I just got back from the Technology & Maintenance Council's (TMC) Annual Meeting and Expo in Orlando, and of all the presentations and discussions I heard or took part in during the week, one stands out in particular. In the "Shop Talk" session, a fleet maintenance manager got up and asked the assembled crowd of about 250 whether anyone had any experience taking out their diesel particulate filters for cleaning yet. The response? Silence. If you recall, when DPFs came on the scene in time for the EPA 2007 diesel emissions standards, the EPA declared that they must be able to go a minimum of 150,000 miles before needing to be physically removed from the truck and cleaned of their accumulated ash deposits. At the time, the truck OEMs assured us that the DPFs could easily go 250,000 before needing to be cleaned, but no one really knew what to believe, because the devices weren't in use yet, and it would be several years before the first operating DPF reached even 150,000 miles. Well, when the question came up at the TMC Meeting, representatives from three different diesel engine OEMs got up and responded that their testing had revealed that DPFs on long-haul trucks will exceed even the 250,000 mile interval. The three representatives gave numbers as high as 500,000 miles, and these numbers were based on real-world experience; they were not estimates. It's kind of nice to deliver good news every once in a while. i could get used to this.