TSQ: What are your thoughts on the newer generation of engines?
May 1, 2013
MISSISSAUGA, Ont. – Our cover story from last issue, ‘Dirty players,’ revealed that tampering of emissions controls for truck engines is both widespread and easily attainable. The so-called DPF Delete process is a booming...
MISSISSAUGA, Ont. – Our cover story from last issue, ‘Dirty players,’ revealed that tampering of emissions controls for truck engines is both widespread and easily attainable. The so-called DPF Delete process is a booming business for shops across Canada – with service providers offering to remove the emissions-reducing devices with the promise of improved fuel economy and engine reliability.
The main issue, of course, is that the process is illegal (though not actively enforced, as our investigation revealed) and harmful to the environment, as the removal of the devices brings engine emissions back to 2002 levels or worse.
Industry groups like the Canadian Trucking Alliance claim the DPF Delete phenomenon is also creating an unlevel playing field, not to mention casting the trucking industry as a whole in an unfavourable light. But what do drivers think? We went to the Husky Truck Stop in Mississauga, Ont. to get driver opinions on emissions systems tampering and their experience with the performance of newer generation engines.
• Jim Cheriwcham, a driver with Rage Express out of Brampton, Ont., says the use of similar emissions-reducing systems in truck engines in Europe has been abandoned, and wonders why the same technology is trying to be revived in North America.
“From what I understand, over in Europe, they proved it didn’t work. So if it didn’t work in Europe, how the hell is it supposed to be working here?” he said.
“They’re using this crap here to make it better for the oil companies; the fuel companies are selling more fuel, the government is getting more in taxes and we’re getting screwed.”
Cheriwcham says he drives an older truck so that he doesn’t have to deal with the issues of newer engines.
• Luc Labrecque, a driver with Minimax Express Transportation out of Cornwall, Ont., says he doesn’t see the logic in lowered emissions from newer engines if fuel economy suffers.
“I used to drive for Cat and they (operate) brand new trucks. I had one for two days and I got six miles to the gallon with it. My truck assigned to me at the time was an ’05 with a million-and-a-half kilometres on it and I was getting 9.2 miles to the gallon with it. So I can’t see where the logic comes.
“Okay, yeah, they’re not putting out any emissions, but doesn’t the oilsands put out a lot more garbage than what the average truck will? If you have to produce more oil to supply the diesel, I think it’s a catch-22,” he told Truck News.
• Kay Pfromm, a driver with Steven’s Transport out of Michigan, says she has little to compare the newer engines to as she’s only been behind the wheel for six years. That said, “I have had problems with (the DPF system). It’s really slowing down and it’s stopped on me a couple times, not this truck, but my last one.”
However, Pfromm says she chalks up a lot of the perceived loss of fuel efficiency from the newer engines to driver habits and an inability to shift properly.
• Dean Ponegan, a 40-year veteran and driver with Manitoulin Transport, sums up the new engines concisely: crap. “They’re really not getting any better fuel mileage…They’re putting technology on today that Europe got rid of 20 years ago because it didn’t work,” he said. “With these engines here, you end up with a lot of fumes in the cab and loss of power. Don’t get me wrong, they’re good trucks, but people hate change, too.”