Service technicians who work on your medium- and heavy-duty vehicles will need some additional training as you add '07 trucks to your fleet. "Training will be key to getting a 2007 truck back on the road," says Steve Ashburn, 2007 service readiness manager, Caterpillar.
In the case of Caterpillar engines, there are new systems that need to be learned. "They will need to know and understand the three new systems that Caterpillar has added to meet the 2007 emissions: Clean Gas Inductions (CGI), Caterpillar Regenerations System (CRS) and the diesel particulate filter (DPF)," says Ashburn. "We are providing various training opportunities for technicians to learn about these new systems, including video (Tech Tips), WebEx (on-demand training via the web) and hands-on, both in Peoria and in the field during the first quarter 2007."
Mack recently unveiled its MP family of engines, which will serve as its platform to meet emissions regulations into the future. "Service technicians are already familiar with two of the key technologies featured in these engines: exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) — a version of which is used in our '04-certified ASET engines — and the V-MAC IV electronics system," says David McKenna, Mack powertrain products marketing manager. "The only additional technology for 2007 is a DPF."
Similarly, Cummins will be adding a DPF with its existing engine line. "Cummins 2007 engines will meet the stringent U.S. EPA 2007 standards for on-highway trucks by integrating the Cummins Particulate Filter with its current cooled EGR engine technology," says Cyndi Nigh, Cummins. "Using a stable engine architecture assures customers that the Cummins engine they purchase in 2007 will basically be the same engine they are operating today — and gives them confidence in the performance, reliability and durability of their 2007 Cummins engine."
Larry Dutko, general manager of the EPA '07 project, Freightliner, says the DPF and the engine really work together as a system. "The engine plays a big part in how the filter works. In fact, the filter is now almost part of the engine because the two have to work together. It is more engine-related than the particulate filter, which surprises a lot of people because there is a big awareness of the particulate filter," he notes. "So on the engine side, Detroit Diesel technicians are going through all of the schooling they need right now and introduction to the engine changes."
After-treatment fears unfounded
Early rumors of maintenance-intensive particulate filters — which replace the muffler — have proven unfounded. These particulate filters actually promise long service intervals and rather short downtime for cleaning.
"We are predicting a minimum of 150,000 miles or 4,500 engine hours for the first ash cleaning," says McKenna. "The interval should be greater for the second cleaning."
These devices will require very little attention from the operator or the technician. "The DPF is a self-managing device that collects or traps soot particles and has the ability to passively using existing hot exhaust gas during normal duty cycles, and to actively regenerate (self clean) upon ECU demand," says McKenna. "The only manual intervention will be to clean out the collected residual ash."
It is impossible to predict exactly when the DPF will need to be cleaned. "Cleaning intervals will depend on a number of factors, including duty cycle, oil consumption and type of oil used. The exact interval will vary by application," Nigh explains. "We expect the interval for a typical vocational application to be approximately 200,000 miles or 6,500 hours."
"This is not going to be a high-maintenance item at all," says Dutko. "The particulate filter has no moving parts. That's what is nice about it. It sits there. You add heat to it. It oxidizes the soot and it collects the ash."