Is it worth it to get an APU (Auxilary Power Unit)

Discussion in 'Questions From New Drivers' started by swiveldemon, Dec 11, 2020.

  1. swiveldemon

    swiveldemon Bobtail Member

    Dec 9, 2020
    Should I get an APU to power my sleeper to avoid idling?

    I'm wondering if it is cost effective to save on the diesel. What have been y'alls experiences?
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  3. Adamali21

    Adamali21 Light Load Member

    Jul 24, 2018
    It’s not just about Deisel, but engine oil, and life of engine. If you do have the money on a new apu go for it, they are cost a arm and leg, and also repairs on a apu is expensive
    WildTiger1990, kanidana and Dave_in_AZ Thank this.
  4. bonder45

    bonder45 Road Train Member

    Oct 2, 2011
    Williston, ND
    And it depends where you are. If you mostly work in cold / medium temperature climates I would suggest just getting a Webasco engine and bunk heater.

    If you need AC then an APU is more ideal.
  5. Moose1958

    Moose1958 Road Train Member

    Dec 17, 2010
    Ainigriv Notpmah
    I know two OOs that have APUs. One has had his now for close to five years. The other has had his for about two years. When we get on these subjects there are so many variables it's difficult to say with precision what the numbers are. I hear the break-even point is between three and eight years. There are some tax deductions available, and one of the people I just spoke of told me several times they was able to get a grant to help defray the cost of the purchase and installation of the APU. Another thing that makes an APU an attractive option is some of the anti-idling laws around the country. One last point. I think this thread should be moved to the OO forum because it's really OOs that are faced with these decisions. A company driver is not in that.
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  6. Dave_in_AZ

    Dave_in_AZ Road Train Member

    May 4, 2015
    1) Yes.

    2) Absolutely.

    3) Without question.

    You will also save thousands, tens of thousands of idle hours on your engine and after treatment system.
  7. abyliks

    abyliks Road Train Member

    May 2, 2010
    ludlow MA
    Depends on the truck and what you do with it, but for the most part I only idle for ac and use a espar bunk heater in the winter, idle about half an hour- hour before bed to recharge batteries or to use microwave and that’s it
  8. kanidana

    kanidana Heavy Load Member

    Aug 21, 2010
    Mesa, AZ
    Very true on the repairs. It also depends on the type of APU. I've had a couple of different brands and I'd go with the Tripac Evolution over any of them. Very reliable APU but repairs can easily exceed 500 dollars for things like a fuel pump. Make sure to get regular maintenance on these things because it's easy to overlook if you're not paying attention.

    I highly value my APU to such a level that if it breaks down, I shut down until it's fixed.. All of the idling hours that would put ware and tear on the trucks engine are transferred onto a smaller and easier to maintain engine. Also, WHEN you break down on a roadside, you can still run your APU for warmth or AC not to mention appliances like microwave, fridge, and computer, while you're waiting on a tow truck. I've had experiences where I waited on a tow truck for hours in 10 degree weather, and you better believe that having this little APU can be a lifesaver.
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  9. Espressolane

    Espressolane Road Train Member

    Nov 21, 2009
    Just south of the north 40
    An APU is worth the investment.
    Some will only point to the reduction in fuel use and the cost of maintenance on the unit as not cost effective.
    This is short sightedness, the reduced wear on both the engine and, if equipped, emissions systems is worth a large sum of cash. The cost of basic maintenance on an APU is peanuts compared to having one set of emissions sensors replaced, or a DPF/SCR cleaned or replaced.

    The newest electronic APU systems are quite good and run longer than past models. Generally are lower cost and easier to install as an aftermarket project. They are quiet, no engine running.
    Dave_in_AZ and kanidana Thank this.
  10. swiveldemon

    swiveldemon Bobtail Member

    Dec 9, 2020
    Thanks for the input everyone! Looks like it can provide a lot of cost savings in more than just fuel costs (eg maintenance)

    How popular are these? Seems like every trucker could use one. does the upfront cost scare people away? Does anyone finance them?
  11. Dave_in_AZ

    Dave_in_AZ Road Train Member

    May 4, 2015
    There are several places where you can get a reman, if you don't want new.

    The cost savings is an absolute no brainer.

    Figure 2000 hours a year not on your engine. That's staggering.
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