DALLAS -- As truckers and other motorists increasingly demand homegrown biodiesel, a new toll-free number will help them find retail availability anywhere in the United States.

Today, at the Great American Trucking Show (GATS), the National Biodiesel Board announced the launch of 866-BIODIESEL (866-246-3437). The Biodiesel Hotline is staffed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

The Biodiesel Hotline staff has access to mapping software linked to a database that is populated and kept up to date with retail outlets carrying biodiesel. Information including truck accessibility and blend percentage of biodiesel to petro-diesel is available from the database.

Truckers praised the Biodiesel Hotline as a tool that will help them get information in a way that is the most practical to them -- by cell phone.

"I use biodiesel as often as possible in my Volvo 770," said Michael Frybarger, independent trucker from Maryland. "This new telephone number will help me find truck stops that carry biodiesel no matter where I'm driving across the country."

With more focus on energy security, many truckers are looking for a biodiesel blend to use in their trucks. Based on a recent survey, truckers state that reduced dependence on foreign oil and support for U.S. farmers are two of the most important reasons to use biodiesel. Many truckers also state that biodiesel reduces wear and tear through increased lubricity and improves engine performance.

Awareness of biodiesel among truckers is high, so the most asked question is "where can I find biodiesel?"

Truck accessible biodiesel locations are currently searchable on BioTrucker.com, but often truckers do not have access to the Internet.

"Truckers are committed to using biodiesel and we get a lot of calls from truckers looking for biodiesel on the road," said Bill Mack, The Satellite Cowboy on XM Radio. "We have been referring them to BioTrucker.com, but now we can give them a more convenient way to find biodiesel."

The Biodiesel Hotline will benefit all drivers of diesel vehicles, including cars and pick-up trucks, since gas stations carrying biodiesel can also be located.

NBB is demonstrating the Biodiesel Hotline as well as BioTrucker.com in booth number 16052 at GATS in Dallas August 24-26. NBB is also presenting two free seminars on the history and benefits of biodiesel during GATS on Friday and Saturday from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. in the Dallas Convention Center room 166.

Biodiesel is a renewable diesel fuel that is made from domestic resources such as soybean oil or other domestic fats and vegetable oils. It can be used in any diesel engine with few or no modifications, and can be blended with petroleum diesel at any level. Biodiesel significantly cuts harmful environmental emissions. Today, more than 600 major fleets use biodiesel commercially, and more than 800 retail filling stations make it available to the public.

More information on biodiesel can be found at www.biodiesel.org or BioTrucker.com. Sponsored by the USDA Biodiesel Education Program.

SOURCE: NBB news release.