Are you tired of wasting fuel and money while idling your truck’s engine? Well, it’s time to consider the worth of Truck Auxiliary Power Units (APUs).
These small motors, mounted behind the sleeper cab, provide power for heating, cooling, and operating interior appliances. By running these systems without idling the main engine, APUs can significantly reduce fuel consumption and engine wear.
Plus, they help you comply with idle time regulations and improve driver comfort during downtime.
So, let’s explore whether investing in an APU is truly worth it for you.
What Is An APU?
An APU is a small unit that you can mount on your tractor to provide power, air conditioning, and heat without idling your truck. It is a valuable addition to your trucking equipment, offering numerous benefits for both comfort and cost savings.
By using an APU, you can enjoy climate control inside your truck during rest periods without burning unnecessary fuel. This not only saves you money on fuel costs but also reduces wear and tear on your main engine.
APUs are especially important now, as stricter regulations on idle times make them essential for maintaining driver comfort while complying with the law.
Additionally, APUs power accessories like fridges and inverters, ensuring convenience during downtime.
Overall, investing in an APU is a game changer for the trucking industry, improving the bottom line for truck drivers and providing a sense of belonging to a community of smart and efficient truckers.
Benefits Of Adding an APU To Your Truck
Adding an APU to your truck offers several key benefits.
First, it improves fuel efficiency by significantly reducing fuel consumption compared to idling the main engine.
Second, it ensures compliance with idling regulations, avoiding fines and penalties.
Lastly, using an APU minimizes truck maintenance by reducing wear and tear on the main engine and other components.
Additionally, APUs are eco-friendly, as they help decrease air pollution and promote a more sustainable trucking industry.
1. Improved Fuel Efficiency
APUs are specifically designed to provide power for heating, cooling, and operating interior appliances in trucks, allowing you to run these systems without idling the main engine. This not only saves fuel but also reduces wear and tear on the engine caused by unnecessary idling.
With stricter regulations on idle times, APUs have become essential for maintaining driver comfort while avoiding fines for excessive idling. By investing in an APU, you can enjoy improved fuel efficiency, lower maintenance costs, and compliance with environmental regulations, ultimately improving your bottom line as a truck driver.
2. Idling Regulatory Compliance
Now let’s talk about another important aspect of truck auxiliary power units (APUs): idling regulatory compliance. As a trucker, you know that idling your truck for extended periods can lead to fines and penalties due to air pollution concerns. Each state has its own regulations regarding idling, and the fines can be as high as $10,000.
This is where APUs come into play. APUs provide energy for heating, air conditioning, and other comforts without the need to idle your truck. By using an APU, you can easily comply with idling laws and regulations, saving yourself from expensive fines.
Not only do APUs help you stay within the law, but they also reduce air pollution. By minimizing idling time, APUs contribute to a cleaner and healthier environment.
3. Truck Maintenance Is Minimized
By minimizing engine idling, APUs help you save on maintenance costs and extend the lifespan of your vehicle. APUs are essential for truckers as they reduce wear and tear on the main engine caused by idling, resulting in lower maintenance expenses.
With stricter regulations on idle times, APUs have become necessary to maintain driver comfort while adhering to the law. Additionally, APUs integrate with the truck’s operating system, extending service intervals and decreasing the overuse of other components, such as the HVAC system.
This reduction in maintenance and repairs not only saves you time but also money. By investing in an APU, you can significantly reduce maintenance costs and ensure the longevity of your truck, ultimately improving your bottom line and providing a sense of belonging within the trucking industry.
Truck APUs: Different Types
When it comes to auxiliary power units (APUs) for trucks, there are two main types to consider: diesel-powered and electric-powered.
Diesel APUs offer robust power capabilities and can be refueled quickly, making them ideal for heavy power demands.
On the other hand, electric APUs are more suitable for moderate power needs and offer environmental benefits.
Choosing the right type of APU will depend on your specific requirements and priorities.
1. Diesel Powered
APUs powered by diesel are a more suitable option for trucks with heavy power demands. Diesel APUs are designed to handle tougher power consumption and can be refueled quickly, making them ideal for truckers who require a significant amount of power.
These APUs are like heavy-duty inverter systems specifically designed for trucks. They allow truckers to run heating and cooling systems without idling the main engine, reducing wear and tear on the engine caused by idling.
Additionally, diesel APUs can significantly reduce fuel consumption compared to idling the main engine, saving truck owners an average of $3,285 per year on fuel costs. With stricter regulations on idle times, using a diesel APU is essential to maintain driver comfort and avoid fines.
2. Electric Powered
Now let’s explore the second type of APUs: electric-powered APUs. These APUs rely on batteries to provide the necessary power for heating, cooling, and other comforts in your truck.
Electric APUs offer finite power, with battery-powered AC lasting about 12 hours. However, it’s important to note that charging the battery of an electric APU can take anywhere from 6 to 12 hours.
Compared to combustion-based APUs, electric APUs require less maintenance. They are also more environmentally friendly since they do not produce emissions. However, it’s crucial to consider the limited power capacity and charging time when deciding whether an electric APU is the right choice for your truck.
Overall, the decision between diesel and electric APUs depends on your specific power needs and environmental considerations. Consulting with experts in the trucking industry can help you make an informed decision.
If An APU Is Not Suitable, What Is the Best Alternative?
If an APU is not suitable for your needs, consider exploring other alternatives for providing power and climate control in your truck.
There are several options available that can help you meet your requirements without the need for an APU.
One alternative is using an inverter system, which can provide power to small appliances and charge devices. Inverters connect to your truck’s battery and convert DC power to AC power, allowing you to power devices for several hours before needing to recharge.
Another option is the Espar bunk heater, which operates on diesel fuel and can be used without running the truck. It has low fuel consumption and can save fuel compared to idling the truck for heat.
Issues Related to APUs
Considering the potential drawbacks, you may want to carefully evaluate the issues associated with using an APU.
While APUs offer numerous benefits such as fuel savings, compliance with idle reduction laws, and reduced maintenance costs, there are some concerns to be aware of.
- One major consideration is the upfront cost of APUs, which can be around $12,000 or more.
- Additionally, maintenance costs can average around $6,700 over the APU’s lifetime.
- It’s also important to note that APUs may not be allowed in short-term leases and can decrease the resale value of a truck.
Therefore, it is crucial to weigh the upfront and ongoing costs against the potential comfort and convenience provided by APUs.
Ultimately, the decision to invest in an APU should be made after careful consideration of your specific needs and financial situation.
Here Are Additional Methods to Minimize Idle Time
If you’re looking for alternative methods to minimize idle time and reduce fuel consumption in your truck, there are several options to consider.
One option is to install a power inverter, which can provide power to small appliances and charge devices without idling the truck.
Another option is the Espar bunk heater, which operates on diesel fuel and can be used without running the truck, saving fuel compared to idling for heat.
Additionally, you may want to explore the use of a generator or solar panels to generate power for your truck’s needs, further reducing the need for idle time.
1. Power Inverter
The power inverter connects to the truck’s battery and converts DC power to AC power, providing power to small appliances and charging devices. It is a valuable addition to your trucking setup, allowing you to conveniently power your devices and appliances during your downtime.
With a power inverter, you can charge your phone, laptop, or other electronic devices without needing to find an external power source. It also enables you to use small appliances like a mini-fridge or microwave, making your time on the road more comfortable and convenient.
2. Espar Bunk Heater
To keep warm during your rest periods, consider using an Espar bunk heater instead of idling your truck.
The Espar bunk heater is a reliable and efficient solution for maintaining a comfortable temperature in your truck without wasting fuel. It operates on diesel fuel and can be used without running the truck, saving you both money and unnecessary wear and tear on your engine.
The Espar bunk heater consumes only 0.07 gallons of diesel per hour on high, compared to idling the truck for heat which uses approximately 0.55 gallons of fuel per hour.
Now let’s discuss another important aspect of auxiliary power units (APUs) in trucking: the generator.
The generator is a key component of an APU as it provides the energy needed to power various appliances and devices in the truck. It ensures that you have access to heating, cooling, and other essential comforts without the need to idle your truck’s engine.
By using a generator, you can significantly reduce fuel consumption and save money on fuel costs. It also helps to comply with idle reduction laws and regulations, avoiding fines that can be as high as $10,000 in some cases.
When considering the cost of an APU, it’s essential to factor in the upfront investment and ongoing maintenance costs. However, many truckers find the benefits and comfort provided by APUs worth the money.
4. Solar Panels
Consider installing solar panels on your truck for an environmentally-friendly and cost-effective way to power your appliances and devices. Solar panels harness the power of the sun to generate electricity, providing a renewable energy source that reduces reliance on traditional fuel sources.
By utilizing solar power, you can reduce your carbon footprint and contribute to a cleaner environment. Solar panels are a long-term investment that can provide significant savings on fuel costs, as you will be able to power your appliances and devices without relying solely on the truck’s engine.
Additionally, solar panels require minimal maintenance and have a long lifespan, making them a reliable and efficient option. Embracing solar power on your truck not only benefits you financially but also aligns with the growing movement towards sustainability and environmental responsibility.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Are the Upfront Costs of Installing an APU In a Truck?
The upfront costs of installing an APU in your truck can vary, but they typically range from $8,500 to $13,000, including installation. It’s important to consider this investment carefully and weigh the benefits of comfort and fuel savings.
How Much Do Maintenance Costs for APUS Average Over Their Lifetime?
Maintenance costs for APUs average around $6,700 over their lifetime. These costs should be considered when deciding if an APU is worth it for you.
Does Having an APU Decrease the Resale Value of a Truck?
Having an APU can potentially decrease the resale value of a truck, as it is considered an additional investment. However, the decision to install an APU should be based on your specific needs and long-term usage of the truck.
What Are Some Alternative Methods to Reduce Idle Time If an APU Is Not Suitable?
You can use power inverters to charge devices and power small appliances. This can help save fuel and avoid fines for excessive idling.
Are There Any Specific Issues or Drawbacks Associated with Using Apus in Trucks?
Some issues and drawbacks with using APUs in trucks include high upfront and maintenance costs, decreased resale value, and restrictions in short-term leases. Carefully consider the investment based on truck usage and costs.
Is Investing in The Cost of An APU Worth the Return in Fuel Savings and Reduced Maintenance Expenses?
APUs can provide significant fuel savings compared to idling the main engine, reducing overall fuel costs by up to $3,285 per year.
Additionally, APUs help truckers comply with idle reduction laws and avoid costly fines, which can be as high as $1,000 for just five minutes of idling. Moreover, APUs reduce wear and tear on the main engine, leading to lower maintenance costs over time.