U.S. diesel manufacturers say their engines will be operating bug-free and none will be shut down by Y2K programming problems. The six major engine makers claim that none of the electronic engines will be affected, as they have no "real-time" clocks.

The roots of the Y2K bug lies in the fact that many computers and electronic equipment that contain an internal clock are not programmed to tell the difference between 1900 and 2000.

"Cat customers don't have to worry about any such inconveniences because all of our truck engines and software are already Year 2000 compliant," says David Semlow, marketing manager for the Caterpillar truck engine division. "Of course, controls that don't use date-sensitive components won't be affected by the Y2K bug."

Semlow notes that the statement of compliance applies only to standard Cat controls and software and does not apply to third-party software or hardware.

Cummins engine says all their products are Year 2000 compliant, including Signature engines, PT Pacer-equipped engines (L10, Big Cam IV, N14); PACE-equipped engines (L10, Big Cam IV, N14); CELECT (L10, M11, N14), CELECT Plus (M11 Plus, N14 Plus) and all mechanical fuel system-equipped engines (B5.9, C8.3, L10, Big Cam and N14). For a complete list of products in compliance, see Cummins website at www.cummins.com.

Detroit Diesel has also completed a review of its operations and has announced that their engines, together with standard ECM hardware and program software (DDEC and MDEC) are compliant.

Navistar International says the International engines do not use any date-related computer chips. Instead, they rely on a system operation clock that turns "on" and "off" to accumulate actual operating time. Engines in their heavy-duty vehicles also use a similar system operation clock and not a real-time clock. They include engines supplied by Cat, Cummins and Detroit Diesel. For more info and a helpful FAQ, see Navistar's website at www.navistar.com.

What about components? According to International, alternators, brakes, collision avoidance systems, HVAC monitors, instrument clusters and monitoring systems from Cat, Cummins, Detroit Diesel, Eaton, Pollak and XATA Corp. do not contain date-sensitive chips.