Idling Alternatives for Truck Climate Control, Electrification

What idling alternatives exist for CMVs and truckers?Assuming that drivers need climate control and electrification, what idling alternatives are there?

We are aware of these:

  • don't idle and do without both climate control and electrification (no matter the temperature, humidity, smells, noise, insects, etc. even if window screens are used);

  • connect to shore power such as CabAire or IdleAir if it is available (but pay for it, possibly out of your own pocket);

  • plug into external electrification (that is, run a power cord from the truck to an electrical receptacle outside the truck -- although this may not provide climate control);

  • install and use a diesel-powered auxiliary power unit (APU);

  • rely on a battery-powered climate control device (until the charge on the batteries run down -- although this may not provide electrification);

  • install a generator (assuming you have the room to mount one on your truck and that it will provide the functionality you need); or

  • go outside the truck (such as the driver's lounge at a truck stop, one of your trucking company's terminals or get a hotel/motel room).

Idling alternatives: 7 options

We plan to discuss APUs as idling alternatives separately, including aspects such as the payback, weight-related issues, maintenance, repair, portability and tax deductibility.


Assume for a brief moment that a driver wanted

  • climate control and electrification (the creature comforts of setting up his or her "home sweet home") and

  • a way to help his/her trucking company save money once idling costs are calculated,

  • but his/her company is not willing to foot the bill to pay for an APU even when summer heat makes a hot truck.

Besides providing our empowerment idea, we have envisioned this proposition.

Trucker-Focused Media

As a courtesy, we are providing links to a number of articles on the subject from Land Line Magazine:

truck drivers money saving tip iconMoney saving tip: From a health-preserving standpoint, we do not recommend that OTR drivers suffer in a hot truck.

Instead, we recommend that you explore viable, low cost idling alternatives.

Because you may seldom be parked at a truck stop that has systems like Idle Air, a truck-mounted system like an auxiliary power unit (APU) that is not dependent on the charge on a set of batteries works best.

Return from Idling Alternatives for Truck Climate Control, Electrification to our Truck Operations page or our Truck Drivers Money Saving Tips home page.


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