To Idle Or Not To Idle

Topic 22583 | Page 1

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RealDiehl's Comment
member avatar

On the account I'm currently on I run at night and usually shut down during the day. At most of the truck stops/service areas I stay, there are signs saying idling is not allowed. I don't have an apu and sometimes I feel like a potato baking in the oven when I enter the sleeper. I also see a lot of trucks around me idling. I want to know if any driver has ever received a ticket for idling in an area that has idling restrictions and, do some of you idle anyway? Besides a fan, any suggestions on how to maintain a comfortable temperature in the truck on a hot day?

APU:

Auxiliary Power Unit

On tractor trailers, and APU is a small diesel engine that powers a heat and air conditioning unit while charging the truck's main batteries at the same time. This allows the driver to remain comfortable in the cab and have access to electric power without running the main truck engine.

Having an APU helps save money in fuel costs and saves wear and tear on the main engine, though they tend to be expensive to install and maintain. Therefore only a very small percentage of the trucks on the road today come equipped with an APU.

∆_Danielsahn_∆'s Comment
member avatar

My company's idle policy is "idle for comfort." That is what I do. I usually start the night with the truck off, but turn it on, when my invertor starts swearing at me. My truck does a decent job of maintaining temperature, after I shut it off, but warm weather is here, so we will see.

What is your company's policy? Do your best to follow it, but don't sacrifice your health, or safety, because of it. Being able to sleep comfortably is a necessity, in my opinion. A tired driver is a dangerous driver.

Big Scott (CFI Driver/Tra's Comment
member avatar

At CFI our trucks will idle above 70 degrees and below 30 degrees. In the last week my truck is only turned off when I'm not in it. I will not roast in my truck. I also don't sleep well when it's to hot, for me that is above 66 degrees. That is where the temp is set in my truck right now.

RealDiehl's Comment
member avatar

Thanks for the responses. My issue isn't with my company's policy (the truck will idle when it is over 68). My concern is the signs at some truck stops that prohibit idling.

My company's idle policy is "idle for comfort." That is what I do. I usually start the night with the truck off, but turn it on, when my invertor starts swearing at me.

I have never tried to use the invertor to power the a/c. Is it a simple process...just turn the invertor on and turn on the a/c?

Susan D. 's Comment
member avatar

Since you don't have an APU , I'm sure you are going to have to idle for your safety and comfort.

APU:

Auxiliary Power Unit

On tractor trailers, and APU is a small diesel engine that powers a heat and air conditioning unit while charging the truck's main batteries at the same time. This allows the driver to remain comfortable in the cab and have access to electric power without running the main truck engine.

Having an APU helps save money in fuel costs and saves wear and tear on the main engine, though they tend to be expensive to install and maintain. Therefore only a very small percentage of the trucks on the road today come equipped with an APU.

Jason (Driver @ShipEx)'s Comment
member avatar

I only Idle when I have to, to reach maximum comfort during my rest periods. When I am most relaxed and comfortable I get the best rest and therefore am most alert for that day. I do not pay attention to the no idle policies unless someone specifically tells me that either not idle or leave.

Rob S.'s Comment
member avatar

I've heard rumors of police ticketing drivers that violate the no-idle laws. I've never heard a first hand account though. I doubt that it would happen unless the officer already had his ticket book out for something else (illegal parking comes to mind).

Big Scott (CFI Driver/Tra's Comment
member avatar

I have only seen signs like that in truck stop I have stayed at a couple of times. I idle when I feel the need.

Harry H. [ navypoppop ]'s Comment
member avatar

Idling has become an important issue in this country. Some states have banned it and will issue fines and others understand the need for the drivers comfort and safety. It's about time the federal government steps up to the plate for a good cause this time which is, "If a driver is in his or her bunk during a rest period mandated by HOS then idling is permitted". Simply put you need to be comfortable while resting. Do not idle if you are in the buildings, fueling or anything other than sleeping in the cab.

What sense does it make in these states that allow you to idle if you have a dog or cat aboard for their safety but the driver can freeze or fry! When does a pet's life matter more than a human's? It's called being humane for the animal but criminal for the human. In some states the laws are strictly enforced like in the Northeast but in others most law enforcers are very lenient in waking the driver or issuing a ticket. Wake up America, we need to be comfortable when we work. Ask any political person if they have ever tried sleeping at home without their heater or a/c and why force us to do the same.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Jenny's Comment
member avatar

I purchased a small "as seen on TV " swamp cooler or as they put it, cooler and humidifier. As long as I'm in low humidity it freezes me out, and I sleep like a rock! (Think Phoenix, W. Texas, N.M., Nevada, Wyoming...but other places too when humidity is low)

When it's hot and muggy I run the truck. I've never been bothered. Sure beats sleeping like a baby-waking up sh**ty every 2 hrs.

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