No APU/No Inverters

Topic 8907 | Page 1

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WhiskeyTango's Comment
member avatar

Hey all! First time poster, long time lurker. This website along with truckers report has helped me greatly on starting my truck driving career! I would like to start out by sayin I appreciate all of the company review and honesty on here.

Okay so I'm getting on with Knight Transportation starting Monday. Well actually Squire's CDL training.. I won't have to worry about this for awhile but I'm the type of person that likes to have everything figured out before I do something so I can be the best I can be at what I do and put all my focus and attention on what I'm doing. I've exhausted all my other options for going to a private school.

Just a side note - I just found out today that TMC has their own CDL school, classes start this Monday. Had I known about that (last talked to them in march about working there but with no CDL it was a no go) I would have went with them.

But anyways, knight doesn't allow power inverters and there's no APU's either. They allow you to plug stuff into the 12v cigarette socket thing. How do I go about powerinf a microwave to cook food, tv, laptop, fridge/freezer etc in the truck? I'm not familiar with electricity in the slightest. I found a 3000w inverter that will plug into a cigarette socket but heard I won't get 3000w from it. This is making me upset because all 12v socket stuff costs a lot more than of I had a wall outlet. For example, I have an edgestar freezer bookmarked on my phone, $500 plugs into the cigarette lighter. Very good reviews. But then I'd still need a cooler/fridge as well. The only microwave I've found that plugs into the cigarette socket is very expensive too. I don't want to eat sandwiches and fast food but without a freezer and a way to quickly cook my food what do I do??

So in short, is there anyway to power tv's, Xbox, mini fridge, microwave etc off of a 12v lighter socket? or do I just have to get myself a nice cooler and some of them 12 roadpro saucepan, portable stove and slow cooker...

Another side note...Does anybody here know why somebody would put a thermoelectric cooler or spend 500 on a freezer (edgestar remember?)in their truck instead of just getting a minifridge ... (If they had an inverter) The thermoelectric cooler just makes whatever is inside 30-40 degrees cooler than the outside temp and then you still need somethin to keep your meat and frozen entrees frozen....if that's the kind of stuff ya eat.

Again main question is- how do I power a microwave, tv, Xbox, fridge/freezer without an inverter connected to the battery. And why do people use those generic coolers instead of a minifridge (assuming they have an inverter)

I appreciate any and all responses. And I know I might find some answers out from my trainer but like I said, I'm a maximizer and like to be well educated in what I do.

WhiskeyTango Out!!

CDL:

Commercial Driver's License (CDL)

A CDL is required to drive any of the following vehicles:

  • Any combination of vehicles with a gross combined weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 or more pounds, providing the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of the vehicle being towed is in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any single vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 or more pounds, or any such vehicle towing another not in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any vehicle, regardless of size, designed to transport 16 or more persons, including the driver.
  • Any vehicle required by federal regulations to be placarded while transporting hazardous materials.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

DWI:

Driving 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.

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.

Andre R.'s Comment
member avatar

I just finished orientation with knight today. I was told that I could have an inverter provided it would operate from a 12v lighter plug. I have a cpap machine and will need the inverter to power my machine. I have a 400 watt one which should be enough. As for cooking 12v is going.to be my way to go or maybe a small propane camp stove to use outside of the truck. If it is allowed. Of course I will be checking first. As for food storage I will be using a regular cooler until I'm able to get a 12v cooler but those are small obstacles in the grand scheme of things. I have the can do it type of attitude and where there is a will there is a way mentality.

CPAP:

Constant Positive Airway Pressure

CPAP is a breathing assist device which is worn over the mouth or nose. It provides nighttime relief for individuals who suffer from Sleep Apnea.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Sam C.'s Comment
member avatar

Im starting knight in july as well, Im just going to have a 400 watt converter for my electric cooler and to charge my laptop. Do you think you are bringing enough stuff with your "tv's, Xbox, mini fridge, microwave etc"?? You might want to slim it down a bit. At most I will be traveling with a cooler, laptop, and mini slow cooker. Soup, sandwiches, and chilli is good enough for me. And my laptop will provide me with plenty of tv and games

DWI:

Driving While Intoxicated

WhiskeyTango's Comment
member avatar

Actually I'd like to bring some weights with me as well to stay fit :p but yeah I'm new to the industry, obviously, if I can fit a weeks worth of food and it not spoil in an electric cooler then that's fine with me. The last few months I kind of got into cooking my own food and when I think of what to eat it's more of things that need to be cooked but it appears I'll have to revert back to the sandwiches, hamburger helper, or just prepare food at home and bring it with me on the road....I do not own a laptop so that's why I'd bring the xbox (Netflix) and tv lol.

DWI:

Driving While Intoxicated

guyjax(Guy Hodges)'s Comment
member avatar

Steaming Netflix? Lol your data flow will kill you very fast.

The 12v coolers(like the kind you find in truck stops for $100) will keep food cold just like a frig at home. At least mine does. Colder than most store frigs at the market. About 40 degrees cooler than the ambient temp in the truck. The 12 refrigerator also works great. I just like the cooler cause there is more room in it. And it keeps stuff just as cold as the refrigerator.

Get a 12v TV from a truck stop. That problem is solved.

The biggest inverter you can buy that uses the 12v plug is a 400 watt one. So almost all electric cooking devices are out including a microwave. Keeping things frozen for weeks on end in a truck is not going to happen unless you have a real freezer which you are not going to fit in a truck.

There are ways around the no inverter rule but you will work that out for yourself once your on the road.

Most our days our spent driving 10 plus hours a day. Miles mean money. Once you Shutdown for your 10 hour break it's time to get up and moving again. So all this cooking you plan on doing will have to be done in this time prieod. Including the cleanup afterwards. Unless you are super human and can adjust to the road in record time you will not be doing much but falling into bed when your done driving for the day. At least for the first few months.

Oh did I mention that along with cooking and cleaning up afterwards and getting proper rest you also have to get a shower? Yep all in the same 10 hour prieod.

Now good healthy living and eating can take place on the road but it requires an extreem amount of dedication and time.

Not trying to rain on your parade but your wanting all the comforts of home, all at once and right from the start, which can take months to figure out how to make it AL happen. And that's on top of the steep learning curve of being a new driver.

Ask any driver on this forum that has driven more than a few months. They will say the same thing. It takes time to figure out your life in a truck.

Best advice I can give at this time is to start small. Get an inverter. And maybe one or two of the things you listed. Then as time progresses add one thing at a time. Don't try to do it all at once. It's to much.

We as truckers live a minimalistic lifestyle but to get the prefect balance for you will take time to figure out. I am not saying that what you are asking can't be done. It can be done easily. But it will take you at least a few good months to learn how it's going to work for you.

Jay R. R2-Detour 's Comment
member avatar

Steaming Netflix? Lol your data flow will kill you very fast.

The 12v coolers(like the kind you find in truck stops for $100) will keep food cold just like a frig at home. At least mine does. Colder than most store frigs at the market. About 40 degrees cooler than the ambient temp in the truck. The 12 refrigerator also works great. I just like the cooler cause there is more room in it. And it keeps stuff just as cold as the refrigerator.

Get a 12v TV from a truck stop. That problem is solved.

The biggest inverter you can buy that uses the 12v plug is a 400 watt one. So almost all electric cooking devices are out including a microwave. Keeping things frozen for weeks on end in a truck is not going to happen unless you have a real freezer which you are not going to fit in a truck.

There are ways around the no inverter rule but you will work that out for yourself once your on the road.

Most our days our spent driving 10 plus hours a day. Miles mean money. Once you Shutdown for your 10 hour break it's time to get up and moving again. So all this cooking you plan on doing will have to be done in this time prieod. Including the cleanup afterwards. Unless you are super human and can adjust to the road in record time you will not be doing much but falling into bed when your done driving for the day. At least for the first few months.

Oh did I mention that along with cooking and cleaning up afterwards and getting proper rest you also have to get a shower? Yep all in the same 10 hour prieod.

Now good healthy living and eating can take place on the road but it requires an extreem amount of dedication and time.

Not trying to rain on your parade but your wanting all the comforts of home, all at once and right from the start, which can take months to figure out how to make it AL happen. And that's on top of the steep learning curve of being a new driver.

Ask any driver on this forum that has driven more than a few months. They will say the same thing. It takes time to figure out your life in a truck.

Best advice I can give at this time is to start small. Get an inverter. And maybe one or two of the things you listed. Then as time progresses add one thing at a time. Don't try to do it all at once. It's to much.

We as truckers live a minimalistic lifestyle but to get the prefect balance for you will take time to figure out. I am not saying that what you are asking can't be done. It can be done easily. But it will take you at least a few good months to learn how it's going to work for you.

Yup. I have an apu and things are coming slowly. Luckily there is a fridge with a (small) freezer in my truck. I just bought a portable stove so I can at least prepare simple hot meals. Little by little I'm getting what I want in here. A family member is giving me a small flat screen, I will hook up my psi to it when I get it back, in the mean time a cheap dvd/Blu Ray player will suffice. I've been buying truck stop WiFi to stream Netflix on my tablet but it leaves A LOT to be desired.

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.

Lawrence H.'s Comment
member avatar

Remember on your microwaves it takes twice the size of microcrowave., to start it. SO if you have a 400 watt microwave, then you need a 800 watt generator.

TWIC:

Transportation Worker Identification Credential

Truck drivers who regularly pick up from or deliver to the shipping ports will often be required to carry a TWIC card.

Your TWIC is a tamper-resistant biometric card which acts as both your identification in secure areas, as well as an indicator of you having passed the necessary security clearance. TWIC cards are valid for five years. The issuance of TWIC cards is overseen by the Transportation Security Administration and the Department of Homeland Security.

guyjax(Guy Hodges)'s Comment
member avatar

Dvd/Blu-ray player and TV? To many things. Get a tv/DVD player combo that's runs on 12v.saves space and time.

Jay R. R2-Detour 's Comment
member avatar

Dvd/Blu-ray player and TV? To many things. Get a tv/DVD player combo that's runs on 12v.saves space and time.

But the tv I might get is free. Down the road when I have more spare money I'll but a nicer combo.

guyjax(Guy Hodges)'s Comment
member avatar
double-quotes-start.png

Dvd/Blu-ray player and TV? To many things. Get a tv/DVD player combo that's runs on 12v.saves space and time.

double-quotes-end.png

But the tv I might get is free. Down the road when I have more spare money I'll but a nicer combo.

Well free is always good. Thank God I don't watch TV. I have a tv in the truck but in the 3 years I have had it I have only watched it 3 times and that was only for movies. Normal TV bored me. News TV makes me sick. And TV commercials.. I have no words to explain the amount of pain I would joyfully administrator to the people that makes TV commercials.

Dm:

Dispatcher, Fleet Manager, Driver Manager

The primary person a driver communicates with at his/her company. A dispatcher can play many roles, depending on the company's structure. Dispatchers may assign freight, file requests for home time, relay messages between the driver and management, inform customer service of any delays, change appointment times, and report information to the load planners.
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