Overdrive Magazine

January 2020

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10 | Overdrive | January 2020 Following the November "Highway Hacks" story about owner-operator Doug Hasner's A/C alternative to a traditional auxiliary power unit – which employed a window unit po- sitioned high on the back wall of the sleeper – UPS-contracted owner-op- erator Mike Greenberg shared his own custom solution. It involves a gasoline-powered Champion gener- ator and an HVAC typically used in buildings — the wall-mount ductless Pioneer Mini Split, also positioned on the sleeper's back wall. "It took me two years to figure this out," Greenberg says. "I checked out all the different aermarket no-idle A/C units" — APUs designed and built for trucking applications. He was looking for simple and solid mounting, easy service and low noise, with no modifications to the truck's bedrock systems required. Total investment for the system was $3,900, well under most APUs purpose-built for tractors, under a third of the price of some. Installa- tion costs, however, are likely to vary considerably depending on the truck, Greenberg emphasizes. He turned to the Custom Colors RV specialist in Port St. Lucie, Florida, for installation. "e workmanship blew me away," he says. "I have had it since July, and no hiccups." Benefits include simplicity, and "the components are serviceable by anyone." Downsides: the need to fill the generator's tank, and the need of a fan to circulate rising hot air from the Pioneer's position, already relatively high on the sleeper's back wall. When the Champion 3,150-watt generator is covered, "I can't hear it" inside, Greenberg says, as the genera- tor typically only runs at 25% of total capacity. He typically gets seven to 10 hours of use out of fewer than two gallons of gas. CUSTOM ALT CLIMATE CONTROL HAS HEAT, TOO The interior portion of the 12K-Btu Pioneer Mini Split HVAC. Mike Greenberg's "tested it to 104 degrees in Vegas," he says, low-30s in St. Louis. "Since the interior unit is above the bunk, I use a floor fan" for circulating heat, he says. California Bay Area newspaper columnist Gary Richards, who writes a "Mr. Roadshow" regular feature, in November seemed to give a big 10-4 to the appropriateness of four-wheelers flashing bright lights as a tractor-trailer passes to signal there's space for a safe merge. e column brought the ire of plenty in the trucking community, including that of trucker Fred Good- win. Many were quick to note that a flash of the lights off and on is the appropriate space-signaling proto- col — not bright lights, particularly at night. Duly, Richards followed up, getting these viewpoints on headlight signals into the discussion. Search "Gary Richards" at OverdriveOnline. com to join the discussion. You'll likewise find a "public service announcement' in the same story that you can feel free to share with your four-wheeled friends. It features Gary Buchs' advice to motorists on avoiding and helping prevent, in some cases, the infu- riatingly common highway-speed cutoff — merging too quickly in front of a truck when passing it at highway speed. Brights vs. blinks: Setting the record straight Flashing high beams, especially at night, blinds the trucker by interfering with night vision. Whoever started this … needs to be drawn and quartered. — Fred Goodwin SHARING KNOWLEDGE WITH FOUR-WHEELED FRIENDS The professionally mounted exterior portion of the unit on the back of Greenberg's 2013 Kenworth T660.

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