supplier Webasto comes in: Now, when you go to this web site, you're going to see all kinds of stuff promoting anti-idling efforts -- maybe going too far for some of you. Again, this is beside the point -- what makes this web site so valuable is that it lists what anti-idling laws are already on the books or are being considered, what areas of the country have what type of rules, along with the specifics (5 minutes of idling allowed, 15 minutes, etc.) on a state-by-state basis. It's easy to use, too -- just click on the headline "What is my state doing?" and you'll be presented with an easy-to-click-on map letting you look at what each state is doing in terms of anti-idling regulations.

Now, the "LEaP" acronym stands for Lowering Emissions and Particulates and the site's logo incorporates a green frog, because, Webasto says, "in nature the health of frog populations exemplifies the overall state of our environment and therefore is a key theme throughout the web site." OK, so maybe it's a little over the top. But the important thing is the information on the site detailing anti-idling rules across the country is rock solid-- and that's worth digging into.

It's also worth noting the economic cost of idling in terms of wasted fuel -- something else this site does quite well. "One example that people should be aware of, especially as schools across the country struggle financially, is statistics show that the 400,000 school buses nationwide burn up a combined total of 7.5 million barrels of oil per year not moving -- just idling," said John Thomas, Webasto's VP-marketing. "That translates into more than $224 million tax dollars wasted. "

He added that commercial trucks collectively burn up more than 500 million barrels of oil each year, and in most cases it‘s to maintain driver comfort with heat in the winter and air conditioning in the summer. "There are some alternatives that do the same job without idling the engine -- alternatives truckers should look at," he said. It doesn't cost you anything to look -- and it's worth it just get the 411 on anti-idling regulatory efforts nationwide, that's for sure.