When Was the Last Time That You Checked the Particulate Filters on Your Trucking Fleet?

If one thing seems to be certain in life, it's regulation. This is definitely the case when it comes to the automotive industry and, year after year, new rules are rolled out in order to keep motorists safe and help protect the environment. One of the most important new rules in recent years involved the introduction of the diesel particulate filter, and this is now standard fitment on all vehicles powered by this type of engine. It's quite a clever invention but is not without its problems, and if you own a number of diesel-engined vehicles in your fleet, you should probably take a closer look. What can go wrong?

Filter in Action

As you may know, the diesel particulate filter is designed to catch gas particles before they find their way into the atmosphere. These particles are trapped within an internal filter and once they have been captured, are earmarked for regeneration using one of two methods.


The black carbon, as it is known, can be regenerated either actively or passively and the type of method will vary from model to model. Some vehicles will use a catalyst fitted within the filter that will heat up the exhaust system and burn off the accumulated soot. Others may burn fuel to heat up the DPF or use electrical power to achieve the same goal. Still other methods use a selective process which is intended to convert nitrogen oxide into water and diatomic nitrogen. Sensors are always included to help monitor the situation and pre-program the regeneration cycle accordingly.

When Things Go Wrong

Occasionally, the regeneration process can fail because it is poorly calibrated or not activated properly. This can lead to a build-up of soot which can then block the filter and impede overall performance. It is something that can build up gradually over time and not become immediately apparent, but nevertheless, the problem will accumulate. Fuel consumption will be impaired due to this level of congestion, and it will cost a lot more to operate the truck on a monthly basis.

Why You Should Act

Consequently, it is very important to take each vehicle to a mechanic to check the diesel particulate filter on a regular basis. You'll not only want to maximise the performance of each vehicle but will certainly want to ensure that you do not fail a roadside test, as this could lead to fines or even bad publicity.

Speak to a diesel mechanic to learn more.