A new manufacturing business is off to a good start, company officials said.
Go Green APU began operations in mid-April in the former Altoona Beasley Manufacturing Inc. building at 210 E. Plank Road making auxiliary power units for the long-haul, over-the-road trucking industry.
The auxiliary units are two-cylinder, diesel-powered engines that provide HVAC and all other driver comfort needs and replaces the need for the trucks to idle, company President Harry Benjamin said.
In 2010, Benjamin and his group of partners purchased the assets of Black Rock Systems, Reno, Nev., and received $100,000 loans from Altoona-Blair County Development Corp. and the Southern Alleghenies Planning and Development Commission to get the business up and running.
The company also received financial assistance through Reliance Bank and job training services through Pennsylvania CareerLink.
Eighteen states, including Pennsylvania, have enacted laws that prohibit trucks from idling for extensive periods of time. The APUs have proven to be a fuel efficient, cost-effective replacement for the newly illegal idlers.
"This unit uses 0.2 gallons of fuel an hour; it saves wear and tear on the engine," General Manager Ken Wyandt said. "For a truck driver, this should be a smart choice with the price of diesel fuel."
"There is a big demand for these units," Benjamin said. "We estimate the savings is about $800 a month per truck."
Go Green APU has sold 80 of the units, which sell for $10,000 each.
"We expect to make 40 to 50 units a month, that is the plan for now," Benjamin said.
The company employs seven people who work in a 4,000-square-foot section of the former ABMI building, and Benjamin predicts that number will grow to 25 to 30 employees within three years.
The company is getting numerous requests for its units through its website at www.gogreenapu.com and plans to embark on a nationwide marketing campaign.
"We will start advertising in industrial periodicals, going to trade shows and direct marketing to dealers," Benjamin said.
The future of the new company looks bright.
"This is an important after market component for long-haul trucks in the future," Benjamin said. "This goes along with government plans to reduce fuel consumption over time."