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Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Diesel Motorsports - Is it all Black Smoke?

I get asked this question all of the time, look at the black smoke! A very touchy subject considering the green movement within the business community.

Let me try and explain about our sport's black smoke . . .

Yes, many of the trucks shoot black smoke out of their upward extended exhaust pipes. Let me start out by saying the exhibition is considered by the EPA as Offroad/Ehibition as in NHRA drag races, NASCAR races and many other sanctioned races/events. The exhaust fumes coming out of high end dragsters and race cars are much more toxic to the atmosphere than our diesel's black smoke. Difference is you can't see it as it rises into the atmosphere.

Diesel's byproduct of too much fuel is black smoke which is very heavy and settles back to the ground. You can visually see it shoot out of the vehicle. In sled pulling it is considered part of the show by the crowd in rural settings, this comes from a long past history of trains, tractors and now trucks at local fairs. When the whine of the turbos spool up the crowd jumps to their feet and cheers as the expended fuel hits the turbos and shoots upward into the sky.

Same show as monster trucks shooting flames and smoke, same show as funny cars shoot flames and smoke on their takeoff! Americans love their automobile history and it's all about power.

Let me switch your thoughts to our normal customer who has a diesel truck. The customer, same as NADM, does not condone smoke on our public highways from diesel trucks.

They are using their performance enhancements to get better fuel mileage from their truck while using it for work or their business which requires hauling. Better fuel mileage comes from less fuel, less black smoke and more air. When they get to the track they can dial it up and compete using the same truck for exhibition. Many trailer their high end performance trucks to the events, so the smoke producing trucks are not even used for highway use, strictly exhibition and show for entertainment for the fans. No different than any alcohol dragster or funny car.

Many of our customers are outdoor enthusiasts which enjoy hunting, fishing, and camping. They are not going to jeopardize the environment and what they enjoy doing as other personal past time hobbies.

The small amounts of smoke coming out during a 3 hour show is less emissions than a 10 mile stretch of public highway in a major city for one day! Think about that, these trucks run for maybe 2 minutes each during exhibition. A local coal power plant produces more dangerous emissions in less than 30 minutes compared to a diesel exhibition show.

Now let me switch to the positive side of what our customers are doing with their diesel trucks . . . many are adding performance enhancements that not only produce more horsepower for more efficient hauling on the highways but getting twice the fuel mileage as OEM and with cleaner emissions.

Many of you ask how can this be done when our OEM vehicles are not doing this? By adding expensive performance upgrades and fine tuning the components. Our customers are showing the OEMs what they should be doing with diesels. We have a top fuel Pro Diesel Duramax that runs 1/8 mile in 5.13 (125 mph) with no smoke - completely clean! I have another customer that ran a diesel in his domestic Mustang that went over 200 mph on the track and got 38 mpg on the freeway completely clean!

We Americans are pretty innovative when it comes to our automobiles, we have a history that shows this for over 100 years! As i have stated before Europeans have learned to harness diesel over gas engines many years ago and are benefiting with the recent fuel crunch since some of their diesels are getting 85 mpg (BMW).

Yes we have some youth who think it's amusing to smoke their trucks on the highways and most likely do not have the knowledge to properly tune their diesels for top performance. Just as in the old days of hot rodding they grow out of that to want a better high performance, finely tuned diesel in order to look like the professional diesel competitor.

Don't judge our segment of the market by viewing a small minority on the highways and then the exhibition diesels at our shows. Our competitor is the innovative factor for the future when harnessing the diesel engine as the Europeans have done - take notice now of the other fuel alternative - DIESEL!

These high end diesel mechanics are the cutting edge for diesel technology, they are not just hicks or hillbillies working on a truck. Many have years of experience working on commercial diesels and have attended Diesel Technical Colleges or Schools.

Every year more and more competitors are tuning their diesels for less smoke and more power, the technology to do this is not cheap and at times very expensive when experimenting with engine components. Be patient and we will benefit from their efforts in DIESEL Motorsports!

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