Portable Generator To Run Heater Block?

Discussion in 'Freightliner Forum' started by dece870717, Feb 15, 2021.

  1. dece870717

    dece870717 Bobtail Member

    Feb 15, 2021
    I'll try to be concise;

    Am a Local Delivery driver, been with my company for roughly 13 years, got new tractors recently (get them every 7 years), they're all 2021 Freightliner cascadia day cabs, they disabled our ability to idle the truck with this new batch of tractors, problem is a handful of us have overnight routes where we stay at hotels once a week every week, most hotels the overnight drivers like myself stay at do not have outdoor outlets so that we can plug in our heater blocks.

    So, we asked to have idling capabilities enabled for when we're on our overnights, they told us no, and they said if truck doesn't start just call Penske SOS to get them started (don't even get me started!). Ultimately my question is, could a portable generator be used to run the heater block, and what capacity would it require? Generally stay at hotels for roughly 12-14 hours.

    Also, I'm curious, do heater blocks always draw their max wattage or is it controlled and regulated based on the temperature it's sensing?
    bzinger Thanks this.
  2. Truckers Report Jobs

    Trucking Jobs in 30 seconds

    Every month 400 people find a job with the help of TruckersReport.

  3. Brettj3876

    Brettj3876 Road Train Member

    Nov 18, 2014
    Canceling cancel culture/CCC
    What part of the country do you run in? Personally i think in most conditions unless it's extremely cold minus 10 or better you'll be fine. Might spit and choke for a few seconds but they'll start. Let em pay for the service truck to come out while your on the clock getting paid
    p608, beastr123, ZVar and 1 other person Thank this.
  4. Mattflat362

    Mattflat362 Road Train Member

    Feb 18, 2015
    Avon Lake, Ohio
    As far as I know very very simple unit....no sensing anything...just 1500w all the time.

    A small Honda generator would run it no problem but I don't know how long???

    Maybe 6 hours?
  5. dece870717

    dece870717 Bobtail Member

    Feb 15, 2021
    We're distribution center is in Northwest Indiana (Crown Point, IN), the furthest west we go is Cedar Rapids, IA, and furthest east is Hicksville, OH. Our main coverage are basically the top halves of Indiana, Illinois, and Eastern parts of Iowa.

    Oh I'm sure these trucks can handle starting at -10 considering they're so new, but don't want to deal with DEF potentially freezing also. Plus we beat these tractors up at our place, so avoiding any extra wear and tear on the starter and batteries would be best, we probably turn our tractors off and on 10-15 times a day as it is.

    Sure, we could just deal with calling SOS, but we have a want to go go go kind of job. Despite getting paid by the hour, just about every single driver HATES having to sit around, part of it is probably because it's a rarity to have to, lol.
  6. Colt6920

    Colt6920 Light Load Member

    Apr 28, 2017
    ####em. After a #### ton of service calls they will either learn and enable idling or just continue to be dumb.
    Is the company gonna pay for the generators?
    AModelCat Thanks this.
  7. AModelCat

    AModelCat Road Train Member

    Jul 7, 2015
    DEF freezes. No big deal, the engineers designed that scenario into the system. A block heater has zero effect on the DEF system anyways so it'll freeze regardless of being plugged in or not.

    I wouldn't spend a nickle of my own money on a generator. Crank on it and if the starter and batteries crap out on them every 6 months that's their problem. What they get for being cheapskates.
    DoubleO7 Thanks this.
  8. Johny41

    Johny41 Road Train Member

    Feb 10, 2011
    Ontario, Canada
    Yes, i've been doing it for years , the place i park i don't have electricity so i take my portable power generator and plug the truck for about one hour before start . I have read that cold starts are causing over 80% of engines failure here in Canada.
    I have this yamaha 2000 watts, works fine, has 12V ports also for battery charge the block heater need about 1500watts , so i'm suggesting minimum 1500W with higher peak not to overload it, better get 2000Watts, plenty to chose from cheaper than yamaha or honda in Home depot,Wall mart,Amazon
    dece870717 Thanks this.
  9. 25(2)+2

    25(2)+2 Trucker Forum STAFF Staff Member

    Sep 18, 2006
    the road less travelled
    15 amp 120 volt service is what is required for our Cascadias, 2000 watts would do fine.

    Cold weather equipment includes heating the Davco 482 fuel filter base on our trucks. Keeping the water separator filter from icing or gelling up is important.
  10. dece870717

    dece870717 Bobtail Member

    Feb 15, 2021
    Well, that's the thing, I want to try to convince them to do so, we'd technically only need like 3 of them.
  11. Ffx95

    Ffx95 Road Train Member

    May 18, 2017
    How cold is the area you run in? Usually 0 or above doesn’t cause any issues as long as you have fuel treatment. Have the company pay for the anti gel treatment bottles and you should be fine leaving it off overnight assuming you’re not dealing with crazy low temperatures like -10.
  • Truckers Report Jobs

    Trucking Jobs in 30 seconds

    Every month 400 people find a job with the help of TruckersReport.

  • Draft saved Draft deleted