Street Smarts: Cat quietly bolsters on-highway support

By Jack Roberts03 November 2022

Caterpillar is stepping up its on-highway engine support. (Photo: Caterpillar)

One of the earliest signs that the on-highway diesel engine market was changing forever came in 2008, when Caterpillar announced that it would discontinue manufacturing new on-highway truck engines after 2009.

Caterpillar had been a major player with its proprietary lineup of diesel truck engines for years. The engines were tough and reliable and fostered a loyal fan base over many decades.

But the 2007 U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) diesel exhaust emissions regulations were the toughest ever seen in North America. And even tougher regulations were coming in 2010. Many OEMs were also in the process of developing their own engines. And so, based on the business climate at the time, Caterpillar decided it would discontinue manufacturing of on-highway truck engines after 2009.

But Cat on-highway engines never went away. In fact, according to Kristi Turner, senior parts and services marketing consultant at Caterpillar, there are still over 1.1 million Cat truck engines in daily use in North America.

“Even though Caterpillar stopped building new truck engines, parts and service support has remained constant since then,” Brad Bradford, on-highway truck product support manager, said. “We have a fully dedicated team of aftermarket sales representatives in place to support Cat on-highway engines. And in 2020, a team of dedicated account managers was created to support Cat Truck Engine Parts and Services (TEPS) dealers as well as independent repair facilities.”

New support solutions

But with so many engines still in service, Bradford said Caterpillar is now stepping up with a whole new host of parts and service solutions to support customers still running yellow engines under their hoods.

“The average age of a Cat truck engine now is around 21 years,” added Zach Barrett, parts and service marketing consultant, on-highway engines, Caterpillar. “That means many of them are reaching their end of life from overhauls and rebuilds. In order to give those customers many more years of reliable service from their engines, Caterpillar is offering Cat Reman long block and complete engine solutions.”

Barrett said the benefits from these support offerings include:

  • Overhaul, upgrade or repower options for different repair needs.
  • Like-new performance.
  • Come fully assembled, saving labor time.
  • Long blocks covered by the 12-month Caterpillar Limited Warranty for parts.
  • Engines backed by the 24-month unlimited Caterpillar Limited Warranty.
  • 100% new cylinder blocks, crankshafts and cylinder heads for Cat Reman engines with new content.

New offerings and customers

Jack Roberts is a Tuscaloosa, Ala.-based independent journalist and licensed commercial driver with more than 20 years’ experience covering the North American and global trucking industries.

And Caterpillar isn’t just supporting old customers. Bradford said the OEM is now aggressively stepping up its proprietary remanufacturing processes and now offers Cat Reman engines with new content. “The Cat Reman engine with new content features a 100% new cylinder block, crankshaft and cylinder head. All seals, O-rings and gaskets are also 100% new, and the engine features like-new Cat Reman components such as turbos, air compressors, etc.

“And we’re starting to see customers who have been running older competitive diesel engines looking to repower their older trucks with these like-new Cat engines. We’ve never offered anything like this before. Caterpillar will take that competitive engine core and give you full core credit for it toward the cost of the Cat Reman engine.”

More programs, parts, services and even engine options are coming as Caterpillar fine-tunes its on-highway engine programs.

If you’re interested in learning more about Caterpillar’s on-highway service, support and Cat Reman engines, you can visit Cat.com/cattruckengines to locate an authorized Cat dealer near you.

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