If you are looking for me in my trusty Cascadia Evolution fuel mileage machine, you won’t find me for a little while. It would seem that my truck is needed elsewhere for testing so that its performance can be analyzed for future developments. The truck has a good track record with a decent amount of miles under its belt, making it the perfect candidate for testing. I admit, I am having a little bit of fun as I receive notifications of any anomalies through Detroit’s virtual technician that occur to the trucks readout while on their testing grounds. I find it interesting that after all the miles put on this truck by me, I have never received any notifications, however, I received one on the first day it was left in their care.
As a replacement truck, I have been given a 2015 Cascadia with a 72” raised roof powered by a Cummins ISX 450hp 1550 LB/FT @ 1100 RPM. Those specs are delivered to the pavement through an Eaton Fuller FRO-1521C Transmission, Meritor rear axle package and a 336 final drive ratio. Also equipped are low profile 22.5 tires wrapped around steel wheels. Although achieving its goal of durability and simplicity in a rental application, the interior is rather plain compared to my Evolution. From the first moment that I climbed into the cabin, I was reminded of the trucks that I first drove back in the beginning of my career. Having said that’ It was interesting to see how many features now come standard on the lower end packages in comparison to that past. Power windows, cruise control, air ride seats/cab/suspension, and power locks just to name a few! Back in 1983, the trucks I began driving did not have these luxuries that now do not stand out in any type of vehicle. Back then, drivers would have felt like they were riding in a 5 star hotel if supplied with these features. Any driver who has been in this industry a long time can attest to this claim. Back in the old cab overs I started in, I felt lucky to have air conditioning, power passenger window, and remote right hand mirror control. One day though, my power window would not go back up in a snowstorm. Ahh, the good old days.
It has been interesting to reflect on many things that drivers take for granted today such as automatic air dryers and slack adjusters. Some of us know the annoyance of adjusting brakes with our back in a puddle while the 35 degree air chilled through our bones like needles. We also had to keep our air tanks drained on a regular basis or face an embarrassing learning lesson upon winters arrival. With that being said, I am going to miss having the luxury of my Evolutions Incredibly equipped interior with high level amenities that we couldn’t even have imagined back in those days. I refer to: heated and cooled seats, refrigerator, microwave, flat screen t.v. , and, most importantly, the Park Smart HVAC unit. I am looking forward to a personal analysis based on operational costs and comfort between these two polar opposite packaged trucks.