Here's something else the industry needs to know: how will a DPF affect the residual value of a truck? "There's going to be a secondary life, and there's going be some sort of residual value on a vehicle whenever it's sold, with a DPF that has either been 1) cleaned, 2) replaced, or 3) had nothing done to it," Nicholson says. "At this point nobody's thinking about it, but it's going to be part of everybody's life once these units start getting traded. If it was me, I'd be questioning if I'm going to have an expense when I get the unit to have the DPF cleaned or replaced."
It's not like nobody saw this coming. So why has the industry been so slow to come to grips with the fact that hundreds of thousands of DPFs will need to be taken off the road, removed from trucks and cleaned over the next few years?
Could it be that everyone was hoping someone else would solve the problems before they had to? If so, the industry can rest easy, because Frank Nicholson is on the case.
"There are a lot of people who sat out and didn't get these EPA engines that have the DPFs, but if they're going to stay in the game they're not going to have that option anymore," Nicholson says. "And those of us who did purchase, we're now at the mileage where DPF cleaning is right at our door."
It's not too late to defuse the time bomb. Get educated. Get proactive. Get on your dealer or distributor. And, if all else fails, start sending your trucks to Olathe. We hear there's a dealer there that does a bang-up job cleaning DPFs.