Cummins Inc. announced Thursday, Sept. 13, that it has doubled the oil change interval from 500 hours to 1,000 hours for its ComfortGuard Auxiliary Power Unit, which will improve uptime for truck and fleet owners while cutting maintenance costs in half. Cummins says the recommendation comes after extensive testing in conjunction with the engine supplier, Kubota, to ensure there was no degradation in performance or longevity.
“On average, an APU runs about 2,500 hours per year to save fuel and reduce idling time on a truck’s propulsion engine,” says Shawn Wasson, auxiliary power unit business leader for Cummins Inc. “With oil and filter changes every 500 hours on the APU, the annual cost can exceed $350 for oil, filters and labor. With this new interval of 1,000 hours, costs will average only about $150 per year, for an annual savings of about $200 per truck.”
Additional savings also come from improved uptime because the truck doesn’t have to be serviced as often, Wasson says. “The maintenance interval for most over-the-road trucks is also about 1,000 hours,” he says. “By making the maintenance intervals for the APU engine and the truck’s main engine the same, downtime is reduced for further savings. With Kubota’s authorization behind the new Cummins recommendation, truckers can double their oil change intervals while still maintaining the manufacturer’s warranty.”
The new oil change interval recommendation was the result of an extensive testing program by Cummins and Kubota to ensure that no long-term damage to the engine would result from the recommendation. Wasson says that APU engines run at a fairly constant load and RPM, which puts less strain on the engine than if it were used in an application where the load and speed varied widely. This constant load and speed results in less wear and oil contamination, the two companies determined.