Owners of long-distance trucks have long searched for fuel-saving devices that can supply household electricity, battery charging, air conditioning and heat. Idling a main truck engine was the solution in the old days — but not anymore. Times have changed, fuel now has become precious gold, and drivers now must do something about it.
With so many thousands of trucks traveling away from home, bringing household comfort appliances onboard the trucks has become commonplace. The reality is that electric appliances draw power, and power has to come from somewhere. Drivers face the risk that inverters drawing too much power from the main truck batteries could cause a truck engine not to start when you are ready to roll. Fortunately, new products are addressing these concerns, and the industry buzzword that everyone is talking about is “generator power.”
Frigette Truck Climate Systems of Fort Worth, Texas, says it offers the ultimate in compact fuel saving technology to fit almost any truck on the road. The heart of the system is the liquid-cooled, diesel Kubota EA-300 engine that gets its fuel directly from the truck’s tank without the need to add another fuel source. According to Frigette, these fuel-efficient engines use only 1/10th gallon per hour versus a truck engine that can consume a full gallon or more per hour. As is often the case with drivers, they often are shocked to discover their idle percentages typically equate to 40-50 percent just sitting in a parking lot, never hauling a pound of freight. Over the space of 12 months, the dramatic savings payback makes the investment worthwhile, according to Frigette.
Frigette says added benefits of the APU include a 60-amp battery charger, 12,000 Btu’s of air conditioning for the bunk, and 10,000 Btu’s of heat. Convenient receptacles for plug-ins are offered so that a driver can operate a skillet, microwave, television or any other creature-of-comfort device.
Frigette’s engineers designed the entire package to be independent of the truck’s main engine and electrical systems; this “stand-alone” concept is to avoid violating warranties on expensive OEM equipment in the event of mechanical failure. Using available power from the 3,300-watt genset, the truck block heater easily can be hooked up with an electrical cord to keep the main engine warm in winter months, according to the company. The package comes with a common-sense air ductwork system to vent heavier cold air upward in summer months when A/C needs are important; cold air naturally falls while heat rises.
The step-box design is popular with drivers who comment on the function of the box, as well as its easy-to-remove lid for maintenance intervals. Oil change sessions are rated at 500 hours with easy access to air, fuel and oil filter locations. At only 418 pounds, the Frigette’s package is one of the lightest, smallest and most cost-effective systems on the market, according to the company, and it comes with a two-year/4,000-hour limited warranty; easy finance options are available.
For more information, write Frigette Truck Climate Systems. 1200 West Risinger Road, Fort Worth, TX 76134; call 817-293-5313, Ext. 6503; or go to www.scsfrigette.com.