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Benefits of Using APU Unit for Truck Fleet Operations

When you need to drive on the road for a couple of weeks, your truck becomes your mobile home. Whether you’re driving, sleeping, or simply resting, it’s where you stay day in and day out. Therefore, the quality of that time in your truck is essential and related to your comfort, safety, and overall well-being. Having reliable access to electricity makes a significant difference in the time quality.

During breaks and rest periods, when you’re parked and want to recharge your phone, heat food in a microwave, or turn on the air conditioner to cool down, you might need to idle the truck’s engine for power generation. However, as fuel prices have risen and emissions regulations have become stricter, traditional truck engine idling is no longer a favorable way of power supply for fleet operations. Finding an efficient and economical alternative is essential.

This is where an Auxiliary Power Unit (APU) comes into play! In this blog, we will guide you through the basic things you should know about the APU unit for truck and the benefits of having one on your truck.


What is an APU Unit for Truck?

An APU unit for truck is a small, portable independent unit, mostly an efficient generator, mounted on trucks. It’s capable of producing the auxiliary power required to support the load such as lights, air conditioning, TV, microwave, and refrigerator when the main engine is not running.

In general, there are two basic APU unit types. A diesel APU, typically located outside your rig usually just behind the cab for easy refueling and general access, will run off the truck’s fuel supply to provide the power. An electric APU minimizes the carbon footprint and requires the least maintenance.

Truck APU Blog pic

Benefits of Using APU Unit for Truck

There are many APU benefits. Here are the top six benefits of installing an APU unit on your truck:


Benefit 1: Reduced Fuel Consumption

Fuel consumption costs occupy a significant portion of the operating cost for fleets and owner operators. While idling the engine maintains a comfortable environment for drivers, it consumes energy excessively. An hour of idling time consumes about one gallon of diesel fuel, whereas a diesel-based APU unit for truck consumes far less — about 0.25 gallon of fuel per hour.

On average, a truck idles between 1800 and 2500 hours per year. Assuming 2,500 hours per year of idling and diesel fuel at $2.80 per gallon, a truck spends $7,000 on idling per truck. If you manage a fleet with hundreds of trucks, that cost can quickly jump up to tens of thousands of dollars and more every month. With a diesel APU, a savings of more than $5,000 per year can be achieved, while an electric APU might save even more.


Benefit 2: Extended Engine Life

According to the American Trucking Association, one hour of idling per day for one-year results in the equivalent of 64,000 miles in engine wear. Since truck idling can produce sulfuric acid, which might eat away at the engine and vehicle components, the wear and tear on engines increases dramatically. Moreover, idling will lower the in-cylinder temperatures combustion, causing buildup in the engine and clogging. Therefore, drivers need to use an APU to avoid idling and reduce engine tear and wear.


Benefit 3: Minimized Maintenance Costs

Maintenance costs due to excessive idling are far higher than any other possible maintenance costs. The America Transportation Research Institute states that the average maintenance cost of a Class 8 truck is 14.8 cents per mile. Idling a truck leads to costly expenses for additional maintenance. When with a truck APU, service intervals for maintenance extend. You don’t have to spend more time in the repair shop, and the costs of the labor and equipment parts are significantly minimized, thus lowering the total cost of ownership.


Benefit 4: Regulations Compliance

Because of the harmful effects of truck idling on the environment and even public health, many major cities worldwide have implemented anti-idling laws and regulations to limit emissions. The restrictions, fines, and penalties vary from city to city. In New York City, idling of vehicle is illegal if it lasts over 3 minutes, and vehicle owners would be fined. CARB regulations stipulate that drivers of diesel-fueled commercial motor vehicles with gross vehicle weight ratings greater than 10,000 pounds, including buses and sleeper berth equipped trucks, not idle the vehicle’s primary diesel engine longer than five minutes at any location. Therefore, to comply to the regulations and reduce inconvenience in trucking services, an APU unit for truck is a better way to go.


Benefit 5: Enhanced Driver Comfort

Truck drivers can be efficient and productive when they have proper rest. After a day of long-haul driving, you pull into a rest stop. Though the sleeper cab provides plenty of space to rest, the noise of running the truck engine can be annoying. Having an APU unit for truck offers a quieter environment for a good rest while functioning for charging, air conditioning, heating, and engine warming demands. It increases the home-like comfort and makes your driving experience more pleasing. Ultimately, it will help boost the overall productivity of the fleet.


Benefit 6: Improved Environmental Sustainability

Truck engine idling will produce harmful chemicals, gasses, and particles, significantly resulting in air pollution. Every 10 minutes of idling releases 1 pound of carbon dioxide into the air, worsening the global climate change. While diesel APUs still use fuel, they consume less and help trucks reduce their carbon footprint compared to engine idling and improve environmental sustainability. 


Upgrade Truck Fleets with APUs

Whether a lot to offer, installing an APU in your truck is highly recommended. When choosing the right APU unit for truck, consider which type best suits your needs: diesel or electric. In recent years, electric APU units for trucks have become more popular in the transportation market. They require less maintenance, support extended hours of air conditioning, and operate more quietly.

ROYPOW one-stop 48 V all-electric truck APU system is an ideal no-idling solution, a cleaner, smarter, and quieter alternative to traditional diesel APUs. It integrates a 48 V DC intelligent alternator, 10 kWh LiFePO4 battery, 12,000 BTU/h DC air conditioner, 48 V to 12 V DC-DC converter, 3.5 kVA all-in-one inverter, intelligent energy management monitoring screen, and flexible solar panel. With this powerful combination, truck drivers can enjoy more than 14 hours of AC time. Core components are manufactured to automotive-grade standards, minimizing the need for frequent maintenance. Warrantied for hassle-free performance for five years, outlasting some fleet trade cycles. Flexible and 2-hour fast charging keeps you powered for extended periods on the road.



As we look ahead to the future of the trucking industry, it’s clear that Auxiliary Power Units (APUs) will become indispensable power tools for fleet operators and drivers alike. With their ability to reduce fuel consumption, improve environmental sustainability, comply with regulations, enhance driver comfort, extend engine life, and minimize maintenance costs, APU units for trucks revolutionize how trucks operate on the road.

By integrating these innovative technologies into the truck fleets, we not only improve efficiency and profitability but also ensure a smoother and more productive experience for drivers during their long hauls. Moreover, it’s a step toward a greener, more sustainable future for the transportation industry.


Related Article:

How Does the Renewable Truck All-Electric APU (Auxiliary Power Unit) Challenge Conventional Truck APUs


Eric Maina

Eric Maina is a freelance content writer with 5+ years of experience. He is passionate about lithium battery technology and energy storage systems.

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