BRANDON, Man. – Canada’s third annual Idle Free – Quiet Zone campaign kicked off at the Brandon/Husky Car/Truck Stop in Brandon, Man. Oct. 4.
The campaign is slated to continue to Dec. 10.
The campaign, organized by the FleetSmart division of Natural Resources Canada, encourages truckers to reduce idling and greenhouse gas emissions by declaring participating sites Idle Free Zones.
Sites, including truck stops, service centres and dealerships, participate on a voluntary basis.
They are not required to forbid idling, only encourage truckers not to do it.
“Oh no, we would never do that, especially when temperatures start to get down to -40C,” said Shirley Boychuk, manager of the Brandon/Husky stop.
This will be the car/truck stop’s first year of participation in the campaign, but Boychuk is already familiar with the concept of idle-free zones.
“We have trucks so we understand why it’s important not to let them idle. Besides making greenhouse gases, idling consumes a lot of fuel.”
Industry acceptance of the campaign has grown steadily over the last three years. In 2001, only 14 sites participated. In 2002, the number climbed to 50. And this year, 82 sites across Canada have agreed to participate.
Conducted regularly in the fall, as outdoor temperatures start to cool and engine idling becomes more prevalent, the idle free campaign is conducted in conjunction with a FleetSmart rebate program, which offers carriers money back on purchases of select cab heaters and auxiliary power units for Class 6, 7 or 8 trucks or buses licensed for commercial service in Canada as of Aug. 12, 2003.
The rebate amounts to $350 maximum for an in-cab heater and $1,400 maximum for an APU. For more information call 1 (800) 387-2000.
A complete list of vendors with eligible heaters or APUs is available at the FleetSmart Web site at www.fleetsmart.gc.ca. Click on Consumer Notice under the Rebate for Fuel Efficient Devices heading.
The program works as follows: you buy an APU or in-cab heater that’s on the eligibility list, you mail your rebate application form into the dealer and the dealer sends it on to FleetSmart. Eventually (if you’ve filled out all your paperwork correctly) you get a cheque in the mail.
The rebate program is open to both owner/operators and larger carriers and is slated to continue through 2005, although the program may have been extended by then. So far, the program has received a total of 3,131 applications and reimbursed carriers $1,308,211.
Boychuk and her sons have already received rebates for purchases they made for a few of their trucks and are applying for more.
“One of our drivers keeps excellent records of his fuel consumption and you can really see the difference now that he has an in-cab heater,” Boychuk said, adding the program is worth all the paperwork.
This year will see the event kick off with an evening BBQ from 5 to 7 p.m. and speeches by local politicians including Manitoba Transport Minister Ron Lemieux, Brandon Mayor Dave Burgess and Manitoba Trucking Association’s head Bob Dolyniuk.
Sponsors of this year’s campaign include Espar Heater Systems, ProMiles Canada Inc., Rigmaster Power, Webasto, Proheat, the Canadian Trucking Human Resources Council, L’Echo du Transport, Truck News, Truck West, Motortruck, and several other trucking industry publications.