PORTLAND, Ore. — Fleets and owner/operators alike are constantly seeking ways to combat the added expense of fuel and increase profit margins. For Robert West, owner of R.E. West in Nashville, Tenn., the solution was in reducing idling time.
West added Idle Solutions auxiliary power units (APUs) to more than half of the trucks in his fleet, which is comprised of 80 Freightliner Century Class S/T and Freightliner Columbia trucks. As an interstate and intrastate truckload carrier that transports different types of freight throughout the US and Canada, West’s decision resulted in dramatically reduced fuel costs and increased driver satisfaction.
“My fleet was spending an average of 46% of the time idling,” explained West. “But after equipping the trucks with Idle Solutions APUs, we’ve reduced that time to just 2% and we’re saving money as a result.”
West expects to recoup his investment in less than 18 months. After that, he predicts he’ll save nearly $4,000 a year per truck or $320,000 a year.
Recognizing its customers’ need for APUs as a cost-efficient business solution, Freightliner offers the units as a factory-installed option. Available on all Freightliner models, APUs provide customers with a quiet, self-contained unit that generates power for heating, air-conditioning, and other appliances without requiring the truck to idle.
“Offering anti-idling solutions is just another way we are helping our customers run smart and run safe,” said Jonathan Randall, director of marketing at Freightliner Trucks. “And since different customers have different needs, we also offer the battery-operated Bergstrom NITE (No-Idle Thermal Environment) System.”
West appreciates that APUs run quieter and cleaner than idling the engine so drivers can comfortably spend the night in locations with anti-idling laws.
“An increasing number of cities, counties, and states are now passing strict anti-idling laws,” West said, pointing to California’s new anti-idling regulations that take effect statewide in 2007. “There’s virtually no noise in the trucks equipped with Idle Solutions APUs. My drivers tell me they’ve never slept so well in a truck.”
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