Considering an APU

Discussion in 'Questions From New Drivers' started by Nuge31, Oct 15, 2017.

  1. nightgunner

    nightgunner Road Train Member

    Jul 23, 2013
    Cedar Rapids, IA
    I just purchased a refurbished tripac and had it installed yesterday for $6,800 out the door. This old n14 would burn roughly 1.5 gallons per hour of diesel fuel at idle. a little simple math tells us that comes out to roughly 15 Gallons if it were to idle all night. If we average paying $2.70 a gallon at current prices, it would cost $40/day.
    Obviously the truck does not idle 10 hours per day every day, but with temperatures all over the place, let's say 20 days a month. That puts us at $800 a month in idle cost. Doing your own servicing on the unit will cause what$15 a month as an average? Without any major repairs on the unit you're looking at a break-even point of roughly 8 months.
    You start making $800 a month before repair cost at month 9. Sounds like a fairly solid return to me.
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  3. loudtom

    loudtom Road Train Member

    Aug 26, 2016
    You forgot the cost of diesel per night for the APU. It's still a good return, and even if you were to break even on it after repairs you cut down on wear and tear to the truck.
  4. Misesian

    Misesian Road Train Member

    May 21, 2014
    Nothwest Arkansas
    CSTK St Louis, MO can install a refurbished one for a total cost of 6500-6800. Depends on how long you'll have the truck. 3 years or more, I'd say go for it. Even more so if you have a modern truck with EGR and DPF.
  5. BB203

    BB203 Light Load Member

    Mar 5, 2016
    Missouri Ozarks
    I often see folks say "I paid cash so I don't have a payment".... I laugh a bit at that because where did the cash come from? You? Then you financed your investment and need to repay the loan in order to be whole again... That's business 101.... So yeah, you should have a payment, made to you and saved against having to buy a new engine or get an overhaul one day... Then you will have a payment again at that time.. Remember, just because you are your own finance company doesn't mean your truck and trailer aren't financed...
    solidified, spindrift and gokiddogo Thank this.
  6. gokiddogo

    gokiddogo Road Train Member

    Mar 5, 2012
    Ontario Canada
    "Paying cash", in my mind, only happens when the business has saved enough for it to buy the truck. For me I draw a fixed yearly salary, whatever is left over I just pay tax on the profit so generally the business bank grows. Over enough time it could pay cash for new equipment.
    BB203 Thanks this.
  7. loudtom

    loudtom Road Train Member

    Aug 26, 2016
    IMG_20180420_163005965.jpg IMG_20180420_163526397.jpg IMG_20180420_163150560.jpg IMG_20180420_163058285.jpg
    These are some pictures of the split system on our 780. I wish we'd removed the top bunk earlier and placed the inside unit on the wall there. It's entirely too cold sitting in the booth with that running.
    Wajid8705 and rollin coal Thank this.
  8. skallagrime

    skallagrime Road Train Member

    Apr 10, 2012
    So I'm curious, how long have you had that installed and how does it hold up to the road salt/abuse over that time?

    I like the idea, I'm just leery of longevity (more than 3 years) since those are designed to be installed on an immobile (nearly) corrosion free environment, whereas my truck runs a lot of northern climates in winter... (And as such, I'd prefer to have a water cooled generator rather than air, not to mention diesel instead of gas)
  9. loudtom

    loudtom Road Train Member

    Aug 26, 2016
    It's been on for a year and still runs great. We keep a canvas cover on it while driving, and I haven't noticed any corrosion or anything getting inside. We were in the shop almost the entire winter, so I can't tell you if road salts affect it.
    skallagrime Thanks this.
  10. Wajid8705

    Wajid8705 Light Load Member

    Jun 9, 2018
    North Carolina
    What's the total cost of installing it? What size unit and what brand and size generator you are using? Have you mounted the generator on side of truck?
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2019
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