1. What’s Diesel Particulate Filter Mean?
  2. The DPF is Now A Law & Regulation to Remain Compliant
  3. What are DPFs?
  4. How Do DPFs Work?
  5. What Should Be Considered About Smaller Moving Truck or Vehicles?
  6. What Are Common DPF Problems?
  7. Soot Blockage
  8. Ash Build Up
  9. What Are The Benefits of Maintenance?
  10. What Lessons We Can Take From This Article 

1. What’s Diesel Particulate Filter Mean?

In the moving and storage industry, understanding and staying up to date with the regulations of the USDOT is crucial to operating a legal and successful moving company. While there are many regulations put into place, these laws make running your company safer for both the carrier as well as the shipper.

Although we’re discussing large and heavy moving trucks, the idea remains the same. If there is a piece of equipment that is essential to maintain the longevity and quality of your car, most would want to fix the problem. With these types of heavy vehicles, the same rules apply but with a much higher financial risk.

When damaged, a diesel particulate filter can cost somewhere around $5,000 to repair. This is quite a repercussion for not fixing what you thought was a minor problem. It’s always better to be safe than sorry in this situation for the sake of your vehicle as well as remaining compliant with USDOT regulations. If audited by the USDOT, this could result in a very large fine that could have been avoided. 

2. The DPF is Now A Law & Regulation to Remain Compliant

As of 2007 and after, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) required all diesel engines be modeled with a diesel engine particle filter (DPF) in California (as well as states that later followed California’s lead). After 2007, the California Air Resources Board also specified its own regulation in regards to diesel emissions and reducing particulate matter (PM). The CARB now also requires that diesel vehicles have a retrofit diesel particulate filter installed.

3. Retrofit Diesel Particulate Filter

A retrofit DPF, which is a regulation set by CARB, typically involved additional work when it comes to the adding of a particular emission control device. The purpose of the requirement is to eliminate diesel emissions exhaust. This device can be very effective, with some studies showing a reduction of emissions of up to 90 percent in the best of cases.

4. What is a DPF?

They are special devices for diesel based motor carriers that tangibly remove the airborne soot particles, especially in regards to a diesel engines exhaust. Since these are carbon-based, they are harmful to us as people and to our environment, especially in such great numbers. This is why they were implemented in 2007. DPFs are a way to reduce these detrimental diesel emissions that are harmful to humans as well as to the environment.

5. How Do DPFs Work?

DPF’s are typically constructed from ceramic-like materials, though some opt for metal or disposable paper options but are rarely seen. The DPF is positioned in a particular way so that the DPF is located to in a downward position pushing the stream of air into the exhaust. In which case, the soot particles are trapped.

As carbon becomes trapped in the diesel fuel filter, the soot builds up. If the soot does not off, this is a process called ‘regeneration’. This process takes place while the exhaust stream if it reaches a  hot enough temperature. However, depending on the circumstances such as the duty cycle, a truck driving through hill-like terrain leading them up and down can regenerate enough heat to go through the filter without any trace of problems.

6. What Should Be Considered About Smaller Moving Truck or Vehicles?

Other types of moving trucks or large vehicles that run on a lighter duty cycle, also find themselves in need of some help. Typically, lighter duty trucks will necessitate a little boost of active regeneration. This process injects diesel fuel and heats up the filter. Regardless of methodology or technique, the carbon is freed.

A similar issue to other combustion products, particularly the ashes produced from the lube oil, aren’t regenerated and generally tend to clog up the filter and fast. Consequently, the backpressure of the truck will rise, thus affecting engine proficiency, financial stability, and peace of mind.

7. What Are Common DPF Problems?

Although it is more than likely that there are much more DPF problems that are due to other causes, there are two central problems that are seen frequently in DEF services. Although the soot can block up, it can also be cleared out by regeneration, in which case the soot or carbon particles are burned away.

This typically happens around 600 degrees Celsius. DPFs heavily rely on reaching this high temperature in order for regeneration to happen. Otherwise, they will have to rely on extra fuel injections into the exhaust as a way to detect and burn on the carbon particles.

8. Soot Blockage and Regeneration

Regardless, diesel run trucks, especially in the moving industry, cannot rely solely upon regeneration to solve their problems. Soot is a problem that may or may not happen and can be entirely circumstantial. When soot builds up to a point where the warning lights have been activated, this is a clear sign that the driver should pay attention to and take action upon. Problems similar to those mentioned earlier will damage your vehicle should you ignore the issue at hand. Slow-speeds will continue and low idling or even having to stop and restart the truck might happen, which only furthers your DPF problems.

Vehicles who will suffer most are those in urban areas or urban-centric areas. This is because they will only be allowed to drive at slower speeds, thus making these the problems experienced more prominent in urban areas. Without being able to drive to a higher speed, their vehicles cannot regenerate and the soot will continue to block the DPF.

Regeneration is a natural DPF cleaning process that is meant to burn the soot but it must be able to reach high enough speed, RPM, and engine temperature (600 Celcius). This is simply to maintain your DPF system and is not a replacement for taking your DPF in for routine cleaning.

9. Ash Build Up

Similar to soot, ash also tends to build up in the DPF. However, unlike the soot that can be regenerated, ash is tough and will not be burned away, meaning it continues to build up over an extended period of time. After a long time or after around 100,000 miles or so it will have built up to the point where it is necessary to clear out. This process demands an external filter clean or even a possible replacement.

The lifetime of the DPF might be shortened if it’s serviced with the wrong oil. All vehicles that have DPFs require love Sulphated Ash, Phosphorous, Sulphur oils. This will prolong the longevity of the vehicle and will produce minimal ash. As you can imagine, using oil with lower qualities oils may generate more ash and consequently more DPF blockage essentially. A fault regarding the oil system in diesel emission systems is also likely to make the engine utilize more oil than necessary, which can affect the DPF as well.

10. What Are The Benefits of Maintenance?

Maintaining your vehicles, particularly if you work in the moving or trucking industry, is a crucial component to keeping your heavy and expensive truck working. A truck is fundamental in the moving business and it is a large investment. Without proper maintenance, you're losing money by having to put more money into your vehicles later, rather than spending a smaller amount to maintain the diesel truck. 

Regular features that coincide with keeping your vehicle up to date is that it is healthy for the environment. It will support clean air intake and emissions system. This, in turn, will help trigger and control DPF regeneration. Even more benefits of regular upkeep are the restoration of fuel efficiency, DPF performance, and reduces emissions. 

11. Regulations Are Constantly Updating 

Since 2007, those with diesel vehicles, like those in the moving industry, diesel vehicles should be improving in their quality and longevity. While this technological development was quite a game changer, industries adapt quickly. Consequently, with DPF’s are DESs. The DPF industry is growing rapidly and those with heavy-duty trucks such as moving companies. This industry is still new and needs top quality people with expertise to maintain and support diesel vehicles in the moving and trucking industries.

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