Weekly Update #5: Brrr!

One of the biggest struggles with driving for a larger company is keeping comfortable while away from home, now that I don't have a home, it is an everyday struggle. The main reason for this struggle is that the company execs are willing to sacrifice driver comfort to pad the bottom line, and they generally don't respond to feedback from the drivers.

One of the bigger ways they do this is by limiting the time the truck can idle, to save fuel. Most people have never tried to live in a vehicle, so they don't really understand how this effects the driver, though they do understand that you shouldn't leave a pet or kid in a car in extreme weather. Well, IMO, this goes for drivers too, unless that driver can run the A/C or heater.

This week I had a major run with the cold weather in Montana. On Sunday night the temperature was around 20°f all night and I was running my diesel powered bunk heater to stay warm. The problem was that the heater kept shutting off for no reason, the temperature in the truck wound up around 40°f most of the night.

Normally in a situation like this, I'd just fire up the main engine and let it idle to keep me warm, but I couldn't. Just a couple weeks before, the company installed a new anti-idle device that will only let the truck idle for 4-minutes at a time when the weather is between 20°f and 70°f.

Because of this new device, the truck refused to idle and keep me warm. And to make matters worse, there are currently no devices on the market to defeat this system. But hey, the company saved a few bucks, so all is good, right?

I was so angry about this in the morning that I fired off a rather rude email to my boss and then started calling other, smaller, companies looking to replace this job. However, I think I found a better solution...