around the country. An ATE provides for the essential needs of a truck driver for
overnight parking, without the need to run the diesel engine for several hours during
longer rest periods. The units are installed at many parking slots at the truck stop and
“hook up” to the window opening of the truck. The units are locked into place in the
window opening while providing the driver security, heat or air conditioning, electrical
outlets to power items in the cab, satellite television, Wi-Fi computer access, and other
amenities. These services are provided to truck drivers at a nominal charge, and is much
less than the cost of diesel fuel that would have been used had the truck been idling.
Many long-haul trucking fleets have accounts with IdleAire, enabling the drivers to
swipe an account card for the use of the ATEs. Millions of gallons of diesel fuel have
been saved by the use of ATEs, while helping to improve driver morale and job
retention. For information on the IdleAire facilities and their locations, please visit
4. INSTALL AUXILIARY POWER UNITS (APUs)
Most of the diesel engine manufacturers and similar companies make APUs, which
are small diesel-powered units of 5 to 10 horsepower installed on the truck. An APU
powers the truck’s air conditioning and heat, and also allows the use of electronics
inside the cab, such as televisions, microwaves, and refrigerators. In addition, the APU
can help to keep the engine warm up to operational temperature in colder weather. For
all of these functions, the main engine is turned off and the APU operates the cab’s
electrical systems and powers the heat or air conditioning. Depending on the type
and size, the APU may use only one-fourth of the fuel as the main engine to operate.
APUs may cost from $5,000 up to $10,000 depending on the desired features. By
significantly reducing diesel fuel usage and saving the main engine from added wear
and maintenance needs, the typical APU will pay for itself within a year. Beyond the
initial pay-off period, the APU will save a significant amount of money for the operation
of the truck for years to come. For APUs installed on each truck in the fleet, the amount
of savings can be substantial.
5. INSTALL A DIESEL-POWERED DIRECT-FIRED HEATER
These units run off of the vehicle’s diesel fuel and heat the engine coolant. The cab is
heated directly from the combustion flame to the interior heat exchanger. However, no
air conditioning is supplied by direct-fired heaters. The cost of these units for heating
purposes ranges from $1,000 to $5,000.
6. INSTALL A BATTERY-POWERED ENGINE COOLANT HEATER AND/OR
AN EVAPORATIVE COOLING SYSTEM
Battery-powered engine coolant heaters are similar to the diesel-powered direct-fired
heater, in that they run the cab heater and heat the engine coolant without providing air
conditioning. These units cost $550 to $700. Evaporative cooling systems are used to
provide air conditioning to the cab. No heat is provided. Cost is approximately $1,500.
7. INSTALL AN EXTERNAL BATTERY PACK
A separate battery pack is used to power an independent air conditioning system and a
compact air-heating system for heat. Cost is approximately $3,500.
Source: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, www.epa.gov/smartway/ndex.htm
For more information, visit www.illinoisgreenfleets.org
or contact the Bureau of Air, Division of Mobile Source Programs at 217/557-1441
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