Does Having An APU/EPU Really Matter?

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Steve_HBG's Comment
member avatar

1) Do you have an APU? Although I am pursuing a driving career, my best friend worked for Smith Transport in Roaring Springs, PA, and every truck in the fleet of nearly 900 units is equipped wth an APU

2) Do you get to idle as much as you like? My friend was comfortable NOT idling the truck, because the APU on his truck controlled the heat, AC, fuel heater, engine block heater, and it supplied as much electricity to power everything on and in the truck.

3) Does it cost you anything if you idle above a certain amount? Smith would revoke the $0.01 per mile fuel bonus for idling more than 1 percent, excluding the time spent in traffic jams.

4) When choosing a company to work for do you consider whether or not they have APU's as one of the factors? Yes. I want to work for a company that equips its units with APUs , because they are environmentally friendly. They cost less to run than the engine, and there is no wear and tear on the truck's engine.

The one and only downfall of the APU seems to be limited to the noise they make when the're running. Inside the cab and sleeper of a Cascadia, the APU sounded like a relaxing hum. To other truckers, though, the unit kept them awake and in a foul mood at times.

I hope this helps

OOS:

When a violation by either a driver or company is confirmed, an out-of-service order removes either the driver or the vehicle from the roadway until the violation is corrected.

APU:

Auxiliary Power Unit

On tractor trailers, and APU is a small diesel engine that powers a heat and air conditioning unit while charging the truck's main batteries at the same time. This allows the driver to remain comfortable in the cab and have access to electric power without running the main truck engine.

Having an APU helps save money in fuel costs and saves wear and tear on the main engine, though they tend to be expensive to install and maintain. Therefore only a very small percentage of the trucks on the road today come equipped with an APU.

APUs:

Auxiliary Power Unit

On tractor trailers, and APU is a small diesel engine that powers a heat and air conditioning unit while charging the truck's main batteries at the same time. This allows the driver to remain comfortable in the cab and have access to electric power without running the main truck engine.

Having an APU helps save money in fuel costs and saves wear and tear on the main engine, though they tend to be expensive to install and maintain. Therefore only a very small percentage of the trucks on the road today come equipped with an APU.

APU's:

Auxiliary Power Unit

On tractor trailers, and APU is a small diesel engine that powers a heat and air conditioning unit while charging the truck's main batteries at the same time. This allows the driver to remain comfortable in the cab and have access to electric power without running the main truck engine.

Having an APU helps save money in fuel costs and saves wear and tear on the main engine, though they tend to be expensive to install and maintain. Therefore only a very small percentage of the trucks on the road today come equipped with an APU.

Errol V.'s Comment
member avatar

If you are lazy like I want to be, copy the last below and paste it into a blank Reply box. Do not use Quote or your reply may get messed up.

1) Do you have an APU?

2) Do you get to idle as much as you like?

3) Does it cost you anything if you idle above a certain amount?

4) When choosing a company to work for do you consider whether or not they have APU's as one of the factors?

OOS:

When a violation by either a driver or company is confirmed, an out-of-service order removes either the driver or the vehicle from the roadway until the violation is corrected.

APU:

Auxiliary Power Unit

On tractor trailers, and APU is a small diesel engine that powers a heat and air conditioning unit while charging the truck's main batteries at the same time. This allows the driver to remain comfortable in the cab and have access to electric power without running the main truck engine.

Having an APU helps save money in fuel costs and saves wear and tear on the main engine, though they tend to be expensive to install and maintain. Therefore only a very small percentage of the trucks on the road today come equipped with an APU.

APU's:

Auxiliary Power Unit

On tractor trailers, and APU is a small diesel engine that powers a heat and air conditioning unit while charging the truck's main batteries at the same time. This allows the driver to remain comfortable in the cab and have access to electric power without running the main truck engine.

Having an APU helps save money in fuel costs and saves wear and tear on the main engine, though they tend to be expensive to install and maintain. Therefore only a very small percentage of the trucks on the road today come equipped with an APU.

Errol V.'s Comment
member avatar

I drive for Swift.

1) Do you have an APU? No, Swift does not approve APUs , but if an O/O wants one the shop will install one the owner buys

2) Do you get to idle as much as you like?

We get messages every day to cut down on idling, but the message always includes something about staying comfortable.

3) Does it cost you anything if you idle above a certain amount?

If we keep idling percent down, Richard Stocking sends us a thank you message.

4) When choosing a company to work for do you consider whether or not they have APU's as one of the factors? No.

In the winter the bunk heater keeps the whole cab toasty. In the summer, the evening air cooled off fast enough for me to stay comfortable. (Set bunk heater to a very low temp. And it blows in outside air.) I don't get to Phoenix, and the only time that didn't work for me was spring time in Corpus Christian, TX.

OOS:

When a violation by either a driver or company is confirmed, an out-of-service order removes either the driver or the vehicle from the roadway until the violation is corrected.

APU:

Auxiliary Power Unit

On tractor trailers, and APU is a small diesel engine that powers a heat and air conditioning unit while charging the truck's main batteries at the same time. This allows the driver to remain comfortable in the cab and have access to electric power without running the main truck engine.

Having an APU helps save money in fuel costs and saves wear and tear on the main engine, though they tend to be expensive to install and maintain. Therefore only a very small percentage of the trucks on the road today come equipped with an APU.

APUs:

Auxiliary Power Unit

On tractor trailers, and APU is a small diesel engine that powers a heat and air conditioning unit while charging the truck's main batteries at the same time. This allows the driver to remain comfortable in the cab and have access to electric power without running the main truck engine.

Having an APU helps save money in fuel costs and saves wear and tear on the main engine, though they tend to be expensive to install and maintain. Therefore only a very small percentage of the trucks on the road today come equipped with an APU.

APU's:

Auxiliary Power Unit

On tractor trailers, and APU is a small diesel engine that powers a heat and air conditioning unit while charging the truck's main batteries at the same time. This allows the driver to remain comfortable in the cab and have access to electric power without running the main truck engine.

Having an APU helps save money in fuel costs and saves wear and tear on the main engine, though they tend to be expensive to install and maintain. Therefore only a very small percentage of the trucks on the road today come equipped with an APU.

The Persian Conversion's Comment
member avatar

As a company driver for Jones Brothers:

1) Do you have an APU?

No. The truck is equipped with a small factory-equipped fridge which I assume is hard-wired to the battery. There's a switch on the bunk's instrument panel to cut power to it during home time and extended shutdowns.

There is also a more-than-ample bunk heater which runs when the truck engine is off. I think it has it's own battery which charges when the truck is running. But I've never had it run out on me in the middle of the night or anything.

The bunk heater is really good at keeping the cab warm. Although sometimes, in extremely cold temps, it does help that I have a down comforter, and occasionallt I'll even wear my thermal undergarments to bed.

Additionally, I have a 1500 watt inverter that the shop installed for me, and a smaller 12v plug-in inverter. I use the small one for charging my phones and laptop, and the big one for running my microwave and skillet. I always idle the engine when I cook with the big inverter, otherwise it will drain my batteries quickly. But I never really cook for more than 10 or 15 minutes once a day anyway, so it doesn't matter all that much. If I run my crockpot, I do it while I'm driving, and it has such a low power draw that I can run it off the small one anyway.

So really the only thing an APU provides that I'm currently missing is the ability to have idle-free A/C in hot weather.

2) Do you get to idle as much as you like?

Sort of. There is no auto-shut-off on our trucks, so theoretically you could run the truck 24 hours a day. Apparently this is sometimes actually necessary during the winter when temps drop into the negative Fahrenheit range.

But they don't like to see excessive idling percentages either. They understand if it's necessary, but they encourage us to try and minimize it.

I usually average around 5% idle time and 6.5mpg (fuel bonus kicks in above 6.0). I've heard of guys getting as high as 50% idle, but I think they either got a stern talking to or are no longer with the company.

In the summer I rarely idled. I'm the kind of guy who will just suck it up and deal with it. I had a little fan to circulate the air and I would just crack the bunk windows, and that usually kept things bearable. But sometimes there's just no avoiding it. Like when I was in Phoenix: the temp guage on my truck was above 130 during the day and stayed well above 100 at night. It was like an oven in there. That was the only time I actually ran the truck all through the night.

But even in the peak of summer, I don't think I ever broke 10-15% idle time.

3) Does it cost you anything if you idle above a certain amount?

As I said, anything above 6.0mpg results in a fuel bonus. There is no penalty for going below 6.0. So theoretically the more I idle, the less bonus I will make, but I don't really equate that with "costing" me anything, since it's a bonus and not money out of my pocket.

And if I do have to idle, its really a minimal difference monetarily so it's nothing to stress over. We're talking just a few bucks here and there.

I actually try not to think about the fuel bonus at all anymore. If I feel the need to idle due to safety, extreme weather or my own comfort, I just do it. I know I'm not reckless with it and I don't "waste it," so I don't feel guilty when I do use it. It hasn't affected me negatively at all up to this point. In fact I've gotten a fuel bonus on every trip I've made so far, so I must be doing something right.

4) When choosing a company to work for do you consider whether or not they have APU's as one of the factors?

I didn't consider it at all. I'm like Hrynn, I kind of just took it for granted that I would have some sort of ability to control my climate and run my devices.

If I do ever decide to look for another company, the only thing that might deter me would be a company without APUs and a no idle policy on top of it.

But to be honest, I kind of prefer not having an APU. I've heard that they are often highly susceptible to breaking, putting you in the shop repeatedly for time-consuming repairs. I of course can't say that from personal experience, it's just what I've heard.

OOS:

When a violation by either a driver or company is confirmed, an out-of-service order removes either the driver or the vehicle from the roadway until the violation is corrected.

APU:

Auxiliary Power Unit

On tractor trailers, and APU is a small diesel engine that powers a heat and air conditioning unit while charging the truck's main batteries at the same time. This allows the driver to remain comfortable in the cab and have access to electric power without running the main truck engine.

Having an APU helps save money in fuel costs and saves wear and tear on the main engine, though they tend to be expensive to install and maintain. Therefore only a very small percentage of the trucks on the road today come equipped with an APU.

APUs:

Auxiliary Power Unit

On tractor trailers, and APU is a small diesel engine that powers a heat and air conditioning unit while charging the truck's main batteries at the same time. This allows the driver to remain comfortable in the cab and have access to electric power without running the main truck engine.

Having an APU helps save money in fuel costs and saves wear and tear on the main engine, though they tend to be expensive to install and maintain. Therefore only a very small percentage of the trucks on the road today come equipped with an APU.

APU's:

Auxiliary Power Unit

On tractor trailers, and APU is a small diesel engine that powers a heat and air conditioning unit while charging the truck's main batteries at the same time. This allows the driver to remain comfortable in the cab and have access to electric power without running the main truck engine.

Having an APU helps save money in fuel costs and saves wear and tear on the main engine, though they tend to be expensive to install and maintain. Therefore only a very small percentage of the trucks on the road today come equipped with an APU.

Daniel N.'s Comment
member avatar

1) Do you have an APU? -Yes, as far as I know, all of PAM's fleet have APUs as well as Inverters too, lucky lucky

2) Do you get to idle as much as you like? -From all I've done, I put range selector up, neutral, set breaks, and press on button for cruise control, then after the engine shuts down, we go to bed and do whatever we want to do all the while staying nice and comfy.

3) Does it cost you anything if you idle above a certain amount? -I don't think it does cost us anything, I've never heard of such a thing happening in PAM

4) When choosing a company to work for do you consider whether or not they have APU's as one of the factors? -Yes I do. APUs are perhaps the most convenient for a comfy experience in the Sleeper. I either get way too cold or way too hot, it's just me really, lol

OOS:

When a violation by either a driver or company is confirmed, an out-of-service order removes either the driver or the vehicle from the roadway until the violation is corrected.

APU:

Auxiliary Power Unit

On tractor trailers, and APU is a small diesel engine that powers a heat and air conditioning unit while charging the truck's main batteries at the same time. This allows the driver to remain comfortable in the cab and have access to electric power without running the main truck engine.

Having an APU helps save money in fuel costs and saves wear and tear on the main engine, though they tend to be expensive to install and maintain. Therefore only a very small percentage of the trucks on the road today come equipped with an APU.

APUs:

Auxiliary Power Unit

On tractor trailers, and APU is a small diesel engine that powers a heat and air conditioning unit while charging the truck's main batteries at the same time. This allows the driver to remain comfortable in the cab and have access to electric power without running the main truck engine.

Having an APU helps save money in fuel costs and saves wear and tear on the main engine, though they tend to be expensive to install and maintain. Therefore only a very small percentage of the trucks on the road today come equipped with an APU.

APU's:

Auxiliary Power Unit

On tractor trailers, and APU is a small diesel engine that powers a heat and air conditioning unit while charging the truck's main batteries at the same time. This allows the driver to remain comfortable in the cab and have access to electric power without running the main truck engine.

Having an APU helps save money in fuel costs and saves wear and tear on the main engine, though they tend to be expensive to install and maintain. Therefore only a very small percentage of the trucks on the road today come equipped with an APU.

Decanuck's Comment
member avatar

1) Do you have an APU?

nope but I have a bunk heater and an inverter for "other things" ( my truck also comes with a fridge)

2) Do you get to idle as much as you like? Yep I work for a small company and the rule is "do what you need to do." just bump the idle so it doesnt run so hard on the bottom end of the truck

3) Does it cost you anything if you idle above a certain amount? nope ...now I'm sure if it was crazy excessive I might get talked to about what we can do differently but the reality is the other rule applies

4) When choosing a company to work for do you consider whether or not they have APU's as one of the factors? No... now as previously stated if there was no apu and a restrictive policy then Id be looking at something else but again I am fortunate to work for who I work for and they were my first choice. I dont see me changing any time in the future.

Be comfortable ..... the "lifestyle" is difficult enough without adding extra stress to the days or nights with worry about temperature control. That's the attitude of my bosses ( brothers run the company started by their dad) If I need something I ask for it and I have thus far been provided with a solution.

Did I mention I love who I work for!!

OOS:

When a violation by either a driver or company is confirmed, an out-of-service order removes either the driver or the vehicle from the roadway until the violation is corrected.

APU:

Auxiliary Power Unit

On tractor trailers, and APU is a small diesel engine that powers a heat and air conditioning unit while charging the truck's main batteries at the same time. This allows the driver to remain comfortable in the cab and have access to electric power without running the main truck engine.

Having an APU helps save money in fuel costs and saves wear and tear on the main engine, though they tend to be expensive to install and maintain. Therefore only a very small percentage of the trucks on the road today come equipped with an APU.

APU's:

Auxiliary Power Unit

On tractor trailers, and APU is a small diesel engine that powers a heat and air conditioning unit while charging the truck's main batteries at the same time. This allows the driver to remain comfortable in the cab and have access to electric power without running the main truck engine.

Having an APU helps save money in fuel costs and saves wear and tear on the main engine, though they tend to be expensive to install and maintain. Therefore only a very small percentage of the trucks on the road today come equipped with an APU.

Ken C.'s Comment
member avatar

1) Do you have an APU? Yes, all of Primes Trucks have them but not all of them work all of the time... The Lease Guys can Idle when theirs breakdown if they had the Shop turn off the Anti Idle feature

2) Do you get to idle as much as you like? Yes but only because I'm Lease and buying the fuel

3) Does it cost you anything if you idle above a certain amount? No

4) When choosing a company to work for do you consider whether or not they have APU's as one of the factors? Yes..I have to be comfortable and don't want to Idle the Truck so for me it's a Deal Killer not to have a APU..

Ken C.

OOS:

When a violation by either a driver or company is confirmed, an out-of-service order removes either the driver or the vehicle from the roadway until the violation is corrected.

APU:

Auxiliary Power Unit

On tractor trailers, and APU is a small diesel engine that powers a heat and air conditioning unit while charging the truck's main batteries at the same time. This allows the driver to remain comfortable in the cab and have access to electric power without running the main truck engine.

Having an APU helps save money in fuel costs and saves wear and tear on the main engine, though they tend to be expensive to install and maintain. Therefore only a very small percentage of the trucks on the road today come equipped with an APU.

APU's:

Auxiliary Power Unit

On tractor trailers, and APU is a small diesel engine that powers a heat and air conditioning unit while charging the truck's main batteries at the same time. This allows the driver to remain comfortable in the cab and have access to electric power without running the main truck engine.

Having an APU helps save money in fuel costs and saves wear and tear on the main engine, though they tend to be expensive to install and maintain. Therefore only a very small percentage of the trucks on the road today come equipped with an APU.

Rob S.'s Comment
member avatar

Another Swift driver here. The only difference I have with Errol is that IF I left Swift, I would want an APU. However, I'm pretty happy here. Ask me next summer when I'm stuck in LA.

APU:

Auxiliary Power Unit

On tractor trailers, and APU is a small diesel engine that powers a heat and air conditioning unit while charging the truck's main batteries at the same time. This allows the driver to remain comfortable in the cab and have access to electric power without running the main truck engine.

Having an APU helps save money in fuel costs and saves wear and tear on the main engine, though they tend to be expensive to install and maintain. Therefore only a very small percentage of the trucks on the road today come equipped with an APU.

James R.'s Comment
member avatar

At Tmc the fuel is counted as points towards percentage. The short on how valuable it is in that scale is that if i were to have the max points now, since i currently have zero, it would increase my pay by 80 dollars a week.

The difficult thing about it, and the reason why some guys suffer so hard, is that the scale is based on relation to average position. So in order to achieve the maximum value for fuel mileage you have to keep .4mpg better than the rest of your fleet. I have seen people sitting in their truck with a box fan in the window in 100 degree plus heat, in the all black trucks, in nothing but a white t-shirt covered in sweat for the sake of trying to get that extra bit of money. Power to them, noone's making them do it.

The scale is designed to work up until about 40-45% idle time, which i believe is calculated by the ratio of driving time to idle time. So drive 5 hours, idle 5 hours, and you have a 50% idle time. During the peak of summer, especially when i got stuck waiting to deliver a load for 5 days, my idle time soared up to a good solid 65%. Once it gets that high they'll at least call you to remind you that you're blowing money out the stacks, and might even waste your time by making you run through a terminal , but that's about all.

I'm very happy to split the cost with them for the opportunity to be comfortable. I'm very happy with the money i make in that situation, but i still respect and appreciate that for those who want to struggle for more money the opportunity is there.

Terminal:

A facility where trucking companies operate out of, or their "home base" if you will. A lot of major companies have multiple terminals around the country which usually consist of the main office building, a drop lot for trailers, and sometimes a repair shop and wash facilities.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Phox's Comment
member avatar

Sounds like for the most part APUs are most important when leasing or o/o since they pay for the fuel.

I was gung ho for an APU at first but then learned that it's really only good for the climate control and that an inverter will handle my other needs.

I'm working on getting hired at us xpress, I can't remember if the lady I spoke with said they had apu's or not but they will install an inverter for me if I bring em one. honestly a box fan and a wet towel works just as good as ac sometimes.

I'll make an official reply if I remember once hired and have more concrete info.

APU:

Auxiliary Power Unit

On tractor trailers, and APU is a small diesel engine that powers a heat and air conditioning unit while charging the truck's main batteries at the same time. This allows the driver to remain comfortable in the cab and have access to electric power without running the main truck engine.

Having an APU helps save money in fuel costs and saves wear and tear on the main engine, though they tend to be expensive to install and maintain. Therefore only a very small percentage of the trucks on the road today come equipped with an APU.

APUs:

Auxiliary Power Unit

On tractor trailers, and APU is a small diesel engine that powers a heat and air conditioning unit while charging the truck's main batteries at the same time. This allows the driver to remain comfortable in the cab and have access to electric power without running the main truck engine.

Having an APU helps save money in fuel costs and saves wear and tear on the main engine, though they tend to be expensive to install and maintain. Therefore only a very small percentage of the trucks on the road today come equipped with an APU.

APU's:

Auxiliary Power Unit

On tractor trailers, and APU is a small diesel engine that powers a heat and air conditioning unit while charging the truck's main batteries at the same time. This allows the driver to remain comfortable in the cab and have access to electric power without running the main truck engine.

Having an APU helps save money in fuel costs and saves wear and tear on the main engine, though they tend to be expensive to install and maintain. Therefore only a very small percentage of the trucks on the road today come equipped with an APU.

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