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We Reviewed Four Diesel Auxiliary Power Units

Due to tightening regulations regarding truck idling, along with increasing truck fuel and maintenance costs, Auxiliary Power Units have become an integral part of today’s trucking fleets. Particulate reduction regulations in the Nation’s Ports and heavily traveled truck corridors require companies to significantly reduce truck idling time. Additionally, since fuel and maintenance play a significant part in fleet profitability, APU’s are quickly becoming a “must have” in today’s trucking environment.

With over a dozen APU manufacturers in North America building electric and diesel APU’s, we decided to concentrate on 4 diesel manufacturers. This is what we found.

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Comparison of Four Diesel Auxiliary Power Units


GreenAPU2Built by truckers for truckers, Green APU is a top pick for auxiliary power units. Green APU is the most reliable, durable, easy-to-maintain and cost-effective auxiliary power unit that we have reviewed. Green APU has recently launched its’ fifth generation, spring tensioned, single belt Star Edition. Green APU has strategic maintenance and service alliances with Pilot/Flying J, RC Trailer, R.B Humphreys and Capital City Leasing, plus 24/7 lifetime tech support. In 10 years of operations Green APU now has thousands of units on the road and thousands of satisfied customers.


ProbaThermoking2bly the oldest and best-known player in the transportation refrigeration market, Thermo King has been designing and manufacturing refrigerated units for the supply chain since WWII making them the “Budweiser” of APU’s; although, I much prefer an excellent microbrew. Mass design, manufacturing and sales are great for name recognition but smaller, faster companies like Green APU can quickly design and incorporate improvements at a faster rate. Also having a huge corporation means you have a lot of overhead to cover so it’s possible that some planned obsolescence and huge parts network keep the elephant fed. Still an excellent unit, Thermo King is here to stay.


Carrier2Carrier is a multi-national behemoth that cut their teeth developing and selling commercial and residential temperature control equipment. About 40 years ago Carrier got involved in maritime refrigeration systems for commercial fishing vessels, bulk carriers and marine/intermodal containers. Building a steady reputation in marine and intermodal refrigerated equipment, Carrier has more recently ventured into the domestic truck market design and selling trailer refrigeration, and even more recently ADU’s. Although Carrier has likely built a good unit, it’s a little too early to tell if their price/service ROI will be competitive with the rest.


Much like Rigmaster2Green APU, Rigmaster is a smaller (but not small), faster company than the next two contenders. That said at north of $9500 for the unit alone (uninstalled), they are not exactly the cheapest guy on the block. Some historic issues with noise and maintenance cost noted, Rigmaster’s new unit was designed to address these issues. An outlier among the four units featured here, Rigmaster uses a Kohler drive motor as opposed to Kubota. Rigmaster is a Canadian Company that sold its’ first unit in the US in 1997 and (as such) has built a strong network of dealers throughout the U.S. and Canada.

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About the Author

Dave Tremblay has more than 40 years of experience in the Logistics Industry, including middle and senior management positions as Corp. Logistics Manager of Mattel Toys and The Walt Disney Company and Vice President and President roles at Sterling Logistics and PMT Logistics. Additionally, Dave served as Chairman and President of the Los Angeles Harbor Transportation Club and spent 10 years as an instructor for Cal State Long Beach’s CITT Global Logistics Certification Program. Dave currently serves as an Internet Marketing Specialist and Logistics Category Expert for Riviera Finance.

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