Cummins Repower Rocky Mountain Media Trip: Day Two Blog

Coffee, Diesel, Go.

It was an early, overcast morning in Durango. It was time for cold start data logging, fueling up, and making our plan for the day over coffee and breakfast burritos.  Due to recent weather conditions, our planned route through the Colorado Back Country Discovery had to be adjusted. Because the Proffitt’s and Mark Terrien are natives to the area, they were able to offer many options for alternative routes. We all agreed to head back north to climb over Red Mountain Pass and hit some trails. 

With our friends from Overland International and Alloy + Grit behind the wheels of the Land Cruiser and Land Rover, it was time to climb. Our media guests observed that there was no need to have the pedal to the floor winding through the 6.6% grades.  Holding speed or accelerating wasn’t an issue even with our altitude of 10,000 feet and engine temperature gauge reading 190 degrees F.  At this point, the builders mentioned some of the features they were working to program into the 6-speed GM transmissions including tap shifting, sport mode, and other hill climbing overdrive lockouts. 

We pulled off to shoot a photo next to an old Snow Cat and little did we know that underneath the fresh snow was a nice sheet of ice.  While turning around the 80 Series for a photo, we got stuck.  With the quick help and guidance of our experienced guests, some handy overlanding recovery gear, and the wheel work of Chandra Proffitt, the truck freed itself under its own power.  While most would wipe their brow and get back on the road, but we took the opportunity to test the Disco 1 through the same patch.  Having a bit more speed, a mud-terrain tire tread, and the knowledge of ‘how not to do it,’ it chugged through the deep snow without issue.  Back on the road!

Ice

The switchbacks were absolutely breathtaking and we were fortunate to have the perfect amount of snow to make it scenic, but passible.  Remnants of old mining towns are evident all the way to Ouray.  When we’re in the small towns, many people stop and pay close attention as we roll through.  We pulled over to check out a few more scenic views and observed a few heavy duty class-8 Cummins-powered trucks powering through the switchbacks. This is what sets the R2.8 apart from the others – it has siblings in much bigger applications that we pass wherever we drive.  Countless Ram trucks, 15 Liter-powered big rigs, snow groomers and lots of green gen sets near pump stations help us to tell the 99-year old Cummins story to our guests.

We did a quick stop in Silverton, another old mining town to snap a few pics.  The town’s turn of the century buildings were painted with vibrant colors and reminded us of the industry that once thrived in this area and the risks that people took to earn a living.  Thinking about how hard these winters must have been 100 years ago made me very grateful for the way that I earn my living today.  The spirit of exploration, innovation, and the desire for something better is what these small towns were built upon and that is very fitting for the driving force behind the R2.8 and what we are demonstrating on this trip.

With private access to a wonderful trail leading to a beautiful plateau near Gunnison, we ventured off the road once more onto fresh snow to push these rigs up to more scenic heights.  Fresh hoof prints from a large herd of elk made for a washboard-like experience in several parts of this trail, but the view was worth the bumps.

It was time to get back on the road as we still had nearly four hours of driving to Silverthorne and we were burning daylight.  By this time, the weather reports were getting worse for Saturday and more route decisions needed to be made.  Our friends from Proffitt Cruisers were relatively close to home, so they escorted us to the top of Monarch Pass (11,312 above sea level) at nightfall and then turned around to head home.  With Chandra behind the wheel of the HZJ79, she muscled up in 5th gear the entire climb, never being passed by another vehicle and never breaking 200 degrees.  It was a fitting sign-off.

The rest of us continued driving through Leadville onward to our final stop for the night in Silverthorne.  We arrived with fuel to spare, but it was time to top off the tanks to see how we did.  The on and off road driving all day from Durango to Silverthorne totaled 337.1 miles, nearly 21,000 feet of total climbing peaking at 11,375 feet and just under 11 hours of engine running time.  It was time to pump them all to one click to learn how well the R2.8 did with these heavy rigs, oversized tires, and on winter fuel:

1st place:  ’85 Toyota pickup on 35” mud terrains – 22.17mpg

2nd place: Land Rover Discovery on 32” mud terrains – 20.3mpg

3rd place (by a hair): Land Cruiser FZJ80 on 32” all terrains – 20.1mpg

Tomorrow morning will bring more coffee, snow clearing, and a new plan.  Weather permitting, we plan to go over Loveland Pass. We have a long way until home and with the forecast, the real adventure and test may still be ahead of us!

 

fueltrail

silverthorne

mining

plateau

Steve Sanders

Steve Sanders is the Program Leader for Cummins Repower R2.8 Crate Engines.  Steve joined Cummins in 2009 in Cummins Emission Solutions. He has a background in industrial design and fabrication, studied business management in school, and has a passion for anything with wheels that he can drive.

Five boating safety tips to remember before you hit the water this season

Boating safety tips

From filing a boat plan to scheduling a vessel safety check, here are five tips to help ensure your time on the water is memorable for all of the right reasons. 

Summer is right around the corner. Many of us have been yearning for the long days, warmer weather and time spent on the water. Whether you’re headed out in your pontoon on the lake, fishing boat in the gulf, or sailboat on the ocean, safe boating starts on shore.  

"At Cummins, our daily lives revolve around safety," says Jennifer McQuilken, who works for Cummins marine but is also a U.S. Coast Guard licensed captain. "From wearing proper protection equipment to taking appropriate precautions when installing our product into applications, ensuring the safety of our team members and customers is top priority. That is why all of us at Cummins marine want to remind you of a few easy things to do before you head out onto the water for the first time this season." 

Without further ado, here are five boating safety tips to remember as you prepare for your voyage. 

Wear a life jacket

Boat and water safety tips - life jackets
According to the U.S. Coast Guard, wearing a life jacket is recommended for every boater. 

No matter what activity you have planned on the water, you should always have a life jacket. It is also important to ensure your life jacket is approved by the U.S. Coast Guard or another authorized agency, is appropriate for your water activity and fits properly. There are life jacket styles available for almost any adventure – cruising, hunting, fishing, paddling, watersports, etc.  

Safety first

Make sure you have the proper safety equipment on your boat. There are many items that need to be checked on any boat, some which expire. Valid registration, running lights, flares, and approved fire extinguishers are among some of the things needed for a safe trip on the water. Don’t forget sunscreen, water, and proper clothing for the elements. Not sure if you have what you need? Schedule a free Vessel Safety Check with your local U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary or U.S. Power Squadrons before you hit the water. 

File a float plan

Inform someone you trust of your float plan, which includes details about the trip, boat, persons, towing vehicle, communication equipment and emergency contacts. Should you not return or check-in as intended, a float plan will ensure someone has the information they need to help. Find out more at http://floatplancentral.cgaux.org/

Follow navigation rules

Adhering to these rules is like following the traffic laws. As the operator, you are responsible for the safety of your boat and passengers. Knowing what to do in situations such as meeting head-on, overtaking another vessel and understanding aids to navigation (signs, buoys, etc.) is essential for safe operation of your boat. Be aware of your surroundings and always travel at an appropriate speed for the environment.

Know your local boating laws

Rules and laws can differ by state, region or country. Violations can result in ticketing, fines or jail time. Minimum operator age, towing restrictions and boating licenses and insurance all vary. Ensure to check in with your local guidelines before hitting the water.  

“Being on the water is a fun way to connect with your friends and family,” says Captain McQuilken.

"From active pursuits such as fishing and tubing, to relaxing on a sailboat or cruising around, we want you to have fun, safe day on the ocean or lake." 

Regardless of whether you are an experienced boater, or just getting your feet wet, there are resources available to help you, family or friends learn more about being safe on the water. Consider taking a safe boating course, either in-person or online.  

"See you out there!"

Cummins Office Building

Cummins Inc.

Cummins is a global power leader that designs, manufactures, sells and services diesel and alternative fuel engines from 2.8 to 95 liters, diesel and alternative-fueled electrical generator sets from 2.5 to 3,500 kW, as well as related components and technology. Cummins serves its customers through its network of 600 company-owned and independent distributor facilities and more than 7,200 dealer locations in over 190 countries and territories.

Competing for the title: biggest and baddest in Bristol Bay

The F/V Emory James is a Cummins-powered twin jet Bristol Bay Gillnetter

Enjoy a side of chaos with your salmon fishing? Welcome to the Bristol Bay Fishery. 

Utter chaos. Hundreds of boats slam into each other. Fishing nets thrown on top of one another. Tides rise and fall by the hour. Patrol boats, planes and helicopters monitor GPS coordinates every minute of every day to ensure nobody crosses the boundary line. And if you do? At best, you’re looking at a $5,000 fine.

Welcome to the Bristol Bay Fishery, home to the world’s largest wild sockeye salmon run.

The four-week season begins in mid-June when upwards of 50 million salmon make their way to the spawning grounds at the headwaters of the four main river districts; the Naknek/Kvichak, Nushagak, Egegik, and Ugashik. During this time, 1,500 boats will voyage to southwestern Alaska to partake in their most thrilling yet exhausting month of the year. Each boat will carry between four and six fisherman who will endure 20-hour days while on the water for an entire month without venturing back to land. Many participants will make their entire year’s living in their brief time at Bristol Bay – which makes building phenomenal new commercial fishing boats well worth their while. 

F/V Not Guilty
A pair of Cummins QSC8.3 engines each generating 600 hp @ 2800 RPM powers F/V Not Guilty (pictured).

The competition at Bristol Bay is at an all-time high with the run exceeding 50 million for five years straight; a historical best in 2018 at 62.4 million. This level of success has brought continued investment by fisherman to ensure their boats are the biggest and most powerful in the water. In order to beat the other guy, you have got to have the best. That is why many boatbuilders are calling upon Cummins B, C, and M series engines. The QSC8.3 being the most popular with its lightweight yet powerful structure. Achieving 600 hp and a light duty commercial rating, this engine’s capability is one step ahead in the market for the Bristol Bay Fishery. 

Jeff Johnson of Peregrine Boats says that, "Cummins is very supportive in helping to match an [engine] with our jet application to get the best performance we can in a bay boat." Jeff has built a handful of Cummins boats for customers, but also owns two larger commercial vessels himself.

“As far as I’m concerned, there is no better [engine]. Cummins match up and service stands out, I won’t...recommend any other...for my application.”

In addition to the qualities already mentioned, Bristol Bay is also unique because of its remote location. There are only two ways to get there: by plane or by boat. That is why two main attributes set Cummins apart from their counterparts during the commercial fishing season.

First is local service. Cummins Marine will fly two technicians to southwestern Alaska during the summer to support our customers fishing the bay. In such a competitive environment and so brief of a season, it is crucial to have service support around the clock. Even just one hour of downtime is a lost opportunity.

Parts availability is the second critical asset. Cummins products are made in the United States and easily accessible in a short time frame. This makes our product much more convenient when solutions are needed quickly. 

In the next year, 10 new 1200hp boats will hit the Bristol Bay commercial fishing fleet, all powered by twin Cummins engines. These boats will join the adrenaline-filled fight for the title of fastest and strongest in Bristol Bay. Soon their shiny complexion and buffed exterior will be battered with bruises resulting from pushing the boat and crew to their ultimate limits. But they will enjoy the absolute and utter chaos that can only be characterized by the four short weeks a year spent at the Bristol Bay Fishery. 

Cummins Office Building

Cummins Inc.

Cummins is a global power leader that designs, manufactures, sells and services diesel and alternative fuel engines from 2.8 to 95 liters, diesel and alternative-fueled electrical generator sets from 2.5 to 3,500 kW, as well as related components and technology. Cummins serves its customers through its network of 600 company-owned and independent distributor facilities and more than 7,200 dealer locations in over 190 countries and territories.

Cummins High Mileage Club profile: Keeping essential trucks on the road

Cummins High Mileage Club - March 2020

For our March 2020 Cummins High Mileage Club profile, we put the spotlight on Charles, who uses his Cummins-powered vehicle to help keep essential trucks and other businesses operational. 

Cummins field service engineer and his 900,000-plus mile pickup keep essential trucks on the road. 

“It’s especially important to keep trucks on the road right now, and I work on engines from our smallest 2.8 liter to our largest 95 liter,” said Charles “Rabbit” Ross, Cummins field service engineer.

Rabbit drives all over the southeast in his 2006 Cummins-powered RAM 3500 dually, repairing engines with hard-to-diagnose service issues. While many workers across the world are working from home, Rabbit is still "making sure trucks are available for deliveries, that rescue vehicles are ready, and that power stand-by generators are available if needed,” he says.

While his work has put many of the miles on this truck, its power and dependability have also made it his vehicle of choice for pulling his 5th wheel camper on family trips. At 910,000 miles, the Cummins High Mileage Club is proud to count this truck-and-driver duo as members.

To see more featured Cummins High Mileage Club members, visit https://highmileage.cummins.com/

Cummins Office Building

Cummins Inc.

Cummins is a global power leader that designs, manufactures, sells and services diesel and alternative fuel engines from 2.8 to 95 liters, diesel and alternative-fueled electrical generator sets from 2.5 to 3,500 kW, as well as related components and technology. Cummins serves its customers through its network of 600 company-owned and independent distributor facilities and more than 7,200 dealer locations in over 190 countries and territories.

A farmer's guide to increasing fuel efficiency and saving money

Cummins - Money-saving tips for farmers
Tools such as headland management, GPS coordination and field mapping can help you get the most out of your farm equipment.

From simple things you can do like checking your tire pressure to leveraging the latest in agriculture technology, there are several ways farmers can increase fuel efficiency and save money.

When the harvest season approaches, we know the last thing you want to worry about as someone who works in the agriculture industry is your fuel bill. That’s why we’ve pulled together some hints and tips to help boost fuel efficiency and save you money. 

Healthy engine = better fuel economy

Engine maintenance is key – maintain and replace your air intake filters in line with the manufacturer’s specifications to ensure that enough air can enter the engine. Removing air intake filters and banging them on the tire to clean them is a bad idea. 

Minimize time spent at idle 

If you leave your engine on while you’re taking a break or catching up with neighbors, you’re using fuel but not getting any value from it. It’s simple change can save money. Extended times spend at idle can also have a negative impact on engine life. 

Easy, tiger!

Aggressive driving can increase fuel consumption, so avoid using unnecessary throttle. Can cultivation be done in a higher gear or baling done in Eco PTO mode to reduce engine speed? Try it. Most modern tractors display fuel consumption information to help you decide. 

Get your tire pressure right

Low tire pressure will increase fuel usage, but remember when operating in a muddy environment, low tire pressures help to increase traction and reduce wheel slip, which will actually reduce wasted fuel. Many tractors are now fitted with tools to assist in generating traction and minimizing wheel slip.  

Keep radiators and radiator screens clean

This will avoid any excess fan-on times and reduce the energy consumed by fan operation.  

Be mindful of excess weight

Using ballast in the field to achieve better weight distribution and traction which will reduce fuel consumption overall but avoid carrying excess weight when hauling loads at higher speeds. Take wheel weights off when hauling straw and fill your fuel tank with only the fuel you need. Remember, if you need 50 gallons to do a job, having a full tank will mean you’ve carried around more than 500 lbs of additional weight throughout the day.  

Check those oils

Axle oil, rear axle oil and hydraulic oils should all be checked to ensure they are in-line with the manufacturer’s maintenance requirements and topped up where necessary. If the tractor is running low, it must work harder to cool the system, meaning more fuel is used.  

Using the right equipment matters

Use the right equipment for the job – using appropriately sized equipment will help reduce your fuel bill. Don’t use a super heavy-duty tractor for grain carting, if a 140 hp tractor will probably do. 

Are you using those features correctly?

Use diff-lock and four-wheel drive appropriately - if these features aren’t used correctly, it can cause drag or wheel slip. You may have automatic settings to assist in using these features properly.  

Technology can be your friend

Make use of your vehicle’s features! Tools such as headland management, GPS coordination and field mapping have all been developed by OEMs to help you get the most out of their equipment. Your local equipment dealer will be able to advise the best tools for your specific operation – if you don’t ask, you don’t get! 

Learn More

Since our first engine for agriculture was manufactured in 1919, Cummins has powered equipment for some of the world’s leading manufacturers. Learn more about how Cummins technology powers Agriculture.

Cummins Office Building

Cummins Inc.

Cummins is a global power leader that designs, manufactures, sells and services diesel and alternative fuel engines from 2.8 to 95 liters, diesel and alternative-fueled electrical generator sets from 2.5 to 3,500 kW, as well as related components and technology. Cummins serves its customers through its network of 600 company-owned and independent distributor facilities and more than 7,200 dealer locations in over 190 countries and territories.

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