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Freight Companies Work to Limit Idling

According to the Department of Energy, long-haul trucks idle 500 to 3,500 hours a year, consuming up to a billion gallons of diesel fuel a year, The New York Times reports.

Freight companies are instituting policies to limit idling, providing incentives to drivers to reduce it or installing devices to shut down an engine automatically. Wal-Mart has put idle reduction technologies in 7,000 of its trucks. Schneider National is testing two cooling systems, one a 12-volt air-conditioner and the other a coolant storage system; 9,000 trucks already have diesel-fired heaters.

The Department of Transportation estimates that 60 of 5,000 truck stops in 11 states allow trucks to plug into local power or have equipment in parking areas that pumps cool or hot air into the cabs. The capacity exists, however, for only 30 percent of trucks on the road.

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