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MATS Report: Espar unveils three new cab heating products at Mid-America

LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- With all the flack truckers are getting about unnecessary idling, wasted fuel, and environmental...

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — With all the flack truckers are getting about unnecessary idling, wasted fuel, and environmental harm, Espar has come up with a new solution to keep drivers warm while they are taking a break from the job.

Espar Heating Systems “Baire Necessity,” is a portable air heater, which uses the company’s Airtronic D2 system. The heating unit is mounted on the window of the passenger side of the cab, and plugged into the vehicle’s cigarette lighter. The independent fuel source comes from a half-gallon diesel tank that is attached to the portable unit.

This air heater allows drivers to stay warm, without the permanent installation of a bunk heater, and without unnecessary idling. Drivers can take this system with them as they move from truck-to-truck at freight terminals, or potentially seek out the unit at a truck stop, which could supply them to drivers for temporary no-idle relief.

“This system offers some unheard of possibilities,” said John Dennehy, Espar’s vice-president of marketing and communications, who noted that a truck driver could use the portable heater for “one week, one night, or one hour.”

Dennehy says that Espar has already received a great deal of interest about its new portable heater, from various industries. He anticipates the demand will grow, especially with environmental standards becoming increasingly rigid, to deter idling. The company has even had enquiries from recreational vehicle owners, but he expects the trucking industry will initially have the greatest demand, in particular freight yards and truck stops. However, he’s not sure what type of growth will eventually develop.

“Quite frankly, I don’t know what our mix is going to be,” he said, of an economical unit expected to cost between US$1,200 and $1,500. “The market is really going to tell us what they want to do with it.”

Espar also featured two other new heating units at MATS: The “Hybernator on-frame system,” which connects directly to the truck fuel system, and provides engine-off heat to the cab, the engine and the fuel system using the CARB-approved Hydronic 5 heater, according to Espar. The company states that this heater provides heat continuously and circulates engine coolant through the engine’s coolant circuit. Thus, drivers stay warm and safe and are also assured of quick engine starts when it’s time to get back on the rod, according to Dennehy.

The “Hybernator in-frame” system is based on the on-frame system, but enables the installation of the unit between the frame rails, without the drilling of frame components. Espar states that this type of installation dramatically increases affordability, by reducing installation time and complexity. The system still provides engine-off heat to the cab, the engine and the fuel systems using the Espar Hydronic coolant heater, with a number of different operating switches, to meet individual requirements.

Espar heaters are designed for mobile applications such as truck, bus, marine and automotive. The systems utilize 12- or 24-volt battery systems and gasoline or diesel as an on-board fuel. Espar air heaters use forced air as a heating medium, while the Espar coolant heaters circulate the engine coolant to transfer heat. Timers and remote key chain starters are available, according to Espar, making it possible to program pre-heat for up to a week in advance, or remote-start pre-heat on a vehicle.

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