Bunk Heaters Vs APU's???

Topic 12445 | Page 1

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Bad Bob's Comment
member avatar

Got a question to ask for you veterans of recent trucking experience.

What are the differences of APU's vs Bunk Heaters???

Some companies offer bunk heaters in their trucks, while some others state they have APU's.

I'd like to know what are the differences and advantages of both.

I do know that there are now idling laws in place that didn't exist when I was trucking before so this is much needed info.

I'm not a big fan of paying fines. Trucking Truth is the best for getting information.

Thanks in advance.

Bad Bob

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.

Old School's Comment
member avatar

Bob, I've never had an APU in a truck, and to be quite honest with you, there are very few trucks on the road with APUs in them. Some are going to think I'm off my rocker when I say that, but it is true. As important an item as many rookies make it out to be, the APU is really only in a small percentage of trucks out here on the road.

A bunk heater does an excellent job at keeping you warm and toasty. I had a Freightliner once that would keep me warm, up until it got below zero, and then I would have to supplement the heat by idling some. The Volvo I'm in now has kept me warm and comfortable on the lowest setting even at eight below zero. Sometimes at those extreme temps you want to idle anyways just to keep your fuel from gelling.

This is my opinion, and my experience on the idling laws, others can jump in here if they see it differently... The first time I ever went into California it was in July and I was very concerned about the idling laws since I would have to idle to stay comfortable while staying at a truck stop. When I got there to the truck stop I was planning on sleeping at almost everyone was idling their trucks! Since then I have been over there many times and it is always the same thing - everyone is idling, everyone is comfortable, and no one is getting citations. I've been told that it is permissible under the law to idle if you have a California "Certified Clean Idle" engine, which almost all late model trucks have now. That information was from a fellow driver, and should not be considered proper legal advice. I have never, in any parts of the country seen any officers cruising around the truck stops giving idling tickets, and I would think they would because that is an easy target! It is something that just doesn't happen in my experience. I travel extensively in some of the most "liberal, and politically correct" states in our Union but I have never know of anyone being given a ticket for idling so they can rest comfortably and be able to safely maneuver their gentle giant down the road on the next leg of their journey.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

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.

Bad Bob's Comment
member avatar

Bob, I've never had an APU in a truck, and to be quite honest with you, there are very few trucks on the road with APUs in them. Some are going to think I'm off my rocker when I say that, but it is true. As important an item as many rookies make it out to be, the APU is really only in a small percentage of trucks out here on the road.

A bunk heater does an excellent job at keeping you warm and toasty. I had a Freightliner once that would keep me warm, up until it got below zero, and then I would have to supplement the heat by idling some. The Volvo I'm in now has kept me warm and comfortable on the lowest setting even at eight below zero. Sometimes at those extreme temps you want to idle anyways just to keep your fuel from gelling.

This is my opinion, and my experience on the idling laws, others can jump in here if they see it differently... The first time I ever went into California it was in July and I was very concerned about the idling laws since I would have to idle to stay comfortable while staying at a truck stop. When I got there to the truck stop I was planning on sleeping at almost everyone was idling their trucks! Since then I have been over there many times and it is always the same thing - everyone is idling, everyone is comfortable, and no one is getting citations. I've been told that it is permissible under the law to idle if you have a California "Certified Clean Idle" engine, which almost all late model trucks have now. That information was from a fellow driver, and should not be considered proper legal advice. I have never, in any parts of the country seen any officers cruising around the truck stops giving idling tickets, and I would think they would because that is an easy target! It is something that just doesn't happen in my experience. I travel extensively in some of the most "liberal, and politically correct" states in our Union but I have never know of anyone being given a ticket for idling so they can rest comfortably and be able to safely maneuver their gentle giant down the road on the next leg of their journey.

Hey Old School:

Thank you very much!!!

It has been a concern, even though I have decided to do whatever's necessary, I do like getting a decent nights sleep.

There are laws where the police do decide that it just makes no sense to enforce them. This is probably one of them. I like the environment as much as anyone but I also like my own survival. This will help me rest a bit easier.

Thanks again.

Bad Bob

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

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.

Miss Miyoshi's Comment
member avatar

Having toured and had to deal with idling issues in CA as well, I can say they are MUCH more concerned about enforcement if you're within a big city, like San Diego or Los Angeles, for example. Truck stops require a bit of real estate, and are usually outside the press of the city. I think that's what's at play here, and touring experience was similar. If we were at a truck stop or hotel parking lot outside of the city, we were fine to idle or run our bus generator. But when we were parked to load and unload at the Whisky or Key Club or Wiltern in LA, absolutely no idling at all. And if the venue didn't offer shore power to plug into, there was no power on the bus.

Randall H's Comment
member avatar

I have both and like that I don't have to idle my engine, bringing on more inefficient engine hours and the need for regens. Plus I can leave my apu running in standby when away from the truck, like visiting relatives. Plus my apu maintains a modest temperature on my truck coolant during very cold times so my engine never starts from dead cold which helps the batteries too. I love it.

Laws pertaining to truck idling may have exceptions pertaining to trucks with living spaces on them. I'd love to hear a judge tell me I can't heat or air condition my home, risking freezing or heat stroke. Do they turn their utilities off to be green? Not!

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.

Bad Bob's Comment
member avatar

Hey Miss Miyoshi & Randall H. :

Thank you very much for the great info. Basically I think it gets down to if I am living the normal life of a trucker don't worry about it. Thanks a bunch for setting my mind at ease.

Bad Bob

Turbo Dan's Comment
member avatar

With California Idle, which shuts of the Engine after 5 minutes, how do you keep it running ?

When I was pulling Tanker to ND, my 2014 Cascadia had CA Idle, but it also had a PTO for the Tanker Hydraulics with a High Idle switch (1000 rpm) installed which would run all night when it was 25 degrees below.

Only problem was it would go into "Regen" while was sleeping,,,, and Fault out and shut down if I didn't wake up in time to push the Regen Button..... :(

Old School's Comment
member avatar

Dan, in the Volvo I'm in you just tap the switch on the cruise control that you would normally use to increase your speed if you were cruising. That is enough to bypass something in the controls. It works great and I can't see any change in idle speed on the tach, although if I'm listening closely I can hear it bump up just ever so slightly.

Errol V.'s Comment
member avatar

I have a 2014 Kenworth with that "tap the accelerator" override.

But I use the bunk heater over night. Last year in February I spent the night in Burlington Vermont, the bunk heater made the cab comfortable through the night. I do not care for engine idling, either mine or the truck parked next to me. The bunk heater does fine.

I also use the heater outlet to heat up cans of soup or chili. The cans will get hot enough to burn your fingers.

Turbo Dan's Comment
member avatar

Thanks Old School, thats how the Vision and CH Macks worked that I used to work on.

Do you ever have the Volvo request Regen or shut down in the middle of the night, Thanks Dan

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