For the second year in
a row, Caterpillar's 3406 engine ranks highest in heavy-duty diesel engine
satisfaction among customers of Over-The-Road and Vocational Class 8 trucks,
according to the J.D. Power and Associates 2001 Heavy-Duty Truck Engine Customer
Satisfaction Study released in late September.
The study, based on responses
from 2,859 primary maintainers of 2-year-old heavy-duty trucks (Class 8),
examines customer satisfaction among several important engine factors, including
engine performance and quality, warranty, noise and fuel economy. The 2001
study focused on smaller fleets and owner/operators, with an average fleet
size at a single location of 40 trucks.
Among vocational customers,
Caterpillar's 3406 engine ranks significantly above the segment average on
the heavy-duty truck engine satisfaction index, with strengths in engine life,
noise, performance and downtime. The Caterpillar C-12 follows the 3406 in
customer satisfaction in the vocational segment.
"The average horsepower
rating on a heavy engine has been increasing over time, with a 10 percent
increase from 1997 (366 hp average) to 2001 (441 hp average)," said Jen
Loukes, senior manager of commercial vehicle research for J.D. Power and Associates.