Detroit Virtual Technician contributes to uptime in remote worksites
DETROIT – Sept. 24, 2012 – Navigating the treacherous roads leading up to oil fields in northern Canada isn’t the easiest of tasks. Replete with deep potholes, slippery gravel, rocks and mud, the unpaved roads have limited visibility, are easy to get stuck in, and are typically off-limits to passenger cars.
However, for Darian McNee, compliance manager at Maximum Tank Truck Services in Grande Prairie, Alberta, Canada, conquering the tough roads is a job requirement. Maximum Tank Truck Services recently purchased a custom-spec’d Freightliner Coronado® Severe Duty (SD) vacuum truck equipped with a Detroit™ DD15® engine to clean up drill sites in some of the remotest locations in Canada.
“We’re pretty tough on our trucks on the road and off,” said McNee. “To even get to a jobsite, we often haul more than 80,000 lbs. of gravel, are fender-deep in mud, and have to chain up the axles.”
The Coronado SD’s pillow-block front cab mounts dampen shock and vibration, and the rear cab mounts use air springs spaced apart to give the truck stability. Together with the DD15, the Coronado SD provides a smooth, comfortable ride on the most treacherous of terrain.
The DD15 engine more than meets the challenge of McNee’s demanding requirements. According to McNee, the engine’s power and torque have significantly enhanced the drive; and since employing the DD15, McNee has seen improved fuel economy and has reduced his DEF usage by almost 50 percent. “In one month alone, we ran the engine for 330 hours on and off, and the fuel economy was incredible compared to our other similarly spec’d units with the fleet,” said McNee. “Overall, even when the trucks are in use for 17 hour shifts – loading and unloading – we are using less fuel than ever before.”
McNee also noted that the Detroit Virtual Technician™ onboard diagnostic system has played an important role in maximizing uptime. The proprietary technology provides real-time engine diagnostics, enabling drivers and fleet managers to quickly and accurately evaluate events. By providing a technical snapshot of the engine’s status as soon as the check engine light comes on, McNee and his team – with the help of the Detroit Customer Support Center – are able to assess the exact issue and determine appropriate next steps.
“We work on location at sites that are not only difficult to get to, but once we’re there, we have little to no cell phone reception. This inaccessibility makes reliability a huge factor,” said McNee. “I want to eliminate downtime as much as possible, and Virtual Technician has already saved us hundreds of hours. Virtual Technician is a must-have on all units.”
Because job sites are so remote, McNee’s team often spends several days on location.
“I’ve offered to put the drivers in hotels, but they’ve all declined. They like staying in the Coronado SD – it serves as their home away from home,” said McNee.
McNee specifically noted the big open cab, well-placed overhead compartments, dash accessibility, plush leather seats and 58-inch bunk as some of the comfort features his team appreciates.
“From spec’ing the truck with the dealer, to the Detroit customer service, to putting it in use in the field, the entire experience for both me and my drivers has been great,” said McNee. “The Coronado SD is a great looking truck that is not only tough enough for the oil fields, but has had an immediate impact on my bottom line.”
For more information, go to www.DemandDetroit.com.
Detroit offers a complete line of heavy-duty diesel engines, axles and transmissions for the commercial transportation industry in both the on-highway and vocational markets. Detroit™ engines, axles and transmissions are sold and serviced through a network of hundreds of locations throughout North America. For more information, or to locate the nearest Detroit location, visit DemandDetroit.com. Detroit™ is a brand of Detroit Diesel Corporation, a Daimler company.
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