Last year, new restrictions on engine emissions went into effect. Truck manufacturers redesigned engines and added new particle filters to comply with the new regulations. Some truckers wondered if the new engine designs would affect performance and reliability.
Recently, Caterpillar’s web site posted a press release featuring quotes from customers who are using the new engines, such as the C13 pictured below.
Customers report that the engines are not just keeping the air clean, but the trucks and trailers as well.
With a complete line of four Caterpillar® 2007 engines in full production and readily available, customers are providing feedback on how the newest additions to the Caterpillar engine line are doing on the road.
One such customer is Ray Birkmire, an over-the-road driver for New Century Transportation in Westampton, N.J. Birkmire, a 35-year veteran of driving trucks, averages 130,000 miles each year running east coast to west coast. He currently is running a 430-horsepower 2007 Cat® C13 with ACERT™ Technology. So far, he’s put 80,000 miles on the engine, using the required ultra-low sulfur diesel fuel.
Even with the different fuel requirements, performance and fuel economy is equal to or better than previous engines, Birkmire said.
“I’m happy with the engine, it does a good job. I’m not seeing any performance issues with it using the ultra-low sulfur diesel fuel. It pulls a mountain in Tennessee that I regularly run at about 65 miles per hour, the same as the previous Cat engine I had,” he said. “We’re getting good fuel mileage, too—it gets 6.8 miles per gallon, and I was amazed that this truck would get that.”
Although the engine iron has changed slightly with the addition of the self-regenerating diesel particulate filter, driving this new C13 feels the same as running a Cat engine always has, according to Birkmire. “There’s no special training required. The dealer sat down with me when the truck came in and explained the regeneration process and the indicator lights,” he said. “Usually it regenerates all by itself, I don’t have to do anything.”
Designed to meet the new, stringent 2007 EPA emissions standards without sacrificing performance, reliability or fuel economy, the new engines provide lower emissions than ever before. One pleasant surprise for Birkmire was how clean the new Cat engine runs.
“There’s no smoke coming out of that stack, which amazes me,” Birkmire said. “It doesn’t smoke at all, and the stack on the truck does not get carbon buildup in it. It actually keeps the trailer clean!”