Bottom Line
Modern Trucking Techiniques
Stop Your Engines

With more and more anti-idling regulations cropping up, you will be turning your truck off more and more.

But there's plenty of technology to get you back to green-flag comfort.

By Paul Abelson
Senior Technical Editor

And you thought lap-to-lap at a NASCAR race in Bristol was crazy. That's nothing compared to the differences in idling laws from state to state.

Laws are so haphazard that life for truckers would be a lot easier if states used the NASCAR flag system to give drivers a clue about their idling regs.

You get the picture: Drive into Arkansas and see the green flag flying - idling is allowed and not regulated. Drive into New Jersey and get the yellow flag - idling is allowed for some exempt purposes.

Then you head to California where idling restrictions that will start in 2008 have already sent the big, bad black flag flying over the "Welcome to California" sign. No idling, no way, no how - time to shut the truck down.

The patchwork of idling restrictions truckers face around the country are nearly impossible to keep up with. And, if you think you've got a handle on it, you'd better be ready for the next yellow or black flag to appear - because the laws are changing.

Consider California's black flag of restrictions. The California Air Resources Board eliminated the sleeper-berth exemption effective Jan. 1, 2008. Currently, truckers may idle for heating, ventilation and air conditioning, and hotel loads - food storage and preparation, entertainment and lighting - when they sleep, provided the truck is not within 100 feet of any residences.

Come 2008, the time limit for idling will be five minutes.  

California will require idle-limiting electronic control modules - ECMs - with programs that shut engines off after a pre-set interval. They restart when temperatures or battery strength drop to preset limits.

Because more and more municipalities and states are black-flagging truck idling, it's getting to the point if you want any sort of comfort, and more importantly a healthy environment in your truck with the key off, you have to seek power alternatives.

It's important to consider your conditions when trying to find the best idling reduction device.      

Too many times, when we think of idling reduction, we think of generators and auxiliary power units, or APUs. Other alternatives from basic, inexpensive devices to the complex, allow truckers to turn off their engines. Some are used independently, others, in combination with additional devices.

What's the difference

Let's start with the differences between generators - also known as gen sets - and APUs.

Section 756, Reduction of Engine Idling, in the Energy Policy Act of 2005 defines an auxiliary power unit as "an integrated system (that) provides heat, air conditioning, engine warming, or electricity to components on a heavy-duty vehicle ."

Generators are simply devices that convert the mechanical energy of an auxiliary engine into electric current to be used to drive whatever accessories might be added or sold with the generator.

For example, an APU will have an engine-driven air conditioner compressor, while a generator will power an electric, stand-alone air conditioner. The APU's air conditioning may be plumbed through the truck's existing air conditioner or to an independent circuit in the sleeper.

Both APUs and gen sets can use generators for electric power, while APUs often use one or more alternators, often for battery charging.

There are no rules saying a unit must be either an APU or a generator. Some APUs use generators for higher current loads. Some generators have cooling systems common with the main engine. There are more hybrid units than pure ones. The Energy Act defines APUs, but not generators. The Environmental Protection Agency considers them to be functionally identical.

Some high-end APUs have additional accessories, such as pre-oilers to build oil pressure and prevent dry starts. Some have air compressors and optional air starters.

APUs and generators have gained popularity as both fuel prices and anti-idling regulations have increased. But, for decades, smart drivers have been using idling alternatives, realizing the economic benefit of shutting off their engines.

Beyond the APU

The most basic of those alternative devices is a 12-volt bunk warmer, similar to an electric blanket. Turned on while you're still driving, it slowly warms your mattress and blankets.  

When you shut off your engine, the bunk should be toasty warm. You can add a pair of long johns for that extra bit of warmth. Today's engines can start at temperatures as low as minus 20 degrees, so shutting off the engine is a viable option.

That's fine in cold weather, but what about heat. There are many evenings when temperatures are cool enough to allow ventilation to work, especially if the air conditioner has cooled the sleeper. Leaving windows open compromises security, but marine-style roof-mounted 12-volt exhaust fans or window fans with security screens are often effective.

One problem with heating and cooling sleepers is the low level of insulation provided by OEMs. Even with custom-made sleepers, you should specify extra insulation. Face it, once paid for, it's going to continue to work to save you money by helping to preserve stable interior temperatures.

Heat loss in winter and heat gain in summer can be reduced dramatically, especially with some of the new spray-on or brush-on ceramic and metalized compounds. Literally a product of the space age, ceramic insulation can substantially supplement other insulation.

An often-overlooked area is the cab floor. It sits on top of a 600- to 750-pound transmission that is a large heat producer. In a few hours driving, it will warm to more than 200 degrees.

When driving, heat is lost through the oil cooler and into the passing air stream. When stopped, the transmission gives off its heat, mostly upward. Your cab gets hot when you're away a short time on a mild day, not from the sun beating in, but from your transmission. Insulation will minimize transmission heat in the cab.

Next on the scale of energy efficiency come fuel-fired heaters. While typical APUs burn 0.2 gallons per hour of diesel, a fuel-fired bunk heater can burn as little as one-fourth of that, 0.05 gallons per hour. Simply put, in many instances, a fuel-fired air heater can run all night on what an APU burns in one hour. New air heaters are either turned on and off by a thermostat or cycled through high and low settings to maintain an even temperature.

Because fuel-fired heaters are the most fuel-efficient cold weather devices, they may be paired with the warm weather efficient systems such as battery powered air conditioners or generators with electric air conditioners to give you the most efficient year-round comfort between the two systems.

Fuel-fired engine heaters have enabled truckers to shut down engines at temperatures as low as 40 below zero. Burning about 0.1 to 0.15 gallons per hour, they pump warm coolant through hoses to fuel tank warmers. They keep fuel from gelling in the tank. Today's low-sulfur, low-aromatic fuels have a higher cold filter plugging point. A tank heater could mean the difference between an on-time delivery and a road service call.

Coolant heaters can warm the cab by running hot water through the OEM heat exchangers. If you run the fans to pull that heat into the cab with the engine off, you could draw as much as 15 amps per fan, enough to run down ordinary batteries.

Deep-cycle batteries are designed to withstand repeated discharges. They have thicker, but fewer plates. Deep-cycle batteries can power hotel loads and HVAC longer than starting batteries.

In recent years, several developments have improved the ability of these batteries to support these loads. Absorbed glass mat - known as AGM - designs have a greater current density per pound and per cube. New configurations of AGM batteries allow as many as eight batteries to power HVAC units for 10 or more hours. They also recharge faster than ordinary flooded cell batteries.

Starting can be a problem if batteries are discharged too deeply, a situation all too common in extremely cold weather. Supercapacitors are devices with the ability to store large amounts of current and release it quickly at high energy levels. They replace starting batteries, allowing deep-cycle batteries to provide HVAC and hotel loads.

Developed in Siberia to start construction equipment in frigid climates, supercapacitors quickly recharge from batteries too weak to start a truck's engine. Although they cost close to $1,000 each, only one is needed and they are still substantially less costly than APUs.

With supercapacitors, batteries can exclusively power both 12-volt and 120-volt appliances using an inverter. Dollar-for-dollar, battery power may be less expensive than APUs, in terms of both initial and operating costs.

The ability of batteries to accept a recharge is inversely proportional to ambient temperature. As the climate gets colder, the batteries accept less recharging current. Over time, their state of charge may severely degrade. Cold doesn't affect a supercapacitor.

Both the Department of Energy and the EPA are proponents of truck stop electrification. The most commonly recognized truck stop electrification is IdleAire, the full service HVAC/TV/Internet/shore power provider.

The simplest truck stop electrification devices are plug-ins for household current. With an extension cord linking the truck and the power outlet, 120-volt current can power air conditioners, space heaters, engine block heaters and hotel loads. Shore power can keep batteries fully charged, ensuring warmed engine starts regardless of weather.

IdleAire is self-contained, but truck stop electrification requires power distribution within the truck. Wiring kits are available from truck stops that offer truck stop electrification, and OEMs and their dealers can install permanent internal cab wiring.

In the future, there may be enough parking spaces with truck stop electrification, but currently they are few in number, available only at some truck stops and select rest areas.

IdleAire is building facilities at several fleet terminals, but there is more demand than supply. Recognizing the need for truck stop electrification outside of truck stops, the Department of Energy is considering ways to get shippers and receivers to install units at their facilities, according to Terry Levinson from Argonne National Laboratory, and the preliminary plans from the National Idle Reduction Planning Conference task forces.

Often, trucks that do not plan to use electrification services take up those parking places at truck stops. As a result of discussions at the 2004 Idle Reduction Planning Conference, truck stops may soon reserve wired spaces, with gates to those sections. Code-controlled entry, similar to automated car-washing facilities, could keep non-users out.

From idle limiters to fully accessorized APUs, there are numerous choices to save fuel and engine wear and comply with ever more stringent anti-idling laws - giving you the green flag for comfort.

The options for reducing idling time are almost limitless. Before you can determine what is the right combination for you, you need to know your options and do your research. If you're leased, check to see what your fleet is doing, and what agreements they may have that could include you. If you're independent, find out the plans of your customers, if any. Evaluate costs and savings based on both your present situation and future possibilities.

Whatever your decision, one thing is certain: With the new laws cropping up all around the country just like the new California law and the increased emphasis on idle reduction, you need to do something or face a long, cold night under the black flag.

Paul Abelson may be reached at truckwriter@anet.com.

 

The 'SmartWay' partnership to fuel economy, cleaner air

By Aaron Ladage
Staff Writer

As states and communities across the country work in isolation from one another in developing anti-idling restrictions, a veritable patchwork quilt of rules and regulations has developed, with no rhyme or reason from one location to the next.

But one organization is working to create a single, consistent anti-idling law that communities nationwide can adopt.

SmartWay, a program created and sponsored by the Environmental Protection Agency, is a partnership between government officials and the freight and transportation industry that is designed to help adopt fuel-saving strategies and to reduce emissions without reducing profits.

SmartWay officials had a number of informational and decision-making conferences throughout the country this summer to generate ideas for state idling laws that would be effective on a nationwide scale. Specifics of possible idling laws, including time limits, weather conditions, months of enforcement, and exemptions for specific vehicle types, emergencies and situations were discussed.

A number of OOIDA members, as well as several members of the OOIDA Board of Directors, attended the SmartWay conferences across the country. In the next few months, SmartWay officials will unveil a model idling law, based upon the main points discussed during those conferences.

In addition to unifying idling restriction laws, SmartWay is also developing other environmentally friendly programs aimed at the trucking community. Most recently, the organization awarded a $3 million grant program to the Texas Transportation Institute - a state-funded research facility at Texas A&M University - which will be used to research shore power technologies and truck stop power options to help reduce idling.

OOIDA continues to commit its resources to idling issues and involving truckers in a nationwide standard for idle-reduction laws and regulations.

In the words of Association President and CEO Jim Johnston, it is critical that OOIDA involve itself because workable solutions to the idling situation cannot be accomplished without the input of real truckers.

Under the Energy Policy Act of 2005 - which President Bush signed into law Aug. 8 - SmartWay will receive $94.5 million during the next three years for the purpose of reducing extended idling in heavy-duty vehicles.

aaron_ladage@landlinemag.com

 

A buyers' guide to idling solutions

As the number of idling restrictions around the country have increased, so have the options for idling alternatives. Here is a list of some of the companies that have products available to help truckers stay comfortable without idling their main engines.

ACC Climate Control
1-800-462-6322
accclimatecontrol.com

Autotherm Division Enthal Systems, Inc
(847) 726-1717
autothermusa.com

Auxiliary Power Dynamics
1-800-825-4631
willisapu.com

Bergstrom (NITE system)
1-866-204-8570
nitesystem.com

Big Rig (Rig Master)
1-866-724-4744
bigrigproducts.com

Black Rock
(775) 246-5791
blackrockapu.com

Boomer Diesel 
(Frigette and Black Rock)
(405) 948-1393
boomerdieselenginegenerator.com

Centramatic
1-800-523-8473
centramatic.com

Cummins Comfort Guard
1-800-343-7357 
cummins.com

Dometic Tundra
1-800-275-0574
idlesolutions.com

Double Eagle Industries
(260) 768-4121
doubleeagleind.com

Energy & Engine Technology Corporation
(972) 732-6360
eenet.net

Espar
1-800-387-4800
espar.com

Executive Technologies
1-888-710-8907
etairsystem.com

Frigette
1-800-433-1740 or 
1-800-433-2910
scsfrigette.com

Idlebuster
(727) 569-6000
fcma.com

J&J’s Idling (XP)
(214) 350-5180
noidling.com

Mechron
(613) 733-3855
mechron.com

Phillips and Temro
(952) 941-9700
phillipsandtemro.com

Pony Pack
(505) 243-1381
ponypack.com

Rig Master
1-800-249-6222
rigmasterpower.com

Safer Corporation
1-877-777-2337
saferco.com/english.aspx

Teleflex Proheat
(604) 270-6899
proheat.com

ThermoKing
(952) 887-2200
thermoking.com

Truck Gen
(239) 693-8211 or 
(904) 378-1220
truckgen.com

USCO
(903) 758-0714
powersystemstogo.com

Webasto
(810) 593-6000
www.webasto-us.com

 

Anti-idling rules: A state-by-state advisory

By Aaron Ladage
staff writer

In the new world of anti-idling rules, exemptions vary from state to state, county to county, city to city and even street to street, in some cases.

Some jurisdictions allow exemptions, which include everything from traffic and weather conditions, warming up the engine or cooling it down, waiting to undergo a roadside emissions inspection and rest periods mandated by hours-of-service rules.

Other jurisdictions don't allow any exemptions under any circumstances.

With the current patchwork of rules and ever-changing statutes and codes, it is impossible to compile a comprehensive list. However, listed here are some of the more commonly encountered locations and the rules currently in effect there.

ARIZONA  Maricopa County
Time limit
• 5 minutes
Fines
• $100 first violation
• $300 second violation
Exemptions
• Traffic or adverse weather conditions
• Emergency or law enforcement purposes
• Power takeoff involving cargo or work functions
• Conform to manufacturer's specifications
• Maintenance or diagnostics
• Hours-of-service compliance

CALIFORNIA  Statewide
Time limit
• 5 minutes
Fines
• Minimum $100
Exemptions
• Resting in sleeper-berth beyond 100 feet of residential units
• Traffic conditions
• Queuing beyond 100 feet of residential units
• Adverse weather conditions or mechanical difficulties
• Vehicle safety inspection
• Service or repair
• Power takeoff involving cargo or work functions
• Prevent safety or health emergency
• Emergency vehicles

City of Sacramento
Time limit
• 5 minutes
• Prohibits reefer operation within 100 feet of residential or school areas unless loading or unloading
Fines
• Not less than $100 and not more than $25,000 per violation
Exemptions
• Traffic conditions/control
• Traffic conditions
• Vehicle safety inspection
• Service or repair
• Conform to manufacturer's specifications
• Power takeoffs involving cargo or work functions
• Prevent safety or health emergency
• Hours-of-service compliance at truck/rest stop

Placer County (NE of Sacramento)
Time limit
• 5 minutes
• Prohibits reefer operation within 100 feet of residential or school areas unless loading or unloading
Fines
• $50 minimum
Exemptions
• Traffic conditions/control
• Traffic conditions
• Vehicle safety inspection
• Service or repair
• Conform to manufacturer's specifications
• Power takeoffs involving cargo or work functions
• Prevent safety or health emergency
• Hours-of-service compliance at truck/rest stop
• Operate intermittent equipment
• Attainment areas (air meets EPA quality standards)

COLORADO  City of Aspen
Time limit
• 5 minutes within any 1 hour
Fines
• $1,000 maximum and/or 1-year imprisonment
Exemptions
• Safety reasons
• To achieve an engine temperature of 120 degrees Fahrenheit and an air pressure of 100 lbs/square inch

City and County of Denver
Time limit
• 10 minutes in any 1-hour period
Fines
• Not more than $999 and/or 
• 1-year imprisonment
Exemptions
• Less than 20 degrees Fahrenheit for previous 24-hour period
• Less than 10 degrees Fahrenheit
• Emergency vehicles
• Traffic conditions
• Being serviced
• Auxiliary equipment

CONNECTICUT  Statewide
Time limit
• 3 minutes
Fines
• Not more than $5,000 per week
Exemptions
• Traffic conditions or mechanical difficulties
• Ensure safety or health of driver/passengers
• Auxiliary equipment
• Conform to manufacturer's specifications
• Less than 20 degrees Fahrenheit
• Maintenance
• Queuing to access military installation

DELAWARE  Statewide
Time limit
• 3 minutes
• 15 minutes if 32 degrees to minus 10 degrees Fahrenheit
• No limit if less than minus 10 degrees Fahrenheit
Fines
• $50-$500 per offense
Exemptions
• Traffic conditions or mechanical difficulties
• Conform to manufacturer's specifications
• Repair
• Emergency vehicles
• Using auxiliary equipment/power takeoff
• Power during sleeping or resting beyond 25 miles of truck stop with available electrified equipment
• Vehicle safety inspections

GEORGIA  City of Atlanta
Time limit
• 15 minutes
• 25 minutes if less than 32 degrees Fahrenheit
Fines
• $500 minimum
Exemptions
• To perform needed work
• Traffic conditions
• Natural gas or electric vehicles

HAWAII  Statewide
Time limit
• 3 minutes for start up/cool down
Fines
• Not less than $25 and not more than $2,500 per day
Exemptions
• Adjustment or repair
• Auxiliary equipment or power takeoff

ILLINOIS  Statewide
Time limit
• Cannot leave running unattended
Fines
• Not more than $500
Exemptions
• None

MARYLAND  Statewide
Time limit
• 5 minutes
Fines
• Not less than $500
Exemptions
• Traffic conditions or mechanical difficulties
• Heating, cooling and auxiliary equipment

MASSACHUSETTS  Statewide
Time limit
• 5 minutes
Fines
• Not less than $100 for first offense
• Not more than $500 for each succeeding offense
Exemptions
• Being serviced
• Delivery for which power is needed and alternatives unavailable
• Associate power needed and alternatives unavailable

MINNESOTA  City of Minneapolis
Time limit
• Zero minutes in residential areas between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m., including reefers
Fines
• $700 maximum and/or 90 days imprisonment
Exemptions
• Permitted construction equipment
• Compliance with traffic signals or signs
• Emergency or law enforcement purposes

City of Owatonna
Time limit
• 5 minutes each 5 hours in residential areas
Fines
• $1,000 maximum and/or 90 days imprisonment
Exemptions
• None

City of St. Cloud
Time limit
• 5 minutes, West Germain Street from 8th to 10th Avenue
Fines
• Not more than $200
Exemptions
• None

MISSOURI  City of St. Louis
Time limit
• 10 minutes
Fines
• Not less than $1 or more than $500 and/or imprisonment for not more than 90 days
Exemptions
• Emergency vehicles

NEVADA  Statewide
Time limit
• 15 minutes
Fines
• Not less than $100 or more than $500 for first offense
• Not less than $500 or more than $1,000 for second offense
• Not less than $1,000 or more than $1,500 for third offense
• Not less than $1,500 or more than $2,500 for fourth and subsequent offenses
Exemptions
• Variance has been issued
• Emergency vehicles
• Snow removal equipment
• Repair or maintain other vehicles
• Traffic congestion
• Maintenance at repair facility
• Emission contained and treated per control officer
• To perform specific task

Clark County
Time limit
• 15 minutes
Fines
• Not more than $10,000
Exemptions
• Variance has been issued
• Emergency vehicles
• Repair or maintain other vehicles
• Traffic congestion
• Emission contained and treated per control officer
• To perform a specific task
• Maintenance at repair facility

Washoe County
Time limit
• 15 minutes
Fines
• Not more than $250 for first offense
• Not less than $250 or more than $500 for subsequent offenses
Exemptions
• Emergency vehicles
• Snow removal equipment
• Repair or maintain other vehicles
• Traveling on public right-of-way
• To perform specific task
• Maintenance at repair facility

NEW HAMPSHIRE  Statewide
Time limit
• 5 minutes if more than 32 degrees Fahrenheit
• 15 minutes if 32 degrees to minus 10 degrees Fahrenheit
Fines
• To be determined
Exemptions
• Traffic conditions
• Emergency vehicles
• Power takeoff
• Maintenance or diagnostics
• Defrost windshield
• Less than 10 degrees Fahrenheit

NEW JERSEY  Statewide
Time limit
• 3 minutes
• 15 minutes if stopped for more than 3 hours
• 30 minutes if permanently assigned
Fines
• $200 for first offense
• $400 for second offense
• $1,000 for third offense
• $3,000 for subsequent offenses
Exemptions
• Traffic conditions
• To perform needed work
• Waiting or being inspected
• Emergency vehicles
• Being repaired
• Connecting, detaching or exchanging trailers
• Sleeping or resting in a sleeper-berth in non-residential zone unless equipped with auxiliary heating/cooling

NEW YORK  Statewide
Time limit
• 5 minutes
Fines
• Not less than $375 or more than $15,000 for first offense
• Not more than $22,500 for subsequent offenses
Exemptions
• Traffic conditions
• Auxiliary power or maintenance
• Emergency vehicles
• Within mines or quarries
• Parked for more than 2 hours and less than 25 degrees Fahrenheit
• State inspections
• Farm vehicles

New York City
Time limits
• 3 minutes
Fines
• Not less than $50 or more than $500 and/or imprisonment for 20 days for first offense
• Not less than $100 or more than $1,000 and/or imprisonment for not more than 30 days for second offense
• Not less than $400 or more than $5,000 and/or imprisonment for not more than 4 months for subsequent offenses
Exemptions
• Emergency vehicles
• Operate loading, unloading or processing device

PENNSYLVANIA  Allegheny County
Time limit
• 5 minutes
• 20 minutes per hour if less than 40 degrees Fahrenheit or more than 75 degrees Fahrenheit
Fines
• Warning, first offense
• $100 for second offense
• $500 for subsequent offenses
Exemptions
• Traffic conditions
• Queuing
• Cool down/warm up per manufacturer's recommendations
• Sleeping/resting in truck
• Safety inspections
• Ensure safe operation
• Emergency vehicles
• Power accessory or service equipment
• Repair or diagnostics

City of Philadelphia
Time limit
• 2 minutes, or zero minutes for layovers
• 5 minutes if less than 32 degrees Fahrenheit
• 20 minutes if less than 20 degrees Fahrenheit
Fines
• $300
Exemptions
• None

TEXAS  Cities of Austin, Bastrop, Elgin, Lockhart, Round Rock and San Marcos; Counties of Bastrop, Caldwell, Hays, Travis and Williamson
Time limit
• 5 minutes from April-October
Fines
• Varies by jurisdiction
Exemptions
• 14,000 lbs GVW or less
• Traffic conditions
• Emergency or law enforcement
• To perform needed work
• Maintenance or diagnostics
• Defrost windshield
• Hours-of-service compliance

UTAH  Statewide
Time limit
• Cannot leave running unattended
Fines
• Not more than $750 and/or not more than 90 days imprisonment
Exemptions
• None

Salt Lake City
Time limit
• 15 minutes
Fines
• Not more than $1,000 and/or not more than 6 months imprisonment for first offense
• Not more than $2,500 and/or not more than 1 year imprisonment for subsequent offenses
Exemptions
• Reefer unit if more than 500 feet from any residence
• To heat/cool sleeper-berth if more than 500 feet from any residence
• Emergency vehicles

VIRGINIA  Statewide
Time limit
• 10 minutes in commercial or residential urban areas
Fines
• Not more than $25,000
Exemptions
• Auxiliary power

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA   Citywide
Time limit
• 3 minutes
• 5 minutes if less than 32 degrees Fahrenheit
Fines
• $500
• Doubles for each subsequent violation
Exemptions
• Power takeoff

This report is a compilation of information from the American Trucking Research Institute (updated August 2005), Environmental Protection Agency and California Air Resources Board. This information is intended to be a general overview and may not be complete. It should not be relied upon as a complete source of state, county and local restrictions.

Enforcement?

Some jurisdictions actively enforce and issue fines, others have directives to "work with offenders." While in most, you won't find authorities patrolling truck stops and rest areas with stopwatches, the intent to control idling is firmly in place. Heads up.

aaron_ladage@landlinemag.com

 

Energy Bill allows 400-pound exemption for APUs

By Aaron Ladage
staff writer

Nestled deep within the massive $12.3 billion federal Energy Bill is a little-known provision that makes carrying and using an APU less of a hassle.

Under Section 756 of the Energy Bill - which President Bush signed into law Aug. 8, 2005 - is the "Idle Reduction and Energy Conservation Deployment Program." The program helps truckers get alternative power sources into their trucks "to promote reduction of fuel use and emissions because of engine idling."

The program modifies the U.S. Code by increasing a vehicle's maximum gross vehicle weight and axle weight limit by 400 pounds. This added weight limit is specifically designated for the addition of idle-reduction technology, such as auxiliary power units.

The new rule - which is already in effect - has two requirements that drivers must meet if they are questioned by a law enforcement or regulatory officer. The first requirement requires the driver to prove that the unit is in working condition. The second requirement is that the driver must also be able to prove that the additional 400 pounds of weight is only being used for the added APU device.

According to Rick Craig, vice president of regulatory affairs for the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association, the provision does not specify a start date, and does not require any appropriations for funding, which means it automatically went into effect when the president signed the Energy Bill into law.

aaron_ladage@landlinemag.com

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