(March 28) Government may not always move swiftly, but when it throws an opportunity business’s way, the response can be fast and furious.

A month after U.S. Rep. Kay Granger, R-Texas, introduced a bill that would reward trucking companies that installed idling-reduction devices in their vehicles, one industry leader has rolled out a product that does just that.

Idling-reduction devices allow truckers to use their heat, air-conditioning and other functions without running their engines.

The TriPac auxiliary power unit made by Thermo King Corp., Minneapolis, Minn., differs from other such units on the market in its use of a fuel-fired heater and the company’s patented Cycle Sentry start/stop technology to achieve maximum fuel efficiency, according to a company news release.

In cold climates, the TriPac engine will only operate if battery-charging or engine block heating is required. If it’s not required, only the fuel-fired heater will operate to warm the cab while consuming minimal fuel.

When battery charging and block heat are necessary, TriPac can automatically start to address and satisfy the needs and then shut down to save fuel. The result is a system that runs substantially fewer engine hours than other units, saving fuel, reducing maintenance costs and extending engine life, according to the release.

A tractor integration option on the TriPac allows the system to start up automatically when the truck engine is turned off, which ensures a charged truck battery and warm engine block when it’s time to restart the engine.

Because the TriPac’s components don’t have to mounted next to each other, the system can be installed on several truck makes and models.

For example, the engine assembly component could be mounted on the truck frame rails, the air-conditioning evaporator and fuel-fired heater under the sleeper bunk, the condenser on the rear cab wall and the control panel on the interior wall of the sleeper berth.

In February, the American Trucking Associations, Alexandria, Va., endorsed Rep. Granger’s proposed 25% tax credit, worth up to $1,000 for each idling-reduction device purchased by trucking companies.

Idling-reduction devices can include direct-fired heaters, which cost about $900; battery-powered air conditioners ($4,300); and auxiliary power units/generator sets ($7,750).