Money Matters: Trucking Business and Beyond; A DD13 Engine Update
October 1, 2011
Editors note: Welcome to a new format for our Money Matters column, which has been submitted for several years by Kevin Rutherford, who also hosts a show on Sirius/XM Satellite Radio. For six months, we recapped a Question from the Audio Road from one of Kevin’s listeners. Now we begin a new series from his Trucking Business and Beyond program.
Kevin Rutherford: Let’s start off in Texas. Robert, welcome to the program.
Robert: Hi, Kevin. Thanks for taking my call.
Kevin: You’re welcome. What’s up tonight?
Robert: Well, I talked to you after I got my Cascadia with the DD13, and you said you didn’t have a whole lot of numbers or anything, and I told you I’d give you an update in six months.
Kevin: Yes, how’s it going?
Robert: I got 154,000 since November. It’s in a team operation. It’s got a lifetime fuel mileage of 7.24, and that’s running 72 mile an hour everywhere we go, a little faster if you like.
Robert: Getting 378 miles per gallon on my DEF, and I’ve had absolutely zero problems except for a belt tensioner went bad.
Kevin: Wow. That’s a pretty impressive update. 7.2 is respectable mileage no matter what, but to be getting it at 72 miles an hour is outstanding.
Robert: It’s been about five weeks since I’ve reset the GPS. My total moving average for the last 36,000 miles is 61.5 right now.
Kevin: Yeah. The faster we drive top speed, the bigger difference between your top speed and your average. It’s just hard to maintain that speed all the time. But that’s pretty impressive. What we know, based on all the testing and all the numbers, is that 62 miles an hours, that would be an 8.2 mile to the gallon truck.
Robert: Yeah, I can’t slow down.
Kevin: Yeah. I know. It’s interesting to see those kind of numbers. That’s a great report.
Robert: You did ask, one time I heard you mention that you weren’t sure, from 2011 and up, the DD13s do have the turbo compounding on them as well.
Kevin: They do? OK. I knew when they first brought the engine out it didn’t have it, and they said it may come later. There’s something about they needed room for a PTO, or they thought it was more a vocational engine. I got a couple different stories from them. So then yours doesn’t have the turbo compounding, correct?
Robert: It does have. The one’s from 2011.
Kevin: Oh, it does. OK, good.
Robert: It does have the turbo compounding, yes.
Kevin: What’s your average weight?
Robert: Well, we’re empty half the time, or probably closer to 55 percent of the time.
Robert: Yeah, I’ll run from Texas. Like, I’ve gone all the way to Jacksonville, Florida, and then Orlando, and I’ll go all the way back to Texas empty.
Kevin: OK. What was your weight like heading that way?
Robert: Oh, 80,000. We’re gross or a hair over gross. We’re loading with half tanks of fuel or less all the time.
Kevin: OK. Texas to Florida – you don’t have any real pulls in there. I was wondering what the performance is like.
Robert: Well, we run Carolinas.
Robert: So, we’re all over, and that’s the lifetime on the truck. I’ll be honest with you, this one’s set at a 500, and honestly, I don’t get passed very much going up a hill loaded.
Kevin: Yeah, that’s what I was interested in, because the DD15 is really, really strong. Even people that have come out of bigger CATs and have been CAT fans all their life are amazed at the pulling power on the DD15. I assumed it had to be pretty similar on the 13.
Robert: You can let this one go down to 1,100 RPMs lugging up a hill, and it ain’t even lugging. It’ll pick itself right back up.
Kevin: Yeah, yeah.
Robert: This is by far the best motor, and I have a knock-down split. I haven’t had any issues with any of the DPF or anything.
Robert: I did have one problem in the wintertime. We got in that ice storm in Dallas, and we let it idle all night as we went to a hotel, and according to Detroit, that was the biggest mistake we made. We had to re-gen it about three times, and that’s the only time we’ve ever had to manually re-gen it. Other than that, it’s passive re-gen as you’re going down the road. You don’t even know it’s doing it.
Kevin: Right, right. Excellent. Well, keep me updated because you’re the only one that I know right now running the engine that’s given me numbers.
Robert: OK. Well, I just picked up a 12 last week, so that one’s just coming out. We’ll see how that one does, because it’s going to get to break-in with summer fuel, so I’m expecting a better lifetime number in six months on that one.
Kevin: Excellent. I’ll look forward to it.
Robert: All right. Thanks, Kevin.
Kevin: Thank you for the feedback. Yeah. I know I’ve been bashing new trucks and new engines for a lot of years now, but I have hope, maybe, that there’s some light at the end of the tunnel. Two engines I’m pretty excited about, new technology wise are the DD series and the PACCAR engine, the MX. Both of those engines have kind of been designed from the ground up to meet the new technology requirements.
On the other side of the coin, the other new engine in the market, the Navistar engine, I’m just not very excited about, because they took an old design, the old C15 block, and they kept going with the old technology, of just enhancing the EGR.
I know there’s a lot of debate in the industry, but I know which side I fall on. I just don’t think that was a good way to go. I’m more excited about the engines like the PACCAR, the MX engine, designed from the ground up to meet these requirements. But we’ll see. We’ll see what happens. I love getting feedback from people running those new engines.