A local remanufacturing program for the Detroit DD15 engine is underway in Australia.
Commencing last November as part of a soft launch, the program has advanced this year following a series of successful evaluations.
As Penske Australia looks to further improve its service offering, the decision to remanufacture the Detroit DD15 engine provides customers with another crucial option.
Previously customers were looking at in-chassis overhaul or outright engine replacement according to Penske Australia Managing Director Hamish Christie-Johnston.
“It’s perfect for a customer that might have previously expected to sell that truck perhaps before those major costs hit,” he told Prime Mover.
“They might now consider keeping that truck a bit longer and running it into its second life. If the DD15 engine has, say, a 1.5 million kilometre life, a remanufactured engine goes in at that point and the customer might keep it for another 600,000 kilometres and sell it at say 2 million,” said Christie-Johnston.
By providing DD15 customers the option of a rebuilt engine, Penske, as part of the strategy, is also incorporating another way of decreasing total cost of ownership significantly.
The program will be run by Detroit Business Manager Bob Gowans, formerly of Daimler in the UK, who joined Penske Australia in May.
Heavy vehicle operators who opt for the program will receive a fully remanufactured engine from Penske’s dedicated facility in Sydney, in return for their running core. The customer is then presented with a Penske backed warranty and options for extended coverage.
“With this program, the customer can be off the road for several days less than they would with an in-frame rebuild.” said Christie-Johnston.
“We have a price point that is sitting in between in-frame rebuild and the new engine. That makes it cheaper than new with most of the benefits of buying a new engine.”
One of the first of these remanufactured DD15s went into a commercial vehicle for a major transport fleet just on 12 months ago. As the company’s vehicles are prone to chalk up big kilometres it offered a chance to quickly look at the data to see how it was performing.
“That engine has now done over 250,000 kilometres and is doing extremely well,” said Christie-Johnston.
“We’re now at the point we have a dozen or so out in the marketplace allowing us to get that feedback,” he said.
“Customers have said they like having the option so we’re ready to be more vocal about the new offer.”
Christie-Johnston anticipates the uptime benefit in comparison to an in-chassis undertaking could be two days or more.
“If you’re four or five days with the truck off the road compared to probably no more than 48 hours, it’s worth considering knowing you’ll claw back two or three days of downtime.”
The same concept also lends itself to Penske’s other truck brands as well.
“I think this could be a point of difference for us in the future where repair options for a lot of the European trucks have been limited so I think the ability for us to remanufacture components in Australia to an as-new standard and provide that solution at a reduced cost is going to add a lot of value,” said Christie-Johnston.