The Total Truck Heat System from Idle Free Systems Inc. completely eliminates the need for discretionary idling in cold weather conditions. The system consists of a coolant heater and an auxiliary AGM battery that work together to provide heat for both the truck's sleeper bunk and the engine, keeping the driver warm and ensuring an easy start in the cold.
According to Robert Hopton, chief executive officer for Idle Free Systems, the Total Truck Heat system eliminates the need to idle the truck's engine for interior heat (cab or bunk) and engine heat.
"By offering a system that provides heat for both the truck's interior and the engine, we provide drivers what they need to eliminate engine idling." he said. "Given the current price of diesel fuel, an investment in this system today will provide a return on investment of only 12 weeks for the average over-the-road truck."
While there are other anti-idling heat solutions on the market, only the Total Truck Heat system includes an independent auxiliary battery. This feature separates the Total Truck Heat system from the truck's electrical system and never places the truck in a condition where it will not start.
How it works
When the driver initially shuts down the truck, the Total Truck Heat system takes advantage of the residual heat generated by the engine and circulates the heated coolant through the bunk's heater core, the cab's heater core, and the engine block. The electrical energy needed to move the coolant, monitor the coolant temperature, and maintain interior climate control is provided by the independent auxiliary AGM battery. When the coolant temperature falls to 140 degrees, the system's ultra-efficient diesel-fired coolant heater is automatically activated.
The system is capable of producing more than 17,000 BTUs per hour. If run continuously, the system will use less than 12 ounces of fuel per hour.
The auxiliary AGM battery can provide power to the system for 10+ hours and never compromise the truck's starter batteries. The auxiliary AGM battery is automatically charged whenever the trucks engine is running. This independent auxiliary battery is automatically separated from the trucks batteries when the trucks engine is turned off.
"This preserves the integrity of the truck's starter batteries," says Robert Jordan, chief technology officer for Idle Free Systems. "And will give drivers peace of mind that the truck will start in the morning."
Ease of installation
The Total Truck Heat System can be installed on any diesel work truck. The system consists of several components that can be mounted on the truck's exterior in a variety of locations & configurations. In addition to the AGM battery, battery separator and coolant heater, there is a battery box, power module, frame mounting brackets and optional programmable timer.
The system can be easily installed by a certified technician at either an Idle Free dealer or by a fleet's own technicians. The system only takes about three hours to install.
The optional programmable timer can be programmed to turn on at a designated time so when drivers arrive for work in the morning, the engine block will be warm and ready to start. This eliminates the need to plug a truck's block heater into a 120 volt outlet. The benefit to having the coolant heater pre-heat the engine block is that the entire engine block will be heated, not just the area where the electric block heater is installed.
The Total Truck Heat system requires no regular maintenance -- just a yearly fuel filter change and an inspection of the system's electrical connections.
"Maintenance is minimal," says Jordan. "In the future all trucks will use a system like this because this system addresses multiple issues and pays for itself in months not years."