One of the reasons why many truck drivers keep their engine idle for long hours is to keep their sleeper berth running. Keeping the engine idle for a long time, however, can cause wear and tear on the vehicle’s system and bad fuel economy. The question now is, are there ways to skip engine idle while running the sleep berth?
One way of working around this problem is through the use of idle reduction technologies. The following are just some options available:
Battery-Electric Auxiliary Power Systems for Idle Reduction
This option makes use of advanced battery packs which work as power systems providing cooling, heating, and electricity. It is recharged via the primary engine when the truck is doing normal road operation. The battery packs requires around 2-6 hours of recharge time. It can run to up to 12 hours when at its fullest.
Truck Stop Electrification or On-Board Power Infrastructure
Here, drivers can plug in an installed on-board electrical hardware and electrically-powered climate control system into a power grid for electricity. It can offers idle reduction by providing heating, cooling, and power to appliances. Power grids can be accessed on the outlet pedestals at participating layover locations.
Truck Stop Electrification or Off-Board Power Infrastructure
This idle reduction method does not require the driver to plug in directly at a layover location. Instead, an adapter on the window opening provides heating, cooling, and other services for an hourly fee. This is a good engine idle option with electrical outlets powering ancillary appliances as well.
Thermal Energy Storage Systems Idle Reduction Technology
Another good engine idle alternative. This energy storage system keeps the cooling energy from the air conditioning system collected during a normal operation. It can be used with a fuel-fired heater for heating purposes.
Diesel-Fueled Auxiliary Power Systems
Here, power systems use small diesel engines to generate the power. It can also be applied to engine block heating during cold moments and battery recharging. It does not use much of the fuel that is usually wasted during engine idle because of its small size.
Fuel-Operated Heaters Idle Reduction Technology
These heaters provide heating to both the cab and the engine block. It can also be paired with other cooling technologies. They also use very little of the fuel that would have been wasted on engine idle.
All these idle reduction technologies will require extra expense. However, operators can be rest assured that whatever they spent on them, they can easily recover over time through savings on maintenance and fuel.
Engine idle is often done not only to keep sleep berths running but also to keep the diesel warm as well. In this case, a diesel additive to can prevent the diesel from gelling and promote better fuel burning can help.