A market exists for diesel particulate filter (DPF) cleaners with clean DPFs. Mobile distributors attending the recent ISN Tool Dealer Expo at the Gaylord Palms Resort & Convention Center in Orlando, Fla. got a chance to learn about this market during a presentation by Adam McEwen, strategic account manager for heavy duty at Bosch Automotive Service Solutions.
In California, certain model trucks must be retrofitted with DPFs if the filters are not already included. Trucks first began using DPFs in 2007, McEwen said.
McEwen reviewed the way in which DPFs clean truck engine exhaust. A DPF has thousands of small channels that are alternately sealed. The exhaust enters one channel and is forced to exit out of an adjacent channel. The filtering occurs as the exhaust passes through the barrier.
Before particulates are removed by the DPF, the truck’s diesel exhaust fluid removes NOx, which causes smog.
DPFs vary by manufacturer and are designed to last anywhere between 200,000 and 500,000 miles without needing to be cleaned, McEwen said. After this point, it is necessary to remove the filter to remove the ash. The 200,000- to 500,000-mile limits apply to vehicles operating in ideal conditions, McEwen noted. Otherwise, the DPFs must be cleaned earlier.
Because the first DPFs were included in 2007, the first generation of vehicles is in need of maintenance. “The drivers are now just starting to feel the pain of doing the extra maintenance item on the truck,” he said.
Cleaning DPFs makes sense considering that an OEM replacement filter costs more than $5,000, McEwen said.
“Every filter on the truck has to be taken off and cleaned eventually,” he said.
How big is the DPF market? In 2015, McEwen said the industry expects to sell 450,000 DPF units, representing $180 million in sales.
OTC provides a DPF cleaner called 5280 DPF which McEwen said is an OEM-approved cleaner. “This machine takes certain adapters to fit certain filters,” he said.
OTC also has a portable diesel particulate filter.
DPF accessories include a 5281 DPF thermal processing unit. It is a computerized oven that is 24 inches long by 24 inches wide and 26 inches high.
OTC recently introduced the portable diesel particulate filter cleaner, the 5286. This unit meets a growing demand for on-site maintenance needs for the off-road industry. Off-road vehicles as of 2013 must have a DPF filter. The portable unit can be used for off-road vehicles and on-road. It works with 110AC, 220AC, 12V and 24V. This machine is the most universal DPF cleaner on the market, McEwen said.