Frozen Food Express refuses to purchase early production EGR engines
Apr 19, 2002 12:00 PM, Gary MacklinReacting to concerns about the performance and fuel economy of engines manufactured to meet new EPA emission standards, Frozen Food Express of Dallas TX says it will not be among the early buyers of those engines. To meet its needs for perhaps 275 new tractors in 2002, the company says it will buy trucks in advance of the October 1, 2002 deadline. The company bases its decision on the fact that little road testing has been done with the new engine designs that run hotter and may require more frequent oil changes. FFE also says that the new engines may be less dependable than current engines and may require more maintenance attention. Worries about purchase prices that may be as much as $2,500 more than current engines are also part of the decision.
FFE chairman Mit Stubbs says that his company will let other carriers act as road test fleets for the new equipment. While others help work out the anticipated bugs in the new designs, FFE has reached an agreement with Freightliner to extend the warranties on its existing tractors to cover additional service life. The company also will consider purchasing low mileage used tractors. Some used vehicles have already been bought, Stubbs says.