Idling is a concern in all types of trucks, from big rigs to work units like knuckleboom trucks, due to the amount of pollution caused by idling. Work trucks are some of the prime offenders, since many of these vehicles must idle in order to power auxiliary equipment. With recent efforts by truck manufacturers to develop anti-idling technology, there are now cleaner vehicle options available for companies looking for used knuckleboom trucks. Buyers should carefully research this technology before purchasing a new or used knuckleboom truck to understand if such technology will work for them.

Two Types of Anti-Idling Technology

Idle reduction technology has developed into two basic types:

  • Mobile Systems – Mobile idle reduction systems are those that are generally installed onto a vehicle’s motor and auxiliary outlets to control things like auto shutdown, interior heating and cooling, and other functions.

  • Stationary Sources – Stationary power sources consist of add-on equipment, like battery packs, Shorepower adaptations, wireless communications, and more.

While much of this technology is used with heavy trucks, some of these ideas have been gradually applied to work vehicles, such as knuckleboom trucks. Where work trucks are concerned, the main idle reduction technology includes battery packs that power auxiliary equipment, and some on-board technology that is used to provide wireless functionality, interior heating, and a few other amenities.

Idle Reduction – The Positive

The main purpose of anti-idling technology is to reduce carbon emissions from trucks, which accounts for a startlingly high percentage of all environmental pollution. Turning an engine off, while a vehicle is being used but not being driven, is estimated to provide enough emission reduction that the incentive to use this technology is great. Besides reducing emissions, idle reduction also provides great savings in fuel costs, adding even more motivation to find an efficient, clean-energy source so trucks can be turned off yet used when not moving.

Improved technology in add-on battery packs is showing the most promise today for knuckleboom trucks for sale. These alternative power sources are becoming more popular by allowing an operator to work a crane without idling the entire time, especially as more reliable battery sources become available.

Idle Reduction – The Negative

While the bigger picture shows that increased use of truck anti-idling technology reduces emissions and translate to reduced global warming and lower carcinogens, there are two main concerns right regarding usage in work trucks.

The main concern is battery strength and life, as well as how much power and time can be expected from such battery packs. The most recent technology offered continues to improve battery life, with some companies developing systems that recharge while the vehicle is in use. Yet power limitations remain a chief concern, keeping many knuckleboom truck companies needing used knuckleboom trucks from fully investing in this technology. The second biggest concern of going hybrid to reduce idling in work trucks is cost. Because these systems are expensive to add, many companies looking for knuckleboom trucks for sale wonder whether this additional expense can ever be recovered. As the price of this technology begins to come down, the price of upfitting may be less prohibitive.

As anti-idling technology continues to develop, it will be interesting to see what is accepted in the world of knuckleboom trucks and other work equipment. The motivation for these changes is there, and the industry seems to support the idea of working cleaner. Yet right now, the negatives still seem to outweigh the positives, particularly with smaller companies looking for knuckleboom trucks for sale. As these units begin to show up on the lots of used knuckleboom trucks dealers, they may definitely be worth buying!

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