So, it’s been a while since I've had an update for you on New Blue. New Blue is my Cascadia that I got in March of 2017. The truck is powered by the DD15 400 HP / 1750 FPT at 975 RPM, backed up by a Detroit DT12 automated manual direct drive transmission with Detroit axles equipped with 2.16 rear axle ratio active lube management, 223 wheelbase, Aero package riding on Alcoa wheels, and Michelin X-One wide-base single tires. With this, I pull my 2008 utility 4000 DX 53 ft. dry van trailer equipped with the latest in aerodynamics. 

The lifetime fuel mileage at 502,000 miles for my Cascadia with Aero package is 9.532, with my worst full tank ever at 8.2 miles per gallon, and my best one-day average of 13.4 miles per gallon. My goal, when I acquired this Cascadia in March of 2017, was to be able to average better than 10 miles per gallon. During its first year, I was able to average 10.1 miles per gallon, with the Detroit integrated drive train performing flawlessly and efficiently, while cruising at speeds of 65 mph and under. The average mpg had come down due to a new challenge, which was to try to achieve double-digit fuel economy cruising at speeds up to 75 mph where posted, that were legal and safe. This project, which I dubbed 70+/10, lowered my lifetime average to the current 9.532 mpg.  

On the maintenance side, there has been only one unscheduled repair, and that was dealing with the after-treatment system where some Nox sensors and some other components were replaced for a total bill of $1,783.48 at 468,239 miles. Oil change intervals were at factory recommended 75,000 miles using Shell Rotella F/A-4 10/30 oil. No make-up oil was needed between oil change intervals. The first Michelin steer tires were replaced at 282,000 miles. I would still be on the replacement tires if a road hazard hadn’t destroyed one of them. The truck is still on its original Northstar AGM batteries. It’s also still on the original Bendix disc brake pads. Basically, this truck has been a money-maker with consistent uptime and productivity.  

This Cascadia has spoiled me for all these miles with the quietness of its well-insulated cab and still is rattle-free, other than the noise that comes from the dorm-style refrigerator that I provided, using the “BYOD” platform, which allows up to a 3.3 cubic ft. fridge. The driver's lounge was something new to me in this truck. I never thought that I needed two seats and a table in a truck, until I had two seats and a table to greet me as I prepared my meals or did paperwork. Also, on the comfort side, I have enjoyed the benefits of the dual HVAC battery-powered climate control system, which has garnered me many nights of comfortable sleeping without the noise of an idling engine or an APU. Speaking of well-insulated, the insulation package that comes with the dual HVAC system almost completely drowns out noises from outside the cab, which could interrupt a productive rest period.   

Yes, you could say my Cascadia, which is named New Blue, has spoiled me with exceptional fuel economy, low maintenance cost, comfortable riding, and a quiet and comfortable place to rest after a long day on the highway. In approximately another month, I will be replacing New Blue with another Cascadia with Aero package, in which I hope to continue my quest for increased fuel efficiency, low operating costs, along with higher productivity as project 70+ / 10 will continue with my newest asphalt steed.  

I am going to miss New Blue and I look forward to presenting you with the results that come from the next truck.  

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Henry Albert

Henry Albert is the owner of Albert Transport, Inc., based in Statesville, NC. Before participating in the "Slice of Life" program, Albert drove a 2001 Freightliner Century Class S/Tâ„¢, and will use his Cascadia for general freight and a dry van trailer. Albert, who has been a trucker since 1983, was recognized by Overdrive as its 2007 Trucker of the Year.

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