The Mid-America Trucking Show (MATS) in Louisville, KY is over for another year. It was a great show! It’s always a pleasure to speak to so many fine owner-operators. This show is like a reunion each year – we get to see so many people that we talk to over the phone but never get to meet in person – until we all come together in Louisville. If you’re in the trucking industry and have never been to this show, you are doing yourself an injustice! As you depart from this show, you should feel great about yourself and be happy that you are involved in such a wonderful industry (it’s been my life for 46 years, with the past 37 of them spent building engines for owner-operators).
Here’s a fun fact: did you know that from the time a raw material comes out of the ground, is manufactured into a finished product, and then available for sale, that it has been hauled on a truck at least seven times? When it’s all said and done, 75% of the cost paid for goods sold is a result of transportation costs. Because of these facts, we will always need trucks and diesel fuel.
Well, it’s now 9:00 pm, April 7th, and I just got the dreaded phone call that one of my best friends in Colorado has passed away. Tom Waldow was a psychiatric social worker from Wisconsin who moved to Farser, Colorado in 1973. With tears in my eyes, I have to tell you he was a great man. Tom purchased his first dump truck in 1998 while he was building a new home because he did not like where the dump truck drivers were dumping the dirt. That same year, he and his daughter, Aila, started Waldow and Daughter Trucking.
One of Tom’s trucks has a 330-hp DD3 Detroit and he was told that nothing could be done to it to make it perform, but we proved them wrong. There were a lot of miles on this engine, but we took a gamble and gave her some fuel, some ECM tuning and added a Pittsburgh Power Box, and that little Detroit came to life. Tom’s son, Nick, is in the excavation business. Tom would haul his excavator up Rabbit Ears Pass with the box on Power Level 6, which means this little 330-hp Detroit was putting out about 700 hp. Tom would get so excited that he would call me while he was on that mountain to thank me for giving him the horsepower and tell me how wonderful it was to drive that old Freightliner! I’m sure God will have a high-performance set of wings waiting for you, Tom. I, along with your family, the people of Farser, Winter Park and Tabernash, Colorado will miss you dearly Tom Waldow – may you rest in peace, my friend.
Do your truck and your body a favor by installing our “Made in the USA” crankshaft damper and mercury-filled engine balancer on the front of your engine every 500,000 miles or 10 years (whichever comes first). Crankshaft dampers do wear out and once they do they will tear your truck apart, resulting in broken compressor brackets, alternator brackets, flywheel bolts, flywheel housing bolts, springs out of the clutch disc, input shafts of transmissions, camshafts, accessory drive shafts and, of course, crankshafts. These dampers are filled with silicone and a large steel ring that moves every time an injector fires. I have written about this so many times, yet every day we get phone calls from owner-operators whose trucks are vibrating, especially under a pull. Even at the truck show, I spoke with many of you who have over one million miles on your original damper. You are hurting yourself and your truck, because these vibrations travel right up through your seat and into you! Our dampers are made by the inventor of the liquid-filled crankshaft damper, and “Made in the USA” still means something to us at Pittsburgh Power.
Since the EPA has requested that parts made for 2007 and older engines be tested on an engine dyno, we are complying with their demands and getting our engine dyno set up for the testing. We have already tested many of our parts on the chassis dyno and most have lowered emissions and increased horsepower! By mid-May we will be able to verify our results on the engine dyno. Soon, every performance part that leaves our facility will be emissions compliant.
Have you been following the building of Kevin Rutherford’s “Signature Series” glider kit? We are helping him build a T660 KW powered by a Pittsburgh Power Micro-Blued DD4 Detroit 12.7 liter engine, and attempting to hit 9+ mpg with our upgrades. The truck also features a Micro-Blued 13-speed, a Micro-Blued differential with a 2:87 ratio, and Micro-Blued wheel bearings. Every item that Kevin and I talk about on the radio show will be on this truck, including a lift axle, air tabs, a FASS fuel system, Maxwell Ultra Capacitor, Road King shocks, and an OPS-1 by-pass oil filter. It will also have a Lipe clutch, stainless water pipes, Bendix disc brakes, weed burner exhaust, and Fleet-Air filters. The engine will have a ported and ceramic-coated exhaust manifold, a 15% larger performance Micro-Blued turbo, our 56-pound high-performance crankshaft torsional vibration damper, our mercury-filled engine balancer by Balance Masters, balanced pistons and connecting rods, and a custom Pittsburgh Power programmed ECM. All of the rest of the pieces on this engine are genuine Detroit parts. We expect the price of this truck, which is being purchased by Jeff and Kathy Wolter, to be in the range of $182,000 to $190,000. In addition to expecting this truck to be capable of 9+ mpg, we are also expecting it to produce somewhere around 600 flywheel horsepower, despite its factory 500-hp Detroit programming. Stay tuned!