Also, the test trucks have seen an uptick in the frequency of fuel filter changes. “Both groups occasionally have plugged filters, but we’re seeing more plugged filters in the B20 group,” says Dr. Heck. “Why that is, specifically, we have not been able to determine.”
THE END IS IN SIGHT
Now that “The Haul” is nearly over, attention is turning to the question of engine wear. Because of the high lubricity of biodiesel, it is expected that the engines from the test trucks will exhibit less wear than those from the control trucks running ULSD.
“What we hope to find at the end of this test is a mechanical advantage with the use of biodiesel, and its lubricating properties,” says Lursen. “Injectors, fuel pump, valve train—we’re expecting to see reduced wear on those components.”
And that, in the end, could decide that “cents-per-mile” equation that is so important to Decker Truck Lines, and could convince a lot of other fleets that biodiesel is actually a safe bet.
For expanded coverage of the Two Million Mile Haul, watch for the Fall issue of Fuel Advantage, available soon at www.fuelpub.com.