Georgia environmental officials plan to draft a statewide rule in January that would likely limit the time drivers of diesel vehicles would be allowed to idle their engines. According to the Macon Telegraph, " the proposed regulations could limit bus idling to less than 15 minutes, or offer incentives to long-haul truck drivers who avoid idling. Officials with the Middle Georgia Clean Air Coalition and local governments such as Macon and Houston County have endorsed the anti-idling effort, both to help Bibb and Monroe counties achieve federal air standards and to reduce health risks for residents. About a dozen other states and many cities have similar anti-idling laws, many providing for fines of $100 to $500 and a few including fines as high as $25,000 or jail time, according to research by the American Transportation Institute". Of course we know that no uniform Federal rules will be forthcoming to normalize requirements across states.
An idling diesel without ancillary heater is essentially using the engine's idle speed as a regulator, with more heat being produced than is needed to keep engine and cab warm. Our point is that ancillary heaters are more efficient than relying on waste heat from an idling engine for the same purpose. Georgia's attempt at using an incentives-based rather than a "command and control" based system will be interesting to watch. In the mean time, let's pull the horn a time or two for the truckers and fleet owners who are installing diesel powered cab heaters (pictured), like this Espar Airtronic model, to stay warm at stops without idling. Espar also offers an integrated engine heater to keep starting easy. Both are thermostatically controlled for efficiency sake.