Over the last decade, there have been many types of auxiliary power units and other anti-idling solutions introduced to help drivers eliminate discretionary idling.
The Idle Free electric APU is differentiated from other idle-elimination solutions because it is the most complete system. It meets all driver needs — heat, air conditioning and hotel needs — without jeopardizing the productivity of the truck. The Idle Free APU is the only complete electric APU on the market.
Robert Hopton, CEO of Idle Free Systems Inc., says that engineers of the Idle Free APU considered all possible idling situations at the outset.
“Heat, air condition, hotel needs and engine pre-heat. These are why drivers idle the trucks. We designed a comprehensive, integrated APU solution that addresses all of these needs, completely eliminating the need for drivers to idle the truck,” he said.
In addition to being the most complete, the Idle Free APU is also one of the most efficient APUs on the market. This is because the system runs on alternating current.
Electric APUs that run on direct current suffer from lower efficiency, which translates to shorter APU battery life, less run time and, most problematic, the risk that the APU could jeopardize the truck’s ability to start. D/C-based systems, due to their higher amperage draw for the air conditioner, rely on the truck’s starter batteries as an additional power source to run the APU. Operating the APU risks draining the truck’s starter batteries and therefore not being able to start the truck, negatively impacting productivity.
Idle Free’s A/C-based electric APU, on the other hand, is a more efficient system, resulting in longer APU battery life and completely eliminating any need to use the truck’s starter batteries to power the APU. The A/C-based system means the truck’s batteries will never be drained by the APU.
The Idle Free APU has been the preferred choice of many fleets throughout North America. Allen Gattis, Research and Development Manager/APU Manager for Mesilla Valley Transportation, based in Las Cruces, N.M., says that the system’s ability to meet all driver needs coupled with its efficiency and reliability make Idle Free a good investment.
“Running the Idle Free APU, we know that we can reliably meet the needs of the driver without ever compromising the productivity of the truck,” he said. "Any anti-idling solution we choose absolutely has to satisfy those needs while also reducing operating costs. We have been very happy with Idle Free.”
By virtue of its more efficient use of energy and longer battery life, the Idle Free system is maintenance-free, requiring only an annual check of the heaters fuel filter, which means fleet owners can keep their trucks on the road.
“Most importantly, we want our customers to know that this is a system they can rely on to help them get the most out of their company’s asset — the truck itself,” Hopton says.