Did you know that in many states it is illegal to run your engine if your vehicle is not in motion?
In Massachusetts, a vehicle is not allowed to idle for longer than 5 minutes. Failure to comply with this standard can result in fines of up to $500. In some states, idling is not allowed at all. This is the case in states such as: Alabama, Connecticut, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, New Jersey, and Washington State.
Why are the regulations so strict?
The trucking industry spends $3 billion a year in fuel to power idle truck engines – that is the equivalent of 1,800 gallons of diesel burned and released per truck, annually. The result to the environment is the release of harmful CO2, nitrogen oxide, and particulate matter. The state of Connecticut, which is one of the strictest in the country, notes that “an idling vehicle emits 20 times more pollution than one traveling at 30 miles per hour”. Clearly, health reasons and pollution are the major concern, but the fuel costs are a huge factor as well. From an environmental perspective these regulations make sense, but what about the operator’s viewpoint?
Long haul drivers typically make their truck their home; they eat, sleep and unwind in their vehicles. They idle their engines for the power they need to stay warm or cool, to cook, and to pass the time – whenever it is possible for them to relax. Many drivers are having to give up these amenities because they simply do not have any other power source.
Luckily, some states do take the comfort of the driver into consideration. In South Carolina, the restrictions on idling are lifted – but only when the temperature drops below 40° or reaches above 80°. In other states, like New Jersey, idling is only allowed for 15 minutes out of an hour, and only if the temperature is below 25°!
It’s important to be informed of idling laws:
- Cab Cards can be downloaded for quick reference from American Transportation Research Institute (ATRI).
- The compendium of regulations can be downloaded directly from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
But what if there were an alternative to idling all together? A system that stored a truck’s kinetic energy for later use? Blackburn Energy invented the RelGen system to solve this pain-point permanently. Learn more about how this technology works, and stay tuned to our blog and Facebook page to learn how you can be one of the first drivers to test this component.