Idle reduction equipment was originally developed with the long-haul, over-the-road operator in mind. Today, however, more and more day-cab operators are finding that idle reduction systems make good sense for their businesses, too, either because of idling restrictions or to reduce fuel costs while still keeping drivers comfortable during their work shifts.
At Altec Industries Inc., for example, the utility truck manufacturer is offering Dometic's battery-based a/c system on hybrid vehicles that provide an electrical drive for aerial devices. “We wanted some sort of cab comfort system for workers on trucks equipped with Eaton's hybrid drive system (or other worksite energy management system) which enables engine-off operation of the aerial devices,” says Greg Loew, market manager for Altec. “Workers still want to get into a cooled cab after being up in the bucket for an hour or two, even though the truck's engine has been shut down the whole time. The Dometic system works; it satisfies user needs.”
According to Loew, the company has installed Dometic systems on about 45 trucks so far, most of which are in operation in the Southern California Edison fleet. “Southern California Edison and Altec went to Dometic at the same time,” he says, “and we both went to Eaton together. California has had a big impact and it will continue to do so,” he adds. “There is a lot going on with idle reduction for the over-the-road segment, but there are also lots of opportunities for worksite applications like this.”
Day cabs also represent an emerging market for providers of engine-off heating solutions, such as Espar heater systems. “We feel inner cities with high-density traffic are under special pressure to reduce their carbon footprint,” notes John Dennehy, vp-marketing and communications for Espar Heater Systems. “Therefore, smaller systems like ours will have a higher impact and growing use in day cabs.”