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Tuesday, March 2, 2021

The APU has changed the sound of trucking

When Rex Greer of Albuquerque figured out that running the main engine to keep the truck warm for easy starting in the morning and comfortable sleeping in the sleeper, he was looking to save money. He didn’t know where else it would lead.

Rex created the first Pony Pack where he hooked up an auxiliary engine up to existing cooling system of the main engine. Pony Pack had it’s own alternator so it could charge the batteries and run the lights and interior electrical needs to provide cabin comfort. In the process, Rex saved the cost of his Pony Pack in fuel that very first winter and then he started to see the other advantages. This was done long before the “green” movement even considered the term “global warming” and “carbon footprint”.

When Rex first approached politicians trying to get advantages for APU users, they laughed at him and would throw him out of their offices. Now, politicians are falling all over themselves not just to be green but to appear green.

In the old days, before Rex had his vision, you could go into a truck stop and of the hundred or so trucks parked at night, every one, would be spewing visible smoke and the smell of diesel fuel was very evident. Now, you go into a truck stop and most of the trucks will have the main engine shut down and a small engine is running very quietly, and the amount of fuel being wasted keeping the driver warm has been reduced to possibly several litres for the mandated rest period as opposed to the five to eight gallons the main engine would have burned.
Today there are half a dozen APU manufacturers and these little engines are doing yeoman service. Not only is this APU saving money, it’s saving a huge carbon foot print. From Rex’s original purpose, now the APU can provide house current, to run computers, televisions, communications equipment, refrigerators and cooking tops. No doubt the APU played a big role in protecting life and limb in Buffalo recently.

Thank you Rex.