PEORIA, Ill. — Having racked up more than 69 million miles of real-world experience, Caterpillar officials say the company’s ACERT engines are delivering excellent value in the field.
About 32,500 customers have operated over 25,000 Cat ACERT engines since their introduction four years ago and Cat says the company has received plenty of positive feedback.
“The key benefits these customers keep mentioning include better fuel economy, driveability, reliability and durability,” said Steve Brown, director of marketing, on-highway engines, Caterpillar Power Systems North America. “In terms of the bottom line, these engines deliver savings of hundreds of thousands of dollars for some of them.”
Among the customers with a large contingent of Cat engines in its fleets is Zimmerman Truck Lines a 200-truck fleet based in Pennsylvania. Service manager, Kevin Campbell, told Caterpillar officials the company has realized a two-tenths of a mile improvement in fuel economy compared to previous engines.
“As we all know, fuel mileage is crucial today,” Campbell said. “We tracked it, and through time, one-tenth of a mile to Zimmerman Truck Lines is worth about $175,000 a year in savings. And two-tenths, you can just double the figures up through.”
Another fleet that has good things to say about its experiences with Cat ACERT engines is TRL, also of Pennsylvania. President and owner, Stephen Hrobuchak, says “Right now we’re with the C15s. We’re achieving phenomenal fuel mileage with these engines in these tractors we have now. We are anticipating after the initial tune-up and summer operation getting very, very close to seven miles to a gallon. And now, let me point out that we’re hauling boxes here, either a reefer or a dry van, and it’s mountainous operations – we’re not running flatlands through the southeast and southwest."
Hrobuchak added the new ACERT engines are being used as an incentive to reward fuel-conscious drivers.
“We just recently took a very, very hard line on speed with our trucks," he explained. "The off-setting complement to turning our speed down five miles an hour is giving our drivers a new tractor with a C15 with ACERT Technology. Now, the tradeoff to the driver is not only the new tractor, but the fact that they have so much power. They’re going up hills so much faster and the average speed is actually up.”
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