Willis says its APU tough enough for big trucks

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Eldon Willis, former long-haul trucker and commercial pilot, wanted his auxiliary power unit to be more powerful, durable, economical and easy to install or service than the competition. That describes his Willis APU, according to Auxiliary Power Dynamics, which makes and sells the unit. “This is top, top, top of the line,” said Will Watson, vice president of sales and marketing.

“All of our parts fit Class 8 truck engines,” Watson said on Thursday at the Great American Trucking Show in Dallas. “This unit is not designed for motor homes or pickups.” The unit produces 28,000 BTUs heating and 33,000 BTUs cooling, and is powered by a three-cylinder Kubota diesel. “With three cylinders instead of two, it runs at just 1,100 rpm,” Watson said. Customers say they can’t hear the Willis, and due to its rubber “feet,” they can’t feel it, either, he said.

The Willis has “heavy duty” all over it, with 3⁄8-inch cast aluminum mounting brackets and housing for the serpentine component drive belt. Watson said it’s also easy to service: The oil and fuel filters, dipstick, oil fill spout and injection system all face outward. “The average driver spends $700 to $1,000 a month for idling fuel,” Watson says. He says the Willis Auxiliary Power System uses a gallon of fuel each 6 1⁄2-7 1⁄2 hours.