Oil, engines & owner-operators
Following the rules keeps last truck running smoothly

Last year, when 54-year-old OOIDA member Kenneth N. Goff bought his 2001 Freightliner Classic XL Limited Edition, he knew it would be his last truck until retirement. So he loaded it with some extra comforts, like the Big Daddy leather seats with vibrator and heat, as well as a roomy 84-inch sleeper. With a 280-inch wheelbase, he says the truck is “plenty long enough,” and the factory stripe kit makes the truck stand out in the crowd. To make sure the truck lasts until he retires, Goff follows all the rules – engine manufacturer’s recommendations and speed limits.

With 170,000 miles on his 500 Detroit engine, he keeps it running smoothly with Mobil 1300 Super, the oil recommended by Detroit Diesel. He also follows OEM recommendations for using Mobil synthetic oil in everything except his engine. He runs with an Eaton 13-speed transmission.

Goff goes above and beyond OEM recommendations for oil drain intervals. While Detroit suggests oil drains at least every 20,000 miles, his oil changes are every 15,000 miles. For added protection, he runs an oil analysis with every other oil change and performs PMs every two weeks. Goff prefers TA for his PMs and oil changes, with Petro as his second choice.

Recently, the alternator went out on Goff’s truck, but he still made it to the nearest Freightliner dealership thanks to his ProDriver computer.

“The computer automatically shut off all nonessential items to keep the lights running until I got to a Freightliner dealer,” Goff said. “Luckily, the dealer happened to be at the next exit, only a mile away.”

Detroit Diesel’s ProDriver computer reminds him when it’s time for an oil change, tells him when something is wrong, and keeps him apprised of his fuel mileage, which averages 6.5 to 6.75 mpg. Goff attributes his good fuel mileage to maintaining his speed as close as possible to the posted speed limit.

Goff, who lives in Doylestown, OH, hauls automotive parts for Landstar Inway. He has driven a truck for 24 years and has owned his own truck for 22 years.