As one of the largest and oldest Mack and Volvo truck certified Uptime Centers and dealerships in the U.S., family-owned Bruckner’s Truck Sales is always looking for ways to be more efficient. Across 32 locations in seven states, Bruckner’s services trucks, trailers, and sometimes equipment with parts not original to the manufacturer. To keep equipment on the road and customers happy, it’s important for Bruckner’s to not only have an inventory of parts but the right tools for efficient service.
LEAVING THE OLD-FASHIONED WAY BEHIND
One specific maintenance area that had increasingly become a headache for their service team was transferring coolant lines off of the transmission without contamination, especially when working on equipment that has parts not original to the manufacturer. While Mack and Volvo use a quick-connect fitting hose for a more seamless transfer, other OEMs use a butterfly valve, which can clog more easily.
“Butterfly valves tend to clog up during coolant exchanges, so when we used to encounter one, we would have to do the service the old-fashioned way,” said Ryan Moore, service manager of Bruckner’s Fort Worth, Texas, location.
The old-fashioned way called for coolant to be drained into a pan, which often also caught debris and made the coolant unusable after engine maintenance was complete. That meant replacing it with new coolant even if it still had plenty of life left — and the stuff is not cheap. Standard silicate antifreeze typically lasts around two years or 30,000 miles while extended drain coolants perform up to five years or 100,000 miles.
After performing the service, Moore said they would then refill with new antifreeze from the top. As most operators know, adding in coolant from the top tends to leave a lot of air in the line. To fix this, service techs have to start the truck, run it for a minute or two, shut it down, open the cap and release the air, then fill the system back up with more coolant. Sometimes this process needs to be repeated.
According to Moore, this whole rigmarole can add an extra 15 minutes or more to service times. With 32 Bruckner’s locations across seven states, that can add up to be a lot of time wasted, not to mention extra costs passed on to the customer for new coolant.
THE SAGE OIL VAC SOLUTION
Ultimately, Moore wanted to find some way to make the coolant exchange process quicker, and he found it with a Sage Oil Vac 3011-1200 recycler cart. Gaining the ability to cleanly preserve fluid has been a big added bonus for cost savings.
“The 3011-1200 recycler cart is handy because we can do these complex coolant exchanges much faster than the old-fashioned way,” Moore said. “With this cart we can load the coolant from the bottom, ensuring most of the air is pushed out to the top from the beginning.”
The coolant recovery unit’s enclosed system uses vacuum pressure to remove fluid without the danger of contamination. The wheeled unit features a 20-gallon tank for ample storage and a 15-foot, ½-inch (4.5-m, 1.27-cm) hose. This enables technicians to easily reach antifreeze tanks.
“We tried some other brands but had issues with them — one small piece of debris would usually mess things up,” Moore said. “The 3011-1200 cart has a lot less room for error and a better valve assembly.”
All Sage Oil Vac lube carts come equipped with patented Sage Oil Vac vacuum process and fluid level sight plugs with added precision. A CV-20 vacuum generator provides power along with a required additional air source.
“Our service technicians are much happier because they can get the job done faster — if each one could have a recycler cart in their own bay they would,” Moore said.
The Fort Worth Bruckner’s team has four 3011-1200 recycler carts, but they’re looking to order more. Moore said he would describe his relationship with the Sage Oil Vac team as “streamlined.”
“I can send an email and get another cart, or any products basically, at the snap of a finger,” Moore said. “It’s no hassle. They know what we need, and then we get it.”
Find out more about Sage Oil Vac lube carts and contact the Sage Oil Vac team with any questions.