A great many fleets have wanted to give up truck engine idling for years, which is no surprise when you consider the substantial financial and environmental benefits to be gained. What has surprised some industry observers, however, is their general reluctance to act. If it is such a smart business decision, why have so few carriers actually implemented an anti-idling solution? Why the hesitancy? Why the delay?
At Ulti-Max, we believe that fleets have been waiting for “the” solution, for a single idling reduction technology or system to emerge from the pack. In other words, they have been waiting for the confidence to act. When you’re talking about alternatives to idling, that confidence must come in the form of reliability, durability, ease of maintenance and affordability. Especially in today’s operating environment, fleet managers really do need a sure deal. There is not much financial room right now for errors.
A number of systems are available, from shore power options to auxiliary power units. One of these alternatives is our own “Ulti-Max Idle Eliminator.” In fact, we believe that it will emerge as the breakaway solution fleets have been waiting for—the sure deal—providing fleets with the confidence to finally take action to reduce idling.
For example, one of the main issues with portable power has been the engine that runs the system. Instead of a two-cylinder water-cooled engine, we use our own air-cooled, direct-injected, single-cylinder, four-stroke, 11-horsepower, diesel engine developed specifically for industrial applications. We also couple the generator head directly to the engine, so there are no belts to break or wear out.
The Ulti-Max Idle Eliminator is completely self-contained, as well, so users do not have to cut into the truck’s systems to install it. The system includes the engine, an alternator/generator for power, a proprietary sleeper HVAC system, four duplex receptacles for 120-volt AC power, plus a sleeper-mounted digital LCD control panel for all system functions. Thanks to its “plug and play” design, the system can be installed in about five hours and removed for installation on another vehicle in less than two.
Burning only about 0.2 gallons of diesel per hour (at 80% load), the system is capable of producing 2.5 kw of electrical heat or 10,000 Btus and 12,000 Btus of cooling, plus 12 volts of DC power at 45 amps to maintain truck batteries and 6,500 watts of AC power with true AVR (automatic voltage regulator). On the outside of the generator enclosure there are also shore power hookups, enabling the whole system to run on AC power if it is available. With routine maintenance, the system is designed to give many years and thousands of hours of reliable service.
The generator enclosure and all related components are manufactured for Ulti-Max by Panelite, which is also our master distributor. We are proud of the new Ulti-Max Idle Eliminator and of the contribution it will make to the nation’s clean air initiatives. We are also proud to bring fleets an idling reduction solution in which they can have the confidence they need to move ahead.