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Do you think truck stops should provide idle-free parking?

GRIMSBY, Ont. - The reduction of greenhouse gases is a hot topic of late, especially with the October engine deadline looming just around the corner. The introduction of emissions testing, recycling, ...


GRIMSBY, Ont. – The reduction of greenhouse gases is a hot topic of late, especially with the October engine deadline looming just around the corner. The introduction of emissions testing, recycling, commuting, composting, etc. … are all attempts at creating a better living environment for humanity.

Truck News made its way to the Fifth Wheel Truck Stop in Grimsby, Ont. to find out what drivers think of the idea of voluntary no idle zones at truck stops.

Montrealer Steve Fournier was coming back from Buffalo, N.Y. when he took a moment to ponder the idea. In his opinion no idling zones would be a great idea.

“It would allow drivers the option to sleep without noise,” says Fournier, who hauls steel and lumber in a 1998 Freightliner for Formula Transit Inc. out of Ste. Sophie, Que. “Some trucks make a lot of noise, which impedes the ability of other drivers to sleep.”

Eagle Pass, Tex. resident Elijio Hernandez says his support for no idle zones would depend on where he was and at what time of the year.

“I would be in support of it when it isn’t cold or hot. It depends on where you’re at,” explains the O/O who works for Caledon Trucking Services Inc, out of Indianapolis, Ind. “In the summer, in Texas, a no idling zone doesn’t make sense,” he says. Although having recently dropped off a load of general freight in Pickering, Hernandez believes Canada’s cold weather may also hamper any attempt.

J.S. Crawford & Son driver, Beth Chapman, says she would not support such a regulation.

“You live in your truck,” explains Chapman, who drives a 2000 Freightliner for the Mississauga-based company. The Niagara Falls native, who was on her way to Burlington, says the seasons are the main reason for idling.

“In the winter you need the heat and in the summer you need the A/C. Sure there are units, but they are overpriced and with the current rates, who can afford to put them in?”

O/O Jake Marks of SLH Transport out of Halifax, N.S. believes the idea would be a good one – providing it’s respected. “I know a lot of people who look for spots with no trucks or reefers running,” says the Cow Bay, N.S. resident who was coming from Pennsylvania driving his 2001 Freightliner. “The problem is parking space at truck stops is so limited that it would be hard to have dedicated space.”

Dave Edsall, a Fort Erie native and driving instructor for Ace Transport Training out of Niagara-on-the-Lake, can see both sides when it comes to no idling zones.

“I understand the pollution concerns, but a lot of trucks have in-cab heaters,” says Edsall who uses a 1988 Kenworth training vehicle when teaching. “For those that don’t have independent heaters, if the rates come up and drivers can afford to have them installed, then it would be understandable. If there is no choice in the matter, the truck stops will be on the losing end unless it’s legislated at all rest areas. Then it would be a level playing field.”


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