19.1 C
New York

Alternative Heating Sources For Truck Drivers


With winter weather fast approaching, it’s best to be prepared for emergency situations.

Last winter, we had a driver reach out to us for help.  He was stuck on a shutdown interstate.  Traffic wasn’t moving, wind chills were below zero, and his fuel had gelled up.  He had no way to stay warm and he was stranded.

Situations like this are frightening, and sub-zero wind chills and temperatures can be deadly.

Here are a few options for alternate heating sources.

WARNING: Before using any indoor heating source, you need to install a carbon monoxide detector.  If you don’t already have one in your truck, get one.  They’re very inexpensive.   Do not use a fuel-powered heater without a carbon monoxide detector! 

Never place any heating source near bedding and other flammable items.

Keep HotHands and ToastyToes and Mega Warmers on hand.  They’re very inexpensive and can help you keep your hands and toes warm. 

[su_box title=”HotHands and ToastyToes and Mega Warmer”]Quick, long-lasting heat Simply open the package and they heat up Easily fits inside your Screen Shot 2014-11-06 at 11.45.40 AMgloves or pocket Each warmer provides up to 10 hours of heat Made in USA Follow this link to purchase HotHands and ToastyToes.   Follow this link to purchase HotHands and ToastyToes.

Screen Shot 2014-11-06 at 12.15.49 PMGrabber Mega Body Warmers 

  • Heat Relief Depot guarantees you fresh stock with long expiration dates!
  • Average Temp: 135 degree F, Maximum Temp: 166 degree F
  • Box of 30 Packs. Keeps You Warm for 12 Plus Hours
  • Size: 4 Inches x 5 Inches


[su_box title=”Heaters “]Big Buddy Heater- $129.66 Big Buddy heats up to 400 square feet for up to 220 hours on low. Dual heating system combines radiant heat comfort with convection heat airflow for maximum heating efficiency. Powerful built-in fan spreads heat evenly. Convenient push-button piezo ignition lights without matches. A heavy-duty wire safety guard and shock-absorbing floating insulation protect the ceramic burner tiles and porcelain-coated reflector. Safety features include automatic low oxygen shut-off and accidental tip-over shut-off. Swing-out cylinder mount makes installing disposable propane cylinders easy. Non-skid pads for extra stability.


Screen Shot 2014-11-06 at 12.02.16 PMLittle Buddy Propane Heater- $60.68 Runs 5 1/2 hours on a 16 oz. disposable cylinder (sold separately). Provides 3800 btu/hour with a simple one-button start. Heats 100 square feet. Features “low oxygen” safety shut-off system and tip-over safety shut-off.

Screen Shot 2014-11-06 at 11.59.39 AM

Mr Heater Portable Buddy Heater – $99.03 The Mr. Heater Portable Buddy Heater is the perfect portable and temporary heat source emergency heat.  It is powerful, portable and convenient. This radiant heater features a 4,000 to 9,000 BTU heating capacity and can deliver soothing warmth to spaces up to 200 square feet.

The heater is approved for safe indoor and outdoor use.  Simply attach a 1-puns propane cylinder, and you’re good to go



Elston Manufacturing  nose mount (H-LC) heaters provide convenient, reliable protection from low temperatures for your cargo. These propane heaters push heat throughout the trailer with an attractive forced-air design optimized for safety, economy, and ease of maintenance. All units come with powering capabilities via a 12 V battery or a 110V standby power supply that allows the heater to run off of shore power.

  • Convenient – Heat is available at the flip of a switch whether the heater has been off for an hour or a month.
  • Economical – This heater is priced significantly less than similar products by our competitors.
  • Reliable – Our nose mount heaters are continuously improved products, refined by thousands of hours of testing.
  • Easy to Maintain and Troubleshoot – with features like a low maintenance design, a hinged cover to access the inside of the heater and electronics mounted on a removable tray.
  • Safe – Many features including safety switches, electronic ignition, and an outside that is cool to the touch, create a safe product.

These cargo and trailer heaters are a functional replacement for the discontinued Thermo King Safetec heaters and a lower cost, lower maintenance alternative to diesel cargo heaters.

“All of our Nose Mount Cargo Heaters meet DOT (Dept. of Transportation) and FMCSA (Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration) standards for transportation of cargo by public highway.”

Elston Manufacturing HC heater provides safe, convenient heat in a robust, compact package. It is built for environments where a heavy duty heater is needed such as mining and construction equipment, as well as beverage and van bodies.

  • Safe – The air needed for combustion is drawn directly from outside and kept completely separate from the inside air so carbon monoxide and other exhaust products are kept from the air you breathe.
  • Compact 19000 BTU Design – At less than one cubic foot (16″ x 12″ x 8″), this propane fueled wall mount heater can fit almost anywhere, yet still puts out lots of heat.
  • Robust – This heater is built to hold up in rough conditions.
  • Replacement for Hunter Heaters – Replaces discontinued models such as the PH20-15A and PH20-16A with a higher efficiency heater that has more modern controls.

The standard H-C-1 model operates on 12 VDC. An additional model, the H-C-24, runs on 24 VDC with an included 24 to 12VDC converter. Installation kits are available for a wide range of setups, including those replacing other companies’ heaters and additional kits are possible. Please contact our sales department for details.



[su_box title=”Battery-Powered Heater “]Sunpentown Portable Handheld Elec. Heater SH-113FB- $38.08 Approximately 7 to 10 hours of heating time High and Low heat settings Heat temperature range: 100 to 113°F Charge time: approximately 5 hours AC charger or USB power.

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[su_box title=”Driver Emergency Tips”]

Sam Forbes

DIY emergency heater

1 metal coffee tin (large)

2 rolls of toilet paper (remove cardboard center)

1 jug of pure methanol

Place one of the rolls of tp into the tin and pour in enough methanol to reach about 3/4 up the roll of tp . pull up the center to make a wick and light.
Each roll should last about 4 hours.
To extinguish just put the lid on the tin.
Don’t forget to leave a window open on the downwind side of the truck.
I have used this in -40 and it is very effective. 

Bruce Bateman I always kept a bunch of tea light candles and 2 clay flowerpots under my bunk. In a pinch, they can keep your sleeper cab warm for hours. You won’t be sweating, but you wont freeze either. You put the lit candle in the bottom pot and put the other pot inverted on top of the first one so both large openings are touching and the pots radiate the heat.

De Leach My heat source is the same as Bruce’s, but I use a couple of longer burning emergency candles or a couple of the larger scented candles. I also put up my summer window pops. They keep the heat in; in the winter just like they keep the heat out in the summer.

Erik Rummler I use a small coffee tin and fill with 90%+ rubbing alcohol. I use a big coffee can with an inch of sand in the bottom. Put lid back on small can. Put small can in big can. Safe to store in vehicle. Can in can is stable on a seat or floor.



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