Bottom Line
Oil, engines and owner-operators

Tod Job of Jefferson City, MO, was an engineer before giving up life at a computer terminal to become a trucker. He became an owner-operator five years ago when he purchased a 1996 Peterbilt 379. His Pete is equipped with an Eaton 15-speed overdrive transmission, 355 rears, and a 3406 Caterpillar engine. The engine now has 535,000 miles on it and Tod recently upgraded the engine from 435 hp to 500 hp. He hauls refrigerated and general commodities, usually from Missouri to California and back.

Shell Rotella T 15-40 is Tod's choice for oil, and he opts to be conservative, doing his PMs every 10,000 miles. He does not use oil analysis, reasoning that with conservative drain intervals, he will head off most oil-related problems.

Tod is justifiably proud of his crimson Pete and matching Great Dane trailer and competes in truck beauty shows around the country when time permits. He recently qualified for the National Association of Show Truck's Stars and Stripes finals slated to take place at the Mid-America Trucking Show in March.


Too much soot in the oil

In our December 1999/January 2000 issue, we reported Ray Kasicki of Cleveland, OH, found he had to shorten the drain intervals for his new 430/500 Series 60 Detroit engine. Oil analysis showed a lot of soot in the oil at the recommended 15,000-mile drain intervals. He was told that his engine's compliance with new EPA regulations meant the oil would get dirty faster, so Ray (on Detroit's recommendation) shortened his drain intervals to 13,000 miles. This reduced the amount of soot in the oil to "normal" levels, but meant one to two additional PMs would be necessary each year.

Concerned about the long-term effect of increased soot levels on his engine and higher maintenance costs, Ray looked around for a better way to deal with the problem. With 80,000 miles on the engine, he installed a Spinner II oil cetrifuge.

"You wouldn't believe the amount of soot the Spinner picks up," says Ray. "When I change that little paper filter I can really see it's doing the job. I was able to increase my drain intervals to 17,000 miles and oil analysis shows normal soot levels.