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Should Canadian truck stops offer shore power options?

CORNWALL, Ont. - The growing force of anti-idling programs in the trucking industry has generated much discussion of power-related issues and the equipment used to supplement them.The ability to plug ...






CORNWALL, Ont. – The growing force of anti-idling programs in the trucking industry has generated much discussion of power-related issues and the equipment used to supplement them.

The ability to plug into a shore power outlet at truck stops would dovetail nicely with this growing force and provide drivers with a more efficient option for entertainment and a better sleep.

Electrification at rest areas and truck stops would enable drivers to plug in bunk heaters, microwaves, stereos, computers or whatever else they may carry with them on their long-haul trips.

It is a phenomenon that is slowly taking off in the U.S. and Truck News visited the Fifth Wheel Truck Stop in Cornwall, Ont., to see if Canadian drivers feel it is something they would find a worthy investment.

Shawn Ried of KBD Transportation in Iroquois, Ont., says he would make use of a shore power line if it were made available to truckers.

“I have seen it work in the U.S. but I haven’t tried it myself,” he says. “I would likely use it though because I have a satellite television and VCR in my cab so it would be handy.”

Erb Transport driver, Roger Steepe, believes a shore power line would be better for the environment and fuel economy.

“I would use it when it’s cold out or if I go up north where it’s 36 degrees below, the truck might not start in the morning so it would be great to plug it in,” he says. “Even if there was a fee for it, you’ll save in the long run, it’s environmentally friendly and you’d get a good sleep.”

Eric Monpain who drives a day cab for Batesville Transport in Montreal Que., says he doesn’t have to worry too much about shore power options because he never stays the night in his truck, but says if he did, he would like to have that option.

“It all comes down to who is going to pay for the electricity,” he says. “If the truck stop was going to give you minutes of power in return for buying fuel or some sort of deal then I think it would work, but if the driver has to pay out of his own pocket, I don’t think many would use it.”

“I don’t really stop at truck stops too often,” says Adam Legue who hauls insulation from his Long Sault, Ont. base to Toronto, Ont., “but I’m sure other people from out of town on long hauls, or who are stuck here for the weekend would appreciate something like that.”

Trimac driver, Mike Renaud, says shore power is good in theory, but many logistics issues would need to be addressed in order for it to work.

“The problem I see is that there is no place to park for truckers in Canada, so if one driver takes a spot with shore power capabilities but doesn’t need it then another driver can’t use it,” he says. “If everybody were equipped to use it then it would work.” n


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