Kenworth Idle Management System keeps drivers cool

Kenworth Idle Management System keeps drivers cool

It’s a simple concept: store power generated by the truck’s engine while driving, and use it later to keep the driver cool during a rest period.
Peters Brothers and HillCrest Transportation have found that specifying the new Kenworth Idle Management System—available for the Kenworth T680 76-inch sleeper—saves money and keeps long-haul drivers comfortable with engine-off cooling and heating during off-duty rest periods and wait times at depots.
The factory-installed Kenworth Idle Management System stores power from the T680’s engine in four dedicated Paccar batteries to provide air conditioning directly through the Kenworth T680’s ducting system during the driver’s rest period. An optional fuel-fired heater provides full engine-off heating capability.
The AC system’s small under-bunk footprint maintains storage space for drivers and passengers. Full on-board controls in the sleeper allow the driver to control both cooling and heating. An LCD display provides the driver full system information to monitor remaining battery power. The batteries recharge to 90% capacity in as little as 4.5 hours.
HillCrest operates seven and Peters Brothers four Kenworth T680 76-inch sleepers with the Kenworth Idle Management System. HillCrest’s T680s delivered a 1.5-mile-per-gallon improvement in fuel economy over the performance of the trucks replaced.
Since trucks in the HillCrest dry-van division run about 120,000 miles annually, and the company has been paying on average close to $4 per gallon for diesel fuel across the country, the 0.5 mpg improvement translates into an annual savings of nearly $7,400.
Peters Brothers officials also wanted an alternative to APUs because of the expense and logistical challenge of maintaining a second engine on the truck.
A coast-to-coast refrigerated trucking company, Peter Brothers has a fleet of 60 trucks domiciled at terminals in Lenhartsville PA and Jefferson WI. It operates its trucks throughout the nation, hauling dairy products, fresh mushrooms, and frozen foods. Each of its trucks travels about 120,000 miles annually.
Generally, Peters Brothers drivers go out for a week to 10 days. Although they don’t spend extended amounts of time in their trucks, they travel in the hottest regions of the country—the South and the Southwest including Arizona and California, said Brian Wanner, general manager for Peters Brothers. With stringent no-idling restrictions in the states they travel, drivers need an alternative to idling their trucks to stay comfortable during rest periods, he said. Providing them that option is a priority.
“The Kenworth Idle Management System provides them the same amount of comfort they get with APUs,” said Wanner. “The system maintains the temperature at a comfortable level for a full rest period even in the hottest weather. It recharges quickly, and before the weather turned warmer, our drivers used the fuel-fired heaters—and they worked great.”
Wanner is also pleased with how much his company’s drivers enjoy driving them.
“Our drivers love the room and quietness of the T680,” he said. “They are very happy with its ride and the level of comfort it offers. I think it will be the truck of the future.”
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