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Truck Stop Electrification Survey Analysis

truck stop electrification driver survey

truck stop electrification driver survey

A recently conducted survey through Trucking Social Media was performed of driver attitudes in regard to truck stop electrification.

The survey was a result from a previous Truth About Trucking “LIVE” broadcast, Idling Alternatives for the Trucking Industry.

The program featured Rick Shaff, Director of Sales Hodyon Dynasys APU, Roger Southall, Sales Manager AireDock, Ethan Garber, CEO IdleAir and Andy Warcaba, President Andrew J. Warcaba & Associates, Inc.

It was noted that still, many drivers were unaware of truck stop electrification technology and the survey was implemented to draw a better understanding of the TSE usage, specifically from a professional truck driver’s point of view.

Questions for the survey were provided by IdleAir and the analysis was presented by AireDock.  The complete survey results, including graphs, can also be downloaded through the PDF version:

Truck Stop Electrification Survey Analysis – PDF

  • Are you an owner operator, a leased operator, or a company driver?   31.1% answered owner operator with 8.9% as leased and 60% company driver.

Analysis:   As companies realized that logistics is a critical element of their strategy, truck operations have been brought in-house or contracted out to large, national fleet operators.  Therefore, the high percentage of respondents who identify themselves as “company drivers” is consistent with industry trends.

  • About how many nights do you spend on the road each year?   0-100 = 11.1%, 101-200 = 8.9%, 201-300 = 40% and 301+ = 40%.

Analysis:  Trucking remains a critical element of the country’s shipping infrastructure.  With the exponential growth of e-Commerce and its reliance network of fulfillment centers close to population centers, long-distance hauling by trucks has grown in importance.  In turn, drivers are spending more and more nights away from their home base.

  • Where do you usually park for the night?    Company terminal = 26.7%, Shipper-Receiver = 48.9%, Rest Area = 57.8%, Truck Stop = 86.7%, Other = 22.2%.

Analysis:  To date, AireDock has focused its marketing efforts on truck stops and rest areas throughout the country.  While these locations are the most important to meet TSE needs of drivers, a huge opportunity to save fuel and reduce emissions involves installing equipment at shipping and receiving points.  AireDock is currently working to install its technology adjacent to the JFK Air Cargo facilities.  This pilot program would provide invaluable insight on the value of TSE at a shipper/receiver parking area.

  • Do you idle most nights?   Yes = 42.2%,   No = 57.8%

Analysis:  AireDock’s internal field surveys suggest that the main alternative to idling is a sleeping bag and drivers’ tolerance for discomfort.  While this does save on fuel and cuts emissions, drivers do not get a full night’s rest which, in turn, impacts their daytime alertness and overall highway safety.

  • Does your company provide an APU?   Yes = 28.9%,  No = 71.1%

Analysis:  APU is an important technology. However, costs and weight (over 400 pounds) have been significant inhibitors.  There is no national legislation that excludes the weight of an APU unit from the overall weight limits.  With an emphasis on maximizing loads, the weight factor is significant.

  • Does your company pay for TSE Services?   Yes = 6.7%,  No = 93.3%
  • Does your company pay for hotel rooms instead of idling?   Yes = 6.7%,  No = 93.3%

Analysis:  Trucking companies have done little to provide alternatives to idling.  Over 93% of drivers reported that their employers do not pay for either TSE usage or lodging.  Since these same employers will pay for fuel, few drivers have an incentive to turn off their engines.  Even those instances where the company will cover the cost of alternatives to idling, drivers report that reimbursement is slow.

  • Does your company offer you a fuel bonus?   Yes = 24.4 %,  No = 75.6%

Analysis:  Again, there is a disconnect between driver rewards and the financial savings of TSE, which includes lower fuel consumption and reduction engine wear.  Over 75% of drivers receive no incentive to reduce fuel consumption.

  • Do you regularly see TSE locations (AireDock, CabAire, EnviroDock, IdleAir, Shorepower) where you shut down overnight?   Yes = 8.9%,  No = 91.1%
  • Do you regularly pass TSE locations along your route?   Yes = 35.6%,   No = 64.4%

Analysis:  The largest challenge to the industry is readily available TSE sites especially along the major highway corridors.  While AireDock is encouraged by the progress in some regions (e.g. Texas and the Northwest), there is much to be done to make TSE facilities ubiquitous.

  • Have you ever tried truck stop electrification (TSE) services before?   Yes = 28.9%,  No = 71.1%

Analysis:  Truck Stop Electrification makes sense to drivers.  Even with limited availability, nearly 30% of the respondents have tried it.

  • If your company paid for you to use TSE, would you try it?    Yes = 86.7%,  No = 13.3%

Analysis:  Clearly, the single largest barrier to using TSE is economic.  As seen in the prior responses, a large majority of drivers have no incentives to save fuel.  If anti-idling was covered by freight companies, utilization would increase significantly.


© 2012, Allen Smith. All rights reserved.

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By: Allen Smith

Allen Smith is a 37 year veteran who started at an early age in a household goods family moving business. He began driving straight trucks in 1977 and moved to the big rigs in 1982. His experience within the industry includes; owner operator, company driver, operations manager, and owner of a long distance HHG moving business, taking many of the long haul moves himself when needed. Allen Smith, a truck driver advocate who is driven by the desire to help others succeed within an industry where injustice, unrewarded sacrifice, and lack of respect and recognition exists. Allen and his wife Donna are hosts of Truth About Trucking ”Live” on Blog Talk Radio. Other websites include AskTheTrucker, TruckingSocialMedia, NorthAmericanTruckingALerts, TruthAboutTrucking, and many Social Media websites. In 2011 Allen and Donna hosted the first Truck Driver Social Media Convention, designed to create unity and solutions for the trucking industry. This is now being extended through the North American Trucking Alerts network as those within the industry join forces for the betterment of the industry. Allen strongly supports other industry advocates who are also stepping up to the plate to help those who share honesty, guidance and direction. He believes that all those involved in trucking need to be accountable for their part within the industry, including drivers, carriers, brokers, shippers, receivers, etc… The list of supporters and likeminded people grow daily, networking together and sharing thoughts and ideas for the betterment of trucking. He has coined the popular phrase "Raising the standards of the trucking industry"

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One Response to Truck Stop Electrification Survey Analysis. - Post a Comment

  1. Kevin @ RFX, Inc.

    I think slowly more and more truck stops are incorporating the electric component to stay ahead of the green curve.

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