ARLINGTON, Texas High prices at the pump and the continued emphasis on cleaner air are giving trucking companies more incentive to save fuel.

Federal rules require truck drivers to rest, but they still need access to air conditioning and power during their down time. Technology is making it easier for them to turn off their engines and stay comfortable and productive.

The North Central Texas Council of Governments has awarded grants for two new truck stop electrification sites, in Willow Park and Alvarado.

AireDock Systems LLC has installed equipment at Signature Travel Mart, 3910 E. Interstate 20 Service Road in Willow Park and Alvarado Shell, 1203 S. Parkway Drive in Alvarado, that will provide customers air conditioning and heating, Internet access and electrical hookups.

NCTCOG, in partnership with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, provided $173,400 for the Willow Park truck stop, which offers 24 electrified parking spaces, and $65,025 for the Alvarado truck stop, which has nine such spaces. The funding was provided by the Heavy-Duty Vehicle and Equipment Grant Program.

The new technology is estimated to save operators 344,064 gallons of fuel at the Willow Park location and 184,320 gallons in Alvarado over the life of the technology. This allows them to save more money while contributing to a cleaner environment, since they are able to rest and perform other business functions without burning fuel.

From an environmental perspective, the Willow Park facility will reduce the output of carbon dioxide by 3,819.11 tons, the equivalent of the greenhouse gas emissions from 3,328 passenger vehicles. The 2,045.95 tons of carbon dioxide reduced in Alvarado is equal to the greenhouse gas emissions of 1,778 vehicles.

Nine Dallas-Fort Worth area counties (Collin, Dallas, Denton, Ellis, Johnson, Kaufman, Parker, Rockwall and Tarrant) are in nonattainment for the pollutant ozone, making clean air initiatives a priority. The Willow Park facility will save 60.35 tons of nitrogen oxide emissions; the Alvarado location will result in a Nox reduction of 32.24 tons. These reductions will help the region attain the federal ozone standard, as NOx is a primary cause of ground-level ozone pollution.

Idle reduction is one technology the Dallas-Fort Worth Clean Cities Coalition promotes in an effort to reduce dependence on foreign oil.

Three other facilities in the Dallas-Fort Worth area are expected to offer truck stop electrification by the end of the year. With the growth of electrified truck stops in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, trucking companies will find it easier to save money on fuel and the environment will benefit from less pollution emitted from those big rigs.