Posts

Cummins Prepares For A Downturn

This from the United Nations: Climate Change is the defining issue of our time and we are at a defining moment. From shifting weather patterns that threaten food production, to rising sea levels that increase the risk of catastrophic flooding, the impacts of climate change are global in scope and unprecedented in scale. Without drastic action today, adapting to these impacts in the future will be more difficult and costly.

This from Cummins: While we do anticipate a shift towards electrification in some markets over the coming years, diesel will be the primary source of energy in commercial vehicles for many years to come. Cummins will continue to lead the way in developing cleaner and more fuel-efficient diesel engines, such as the recently announced and industry leading 2020 ISX15 Efficiency Series, for the North American heavy-duty truck market, which is 5% more fuel efficient than its 2019 counterpart.

And from my financial advisor: This week the UN said greenhouses gases spew unabated, and we’ll all fry in eighty years. Global temps will spike over three degrees, and millions will become climate refugees. The economic destruction, political disruption and human misery will be legion. So why would you ever birth a child today? Action is desperately required. The deniers, Trumpers and pro-growth gang say the UN’s a criminal outfit full of globalists who wish to subjugate, tax, control and geld us. The climate change hoax is part of the agenda to create a one-world, borderless, pan-national reality serving the elites. It’s just weather. Resist. The debate is not going away. Meanwhile – agree or not – climate change is the dominant political issue.

Drastic action today or a shift in some markets over the coming years? I have no idea what to expect. The climate change alarmism seems excessive and overbearing. The response from governments, in the form of confiscatory taxation, seems ineffective as countries have made little progress in achieving international targets. Sticking our collective heads in the sand while we harm the environment is an inappropriate response to a global challenge.

In our retirement, we have dramatically reduced our carbon footprint even though our coach runs a Diesel engine, which, for most of the year, is idle.

But what will happen to the RV industry over the next few years? What will happen to the Diesel engine? Can the RV lifestyle, for those of us in Class A Diesel Pushers, be sustainable should drastic action in the form of punitive taxation and/or regulatory restrictions occur?

Difficult to predict the timing but I suspect some form of conflict will occur between those that embrace climate change as a defining issue and those that do not.

Cummins just announced that they will be laying off 2,000 people from their company. They currently employ about 62,000 people. They are taking this action as the company needs to do more to reduce costs. The downturn is happening at a sharper pace than expected.

During an analyst presentation last week, the Chief Operating Officer for Cummins, Tony Satterthwaite, made this observation: “Most of the markets in which we participate have either peaked or are on their way down. Demand has deteriorated even faster than expected, and we need to adjust to reduce costs.”

Cummins has launched a New Power business which includes existing electrification business as well as fuel cell and hydrogen production technologies. They seem to be preparing for a gradual market shift not a drastic one.

Change in how we use fossil fuels is coming. Whether it is drastic change or gradual change remains to be seen.

Castaway Release 2.0

ECMUpdate

Our yellow engine warning light has disappeared. Why? Because the coach needed a software update. Turns out our engine was two releases backdated. A new software patch resolved the isolated engine fault.

Our first shakedown trip identified a few minor issues although one was costly — a new tire. The engine control module software update was performed under warranty at no cost.

We have made it to the U.S. Border and we are staying overnight at the Port Huron KOA. We will be back home tomorrow.

Engine Trouble

EngineTrouble

“Ding!”

What was that sound?

Was it the GPS?

No.

Was it one of the iPhones?

No.

It was the coach. Specifically, a warning sound from the dash, an amber engine warning light.

It came on during our drive from Port Huron, Michigan to Petoskey, Michigan. We had perhaps three hours of driving left before getting to our site.

But then this light. This yellow light with an outline of an engine. What to do?

We were on the Interstate and there was no safe place to pull over and stop the vehicle. And I really was not sure whether it was safe to drive the coach. Amber means proceed with caution. A red warning light would be far more serious. At least, that was my thinking.

We called Newmar and our dealer. And both returned our calls promptly. Unfortunately both provided different answers.

Our dealer told us that there wasn’t anything to worry about. Yellow warning lights come on and they come off. Nothing serious. Newmar told us to connect directly with Freightliner. Freightliner told us to pull over and run a diagnostic check. Well, we couldn’t do that on the Interstate and, to be candid, I would rather be stranded 1,000 or so kilometres from our house in Canada at a beautiful resort than on the side of I-75.

Freightliner reluctantly agreed that we could probably get to our destination without blowing up our engine. We could then run the diagnostics and plan next steps from the Petoskey Motorcoach Resort.

We ran the diagnostics check.

The specific code that came up on our engine diagnostic was: SPN 3216 FMI 2 OC 1.

I know. Helpful right?

The error code has something to do with the NOX sensors although I strongly suspect that it has a lot to do with a software bug in the Engine Control Module.

After a few calls between Freightliner and Cummins, I was advised to book an appointment at an authorized Cummins to get a software update for the engine.

It means having to stay an extra night in Petoskey as we couldn’t get an appointment until next Monday.

We were very glad to arrive safely at the resort. The engine did not blow up. We’ll see what happens on Monday.

RWC_3929