Flying J Truckstops Add Power
Flying J truckstops have expanded their services to trucking companies and for those employed in truck driving jobs with the introduction of power outlets located at parking spaces, allowing ten-fold savings through eliminating the need to operate at idle during mandatory 10-hour rest periods.
Idling a truck engine to keep auxiliary systems like air conditioning and in-cab appliances in operation costs around 1 gallon of diesel fuel every hour. That's $40 at current gas prices for fuel not even used for trucking. The new powered parking spaces only cost $1 per hour for electricity use, bringing significant savings for trucking companies.
Part of the pilot program for the new system, the Broadway Flying J Travel Plaza in Williams, Iowa on Interstate 35 at Exit 144 now operates 24 electrified parking spaces, aiding trucking companies and the environment and making truck driving jobs easier as the program proliferates to more Flying J locations and other truckstops throughout the country.
Coming to fruition as part of the federally funded Shorepower Truck Electrification Project (STEP), the electrified parking stalls were installed through a partnership with Cascade Sierra Solutions, Shorepower Technologies and the U.S. Department of Energy. Long-haul trucking uses a huge portion of the United States' annual fuel consumption, so eliminating unnecessary diesel burnt like that used at idling has become a priority.
In addition to fuel savings, plug-in power also reduces wear and tear on truck engines, electrical components and maintenance items. In further STEP program benefits especially applicable to owner-operators in truck driving jobs, trucking equipment-purchase incentives have been made available to around 5,000 truckers that make a commitment to using plug-in parking spaces.
The STEP pedestals bring always-on access to 120 VAC, 208 VAC or 240 VAC power sources, in addition to cable TV connections at many locations. The $1-per-hour rate covers all electricity and cable use; drivers are not charged by the kilowatt-hour. Wireless internet is also available at many locations for an additional charge.
Payment is accepted by way of a toll-free customer service hotline, credit card, gift card, smartphone, laptop or other data-connected device. Payment and rebate programs are also available to fleet owners.
More than 20 percent of long-haul trucks now offered for sale are equipped with the necessary connections for electrified parking spaces as factory-standard equipment. Trucks not equipped as such only require an extension cord running into the truck cab without the requirement for additional on-board equipment.
Shorepower Technologies is in the process of fitting 1,200 electrified parking spaces at 50 truck stops across the nation, including multiple Flying J locations.