Being that my company (Angus Transportation, Inc.) is a California-based motor carrier, my equipment is subject to 90-day BIT inspections, rather than the usual annual inspections required by FMCSA. Upon my last 90-day inspection on the truck, it was discovered that I had a slight air leak in what the inspecting mechanic called an “exotic” solenoid. Since the part number was worn off and it was just outside the allowable “1-inch soap bubble within 3 seconds” test with soapy water, I decided to apply a time-tested temporary fix that had got me through tough times before. I dug deep into my toolbox to find a package of good-old, reliable JB Weld plastic epoxy repair to seal the air leak on the solenoid and get me through, at least until I was able to find out what the part number was for this solenoid.
As business would dictate, my schedule became full during the holiday rush and time to plan maintenance downtime became harder and harder to come by. The temporary fix on the solenoid seemed to be holding tight and all was well for the operational ability of my truck. It was only a couple weeks after the inspection that led me to a point when only the “real deal” would suffice, due to the temporary fix finally giving way. Although it wasn’t a major leak, it was still enough of a leak that I didn’t want to chance being on the road with it in its current condition. After all, only a truck at 100% operational readiness is what I want to be out there in with public safety and my own on the line! With a little research online I had done, I discovered that it was actually not as “exotic” of a valve as the mechanic thought originally, turning out to just be a fan clutch solenoid that senses engine temperature and actuates (through air) the fan clutch to turn on and off. Along with this info found on the Internet, I was also able to retrieve an ever-helpful Bendix part number to give to the dealer parts department for reference.
With an ample amount of Freightliner dealers everywhere, it was easy for me to find a local dealer within my area that had this part in stock. My regular dealer near where I park did not have it, which was my first call, but they would be able to get it from another local dealer by lunchtime that same day at no additional charge! The parts availability since becoming a Freightliner owner-operator three years ago has always put a smile on my face when compared to the other brands I have driven and owned. The last brand of truck that I owned would never fail at leaving me sidelined for days waiting on parts, even for the simplest of things on several occasions. With a vast network of parts and authorized service centers throughout the country, it is nice to know that the brand I run has my back when it comes to parts availability like they did in this last instance for me. I was able to pick up the part on the way to my last delivery for the day, install it during my 30-minute offload, and be back on the road as good as new with zero added downtime and for much less than I thought the part would set me back in the first place! Whether through remanufactured products, OEM original parts, or the Alliance brand family of parts and accessories, it is great to know that the parts I need are never too far out of reach to help maximize my productivity and uptime! My hat is off to Freightliner, Allison and Cummins for always keeping my CNG Beast and I on the road, running strong!