Thread: Class 8 FE
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Old 08-19-2011, 06:11 PM   #13 (permalink)
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Fort Worth, Texas
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2004 CTD - '04 DODGE RAM 2500 SLT
Team Cummins
90 day: 19.36 mpg (US)
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Originally Posted by gtstanger01 View Post
I don't own the trailer so that's out. Pittsburgh power makes a muffler for my truck and a system that is suppose to remove the air from the diesel fuel. A performance muffler I know would make a difference. Its not that expensive either only $158. They claim .3 mpg gain. The other part, the air removing system, I am a little skeptical about. After talking with my step-dad who works in the fluid and filter division at Cat, and also has a master degree in chemistry doesn't see that system working as is, although it can be done. Any comments?

As far as slowing down, i usually only run 62-65 mph. I work for an expedited freight company so time is usually an issue. If I slow down to much I would have trouble meeting time deadlines.

If I can stay around 62-63 mph I can get around 6.2-6.5 mpg

Nice to see that you have some restrictions in the sense that all is not wide-open, thus any ideas about FE have a narrowed field to work in.

The muffler seems like a no-brainer.

IMO, same for a MANN-HUMMEL centrifuge and trending oil analysis to keep changes to a minimum. MOBIL Delvac 5W-40. See posts by Doug Hilary on; a fleet owner and international trucking consultant going back to the 1960's. He specs a full-flow stainless filter at the standard position. Changes are pushed out a good ways.

Same for tire design: going for rib tires at as many positions as possible. I'd also want a TPMS (tire pressure monitor system) as I hate having to air up tires the last driver "forgot" . . at least it would only be the trailer. Super singles worth looking at. Search for the Rutherford/Mallinson glider kit being sold by a firm in TN, some possible good ideas there.

Same for alignment. I'd want the tractor "perfect" in all small details. Shocks, bushings and especially correct any steering wander.

As to the FASS fuel system it would be worthwhile to duplicate (if not already present) the quality of the dual filter setup. It isn't that expensive. Or, a DAVCO setup (which I like as it makes things simple; Wal-Mart also uses these so you know they've crunched numbers. Shoot, anything they do is probably worthwhile).

What about the ThermoKing APU? Not cheap, but the expedited guys I know are "on" 24/7, waiting around in their trucks. An idea about fuel use over X-time (life of tractor as you see it) would make the numbers clear to payoff on the APU (unless you're in CA a lot). I would figure high-idle fuel consumption at either .75 or .80 gph on the main engine.

Would be worthwhile to look over dash gauges. IAT, EGT and MAP all work together. Air filter restrictions, too (DONALDSON Powercore would be my air filter choice; ask Mallinson); but not changing until necessary would be best (dash gauge).

The lag time of engine oil warming is another topic covered by Hilary: 15-30" behind coolant. I noticed 40-miles or 35" on a heavy 57' I was pulling recently in 90F TX temps. That's a lot of fuel over a years time. Coolant pre-heat would shorten engine oil temp lag time once underway. Hilary likes to see a close relationship between coolant and oil sump temps. There is an SAE paper on that discussed on BITOG.

Plus, tire temps dont' settle out until after 1.5' of steady-state driving.

Plus the usual about progressive shifting. I would think it worthwhile to shoot an email to VOLVO N.A. about their recommendations on this. Might be something they could speak to. I've had a CDL a good while, but I don't even try to compare my ability at shifting to some of the O/O's I've known, some of them ol' guys are plain spooky they're so good.

KENWORTH and CUMMINS both have White Papers on FE that are good reads.

I always like trip planning for two-hour breaks, and a meal at the fourth hour (whether I eat much or not). Pre-planned stops. Breaks the trip into legs with known times & distances. This relieves the small stresses of where to stop, and leaves more room for fine control over the rig.

I like Google street view for determing what side of the road the stop is on, what parking is like, and how easy to re-enter highway from that stop. Steady pace. Just like I already knew the route.

A high quality drivers seat, too. A bad one (fleet seat) just beats a guy up, IMO. This matters well before hour six behind the wheel. FE is about small changes, but the biggest difference among professional drivers is skill, and skill is about paying attention, first, to small things. A tired driver just won't care as we all know. From best to worst is a 30% spread among those drivers: same truck, same work, one-third different fuel consumption.

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