Proudly Serving The American Truck Driver Since 1975     Contact    Advertise    Digital Print    Archives

​The Dallas Truck Show:

By Bruce Mallinson

October, 2016

Previous Next

The Dallas Truck Show: Even though the show’s attendance overall was down slightly, our booth was always filled with owner-operators. There is a tremendous amount of interest growing in our ability to equip you or your favorite shop with our remote tuning suitcase. In this suitcase are a laptop computer and all of the necessary equipment to connect to Cummins, Caterpillar, and Detroit Diesel engines so that we can program and troubleshoot engines regardless of where they are located via remote access. The ability to do this troubleshooting has benefited several small fleets running both new glider kits AND new trucks. As a result, NOW, when a check-engine light comes on, you no longer have to take the truck to a truck dealership! Just give us a call. Typically, we will just instruct you to plug the computer into the data port and we will then tell you what the problem is and what you need to do in order to make the necessary repairs. Do you need more horsepower and torque? There’s NO problem there: You’re just a phone call away. We have dealers set up in Chicago, Phoenix, North Texas, Orlando, Kansas City, and Oregon. So, SOON, those of you not all that geographically close to Pittsburgh will have more locations where you can find more of what Pittsburgh Power has to offer. Pittsburgh Power Custom computer programming designed (and tested) by our engineers (original engine manufacturers’ programs will naturally also be available) will be available without having to travel to Western Pennsylvania.

The “variable geometry turbochargers” on the 12.7-liter DD4 Detroits are not only gaining tremendous power, but the fuel mileage is up about 0.75 miles per gallon. Horsepower at 1200 RPM, you ask?! How about 600 to the ground (which is 705 flywheel HP)?! The torque is 1800 foot-pounds! That is a remarkable achievement for a 12.7-liter engine. Even though we CAN give you that much power at such a low RPM, you should STILL pull the hills and mountains above 1400 RPM. As always, your boost gauge and pyrometer will tell you where you need to be… This IS an expensive conversion - somewhere between $6,000 and $7,000. At an increase of 0.75 miles per gallon, the payback time will be about 1 year at today’s fuel prices, and that timeline shrinks if prices rise. Basically, this is a result of the “V.G.” Turbo’s ability to offer both the quicker spool-up of a small turbo along with the higher output of the larger turbo.

To the owners of DD15 Detroits: The Pittsburgh Powerbox IS NOW available for your engine!! This is truly a plug-and-play set-up. In fact, the computer mounts under the hood, so the only hole required in the firewall is for the remote control. The computer has 7 power settings and produces 25 horsepower per setting and 50 pound feet of torque for a total of 175 horsepower and 350 additional pound feet of torque (on the max level, level 7). The beauty of the Powerbox has always been the fact that you can change the horsepower and torque as you drive (on-the-fly!), and you can also turn it back to stock horsepower if you’re in snow or ice. If you have to put a driver in your truck you can turn it to zero or power level 1 (or any other level) and unplug the remote. Without the remote, he/ she cannot change the settings. The operator will only be able to choose to leave it on its current level or switch the unit off, rendering the engine back to stock (or level 0). You can also take the box to another truck (provided it also has a dd-15 or dd-16 engine), if need be.

Another DD-15 performance enhancement developed by the engineering staff at Pittsburgh Power is our emissions-compliant performance tune (programming). The horsepower can be set up to 600 horsepower to the ground which equates to 705 horsepower to the flywheel and 1950 foot pound of torque to the rear wheels which is 2294 foot pound of torque at the flywheel. If you don’t need this much power, all you have to do is tell us what it IS that you desire! It’s your truck and your decision, and engineering is very flexible with their abilities! Now, the advantage to the Powerbox verses the performance tune is the fact that you can adjust it while you drive. The performance tune is adjusted with your right foot (only). Either way of gaining horsepower and torque along with fuel mileage will put a smile on your face and you will have a deeper appreciation of your truck. When you think about your life with your truck, isn’t that what we want, a good running tuck that is legal, gets great fuel mileage and does not break down.

Now that we are able to improve the reliability of the emissions systems on the new trucks, increase the response, horsepower and torque along with improving fuel mileage, you can feel comfortable purchasing a brand new truck equipped with a Cummins, Detroit, or Paccar engine. Now you will start to see the prices of used trucks prior to 2008 decline because the 2008 to present trucks are now reliable with our help.

Written by Bruce Mallinson, Pittsburgh Power Inc., 3600 South Noah Dr., Saxonburg, Pa. 16056; 724-360-4080; www.Pittsburghpower.com