Willis APU maker supports fleets that do installs, warranty repairs

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A purchasing program offered by Auxiliary Power Dynamics supports fleet managers and owners to install and maintain auxiliary power units on their own trucks. Fleets that participate in the program also can complete most warranty repairs. Auxiliary Power Dynamics, manufacturer of the Willis APU, recently began offering fleets an installation and service training program for fleet technicians. APD offers this training program at an APD facility or the fleets’ locations. The program is available to fleets with their own maintenance facilities that make qualified purchases of the Willis APU.

The Willis APU offers cooling and heating capacity that’s among the highest in the industry, according to the manufacturer, and it also keeps truck drivers and their companies from being slapped with hefty fines for idling their truck engines since it provides auxiliary power as soon as the truck is parked. Its three-cylinder, 18-hp Kubota engine makes it quiet, powerful and inexpensive to maintain, the company says.

“Fleet operators know the importance of providing a comfortable work environment if they want to keep their best drivers,” says Will Watson, vice president of sales and marketing for Sparks, Nev.-based Auxiliary Power Dynamics. “And savvy fleet operators know that as the thermometer rises, their drivers are more likely to idle their trucks. They know a fully integrated APU like the Willis APU really offers their drivers the best cooling capacity — much more than battery-powered devices. That means they will be less tempted to also idle their trucks to stay cool.”

But fully integrated APUs need to be professionally installed by properly trained technicians to avoid warranty issues and other problems, Watson says. For fleet managers, that often means taking trucks out of service for several days and sending them hundreds of miles away to qualified dealers or installers. That requires moving trucks and drivers around so that the installation causes as little inconvenience to customers as possible, he adds. “Fleet managers tell us with all of the different things that go into coordinating fleet traffic, if they want to have APUs installed, they must take their trucks out of service, with little or no way to ease the inconvenience for their customers,” Watson says.

So the downtime associated with an APU installation often can mean a significant loss of business, Watson says, and that’s why so many fleets don’t install APUs. When their own maintenance shops can do the installation and warranty work, fleet managers find it much easier to schedule APU installations, he adds. That’s why APD expanded the technician training program.

“We’ve been offering this valuable service for some time now, but as more and more fleets have been asking us about it, we soon began to realize that we needed to offer it on a wider scale,” Watson says. “We think this program will become very popular as more fleets become aware of it. After all, fleets with their own maintenance shops and certified technicians already have the resources to do the work themselves. All they really need is the specific training on the Willis APU for their technicians.”

Watson says fleets that take part in the training program can become certified Willis APU installation and service centers for other local companies and owner-operators. For more information about the technician training program, call Watson at 253-638-3145.