Mesilla Valley Transportation, Red Dot choose ClimaCab electric APU

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Mesilla Valley Transportation announced Thursday, Feb. 5, that it is switching to Glacier Bay’s ClimaCab electric auxiliary power unit in its quest to become the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s SmartWay Carrier of the Year and most fuel-efficient fleet in the country.

In addition, Red Dot Corp. announced today, Feb. 6, that ClimaCab will be available to its network of warehouse distributors starting this month. “With tighter restrictions on idling and the unpredictable cost of fuel, more truck owners are looking for a durable high-performance all-electric HVAC solution,” says Robert Gardiner, Red Dot marketing manager. “We’re excited to introduce ClimaCab to our 175 Red Dot distributor locations in the United States and Canada.”

MVT currently holds the highest possible SmartWay rating, and was the first to integrate idle reduction technology into 100 percent of its fleet. In addition to eliminating idling, MVT’s complete fuel efficiency program has included installing more than 3,000 trailer “skirts” and offering driver bonuses for best mileage.

Now, the company is making the switch from diesel to electric APU systems. “Diesel-powered APUs still burn fuel, and they still need maintenance,” says Royal Jones, president and chief executive officer of Las Cruces, N.M.-based MVT.

Glacier Bay says its ClimaCab electric APU uses no fuel, requires no maintenance and has no emissions. The intelligent power management module with Start Assist is designed to ensure optimum battery charging and eliminate jump starts, according to the company.

“I like that ClimaCab charges truck batteries first, and how it optimizes battery charge parameters to extend battery life,” Jones says. “Start Assist is a saving on its own. A jump start can cost up to $300, but with ClimaCab the expense and hassle is eliminated.”

Jones says MVT’s field test of the ClimaCab system demonstrated outstanding performance: On a 100-degree Fahrenheit day, sitting in full sunlight, it reduced cab temperature to 65 degrees in less than an hour and maintained that temperature for the duration of the test. “We like ClimaCab better because it does what it says it’s going to do,” he says. “I would recommend ClimaCab to anyone.”

Glacier Bay says its ClimaCab battery-powered HVAC system provides 10 consecutive hours of 8,000 BTUs/hr of cab and sleeper cooling, and quietly and efficiently generates heat from a radiant panel. According to the company, ClimaCab installs quickly and cleanly with no ducting.

The ClimaCab system has five components: a Power Management Module designed to optimize battery charge while minimizing power drain; an evaporator designed to vary fan speed for optimal comfort; a condenser; a touchscreen control; and a battery bank mounting platform for four deep-cycle AGM batteries.

The ClimaCab system recharges the batteries during normal truck operation and is compatible with 135-amp alternators, providing comfort even in the harshest environments, Glacier Bay says; together, the components weigh 193 pounds, not including batteries.

“ClimaCab fits right in with the HVAC systems and components that Red Dot offers,” Gardiner says. “Its clean installation, longer run times, minimal maintenance and faster return on investment than fuel-fired APUs make this a great addition to our catalog of products.”

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