Pittsburgh Power and Long Haul Custom Detailing hosted the Victory Road Truck Show on Saturday, October 3. This was our first truck show, and with 97 trucks that included newer and antique trucks, a couple Rat Rods, some pickups, and one 1-ton Chevy that was powered by a 3126 Caterpillar Engine, it was a huge success. There were vendors selling truck related items, food trucks, plenty of dogs (the 4-legged type), and many people enjoying themselves on a beautiful Western Pennsylvania Fall afternoon. We even filled two parking lots with cars from spectators!
Along with the truck show, we also had dyno runs at our facility, and even a horsepower shootout. Mr. Hunter’s Peterbilt put 851-hp to the ground, and Mike Adam’s Kenworth put 959-hp to the ground (that’s 1,126-flywheel horsepower)! The RPM on the 6NZ Cat was set to 3,000 and JR, our electrical engineer and dyno operator, held it at 2,500 RPM screaming out the truck’s straight stacks. Being on a dead-end street in an industrial park, we were able to have several trucks doing burnouts and one Dodge Challenger did donuts.
The weather was perfect, with blue skies and no rain. Jane Gates was also here – she is the PHD chemist who invented our popular and now widely-used Max Mileage Fuel Borne Catalyst. She answered many questions about how the product works for many owner operators. Rick, Sue and Jordan Skurka, owners of Long Haul Custom Detailing, are already working on next year’s event with us at Pittsburgh Power, which will be held on the same weekend, which is the first Saturday in October (the actual date will be October 2, 2021). Next year’s Victory Road Truck Show is going to be larger, with many more activities, including activities specifically designed for children, so put the date on your calendar now.
Ethan, from our Engineering Department, would like to discuss some recent observations regarding electrical issues. The first issue is one that I have been seeing a lot this year. Something so simple that it normally takes a few hours to fix but ends up costing thousands of dollars to the owner operator if they take it to the wrong repair shop. I am talking about checking vehicle grounds for proper operation of the vehicle electrical system. Over time, the factory installed wiring for the vehicle’s ground wires can deteriorate, causing the resistance of the wire to increase, or worse, they can break altogether. When this happens, the most common complaint is odd electrical issues such as vehicle lights flickering, breakers tripping randomly, or low voltage alarms going off on the dash.
If you choose the wrong technician, this simple problem can cost you thousands. Instead of diagnosing the problem correctly, many shops just chase the symptoms and end up throwing parts at it, and we all know how expensive that can get. The sad part is, it only takes about 15 minutes to check a vehicle electrical system with a digital multimeter to determine if there is an issue with the grounds. So, with that in mind, please ask to have the ground wires checked if you are experiencing any odd electrical issues on your vehicle.
The second thing I would like to talk about is getting the most life out of a One Box on a DD15 aftertreatment system. The most common issue that people ask me about on the One Box is the dreaded fault code “Selective Catalyst Reduction (SCR) NOx efficiency low.” It normally starts at about half a million miles. The SCR has a finite life span for how long it can break down NOx being produced by the engine. Therefore, it is very important to keep your engine running at peak efficiency (our Max Mileage product does just that). Using EPA 1065 certified equipment, it has been shown to reduce the output NOx of the engine, therefore extending the life of the SCR element, and lowering DEF consumption. This helps limit unwanted downtime that can become costly in the long run.
During our truck show, we had one owner operator drive down from Connecticut with his brand-new 2021 Western Star equipped with a DD15 (see photo). Since he wanted more power without affecting the warranty, we put a Power Module on the engine, and it worked flawlessly. It went from 415-wheel horsepower to 515 (that’s around 600 flywheel horsepower). So, if you have a new Detroit and would like more power without changing the stock ECM tune, give us a call. We are currently working on a Power Module for the 2021 Cummins engines, but they are not available yet. If you have a 2019 or older Cummins equipped Paccar truck with the Paccar Collision Mitigation System, we can repair it for you (some owner operators have told us the system will panic stop for no obvious reason).
I hope you enjoyed hearing from Ethan Fortuna, our lead engineer. I would like to have Ethan contribute more to these articles in the future to share his vast knowledge of semi-truck electronics. If you would like to call us about a specific concern, Ethan can be hard to get a hold of because he is very busy in the shop – even I have to wait to talk to Ethan some days! If you’re calling with an electrical problem, please see if someone in our service department can help you first. If you have any comments or questions, we can be reached at Pittsburgh Power in Saxonburg, PA by calling (724) 360-4080 or by visiting www.pittsburghpower.com anytime.