Recently some news reports out of San Diego and other cities indicated that some fire departments are having problems with the regeneration process on apparatus equipped with 2007 or 2010 EPA-compliant engines.
If your department has taken delivery of an apparatus with one of these engines, what has been your experience? How does the regen process work for you? Are you seeing more down time with these apparatus compared with older apparatus? And if you ARE experiencing problems, what strategies are you using to overcome these issues?
We have a 2010 Freightliner with a 330 hp Cummins w/regen. It went into service on 9 Dec 2009. Knock on wood, after nearly 24 months we have not had any issues from that system. I'm sure the miles and hours that we have on ours don't really compare to the departments that you mentioned. I will follow this post to see if there are issues that we need to be watching for. Thanks for posting.
Well we have two apparatus with these systems. In my passing, many do not understand the basic maintenance of the regen system and what to do when the light comes on. I suggest FD's get with the manufacturer to explain how to run the regen when the light comes on so the unit gets cleaned out properly in between regular servicing . Fire apparatus often idle more than running the road, and when they do run, we run them hard, without warm up and often no cool down. Big trucks that run 300-400,000 miles, idle alot too but that idle time in a truck stop after long haul is cool down and they tend to not have alot of cold start/warm/ or cold start race to a call cycles. Another problem we noted in N/E is you can't use bio-diesel with the system, or any form of diesel that is cut. The manufacturer's warranty is pretty clear on the guidelines for fuel. We can't use our highway pumps because it is cut, and have to purchase fuel from a retail fuel depot for the correct grade. As far as problems, we have had none. We also run the regen process when the light comes on in house and not wait for power problems.
We just took delivery on a 2011 Pierce PUC, with the re-gen exhaust system. Once a month we are either going to have to run it and heat it up, or just park it on the ramp, hit the re-gen button and let the truck do its thing. At first, I thought that this was a big thing, but after talking to a few mechanics, it really isn't. I believe what the issue in San Diego was that if the system gets ruined for some reason, it costs 30k to replace it.
We run eight 2008 Crimson/Spartan engines and two 2010 Crimson/Spartan quints. We did extensive, company-by-company training and additional driver/operator training with the new rigs, followed by drills.
We had a few initial questions - mostly when the automatic regen feature started while the rigs were pumping. This caused some funny noises that the operators interpreted as "something wrong with the pump".
We did some additional training that emphasized simply opening the driver's door, checking to see if the "regen" warning light was on, and hitting the manual override if it was a bad time for the regen - say in the middle of pumping a fire.
If this occurs, we just call the shop. They come to the scene, hook up a computer, and force a regen when the rig's assignment is complete, or the company can drive by the shop for the same service. Either way, no big deal.
Most of the regens are done outside the bay.
One tip - get vertical exhaust stacks with the regen-type motors. The regen process creates high exhaust temperatures. Traditional low exhaust pipes can burn the unwary during the regen.
We have a new tractor coming with a TDA rehab, and it will have the same system.
Bottom line - if you train your operators and shop techs correctly this isn't a big deal.
Ben, I have to disagree with your last statement. Much of our problems are rooted either in software or hardware issues with engine and/or apparatus manufacturers. I really dislike being at the 'tip of the spear' on these kinds of things, and our experiences prove that.
My hope, and we are in our first week of Operations performing regens, is that we will not have compounded problems by eliminating mechanics and laptops from the routine regen. But we couldn't keep going the way we were.
I'm glad that many have not had the issues we have. Be safe.