Scaling Cleaner Freight Movement

Fuel-Operated / Diesel-Fired Heaters

Fuel-operated or diesel-fired heaters use diesel fuel to provide heat to the sleeper cab (bunk or air heaters) or to provide heat to the truck engine (water or coolant heaters). Both types of heaters can operate when the truck’s engine is off, therefore avoiding idling. However, these systems do not provide any cooling or AC electric power to the cab. There are two types of fuel-operated/diesel-fired heaters:


Relatively inexpensive to purchase and maintain.

Fuel Efficiency
Generally burn less than 0.1 gallons of fuel per hour. An idling diesel engine will consume between 0.6 to 1 gallon of fuel per hour. On average a fuel-operated air heater will use approximately a gallon of fuel during a 24-hour period.

Easy to Install
Install easily usually under or behind the sleeper, do not require frame free space. Available as factory installed options from all truck OEMs. Integrate with other idle-reduction technologies, and are often sold in combination with other idle-reduction technologies.

Reduced Noise and Emissions
They operate very quietly and produce minimal emissions.

Vehicle Performance Enhancements
Eliminate difficult truck engine cold starts. Pre-warmed engines deliver cab heat and defrost windows more quickly upon engine start up, and warm engines produce fewer engine emissions at start-up.

No Electrical Connection Required
Provide higher heating capacity than engine block heaters and do not requite AC power electrical connections.

Easy to Use
Can be programmed for remote start-up without driver interface.

Factory Installed
Available as a factory-installed options from all truck OEMs.


Limited Functionality
Only provide bunk heat and do not meet the other driver needs — air conditioning or AC power for hotel loads — nor do they provide engine pre-heat.

Affect Battery State of Charge
Use the truck’s main engine batteries for their power, and therefore can drain those batteries over long periods of use.

Emit some exhaust as they burn fuel.

To learn more, download the Idle Reduction Confidence Report.
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