Sustainable Idling Alternatives to Warm Your Cab

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Research estimates that an idling truck consumes approximately one gallon of fuel per hour. Collectively, more than six billion gallons of gasoline and diesel are lost to idling every year.

While one of the main reasons for idling is to power in-cab accessories (i.e., heating and air conditioning), there are alternative power sources.

Alternatives to Idling

Auxiliary Power Units

Auxiliary power units (APUs) can be used for heating, air conditioning, and/or electrical power to the truck cab. Diesel powered and battery-electric APUs have been found to save an average of eight percent of annual fuel costs. However, it should be noted that the upfront cost can range from $7,000 to $9,000 per unit.

It’s also important to know how much APU weight is exempt in your state.

Direct-Fired Heaters

Cab and engine direct-fired heaters can be used to heat the interior of the cab, the engine, or both. Additionally, the upfront cost is only between $900 to $1,500. Research has found that these heaters reduce annual fuel use by approximately four percent per truck.

Thermal Energy Storage Units

Thermal energy storage units store energy while traveling down the road. Once the engine is turned off, these units release the energy to heat the cab. These systems generally cost between $4,000 and $5,000 per unit, but have been estimated to reduce annual fuel use by nearly six percent.

Truckstop Electrification

Truckstop Electrification provides power through on-board and off-board electricity. On-board applications can be plugged in to an external power source to provide heat, while off-board applications typically offer an overhead hose connection that is inserted in the side window. While these services are generally provided for an hourly fee, off-board systems do not require the purchase or installation of any additional electrical or climate control equipment.

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