Wednesday, July 21, 2010

It's 137° outside and no air conditioning
Could you work and sleep in these conditions?

Robin's Commentary --

Would you work in an office when it's 137° outside with no air conditioning?

How about sleeping in those conditions?

More than likely not.

Most people are unaware or even care that for the over the road truck driver, these are the type of unhealthy living and sleeping conditions that the driver must endure almost every day.

The no idle rule.

Every truck driver knows what it is.

It is a law that was enacted by states in order to cut down on air pollution and limits idling no matter how hot or cold it gets. Violation of the rule could cost the driver $100 to $300 in fines depending on the state. (Some cities and counties in Colorado the penalty is fines up to $1,000 and/or 1 year imprisonment.)

In addition to these laws, some companies have enacted their own anti-Idle rule in order to save money. Violation of the rule differs from company to company. Some companies make the drivers reimbursed the company for the fuel used; others threaten to write up the driver with threats of termination.

One option for driver relief was a company called IdleAire that offers an in-truck climate control alternative located at most truck stops which provides both heating and air-conditioning, plus electricity through a large tube with an adapter that attaches to the passenger side window for $20-30 dollars a night. Spendy, but worth it on those hot nights.

Unfortunately, IdleAire went out of business this year leaving drivers with no other option for relief from the weather.

You would think that OSHA or other work force protection agencies would be there to protect the driver's health from these type of working conditions. Unfortunately, most OSHA regulations do not protect the driver from heat exhaustion or heat stroke, and lack of sleep also contributes to driver fatigue.

For more information on anti-Idle regulations, please check out the information below.

EPA anti-idle regulations by state
idling laws by state (full page)
idling laws by state (Card)

update on IdleAire -- July 12 2010, IdleAire is making progress to restart services in the near future. More information, go to their website at


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Some years back my A/C wasn't working, I was in Las Vegas sleeping in my sleeper
during the day. All my windows and vents were open. I woke up dizzy and very
thirsty. The bottle of water I had was HOT, so I headed into the truckstop (then it
was 76). When I was about half way across the truck lot, I guess I passed out. I
woke up with paramedics over me and I suffered 2nd degree burns on my chest, left
arm, the front of both legs and the side of my face from the heat of the pavement. I
was diagnosed with heat stroke at the hospital and was released the following day.
These anti-idling laws are insane, OSHA does not care. I went down that route.

4:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have been trucking Fairbanks to Prudhoe Bay here in Alaska for 35yrs and with no
truck-stops for hundreds of miles and Temps. reaching 60 degrees below and winds
hitting 80mph...... they can shove them laws right where the sun don't shine!

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