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Oil, Engines & Owner-operators
New engine means shorter oil drains
Ray's orchid 2000 Western Star 4964EX Constellation has a 260-inch wheelbase. For power, Ray chose a 430/500 hp Detroit Series 60 with a Meritor ESS 10-speed transmission and 390 rears. He pulls a 48-ft flatbed with sides in the states east of the Rockies.

Ray Kasicki of Cleveland, OH, is driving a brand new Western Star these days, but that doesn't mean he's new to being an owner-operator. Ray has been driving since 1968 and he bought his first truck, an '82 GMC Astro in 1988.

Ray, a long-time user of Shell Rotella-T 15/40, is a firm believer in following his engine manufacturer's recommended drain practices. Ray's last truck had 560,000 miles on the engine when he traded it. "I never went into the engine or dropped the pan," says Ray.

However, with his new Detroit, Ray found the recommended 15,000 mile drain interval was too long. "Oil analysis showed a lot of soot in the oil at 15,000 miles," said Ray. "I talked to the Detroit people, and they told me to shorten the interval. Because of the new EPA regs, apparently the oil in these new engines will get dirtier a lot faster."

Ray is now draining at 13,000-mile intervals, and oil analysis shows normal amounts of soot. "I use oil analysis every second or third drain most of the time," Ray told Land Line. "But if anything shows up out of the ordinary, I do it every time until the problem is corrected. If I hadn't had the oil analyzed, I could have had some big problems with this new engine because of the soot."

Ray generally uses SpeedCo facilities for his PMs. "They're faster, and time is money," he says.

In addition to being a small business trucker, Ray serves on the OOIDA Board of Directors.