Focus on Summer Fleet Management: Q&A with Frank Cook, Peak C&I
While summer is often viewed as a time for vacation and relaxation, hardworking fleet professionals are still active and accountable for keeping the country moving year round. Keeping equipment in optimal shape is key in ensuring reliable, on-time deliveries even as temperatures rise.
Proper vehicle maintenance and product selection, particularly coolant selection, is a requirement for fleet professionals looking to prevent costly application downtime and subsequent revenue losses.
In this Inside the Industry Q&A,
Lifeblood advisory member, Frank Cook, Chief Technology Officer for Peak Commercial & Industrial, shares his tips for keeping your fleet’s engines in optimal condition and avoiding downtime during the warmer months. 1. What are the key challenges fleet professionals face in the summer months?
All fleets are challenged year-round to ensure that proper system maintenance practices exist and are followed by both their maintenance technicians and operators. However, there are a few specific instances in which heat transfer issues arise during the warm summer months. A few common issues that fleet professionals, maintenance technicians and operators should all pay close attention to during the summer are:
• Poorly formulated coolant products that have been selected and used within the system. • A glycol to water ratio that is not properly maintained. • The optimum system pressure (15 psig.) is not properly maintained.
To keep your fleet running efficiently, the optimum balance between convective and nucleate boiling heat transfer is a 50/50 prediluted extended life coolant. This particular ratio will provide anti-boil protection and effectively transition generated heat from hot metal surfaces to the atmosphere — ultimately avoiding unit downtime due to overheating.
In addition, the most common causes of system pressure losses arise from a damaged or improperly functioning pressure cap. To avoid this loss, the cooling system pressure should be checked periodically, as reduced system pressure can reduce the anti-boil protection of a 50/50 prediluted coolant product.
2. What does added heat do to engine systems?
Excessive heat buildup within an engine can lead to a variety of problems, including worn rings, scuffed pistons, cracked heads, reduced oil life and bearing wear. While the heat has specific effects on the each of these areas, it is key to address these issues before they cause expensive or irreparable damage to the larger engine system.
3. What are the most important steps fleet professionals should take to address these challenges? • Ensure that proper maintenance practices are in place and that all key individuals are properly trained. • Utilize a trusted extended life coolant brand, which offers excellent corrosion, cavitation, anti-scale and anti-foam protection, such as FINAL CHARGE Global Extended Life Coolant/Antifreeze. Scale buildup within the cooling system will prevent heat transfer from hot metal surfaces and promote system failures caused by overheating. • Utilize an extended life 50/50 prediluted coolant product to ensure proper glycol to water ratio and to prevent external contamination from poor quality water sources. This will ensure the optimum performance of the selected technology is achieved within the system. • If an extended life 50/50 prediluted coolant product is not available or desired, then ensure that the product is properly diluted with a good quality source of water. If this option is chosen, make sure to keep in mind the below limits on make-up water that have been set by engine manufacturers: – Calcium (Hardness) 170 ppm – Magnesium (Hardness) 40 ppm – Chlorides (General Corrosion) 40 ppm – Sulfates (General Corrosion) 100 ppm 4. In your experience, how have these challenges changed over time?
The introduction of new technologies such as High Pressure Common Rail (HPCR), Exhaust Gas Recirculation (EGR), Aftercoolers and Oil coolers have increased demands placed on the cooling system to remove excessive heat from the engine and sub-systems, while providing total system protection under varying dynamic conditions.
These systems have promoted an increase in the metallic and non-metallic surface areas, which requires multiple levels of protection. In addition, new protection is required to reflect the changes in the types of metallic alloys utilized within the system, which requires multiple levels of protection, and the changes in external hose/internal gasket design and composition, which requires fluid compatibility and protection.
These changes in turn increase the demands placed on the coolant’s inhibitor package, stability and overall performance. An extended life coolant needs to be very robust and capable of providing, corrosion, cavitation, anti-scale, and anti-foam protection under high heat rejecting conditions, while under system pressure and in the presence of various metallic/non-metallic materials.
5. Have technological innovations enabled fleet professionals to better prepare their fleets for the summer heat? If so, how?
Innovations have helped to create more reliable test methods for evaluating a systems condition, which can be used by the fleet to make a more informed decision relative to product selection and improve cooling system maintenance practices.
Infield diagnostics or test kits are also becoming more reliable, which will help fleets to test for inhibitor, and system contamination limits.
Another important development fleet professionals have been able to utilize is the newer, extended life coolant technologies, which are able to provide lifetime protection without the need for SCAs, preventing over-treatment issues and ensuring longer application uptime.
FINAL CHARGE Global Extended Life coolant from PEAK Commercial & Industrial is designed to provide corrosion, cavitation, anti-scale, and anti-form protection to ensure optimum heat transfer is maintained, while ensuring compatibility with system elastomers.
PEAK Commercial & Industrial offers specific
products that can be used to simplify cooling system maintenance and ensure optimum application reliability with minimized proper in-field maintenance. In addition, PEAK Commercial & Industrial coolant technology with aftersales technical support is designed to remove the guesswork in product selection and continued maintenance for both modern and traditional cooling systems. Read More Read More