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Home > Feature Articles > Logistics and Vehicle Fleet Management > Trucking & Logistics for Efficiency, Fuel Savings, and Air Quality

Trucks Plug in at Loading Docks Using Thermo King

Thermo King and WalMart co-develop trucking efficiency equipment including APUs and reefer units

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house home Thermo King and Wal-Mart have a long history of promoting new product solutions, including the SPECTRUMTM multi-temperature trailer reefer unit and the TriPacTM Hybrid Auxiliary Idle Reduction and Temperature Management System. Products such as these were developed by Thermo King, tested in conjunction with Wal-Mart, and have since become the leading products in their respective categories.

Today, every one of Wal-Mart’s fleet of approximately 6,000 refrigerated trailers is equipped with a SPECTRUM (a three-zone, multi-temperature reefer unit for trailers with a 30-foot frozen compartment in the middle) and the unit has become the industry benchmark for multi-temp performance.

TriPac system also came about as a way for Wal-Mart to address a specific need: the company loved the efficiency of the Espar cab heaters they were using, but wanted air conditioning as well. Wal-Mart played a key role in the testing of the TriPac system, which is now the best-selling auxiliary power unit on the market.

Thermo King Products Provide Clean, Efficient Performance Thermo King’s SPECTRUM SB with the SmartReefer2™ (SR-2) controller provides Wal-Mart with numerous environmentally-friendly features. The unit is available with electric standby, which allows it to use electricity during loading and stationary operation, reducing fuel consumption, diesel emissions, maintenance and noise. The hybrid model 50 units offer electric-to-diesel-switching as a standard feature, and all models feature bio-diesel compatible engines. Another important environmental edge provided by the SPECTRUM SB is the TK486V engine, which meets EPA Tier 4 emission requirements, exceeds current Tier 2 requirements and meets all EPA requirements through 2012. The engine used by the competition does not go beyond Tier 2.

Supply Chain The SPECTRUM SB also offers the EMI-3000 Extended Maintenance Interval, which allows for 3,000 hours between scheduled maintenances, resulting in less waste oil, less spillage and fewer used filters that require disposal. Maintenance costs are also reduced up to 45 percent over competitive models.

As California may soon require plugging in at loading docks, Wal-Mart has begun testing of the SPECTRUM SB 50, the multi-temp hybrid unit that meets the proposed legislation.

Thermo King’s newly expanded, state-of-the-art Frederick McKinley Jones Research and Development Center provides an ideal laboratory for testing and development of the technologies for the future, and Thermo King is ready to deliver them.

Thermo King Corporation, a business unit of diversified industrial firm Ingersoll-Rand Company Limited, was founded in 1938 and manufactures transport temperature control systems for a variety of mobile applications, including trailers, truck bodies, buses, shipboard containers and railway cars. The company operates 10 manufacturing facilities and 17 parts distribution centers worldwide. Sales and service is provided by a global dealer network of 865 independently owned companies in 75 countries. For more information, access the Thermo King web site at

Edited by Carolyn Allen, owner/editor of California Green Solutions
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