Renowned for Maintenance

The foundation for success at John Chirstner Trucking is the continuous efforts to improve the maintenance operation.


Initially, two low-profile, quick-connect, spill-free fittings are attached to the engine and left in place. The fittings are designed so that it is impossible to have a wrong connection.

The ESOC system's closed-loop technology automatically sends clean, dry air to purge the inlet side of the filter, forcing the used oil out of the filter and out of the lubricating passages down into the oil pan. Simultaneously, the used oil is being evacuated from the oil pan into a holding tank, and an oil sample can be automatically drawn.

After the purged air stops, the oil exchanger signals with an audible and on-screen alert that the engine is now clean of waste oil. At this point, the used oil filter can be replaced with a new one - even while the oil is still being evacuated. Because the used filter has been purged, it can be removed without spilling oil.

After the used oil is removed from the oil pan, the pump stops automatically. By following the on-screen instructions, a pre-selected amount of fresh oil is introduced through the inlet side of the oil filter pre-filling the oil filter and lubricating oil passages and the crankcase. At the start-up, the oil filter is full and the oil passages inside the engine are pre-lubricated so that upon engine start-up, there is instant oil pressure.

At John Christner Trucking, the captured waste oil is used to heat the fleet's drive-through bay shop.

The fleet bought the ESOC Series 1000 oil changer and positioned the stationary unit in between two of its drive-through shop bays. This allows technicians to do more oil changes without having to move trucks in and out as much, further increasing technician and shop productivity.

"The technicians really appreciate the system," Dickson notes. "It requires no special training and cuts down on the time and effort needed to change oil. There is a lot less mess so they're working in a cleaner environment."

The ESOC Series 1000 "is a very handy piece of equipment," remarks technician Bruce Kuka, who has been with John Christner Trucking for 10 years. "You don't have to pull drain plugs or drop oil pans, and that helps keep us and the shop cleaner. It also helps us get oil changes done faster."

"The system is simple to operate because of the easy-to-follow on-screen instructions," Brian Mattson, another 10-year technician at the fleet, says. "You program in the truck number, mileage, whether or not you want an oil sample, how much oil to put it and then you start the operation."

"It does everything automatically, even draining the oil filter and pre-priming it so there are no dry starts," adds Kuka. "Because the process is automatic, we can go off and do something else, so we get more things done in less time," says Mattson.

The ESOC engine oil change system worked so well, John Christner Trucking bought another system, the Series 850. It is portable unit that is used to change the oil in the engines on the trailer refrigeration units. This machine operates in the same fashion as the ESOC 1000.

With both the Series 850 and Series 1000 systems, oil changes can be completed in about 10 minutes, saving on average 20 minutes when compared to using the conventional gravity drain method.

Management control is another benefit of the ESOC oil change systems, points out Dickson. The systems include tracking oil totals by day, week, month and year. There is also the ability to download oil change history to a computer spreadsheet and store individual vehicle data in a database.

FIELD TESTING

The fleet regularly tries out new products and different ways of doing things. That is how the fleet has come to use wide-base tires - a single tire and wheel used in place of two standard tires and wheels.

After recently completing testing with wide-base tires, the fleet has specified them on an order for 100 new trailers.

"We found that wide-base tires provide some weight and maintenance savings over dual assemblies and offer a better ride," says Dickson. "However, we have some concern about the infrastructure and being able to get a replacement tire if one goes now in a small town off the beaten track. We have temperature- and time-sensitive loads and we can't have trucks down for long periods of time."

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