The National Biodiesel Board now has a 24-hour hotline that truckers can call to find biodiesel retailers. Michael Frybarger, a Maryland owner-operator who runs his business on a 20 percent biodiesel blend, made the ceremonial first call to 866-BIODIESEL, or (866) 246-3437, at a press conference Friday at the Great American Trucking Show in Dallas.
A live operator told Frybarger the exact locations of two Dallas retailers that sell biodiesel, which blends they sell and what fuel cards they take. “Wow, it works!” said Tom Verry, director of outreach and education for the National Biodiesel Board.
Looking on was radio veteran Bill Mack, host of the Overdrive Top 10 Countdown, who talks weekly with biodiesel advocate Willie Nelson on XM Satellite Radio. “In all my years on radio, I’ve never had anything come on so strong in such a short time as biodiesel,” Mack said. “It’s word of mouth. It works, it’s clear, and we have to have it. This is what the truckers are saying.”
The hotline will be staffed around the clock by live operators with access to a database of more than 500 biodiesel retailers nationwide. It will answer the second most common question asked by truckers at biodiesel events: “Where can I get it?” (The first most common question, Verry said, is “Where’s Willie?”)
By the end of 2007, U.S. biodiesel demand will have tripled to more than 200 million gallons a year, Verry said. By next year’s GATS, a billion gallons of biodiesel production capacity will be online to meet that demand, he added.