TMC task force looking at reusable filters
ATA’s Technology & Maintenance Council (TMC) has charged a task force with qualifying questions for the evaluation of cleanable and reusable filtration devices.
An increasing number of fleets and independent operators are looking at reusable or cleanable filters as a way of saving on maintenance costs. Filter outlays can amount to hundreds of thousands of dollars annually for some fleets. Although initially more expensive that standard filters, some reusable filters can survive the lifespan of the most durable high-speed diesel engines.
“Reusable filters are not giant sellers in the marketplace yet, but sales are likely to continue growing in the future, particularly if the OEMs and the aftermarket in general are willing to acknowledge their use as a recommended practice,” says Karl Dedolph, President of D3 Consulting, an independent group that provides integrated sales and marketing strategies to the auto, light truck, heavy-duty trucking as well as performance and off-road transportation categories in filtration and lubrication. Dedolph also serves as chairman of the task force. ”The fleets are the big category, and that’s what our task force is trying to look at.”
“The main challenges that the task force addresses are economic, Dedolph says.
“The potential benefits of heavy-duty truckers using reusable/cleanable filters are certainly within that scope, including savings on filter costs, inventory costs and disposal costs.”
Dedolph points out that while quality reusable filters do seem to meet the economic criteria, there are some other important standards that reusable filters must meet, including OEM standards for efficiency, capacity and flow.
Looking for capacity
Of these three measures, capacity is among the most prominent in the eyes of the TMC task force. If a reusable filter does not provide the necessary capacity over the PM duration, the other economic and performance benefits could be in question.
The military and severe-duty vehicles, such as those that operate in open pit mining and quarry operations, have used these filters successfully.