"Simplicity is the root of all genius," believed Albert Einstein, leading us to conjecture he would have truly gotten a kick out of the Campbellsville, Kentucky Fire Department's simple move towards improving an increasingly complicated issue - the relentlessly, staggering, increase in maintenance and fuel costs..
After replacing the air filter on their KME fire truck with a K&N 38-2001S filter, the trucks mpg's went from six to nine.
Billy Despain is a 48-year-old firefighter with 29 years of experience. He is a fireman for the Campbellsville Fire Department, and he's also responsible for maintaining the fleet. Last December Billy and his son Elliott made the trip to Orlando, Florida to attend the PRI show (Performance Racing Industry).
Elliot has been a K&N sponsored racer for the past four years and a visit to the K&N booth was near the top of their to-do list.
Campbellsville's 85,000 pounds ladder truck averaged 1.3 to 1.5 mpg before the K&N HD air filter was installed, now it's running at 2.7 to 2.9 miles.
At the booth, they struck up a conversation with Greg Boutte, a Product Specialist for K&N. The subject of fuel costs in racing came up, and Billy explained to Greg that his department back in Kentucky was getting squeezed financially with shrinking budgets and increasing fuel costs too.
Greg mentioned to Billy that K&N has a new line of reusable commercial heavy duty air filters that have low restriction, are easy to clean with a power washer, don't require oil and they come with a 3 year or 300,000 mile limited warranty. One of these K&N air filters can replace 10 or more disposable fire truck filters and that alone provides a great savings potential.
One thing lead to another, and Greg and Billy came to an agreement that the Campbellsville Fire Department would become a real-world field test for K&N's Heavy Duty, Hybrid, washable air filters.
Allen Johnson, fire chief of the Campbellsville, Kentucky Fire Department, says that adding K&N products to their trucks has greatly assisted in reducing the financial burden surging fuels cost have place on his budget.
The Campbellsville Fire Dept serves 10,000 people in an area measuring roughly 6.1 square miles, and they routinely make about 700 runs a year. One of their trucks is a 1990 KME (Kovatch) fire truck with a Cummins diesel engine.
"I took the truck to Louisville, Kentucky, for service," explained Billy, "It's a 180 mile round trip. The truck had another brand filter on it and it used 30 gallons of fuel at six miles-per-gallon."
"On the second trip I installed a K&N 38-2001S air filter, and taking the exact same route, the truck used only 20 gallons this time. Three miles to the gallon is a huge difference," continued Billy. "It really helps with our annual budget for fuel expense. Also helps with our maintenance budget by not having to buy air filters each year. They can go for as much as $300 a piece. K&N HD filters wash out and are replaced, which saves time and money."
Campbellsville Fire Dept also has a 2010 Pierce ladder truck weighing in at 85,000 pounds, which was running at about 1.3 to 1.5 mpg. Billy installed a K&N 38-2002S air filter on that truck and he says it is now running at around 2.7 to 2.9 mpg.
"The turbo on the KME truck is running about 75 degrees cooler," adds Billy, "And on the Pierce it's running nearly 80 degrees cooler. Cooler turbo temps mean less wear on the turbo, better life span, and less maintenance problems."
The fire chief of the Campbellsville, Kentucky Fire Department, Allen Johnson, was so pleased by this uncomplicated answer to his department's growing problem, that he wrote a letter to Steve Williams, Vice President of Product Engineering and Research and Development at K&N.
"With today's economy on such a roller coaster," wrote Johnson, "We are constantly looking for alternatives to assist in cutting expenses. One of the largest expenses our department has is maintenance. We are already seeing an increase in the fuel mileage and better performance after adding your products to our trucks."
Your company has greatly assisted in reducing the financial burden placed upon our budget. I cannot thank you enough."
To find a K&N Heavy Duty Air Filter for your fire truck, semi-trailer truck, RV, or other class 4-8 truck use your current air filter part number and its manufacturer to look up the K&N replacement for it on the K&N Cross Reference Search on KNFilters.com. Find K&N products for your car, truck, motorcycle, ATV or just about anything else use the K&N vehicle application search then use the K&N dealer search to find a K&N dealer in your part of the world.
Due to differences in driving habits and vehicle designs, results will
vary and the statements made in this story may not be typical. K&N
does not test for differences in fuel consumption.