Aftertreatment is one of the largest expenses a fleet has, but whether you’re buying or selling DPF filters, DOC’s, or any aftertreatment part, there are important things you need to know beforehand.
Recently we interviewed Scott Boltz who is the VP of Commercial Diesel Products at Global Emissions Systems.
Diesel Particulate Filters
When it comes to selling Diesel Particulate Filters (DPFs), the really important thing is to view the DPF as a component that is part of a system, not just as a single component. This is where a lot of heavy-duty parts salespeople selling aftertreatment parts make a mistake. It is very important to help fleets to look at the entire system when diagnosing problems with their diesel emissions systems.
By addressing the system as a whole, fleets can reduce the total cost of operation. DPF filters are a maintenance part, you can clean the filter and reuse it, you can exchange the filter (similar to when you buy a remanufactured part with a core), or you can replace the filter. What fleets want to avoid is the cost of maintaining or replacing the filter prematurely because of a failure to diagnose a problem elsewhere in the system.
Diesel Oxidation Catalysts
Diesel Oxidation Catalysts (DOCs) are widely misunderstood at the fleet level. They are typically manufactured with a metal or cordierite substrate with Platinum Group Metals (PGM) loadings that are significantly higher than what is found in DPFs.
The role of the DOC is to generate sufficient heat from a catalytic reaction with diesel fuel to reduce the amount of soot in a filter down to ash. “The lifespan of a DOC is considerably longer than that of a DPF, unlike a DPF that can be visually inspected, there is no way to know if the DOC is functioning properly through a visual inspection. Fleets need to be looking at the regeneration cycles and if they’re doing a lot of active regens and the truck is being forced into pulling off the road, it’s typically a problem with the DOC, not the DPF,” said Scott Boltz of Global Emissions Systems.
Target for Future Aftertreatment
In the early 2000s, the emission restrictions imposed on the trucking industry were significant and this had a major impact on the total cost of operation for fleets which sharply increased the cost-per-mile. In 2027, there is a new target for emissions in the United States and currently, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is actively seeking input from the American Trucking Association (ATA) and Transportation & Maintenance Council (TMC).
“There is going to be a significant impact, we do necessarily know what it is yet…There is no clear definition of what they want to do other than reduce NOx gases by another 90%. If you go from the pre-2010 engine until now, there has been an 83% reduction of NOx gases, so they want to take that even lower,” Scott Boltz of Global Emissions Systems explained.
Phase 1 regulation of this emissions and fuel efficiency standard hit its final phase in 2017, and the finalization of the second phase of the action plan is approaching fast and is set for 2027. However, the entire target set for that year has not been completely disclosed yet.
The final standards are expected to be:
- Lower CO2 emissions by approximately 1.1 billion metric tons
- Save vehicle owners fuel costs of about $170 billion
- Reduce oil consumption by up to two billion barrels over the lifetime of the vehicles sold under the program
Again, we don’t fully know all the details yet but with what we do know the impact on the trucking industry is going to be significant and this will have a big impact on fleets, perhaps an even larger impact than the emission restrictions of the early 2000s.
Buying Aftertreatment Products
For someone buying after-treatment parts, what are the three most important things that need to be considered?
The most important factors are availability, cost, and reliability. Scott Boltz of Global Emissions Systems mentioned a saying he heard from a customer, “Whoever has it WINS!” When a fleet is looking at buying after-treatment parts, they want to be able to get those parts as soon as possible. Alongside the availability of the parts, the cost of the parts, and the quality of them is very important. The part that is going to give the fleet the lowest cost-per-mile is the part that is going to benefit them the most in the long run.
If you remember one thing from this article it is this, always look at the entire system when maintaining, diagnosing, and repairing diesel emissions systems, which will lead to longer uptime and lower costs for fleets.
Subscribe to Our Weekly Email
Each week we send out one email with links to all the content we produce, and you will get access to exclusive giveaways and other resources.