The difference between a comfortable driving experience and one you’d rather forget often includes the addition or lack of an auxiliary power unit (APU). The APU, also known as an APU heater, or truck heater, does much more than heat the cab. Learn how an APU heater can keep you warm this winter (and cool in summer) for miles of comfort.
How Does an Auxiliary Power Unit Work?
An APU is like a small power generator for 18-wheelers. The APU heater works by combustion fuel, including natural gas, propane, or diesel. Combustion APUs have unlimited power as long as you have fuel. Run out of fuel, and you’ll run out of power. Combustion APUs are ideal for truckers whose 18-wheelers are practically their second home. An APU will automatically charge the main battery and keep the engine and coolants at an optimal temperature.
Electric or battery-powered APUs are other options. They are generally quieter and require less maintenance than a diesel APU. Electric APUs have a limited running time. If batteries need to be recharged, it will require running the truck engine or sourcing an electrical outlet. Batteries can take 6- 12 hours to charge.
What Does the APU Power?
Home is where the comfort is, and for truckers, that usually means a sleeper cab. Many sleeper cabs include a bed with options of a single or space enough for two. There are cabs with bunk bed styles too. You may find cabs with a desk, storage options, appliances, USB and 12-volt charging ports, and outlets. Ceiling lights and ambient lighting are also available. Essentially a sleeper cab can offer all the comforts of home, and those comforts need to run on some type of energy.
The APU will supply energy for the heater, air conditioner, TV, microwave ovens, mini fridge, video game system, appliances, and lighting. An APU heater can maintain the cabin temperature the way you like it throughout the seasons.
Is an APU Environmentally Friendly?
With no need for idling through the night to power cooling, heating, and appliances, the APU is a green alternative over battery APUs. Even the noise level of an APU generator will produce very low levels of sound, making it ideal when stopping at crowded rest stops or truck plazas.
Another great advantage of the APU is the cost savings of fuel. According to the US Department of Energy, an idling truck can waste 0.8 gallons of fuel per hour. A truck will waste even more carrying a full load. A year’s worth of idling will quickly cut into a trucker’s bottom line.
Currently, many states have enacted legislation to minimize vehicle idling in the US. In some cases, idling can only occur for three to five minutes at a time and hefty fines for those who exceed the limit. For a look at laws and regulations for each state, The American Transportation Research Institute (ATRI) has a handy foldable cab card for easy reference. With an APU heater, there’s no need for idling, and it’s easy to comply with regulations.
The APU can offer an affordable, environmentally friendly solution that saves money and gives truckers a more comfortable living experience. A restful living experience means truckers wake up refreshed and ready for the road ahead.
Green APU Delivers Comfort, Safety, and Savings
Green APU can offer an affordable, environmentally friendly solution that saves money and gives truckers a more comfortable living experience. No need to idle your truck to keep warm or wonder if the battery-operated APU will stop in the middle of the freezing night.
With a Green APU system, you’ll get a good night’s sleep so you can get back on the road feeling your best. A diesel APU will be an investment, but for a cleaner, safer, quieter, idle-free system that supports driver comfort, it really can’t be beat. Contact us today for questions on service and support, or financing options.