Your Aug. 19 Pre-Trip: Idling alternatives can save fuel, money

Here are five things worth knowing today:

1. The U.S. Department of Energy has released a fact sheet that considers the effects of long idling periods of heavy-duty trucks and offers alternatives to idling. According to the Department of Energy, idling wastes fuel and increases engine wear, degrades air quality, and may be illegal. Some alternatives to idling considered in the report are usage of auxiliary power units, cooling and heating technologies, and electrified parking spaces. “Some current idling alternatives use up to 95% less fuel, saving money, reducing air pollution, and helping truck drivers get a better night’s sleep,” according to the report. “Depending on how much a truck idles and current fuel prices, alternatives to idling can pay for themselves in as little as six months.”

2. Idaho transportation officials have replaced mile marker 420 signs with marker 419.9 after consistently having to replace the 420 signs that were stolen by “sticky-fingered stoners,” according to a report in the Idaho Statesman. The Statesman also said that Idaho isn’t the only state to encounter this problem – Washington and Colorado have also replaced 420 signs after having to replace stolen signs.

3. Trucking industry representatives and environmentalists debated on the federal government’s next regulatory phase of diesel truck emissions during an all-day hearing in Long beach on Tuesday, the Daily Breeze reports. Officials say the greenhouse gas emission reduction goals for trucks are too lenient, while the trucking industry believes they are “too restrictive and poorly thought out,” according to the report. The Daily Breeze has more.

4. Lake Norman, NC, business owners are rallying against an I-77 toll lane project that would put toll lanes from uptown Charlotte to Mooresville, WSOC TV 9 reports. “Opponents have been lobbying ahead of Wednesday’s [today’s] vote by the planning commission, saying the project is too focused on getting people to Charlotte and won’t help congestion in Lake Norman,” according to the report. The project is part of a 10-year plan that, if nixed, would delay 91 projects for the region and could mean penalties of up to $100 million, TV 9 said.

5. West Coast ports are slowing the diversion of intermodal freight to East Coast ports, according to a report in Heavy Duty Trucking. Though container volume moving through California’s ports was up in July, according to the report, labor unrest has been a major reason for slowdowns over the past few years.

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