Wisconsin grants offer big opportunities for small-business truckers

| 3/23/2007

For the second year in a row, the Wisconsin Department of Commerce is planning to hand out $1 million to truckers to purchase anti-idling technologies such as auxiliary power units - and OOIDA wants to make sure its members and Land Line readers again get in on the action.

Joe Rajkovacz, regulatory affairs specialist for OOIDA, was one of 10 participants at a roundtable meeting on Friday, March 16, in Madison, WI, to discuss the 2007 application process for the state's Diesel Truck Idling Reduction Grant Program.

Applications should be available beginning in late May or early June, but Rajkovacz said applications should not be sent in at that time because if they are received before the July 1 they will automatically be rejected.

"The program will again allocate $1 million for anti-idling technology - including $750,000 for large fleets and another $250,000 for small business truck owners with fleets of 50 or fewer trucks," he said. "We want to make sure our members and readers take advantage of programs like this that could really help small business truckers in purchasing expensive equipment such as APUs."

Last year, OOIDA members and Land Line readers received more than $141,000 of the $250,000 available to small business truckers. Applications for small business truckers that are filled out accurately will be entered into a lottery drawing, Rajkovacz said.

OOIDA member DuWayne Marshall of Watertown, WI, a recipient of the grant program in 2006, has had his Thermo King APU for almost six months now and is pleased with his decision to participate in the grant program. He said he has already started noticing a difference in his fuel costs and has saved approximately $3,400 since having his APU installed.

"This is a good example of how my OOIDA membership has really paid off by making me aware that programs like this existed," he said.

 - By Clarissa Kell-Holland, staff writer