Fleet operators with newer engine technology (2007-2010) for their vehicles should take note of several key factors when operating their fleets during the cold winter weather season.
First, a new feature of 2010 engine technology is the presence of Diesel Exhaust Fuel (DEF). DEF is an ammonia-based fluid that cycles through the engine to remove waste particles from the emission system. Many fleet operators don’t realize that DEF begins to freeze below 32 degrees Fahrenheit / 0 degree Celsius. If the engine is not warm enough to keep DEF flowing through the system, you could experience issues with the engine that could ultimately cause your vehicle to breakdown.
During the cold weather, be sure to keep your truck warm by:
- Driving it immediately once you start the vehicle — do not let it idle
- Plugging in the engine block heater whenever the truck is turned off in temperatures that dip below freezing
Secondly, it is important that you do not overfill or put any other fluid inside the designated DEF tank.
For 2007 engine technology, there are several considerations as well. For example, historically fleet operators have started their vehicles and let them idle as a means of heating up the engine and truck prior to the driver’s departure. With new engine technology, you should never let your vehicles idle in this way.
Low vehicle temperatures and in general, engine temperatures when idling, can prevent the Diesel Particulate Filters (DPF) from reaching appropriate temperatures to convert soot to ash. As soot builds up, it could require a more frequent regeneration process for the vehicle and eventually clog the filter.
Finally, be sure to plug in your vehicles overnight to keep the engine warm.
For more tips, advice and knowledge about how your fleet and drivers can weather the winter months, visit us at ryder.com/WinterDriving