Bunk Heaters With Schneider Trucks?

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B Brock's Comment
member avatar

Hey everyone. So i’m a driver with Schneider and have been here for about four months. I was curious on the bunk heaters as they gave me a 2023 brand new Cascadia. I mostly run in California, Arizona, and Nevada and it’s been summer so when I’m parked up for the night I’ve been using the battery powered APU system which works great at keeping the cab cool. However now that it’s starting to cool down here on the west (that being said we have very mild winters other than the mountain areas of the west coast ) I was curious as my truck does have an Espar bunk heater in it. It has a control pad in the sleeper and I’ve never messed with it, but I noticed it’s screen doesn’t turn on or work or basically show anything on it. When I picked up the truck when I first started the shop technician that was showing me around the truck said that I won’t need to use that control pad when I asked and I left it at that during that moment, because honestly I wasn’t sure what the control pad was for at the time and he didn’t mention it was for a bunk heater so I figured it was just something in the truck that schneider didn’t option for. The apu works great in the warm temps, but it doesn’t blow any warm air when putting it in the hottest setting. Does schneider not allow use of the bunk heaters? I find it odd that my truck has an Espar bunk heater under the bed and the control display for it yet it won’t turn on and the shop tech said we don’t use those. So I guess all I’m looking for with this post is the following:

Does schneider actually allow us to use these bunk heaters that are in the trucks they order or did they disconnect it so we can only idle when it’s really cold or use apu in normal temps?

I would have asked the shop to look at the control not working however like I said I never worried about it since the tech said that control was for something we don’t use and I left it at that’s

Now I’m thinking my display is just broken or maybe a fuse needs replaced and that guy was confused on what I was asking about possibly haha.

any information helps.

Thanks,

Brayson

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

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.

Pete B.'s Comment
member avatar

Hi Brayson, hope you’re enjoying your time with Schneider. Yes, your bunk heater should work; in fact, now is a good time to run it and make sure that it does work, before cold weather hits. Even in the desert, where it sounds like you spend a good deal of your time, the overnight temps can get a bit chilly. Test it now, don’t wait until it turns cold like everyone else does, when the shops become overwhelmed with broken bunk heaters. Your APU will not blow warm air, that is the function of the bunk heater. And no, Schneider does not disable them. The control panel is very, very small. It should consist of a power button in the middle, with a blue button on its left and a red button to its right. When you press the power button in the middle, the little screen should come on. Ask an experienced driver or shop tech, whichever is more convenient, next chance you get, to walk you through this. The shop techs are *usually* super helpful (just kill them with kindness… or Snickers bars).

*As an aside, Thermo King does manufacture APU’s that do control/put out heat, that is why you see the heat setting on your APU controls, but Schneider does not install those particular APUs in their trucks… they are significantly more expensive, and APUs are already stupidly overpriced.

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.

Pete B.'s Comment
member avatar

0438863001663650952.jpg

BK's Comment
member avatar

Brayson, I too was confused about how to operate the bunk heating/cooling equipment when I drove for Schneider. My suggestion is when you get into an OC, ask driver services to hook you up with an RSR guy, (one of the tan shirt people), and have him/her actually get into your truck with you and walk you through everything you need to know. As Pete wisely advised, do it asap before you really need it and can’t get it to do what you want it to do.

BTW, Brayson, I was looking at your photo. Are you sure you are old enough to drive? Lol.

SAP:

Substance Abuse Professional

The Substance Abuse Professional (SAP) is a person who evaluates employees who have violated a DOT drug and alcohol program regulation and makes recommendations concerning education, treatment, follow-up testing, and aftercare.

Klutch's Comment
member avatar

Look under your bunk with a flashlight and see if the bunk heater case is empty.

When I got my new Cascadia a few months ago they didn’t have the parts for the bunk heater. They just installed it last month when I brought it in for a PM… Being summer I had no idea.

Klutch's Comment
member avatar

Also just in case you didn’t know, you can’t have the truck on with the bunker heater. Make sure the truck is off, no optimized idle or anything like that can be on.

Also in the morning after turning it off you will hear it winding down. I was told not to start the truck until I can’t hear it anymore…it causes some sort of backup and will end up not working and needing repairs.

B Brock's Comment
member avatar

Hi Brayson, hope you’re enjoying your time with Schneider. Yes, your bunk heater should work; in fact, now is a good time to run it and make sure that it does work, before cold weather hits. Even in the desert, where it sounds like you spend a good deal of your time, the overnight temps can get a bit chilly. Test it now, don’t wait until it turns cold like everyone else does, when the shops become overwhelmed with broken bunk heaters. Your APU will not blow warm air, that is the function of the bunk heater. And no, Schneider does not disable them. The control panel is very, very small. It should consist of a power button in the middle, with a blue button on its left and a red button to its right. When you press the power button in the middle, the little screen should come on. Ask an experienced driver or shop tech, whichever is more convenient, next chance you get, to walk you through this. The shop techs are *usually* super helpful (just kill them with kindness… or Snickers bars).

*As an aside, Thermo King does manufacture APU’s that do control/put out heat, that is why you see the heat setting on your APU controls, but Schneider does not install those particular APUs in their trucks… they are significantly more expensive, and APUs are already stupidly overpriced.

Thank you for the information, I appreciate it. That’s the unfortunate part is that the display doesn’t do anything when I press the power button with the truck off and no opti idle. No wording or anything just a dead display basically. I’ll have to have the shop look at it the next time i’m in there.

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.

B Brock's Comment
member avatar

Brayson, I too was confused about how to operate the bunk heating/cooling equipment when I drove for Schneider. My suggestion is when you get into an OC, ask driver services to hook you up with an RSR guy, (one of the tan shirt people), and have him/her actually get into your truck with you and walk you through everything you need to know. As Pete wisely advised, do it asap before you really need it and can’t get it to do what you want it to do.

BTW, Brayson, I was looking at your photo. Are you sure you are old enough to drive? Lol.

Haha just barely… Turned 22 a few months ago lol. And I’ll have to get hooked up with one of those guys. I too call them the tan shirts 😂🙌🏻 and my display is basically a dead unit. Never has lit up or turned on whenever I press the power button so that’s what I was trying to hopefully figure out, but I’m thinking it’s beyond my area of expertise and it will need a shop tech or someone to fix. Thanks for the information I appreciate it.

SAP:

Substance Abuse Professional

The Substance Abuse Professional (SAP) is a person who evaluates employees who have violated a DOT drug and alcohol program regulation and makes recommendations concerning education, treatment, follow-up testing, and aftercare.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
B Brock's Comment
member avatar

Look under your bunk with a flashlight and see if the bunk heater case is empty.

When I got my new Cascadia a few months ago they didn’t have the parts for the bunk heater. They just installed it last month when I brought it in for a PM… Being summer I had no idea.

That’s probably the case then, there’s the metal box under the bed, but I will need to see if there’s anything in it. It’s brand new and since i’ve first picked up the truck the display doesn’t do anything. No words, no noise, no light etc when pressing the power button with engine and opti off. That’s why I originally didn’t really question the shop tech when he said schneider doesn’t use those lol. Thanks for sharing that information too.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
B Brock's Comment
member avatar

0438863001663650952.jpg

Here is my display. No lights, no noise, no words. Just a dead unit. Nothing has ever shown up on the screen etc since I got the truck. Sounds like a visit to a shop will have to be in the works haha before it definitely gets real chilly.

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