Manufacturers of diesel engines today are constantly struggling to maintain the stringent emission standards imposed by government regulations and at the same time, produce a reliable product.
Recent changes within the industry have triggered the purchase of diesel motor manufacturers, by the manufacturers of big rig trucks.
With the exception of Cummins, all other engine makers are owned or partly-owned by truck manufacturers.
To keep their costs sharpened, the truck manufacturers limit the choice of engines available in their trucks, so the diesel engines available in big trucks is much more limited than in past years.... definitely not a good thing for the buyer.
It's been a positive move for the engine manufacturers, as they are now not dependent on outside sources for their production.
For example, if you were to order a Peterbilt with a Detroit engine, the build time would often be delayed, due to the wait time for the production and delivery of the engine. Not so now.
Volvo Diesel -- Volvo makes their own engines and they’re also available in.
International Diesel -- The only diesel company not using DEF technology, International makes their own motors for their own trucks.
Paccar Engines-- Paccar now manufacturers motors for their own trucks (Peterbilts and Kenworths). Petes and Kenworths can also be ordered with a Cummins engine. Paccar trucks are the only big trucks with a choice of engine.
Caterpillar Engines -- Caterpillar no longer manufactures a heavy truck engine, although Cat parts are still available. They chose to bow out of the market after struggling to produce a reliable motor that met the tough emission standards and regulations. What a shame that it's no longer an option to order a truck with a Caterpillar motor.
Diesel Oil -- In keeping with the changes in today’s engines, diesel motor oil makers are offering synthetic engine oil as well as the traditional product.
Motor Problems --Diesel engine troubleshooting issues are best handled in a dealership’s shop because today's motors are completely computerized. However, there are some things that the trucker can watch for or do to help prevent unnecessary breakdowns and extra costs.
Picking the Best -- Choosing the best engine for the specific work the truck will be doing, is one of the most important decisions you’ll be faced with when spec'ing or buying a truck.
Biodiesel Fuel -- With diesel fuel prices being the biggest expense for truckers, the trucking industry struggles for alternatives to traditional diesel. Although not a completely practical or safe alternative yet, biodiesel is an alternative that some folks are considering.
Big truck sleepers return. What was once an extravagance for the big strappers in trucking, is now a practical means for a trucker to increase his profit margin and be comfortable living on the road.
A new addition to our gallery of Petes, by Michael Lee, a 1982 Peterbilt 359: a classic big rig truck!
Custom truck show and big rig event schedule for U.S. and Canada. Check out the listings for a big rig show coming up.