This week, our 2022 Freightliner Cascadia Celeste just turned 75,000 miles on the odometer. This meant it was time for the first scheduled oil change interval, as prescribed by Detroit for the DD15 engine. 75,000 miles inefficient long haul duty cycle while averaging better than 7 miles per gallon, qualifies us to take advantage of this oil change interval. Click here for more information:
During these 75,000 miles, this is the first time that Celeste needed to be in the shop other than for an initial wheel alignment and two previous chassis greasings. There was no make-up oil needed prior to this oil change, and the level on the dipstick was exactly where it was from when we picked up the truck. At 75,000 miles, I’ve found myself getting a little too used to the incredible ride I’ve experienced with the AIR TEK Hendrickson front suspension combined with the Hendrickson OPTIMAAX liftable pusher axle, Airliner rear suspension, and the LINK Cabmate ROI electronically controlled cab suspension. I got to ride in another truck this week and realized, as this other truck was going down the road, how I’ve really gotten used to how smooth Celeste rides in comparison to the other truck. So, basically, Celeste has spoiled me with incredible ride quality.
In terms of efficiency, the first part of Celeste's life was conducted trying to attain double-digit fuel economy at speeds up to 75 mph where safe, legal, and posted. The lifetime fuel economy during this capped out at 9.8 mpg. Since then, I’ve lowered my speed on the highway down to 65 mph where safe and posted legal, and the lifetime fuel mileage has moved up to 10.37 mpg. For the time period since slowing down, the average has been 10.8 mpg for a little over 10,000 miles. Having the Hendrickson OPTIMAAX liftable pusher axle suspension has been a welcome addition to the added efficiency we can attain with this truck. The reality is, through refinements to the DD15 engine, Detroit DT12 automated manual transmission, Detroit rear axle with active lube management, and refinements in terms of aerodynamics, have all added up to make this truck highly efficient in my line of work. An old Freightliner slogan comes to mind when thinking about Celeste, “the efficient machine”.
When thinking about 75,000 miles, I remember that the trucks I started my driving career in, would have rod and main bearings “rolled in” every 250,000 miles, and in-frame engine overhauls in the 500,000-mile range. In today's world, that's only a little over 3 oil changes until rod & bearings are replaced, and only 6.5 oil changes in 500,000 miles compared to an overhaul. To me, it’s quite interesting how far we’ve come as an industry, in terms of longevity and efficiency, since when I began my career.
Until next time, please drive safe and courteous, keep the rubber side down, and sign up for our newsletter on TeamRunSmart.com.