Dirty Secrets: Carriers call for emissions crackdown

TORONTO, Ont. -- Clean air comes at a cost, and it involves the emissions-related changes to exhaust systems and engines, sometimes introducing added maintenance costs and reduced fuel economy in the process. That’s led to one of the trucking industry’s worst-kept dirty secrets. Many truck owners are reprogramming electronic control modules to bypass SCR (selective catalytic reduction) systems, which reduce unwanted NOx by introducing diesel exhaust fluid to the combustion process.

IN PRINT — Clear the Air: Know how to care for your DPF

It's not quite the "blue screen of death" that appear on troubled Windows computers, but an engine fault indicator still means a bad day is about to get worse - especially if it means a parked regen. Few drivers or fleets can afford more than an hour to solve a problem that should have been addressed earlier. Aftertreatment systems are one of the most expensive maintenance items on today's trucks. Parts are costly, the associated downtime can be crippling, and many people are still confused about how to care for the systems, even though the equipment has been in the field for eight years.