Besides the video, the website seeks to promote four important issues:
- Increasing financial savings for truck fleets and owner-operators
- Reducing the United States' dependency on foreign oil
- Reducing GHG (Green House Gases) / CO2
- Improving idle reduction education
New LEaP Website Brings Idle Reduction into the Open
LOUISVILLE, Ky., March 26 -- Vehicular idle reduction is a term seldom uttered in mainstream circles. All that is about to change -- as Webasto, a leader in the design and development of idle reduction technologies for the last 60 years -- is making significant efforts to place this important topic out in the open.
At the Mid America Trucking Show, Webasto revealed that it has launched a viral video on YouTube that uses humor and striking graphics to draw attention and awareness to unnecessary truck idling and the adverse environmental impact this practice has. The video is associated with the website http://www.makealeap.org (LEaP), which seeks to collect and clearly display idle reduction information and educational resources in one centralized location.
The LEaP acronym stands for Lowering Emissions and Particulates and the website, originally launched in October of 2007, has received wide praise as an educational and informational single point-of-reference database. LEaP combines some of the best information available, particularly on difficult-to- understand, difficult-to-track status of the many different idling laws and regulations from states and local municipalities across the United States. Fleets and owner-operators alike have expressed an interest in a homogeneous national law on idling but until that time LEaP is a user-friendly source of information for those in need.
LEaP's mascot is a green frog, chosen as a metaphor for environmental well-being: in nature the health of frog populations is a direct reflection of the cleanliness of their environment. The frog is a continuous theme throughout the website and viewers of the video (which can be accessed at http://www.youtube.com/MakeALEap) will see that the frog has a starring role in the movie.
"For more than 60 years Webasto has been committed to the pursuit of developing and providing engine-off comfort and environmental solutions to the global transportation industry," said John Thomas, Webasto Vice President of Marketing. "One area where Webasto's products have been ahead of technology trends is in environmental consideration and consciousness, so this site and what it attempts to achieve is a logical initiative for us to lead. And this is not a commercial website: within the reference for environmental products, for instance, it lists all of our business competitors alongside Webasto. Idle reduction and environmental issues are a challenge for all to tackle together."
There are four core themes in the new website. Information will show tangible opportunities that can be achieved via idle reduction, such as:
-- Increasing financial savings for truck fleets and owner-operators
-- Reducing the United States' dependency on foreign oil
-- Reducing GHG (Green House Gases) / CO2
-- Improving idle reduction education
"Commercial trucks and buses collectively burn up more than 500 million barrels of oil each year in idling - roughly eight percent of the total oil they consume - and in most cases the idling purpose is to maintain driver and passenger comfort with heat in the winter and air conditioning in the summer," Thomas said. "While those are extremely legitimate reasons for main engine idling because there's a direct effect on driver rest and safety, and occupant well-being, there are clearly some alternatives that do the same job with the engine stopped. Moreover, there options save huge amounts of money for both fleets and owner-operators.
"It's truly a win-win situation. Or, as we like to say, green-green," said Thomas, referring to green (environment) and green (money).
The http://www.makealeap.org site was established as a living database to encompass information on how individuals in the U.S. and our local, state, and national governments are impacting our environment through current idling behaviors and legislation. In addition to highlighting the issue, this site will continually evolve to identify best-in-class examples of how a small adjustment in each person's actions can have a tremendous positive environmental impact today and for future generations.
"For the trucking industry more than any other segment of the U.S. market, reduced idling will have a huge and immediate financial gain," Thomas said. "This is due to the unique nature of trucker driver federally mandated rest periods and the skyrocketing cost of diesel."
Just a couple clicks on the web site tabs take visitors to a map of the United States (under tab heading "What is your state doing?"). From there a truck driver can click on the state where they are traveling, and see a very comprehensive list of state information, plus state and individual municipality idle laws and regulations - making compliance much easier. Under each state's chart comparing heavy duty vehicle idling with school buses and light duty, is information for idle reduction rebate programs, specific local regulations on idling in that state, and a list of environmentally conscious legislators, where applicable. Another section - Idling "Myths and Facts" - is an invaluable resource to those interested in the subject.