Truckers traveling through Nebraska and Iowa now have three more locations at which they can plug in to grid power instead of idling their engines to run in-cab comfort and convenience appliances.
David Shoemaker, co-owner of Shoemaker's Travel Center, sees offering shore power as a way to incorporate an alternative energy distribution method into his company's locations, which in turn offers customers a way to save money.
Shorepower Technologies, which is building a national network of truck stops with parking spaces equipped with plug-in power, added service to:
- Sapp Bros Travel Center, at Exit 440 on I-80, Omaha, Neb.
- Broadway Flying J, at Exit 144 on I-35, Williams, Iowa
- Shoemaker's Shell Travel Center, at Exit 395 on I-80, Lincoln, Neb.
The three sites join more than a dozen locations already in operation as Shorepower deploys plug-in power to truck stops on major freight corridors. Through the federally funded Shorepower Truck Electrification Project, administered by Shorepower Technologies and Cascade Sierra Solutions, 50 truck stops will add plug-in power pedestals this year.
"Our goal has long been to build a true network of locations so truckers can make regular use of plug-in power on their journeys," says Alan Bates, vice president of marketing with Shorepower Technologies. "Adding these three great travel centers in a crucial transportation hub like the Midwest puts us closer to that goal."
Shoemaker's has added 36 truck parking spaces with electrical connections, while Sapp Bros in Omaha and Broadway Flying J have each added 24.
Truck drivers need only a heavy-duty extension cord to connect their vehicles to the plug-in pedestals. The 110/208v service is priced at $1 an hour, and cable TV is included at the Sapp Bros location in Omaha and will be shortly at Shoemakers. Sapp Bros also offers plug ins for three-phase power (460v/230v) for trailer transport refrigeration units with electric standby capabilities - the first truck stop in the country to provide this service.
Access and payment can be handled with a credit card, gift card, smartphone, laptop or toll-free customer service hotline.
By plugging in to grid power, drivers can still operate heating and air conditioning systems and use in-cab appliances such as microwaves and TVs without the air pollution and noise of idling. They also save money in the short and long run, since plug-in power costs much less than idling and reduces wear and tear on the engine that adds to maintenance and repair bills. In addition, many states and local jurisdictions are limiting or banning idling.
"The higher the price of diesel fuel gets, the more attractive it is to plug in," says Dan Alsaker, owner of Broadway Group.
Sapp Bros in Omaha will host a STEP plug-in celebration June 12-13, featuring displays and demonstrations of equipment compatible with plug-in power.
For more information on the STEP program, go to www.the-step-project.org.
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