Truck selection cut down, DPF & DEF advice to further narrow down

cbradiohead

Active Member
Hi everyone, I hope everyone has had a good week so far.

I received some advice on this forum about what tractors to consider to spec out a small fleet. Thank you for that. I am not a driver myself so I come as a student but I love learning about this industry. I've read the following articles to get a basic understanding of DPF and DEF.

http://jeremybaldwinfleetmanagement.com/2012/12/18/diesel-engine-dpf-dpf-the-difference/

We are in CA, I'm fairly well informed of the CARB requirements. I know they aren't really enforcing their regulations right now but either way its time to upgrade some pretty ancient equipment. Below are the trucks in mind so far and their average price based on decent or average mileage, about 50k/year for the day cabs and 150k-200k/year for the sleepers. You'll also see the average market price right now (I had it and threw it in in case anyone's interested)

Day cabs
2008-09 International 8600 - $37,500
2008-09 Freightliner Columbia - $42,200
2009 International Prostar - $43,500

Sleepers
2008-2009 International Prostar - $44,700
2008-2009 Freightliner Century - $45,000
2008-2009 Freightliner Columbia - $47,000
2008-2009 Freightliner Cascadia - $51,500
2011-2012 International Prostar - $59,500
2011-2012 Freightliner Cascadia - $81,000

Will be looking for either Cummins or Detroit engines. What do you guys think of these tractor choices?

Should I avoid specific models or model years due to DPF and/or DEF technology? I have read to try to avoid DPF if it has no DEF due to the increase in EGR in those engines to attain legal NoX levels. Increased EGR affects MPG negatively supposedly

Are there problems with these engines around those 08-12 years regarding regen? I don't know if this applies for only some engine makes or specific engine model years. I know this is more than a couple questions but your help is appreciated. Thank you, gotta get some sleep.
 

Southern Fried

Well-Known Member
I don't envy anyone having to equip from any of the current choices.

In our fleet over the past couple of years we've had Prostars, Petes, Volvos, Macks. All are uniformly pitiful, mostly to do with electronics/smog crap problems and/or "corporate" engine/trans problems.

Most dealerships/shops are swamped with trying to repair this junk and are having their own problems. The "old" mechanics who can actually fix stuff don't know computers all that well and are either retiring or just throwing up their hands in disgust. The "new breed" know how to hook up the diagnostic computer and all but get lost trying to figure out how to run a screwdriver.

BTW, last week I was talking to an O/O from Landstar with a new KW. He had traded in his 98 on it 2 months ago. 2 days into owning it the new truck went down and was in the shop for 2 weeks. He said he called the dealership wanting his old truck back. It had been sold already.

Good Luck.
 

krelithous

Well-Known Member
Supporter
to bad he couldn't just move out of commieforina and buy something pre emissions providing he don't want to run in ca
 

Injun

Rabid Squaw
Staff member
Supporter
Avoid DPF equipped Series 60 Detroits. The porting changes made to accomodate DPF weakened the head and made it prone to cracking. If you're considering Freightliner, look for DD13 and DD15 instead. They'll most likely be set up with SCR, which requires DEF, but the engines were designed with this in mind.
 

Injun

Rabid Squaw
Staff member
Supporter
Don't get a Cummins that uses DEF. They're the worst of the bunch.
The drivers around me who have Cummins with SCR are reporting relatively low maintenance requirements with impressive fuel economy and good torque for climbing. RPM have to be kept on the low end, in ranges the old-timers would think is lugging the engine...say, 1,100 to 1,200 to be in the top of the torque band. They're dropping fewer gears, climbing hills at higher speeds and getting 8.5mpg doing it.

We don't run light.
 

cbradiohead

Active Member
The drivers around me who have Cummins with SCR are reporting relatively low maintenance requirements with impressive fuel economy and good torque for climbing. RPM have to be kept on the low end, in ranges the old-timers would think is lugging the engine...say, 1,100 to 1,200 to be in the top of the torque band. They're dropping fewer gears, climbing hills at higher speeds and getting 8.5mpg doing it.

We don't run light.

So yes to a Cummins with DEF if you keep the RPMs low? Do those guys run locally or long haul? Thanks.
 

cbradiohead

Active Member
I don't envy anyone having to equip from any of the current choices.

In our fleet over the past couple of years we've had Prostars, Petes, Volvos, Macks. All are uniformly pitiful, mostly to do with electronics/smog crap problems and/or "corporate" engine/trans problems.

Most dealerships/shops are swamped with trying to repair this junk and are having their own problems. The "old" mechanics who can actually fix stuff don't know computers all that well and are either retiring or just throwing up their hands in disgust. The "new breed" know how to hook up the diagnostic computer and all but get lost trying to figure out how to run a screwdriver.

BTW, last week I was talking to an O/O from Landstar with a new KW. He had traded in his 98 on it 2 months ago. 2 days into owning it the new truck went down and was in the shop for 2 weeks. He said he called the dealership wanting his old truck back. It had been sold already.

Good Luck.
Thanks for the info. Right now we are open to different tractors. I thought the above would be a good value but yeah, want to find potential problems before taking such a big plunge. We can't do anything huge like get a brand new set of tractors but I we can stick to a least a couple newer models or even different makes.

We really wouldn't be considering the new tech if it wasn't for CARB. I don't think the MPG savings are worth spending extra on the newest trucks, even if the new tech in them is working flawlessly unless you're doing long haul team driving but like I said, CARB. What tractors, 2008 or newer, would you recommend for 4-6 day cabs doing local pickups and 2-3 sleepers doing about 150k-200k/year?
 

Injun

Rabid Squaw
Staff member
Supporter
So yes to a Cummins with DEF if you keep the RPMs low? Do those guys run locally or long haul? Thanks.
We run NorthWest regional. My loads are normally 400 to 750 miles, lots of hills.

I have a 2011 ProStar with Cummins and DPF, no SCR. I've been getting 6.5 to 7.25mpg lately. Not happy with that. Overall, I've had fewer problems than most other ProStar drivers with the same configuration.
 

Injun

Rabid Squaw
Staff member
Supporter
Almost all of my problems have been something to do with EGR/DPF.
 

cbradiohead

Active Member
We run NorthWest regional. My loads are normally 400 to 750 miles, lots of hills.

I have a 2011 ProStar with Cummins and DPF, no SCR. I've been getting 6.5 to 7.25mpg lately. Not happy with that. Overall, I've had fewer problems than most other ProStar drivers with the same configuration.
Ok, just to avoid confusion on my end, if we go with a Cummins engine, stick to the one's with SCR but no DEF? It seems that DEF started being included in 2010.
 

Injun

Rabid Squaw
Staff member
Supporter
SCR (Selective Catalytic Reduction) requires DEF (Diesel Exhaust Fluid) to operate. The system is SCR, the additive is DEF.
 

cbradiohead

Active Member
Ok thanks for clarifying that. I thought SCR could run without DEF in some cases but I misread something in an article.

Could you make a recommendation for 2008-2013 tractors? All dry freight, day cabs will be doing local pickups at 40-50k miles/yr sleepers doing about 130-180k/year. Price range is $35-50k for the day cabs and $50k-85k for the sleepers. Thanks Injun
 

Injun

Rabid Squaw
Staff member
Supporter
Swift seems to be having good luck with Volvo daycabs with Cummins engines. They do a parked regen at the end of each shift.

For your OTR guys, KW660 seems to be comfortable and fairly reliable. Cummins engine with SCR.
 

krelithous

Well-Known Member
Supporter
Swift seems to be having good luck with Volvo daycabs with Cummins engines. They do a parked regen at the end of each shift.

For your OTR guys, KW660 seems to be comfortable and fairly reliable. Cummins engine with SCR.
I wish Volvo would figure out something than a parked regen:stirpot2:
 

krelithous

Well-Known Member
Supporter
Volvo does automatic regens, but in local work, the trucks aren't running long enough at a time to complete a burn.
I remember getting stuck in a parking lot once doing a parked regen because the truck wasn't running long enough to burn out all the soot in the dpf. it was like 30 mins to do it :(
 

cbradiohead

Active Member
I remember getting stuck in a parking lot once doing a parked regen because the truck wasn't running long enough to burn out all the soot in the dpf. it was like 30 mins to do it :(

The tractor will force you to stay there until the regen is done..? That's understandable because the tech isn't that advanced yet it seems but that would be pretty bad in our pick up business. It would mean some missed pick ups.. damn, gonna keep researching.
 

krelithous

Well-Known Member
Supporter
The tractor will force you to stay there until the regen is done..? That's understandable because the tech isn't that advanced yet it seems but that would be pretty bad in our pick up business. It would mean some missed pick ups.. damn, gonna keep researching.
I had to sit in a parking lot for like 30-40 mins until the tractor was done doing it's thing :mad:o_O. and I was running an isx engine wich started to develop knocking nosies at 840 k miles. it was not a DEF truck. you would figure in todays world they would have the technology to do a regen while on the fly!! a Volvo for a local truck would def be a bad investment!!
 

Injun

Rabid Squaw
Staff member
Supporter
The tractor will force you to stay there until the regen is done..? That's understandable because the tech isn't that advanced yet it seems but that would be pretty bad in our pick up business. It would mean some missed pick ups.. damn, gonna keep researching.
No, but if the cycle is interrupted too many times, it will not be able to complete. Volvos will fire the DPF automatically while moving at highway speeds, as I indicated above. Local work generally does not have the truck moving in long enough stretches to complete a burn cycle.

Therefore, it is a good idea to initiate an on-demand, parked regen at the end of the shift. To do this,the truck is out of gear, the parking brake is engaged (air brake knob pulled) and the button pushed and held until the rpm cycle up. The truck does everything itself and does not need a babysitter. The rpm will automatically fall to idle speed when the burn cycle is completed. The truck should be idled for about five minutes to allow a little cool-down time and then it can be shut off. Whoever gets in the truck for the next shift can run all day without needing to run a burn...unless the DPF hasn't been pulled and cleaned in the past quarter million miles or so or there is a fault in the system.

It's really not as complicated as it seems.
 
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