Fleet Challenges

The current state of the economy has taken its toll on many industries. The reason for
this is likely tied up in the toll it has taken on fleets across the country. With the dramatic
increases in inflation, fuel, equipment, and labor costs, companies are struggling to keep up.
This is forcing a higher cost onto the consumer directly for just about every good and service
across the board. This is unlikely to settle for quite some time. Manufacturer delays are so
common now that fleets have been forced to focus on preventative maintenance as their top
priority.
Maintenance costs were down in the year 2020 due to the COVID19 pandemic. As things
started reopening and customers started placing more orders, maintenance costs increased in
2021. Now that we are halfway through 2022 we are seeing even greater maintenance costs
across the board. There has been a 20.4% increase in repair costs since the year 2020 just to
2022. This is more than a little inflation that companies could have anticipated. In order to help
get in front of the small problems that could exist and in order to prevent them becoming large
maintenance items, companies are now recommended to check their APUs more often than
ever. APUs help reduce idling with can help to prevent large maintenance items in the long-run.
Repairs have become so costly that they are now placed in order of priority. Repairs that
are a safety concern are taken care of immediately. Drivers need to be kept safe while on the
road at all times in order to protect themselves and others. Repairs that impact the reliability of
the vehicle are next in line. Finally, convenience items are taken care of last. If you are worried
about the ongoing maintenance of your fleet, we highly recommend taking the preventative
maintenance approach.mechanic

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How Do APU’s Work?

With gas prices skyrocketing you may have noticed a significant increase in your
monthly bills both personally and in your fleet. It is no surprise that the high gas prices have put
a strain on truck drivers. Luckily, APUs act as a secondary energy source for semi-trucks. This
secondary energy source allows for the heating and cooling of the interior of the truck cab. In
fact, anti-idling laws have even made it illegal for trucks to sit idling. This would mean that a
truck driver would be forced to turn off all power to their cab and be without heat, air, or any
electricity. This would mean that truck drivers could not survive out on the road – at least not
within their own cabs. This would increase hotel stays and overall expenses for fleet
management to unmanageable levels.
APUs can be powered by a few different sources. First, an APU for sale can be powered
by electricity. These APUs work by operating through cell batteries. They can vary by the size of
the vehicle and how often they need to be changed really varies dependent upon how often
the APU is used. Electric APUs require little to no annual maintenance. Auxiliary power units
can also be powered by combustion provided that fuel is available. This type of APU does
require annual maintenance. A diesel powered APU for sale can last a significant distance but
does require fuel. However, you will get more out of the diesel powered engine than what you
put into it.
Of course the biggest advantage to consider with an APU is the environmental benefits.
APUs help to save the planet by reducing emissions into the environment. Idling for even a
short period of time releases harmful emission into the air that we all breathe.gas

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How Harmful Is Idling?

There are now 29 states with active idling law regulations in place. These laws are in
place for good reason, as idling for 10 seconds uses more fuel and produces more CO2 than
restarting your engine does! Over time and with an excessive number of vehicles on the road,
these emissions can wreak havoc on the environment. Running vehicles emit significant CO2
which is a colorless and odorless gas. What happens to the environment when more and more
CO2 is emitted is that heat becomes trapped. This is called the enhanced greenhouse effect.
Over time this can dramatically alter the earth’s climate.
Vehicles also produce volatile organic compounds, carbon monoxide, and oxides of
nitrogen. All of these gases are toxic and when produced in abundance are extremely harmful
to the environment. Something to consider when running a fleet of vehicles that may be idling
is the health of the drivers. The drivers have direct exposure to all of these harmful chemical
day after day while on the job. This can cause long-term health problems and increase costs for
your business, not to mention you want to protect your drivers at all cost.
Luckily, APU Center has an abundance of solutions that will not only save the health of
your drivers, but it will help save your bottom line as well. If you need assistance on selecting
the right APU for your fleet of vehicles we are happy to help. We have cost-saving solution tools
that will help you realize your total cost savings by making the switch. The best benefit to APU
usage is the health of the environment and the health of your drivers. It can be an initial
investment to your company upfront but will save you significantly long-term and the payback
happens quickly.idling

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What Are Idling Laws?

Idling laws are necessary for the better good of the environment. There are
now 29 states that have adopted idling laws. What is idling exactly? Idling is the
process in which you run your engine while the vehicle is stationary. Idling actually
accounts for over 6 billion gallons of fuel into the air every year! This is an
incredible amount of waste. Our environment across the globe would benefit greatly
from a reduction in idling emissions not to mention the fuel cost savings. Enter the
evolution of the APU, the auxiliary power unit! This specialty device is created with
idling emissions in mind!
The increase in exhaust into the environment can lead to asthma, cancer,
cardiac disease, and various other health concerns. Lowering idling emissions
through the use of an APU is beneficial on so many levels. In fact, as many as three
times as many people die from air pollution related illnesses than car accidents
every year. Everyday consumers idle without even realizing it, for example in the
school car pick up line or in the drive through line as well. Truck drivers idle on a
more necessary basis for regulating the cabin temperature or charging important
devices. Idling laws typically limit idling for 3-5 minutes for most states. This is
where the APU becomes necessary for truck drivers. The use of an APU allows truck
drivers the ability to still use their main cabin without idling.apu
Many states are offering grants, loans, and even tax credits for adopting idle
reduction technologies like APUs. We are happy to help make sure that you find the
appropriate APU for your vehicle and can help maintain and manage all APUs for
your entire fleet if necessary. We look forward to helping you save money and
reduce idling emissions into the environment.

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The Evolution of the APU

Auxiliary Power Units have been around for quite a long time, but it has taken hundreds of years to get to the APU for sale that you see today! You can’t beat the luxuries that APU’s are able to offer drivers and cost-savings they offer fleet management. But where did it all begin? During WWI, the British Coastal class blimps carried a 1.75 horsepower auxiliary engine. This engine powered a generator for a radio transmitter. The auxiliary engine could power the air blower in an emergency as well. One of the first military fixed-wing aircrafts to use an APU was the British aircraft named Supermarine Nighthawk. 

During WWII many American military aircrafts were now carrying APUs. These units became known as “putt-putts.” The putt-putt provided power for starting the main engines and was used until the aircraft reached 10,000 feet in the air. The putt-putt was also restarted when the plane prepared to descend for a safe landing. The first German jet engines in WWII used an APU starting system. This system was designed by Norber Riedel and had a 10 horsepower, 2-stroke flat engine hidden in the intake diverter. This was an excellent example of future auxiliary power units for starting a jet engine. 

The Boeing 727 in 1963 was the first jetliner to feature a gas turbine APU which allowed the aircraft to operate out of a smaller airport. It is important not to take for granted the increased technology we have readily available at our fingertips today. We have many options when it comes to an APU for sale that will save thousands in dollars as well as improve the comfort of every driver on the road. If you have any questions about our APUs for sale we would be happy to help.

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Caring for your Tires

Your tires are one of the main elements of your vehicle as they are what allows you to reach each destination. When it comes to maintaining your tires, here are a few tips that will help you to stay safe on the road. 

 

Have the right tires: Although it may sound basic, with so many different tires on the market, having the right one will make all the difference. Considering the load carry capacity, size, elements that may occur along the routes, etc are all factors that should be considered. Keeping up with regular maintenance and inspections assist in keeping high performance and safety.

 

Watch your speed: When you have found the right tire for your truck, make sure to have a clear understanding of the maximum speed rating. This is the number that drivers should go by, not necessarily what the highway speed limits are. Tire related accidents and dangers to the public can be avoided by drivers watching their speed, especially when sharing the road with other drivers. 

 

Tire Inspection: Drivers need to be hands on with every part of their truck and understand as much of it as possible. Tires need to be inspected for cuts, cracks, flat spotting and more. Although it may take time, doing this routinely will help keep you and others safe on the road.

 

Cold Inflation: Maintaining an even weight distribution can be difficult during changing weather conditions. Since tires change with cold and hot weather, they need to be checked during temperature fluctuations. Without the right inflation, tires can experience heavy tread damage which can only cause further problems. Experts say that cold inflation pressure is most accurately measured when tires have been parked for a minimum of three hours which gives the tires a chance to adjust resulting in the most accurate reading. 

 

Making sure that your truck is running at peak efficiency is what we do best. We offer new and refurbished APU’s both online and at our storefront which saves you time and money while on the road. We also carry evolution parts in our extensive inventory.

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3 of the Longest Trucking Routes in the USA

Being a trucker comes with its own set of responsibilities and requirements but those that do long haul trucking are in their own category. These folks operate and take care of heavy trucks and also live life on the road. Here we are looking at several of the longest routes that long haul truckers take in the USA.

 

Interstate 90 has the unique characteristic of being the longest interstate freeway in the United States. Starting in Seattle, Washington, this route crosses into states like Montana, South Dakota, and Pennsylvania before ending in Boston, Massachusetts. Of course, you can always go the other way and start in Boston. To complete this route, drivers travel a total of about 3,020 mile. Along the way drivers will cross 2 famous floating bridges, the Homer Hadley Memorial Bridge and the Lacey V. Murrow Memorial Bridge in Washington.

 

Also ending or starting in Boston is the “Big Daddy” of roads. At a total of 3,365 miles, Boston to Newport, Oregon has a lot to see during the drive on Route 20. Along with beautiful views of nature, this coast to coast road is the longest highway in the nation. It is a road that is not only taken by truckers but also by those folks that love a hardcore road trip.

Living life on the road can be an isolating experience but the road on Route 50 has been labeled “the loneliest route in America,” and was given the title in 1986. Not much has changed since then and the route has long stretches of little to no people living in the areas that drivers cross. From Ocean City, Maryland to Sacramento, California, the roughly 3,010 miles is scenic for those that appreciate silence and peacefulness of the road.

However long you spend on the road, having the right APU can make a difference. We carry brands like Dynasys and Thermo King APUs to serve you while you are on the road. Stop idling and start saving time and money with the right APU for your truck.

 

 

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Diesel vs Electric APUs

When it comes to choosing the right APU for your truck, there are a variety of factors to consider. You have already made the most important choice of installing an APU into your truck, which will save you time and money on the road. Determining if you are going to use a diesel or electric APU is the next step in the process. Here is a brief breakdown of both types so that you have a better understanding and can make the most informed decision depending on the type of trucking you do.

 

Diesel APUs are ideal for drivers who spend the majority of their time in either areas that are very cold or areas that are very hot. They are run by a small diesel engine that runs with the rest of your truck. They have more power than their electric counterparts and can therefore generally last longer than 10 hours, allowing for maximum rest time for drivers. More power also means that more electric parts can run while the truck is powered down without the fear of the APU running out of steam. On the downside, they require more preventative maintenance and more specific knowledge. The maintenance for a diesel APU needs to be kept up to avoid nasty consequences. They also need belt and oil changes to run at maximum efficiency.

 

On the other hand, electric APUs were designed for a different driver in mind. A driver who only spends a few nights in a row on the road may prefer an electric APU. This form was designed for moderate temperatures and for drivers who have the ability and time to recharge their APUs at home. While they may not require much additional maintenance, they still need batteries and an understanding of energy efficiency to make the most out of each charge.

 

Regardless of which type of APU you choose, just having one will make your job easier. Less idle time is not only better on fuel costs, but also on taking care of the truck in the long run. We carry parts for Thermo King APUs as part of our commitment to keeping you safe on the road.

 

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What to Look for in Truck Driver Training Programs

There are many different programs out there that teach you how to drive a semi truck. They often assist you with learning the written materials as well so that you can pass both tests in order to get your Class A CDL. It is important to look into the qualifications of such truck driver training programs though. You want a quality program that is going to teach you valuable skills. It can be very dangerous to place new trainees into the workforce with a CDL when they don’t have sufficient training. You also want one that is affordable. Many of the accredited truck driver training programs offer financial aid to help assist with the cost of attendance. They will also work out payment plans to assist you with paying for the remainder or if you don’t qualify for any type of financial assistance.

 

There are many instances where you can get your truck driver training paid for by an employer. Still, you have to look closely at what they require in return. Most of them will require you to sign a contract that you will work for their company for a specified amount of time. If you are fired or voluntarily leave the company before that span of time you will be responsible for repaying the company for the cost of your training.

 

The length of the truck driver training program is very important too. Some of them claim that they can get you in and out in a couple of weeks. While this may seem appealing, keep in mind that there is plenty to learn about driving a semi truck. You don’t want to be rushed and you don’t want to be on the road on your own before you are ready. Find a program that is full time and is at least four weeks long.

 

Ask about the curriculum of the program so that you can see for yourself what information will be covered. You should also ask about class sizes so you can find out if you will be able to have your specific needs met by the program. Don’t be shy about asking about the qualifications of their instructors either. The more experience they have in the classroom and driving a semi truck, the more firsthand information they will be able to share with you.

 

It can be very exciting to learn how to drive a semi truck, and having your Class A CDL can open up many wonderful job opportunities for you. Selecting the right training program is essential for you to establish a solid foundation upon which to build. Knowing the basics of how to operate a semi truck, the rules of the road, hours of operation, and being safe should all be a part of any quality truck driving training program. Don’t settle for anything less since it may result in you not having the skills you need to succeed in this career.

 

Driving a semi requires a great deal of knowledge and experience. It also requires you to have a vehicle that is performing at peak efficiency so that you can handle unavoidable emergencies that can surprise even the most skilled driver. You can improve the efficiency of your truck with an auxiliary power unit (APU). An APU can help increase gas efficiency and reduce idling time. We sell APUs at a reasonable price and can even perform auxiliary power maintenance on your existing unit.

 

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What are the Tax Deductions for Owner Operator Truck Drivers?

Filing taxes is never a pleasant event, but it is necessary. Most owner operators have a variety of expenses they incur during the course of their business that they can deduct. Taking these deductions means that you as an owner/operator could end up paying less income tax. Let’s look at some common deductions for truck drivers

 

First, you will be able to depreciate the value of your truck over the course of several years. The amount you can take depends on the purchase price of the equipment. If you sell a truck or trailer during the year you should know that you will have to count that as income because you have already taken some of the depreciation on the equipment. You should also be able to deduct the interest you pay on your truck payments and trailer payments. However, you aren’t allowed to deduct the actual payments.

 

Next, there are the tolls and fees for scales that truck drivers have to pay along their routes. These fees can be deducted as well. Make sure you keep track of what you pay for showers, truck parts, maintenance, and repairs. All of these items are deductible. You don’t need to keep your receipts for meals because the government gives you a per diem rate that you can claim. However, you do need to make sure you keep track of the number of days you are out on the road so that you can figure the deduction.

 

Clothing can’t be deducted unless it is specifically for work related services. For example, you can claim a bright orange vest and a hard hat that are required to be in a construction zone for which you may be delivering materials. However, you can’t claim your jeans, tennis shoes, and shirts because they aren’t considered to be a required uniform for work. You also can’t claim any traffic tickets or attorney fees you have to pay. Often, truck drivers try to deduct these expenses on their tax return. The result is they end up getting a bill from the IRS telling them they owe more money. Fuel is the most common expense that truck drivers incur. Make sure you keep a close eye on those receipts because each one will likely be worth $100 or more. Losing these different receipts can really add up during the course of a year, and that means you will have to pay more income tax.

 

Just be careful that you understand that there is a line between what is necessary vs. what is a luxury. Also, consult a tax professional if you have any doubts as to what you can deduct. If you are seeking a way to make your trips more fuel efficient, consider an auxiliary power unit. We sell these fuel saving devices and specialize in auxiliary power unit maintenance.

 

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