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Minnesota offers truckers loans to help fuel costs

The MPCA says long-haul trucks consume about one gallon of fuel per hour while idling, but a diesel APU uses only one-fifth as much.

The Associated Press

3/27/2012

ST. PAUL, Minn. — With diesel fuel prices climbing to $4 per gallon, Minnesota is offering long-haul truckers low-interest loans to help them save money, stay cool this summer and reduce pollution on overnight rest stops.

The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency is offering loans at 4 percent to owner-operated long-haul truckers and small trucking companies to purchase "idle-reduction devices." They're small diesel auxiliary power units, known as APUs, or battery systems that can run air conditioners and heaters, and supply electricity to power computers, while the truck's main engine is shut off.

The MPCA says long-haul trucks consume about one gallon of fuel per hour while idling, but a diesel APU uses only one-fifth as much. The agency says truckers who use them can save $400 a month and extend their engine life.