Almost any truck driver that drives across the country will tell you the same thing, and that is that the inside of their truck is both their office and also their sleeping quarters. Most drivers remain close to their trucks while they make their freight deliveries. Even when they stop for a break or to get some sleep, they normally leave the trucks diesel engine running so that they can power the air conditioner or heater and other appliances, such as a refrigerator. Federal regulations require that a driver must stop driving after 11 hours. Once he or she has driven for 11 hours, they must rest for 10 hours, before getting behind the wheel again. Idling diesel engines consume an average of 1 gallon of diesel fuel per hour, so a truck idling for that 10 hour rest period would consume 10 gallons of fuel. Besides using the diesel fuel, diesel engines emit carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, particulate matter, nitro oxides and volatile organic compounds.
With a team effort between some companies and truck stops, they came up with a way that truck drivers can rest comfortably in their trucks without having to idle their diesel engines. With the use of modern technology, a tractor-trailer can park at a truck stop for hours and even days and remain fully operational, while being environmentally friendly. Many truck stops that have transformed into an environmentally friendly truck stop provide truck drivers the option to plug into a service module. These technology advanced service modules mount in the window of the truck and provide filtered air that keeps the cab of the truck at a comfortable temperature. Using this service module, a truck driver also has access to a high speed internet computer with a touch screen interface with email. They also get access to satellite TV, electrical outlets and free local calls through the phone connection. While these Eco-friendly modules provide truck drivers with several great luxuries, they also are helping the environment. With trucks plugged into these units, there is no need to run the diesel engine, saving the air from all of the pollutants.
Truck drivers find that the services that environmentally friendly truck stops offer actually save them money. For a basic hookup at one of these truck stops may vary, but most are under $2.00 an hour. When you consider that a diesel engine uses a gallon of fuel an hour, the environmentally friendly basic hookup is less expensive to use per hour. Truck stops are operated 24 hours a day and 365 days a year. With dozens of diesel trucks parked at a time at a single truck stop, the impact that the environmentally friendly truck stops will have in this country will be astonishing. The environment will not be the only thing that benefits from this technology. Truck drivers will get a better sleep in a truck that is not idling because there will be no noises, vibrating or fumes.