Daimler’s Jacek Trzos explains why Mercedes-Benz trucks can cope with high-sulphur fuel
T&FME: Speaking of diesel, here in the Middle East the levels of sulphur vary and can be high. Is this a ‘problem’ for engines?
Jacek Trzos: High sulphur values can cause damage to different engine components like the fuel injection, or exhaust system or even components within the combustion chamber. Mercedes-Benz offers engines which are especially tailored to withstand the harsh conditions in the Middle East, and therefore high sulphur values do not represent an issue for our range of vehicles.
There can also be other contaminants in the diesel – dust or water – is this a problem for engines? Is the presence of these contaminants likely to be caused by the fuel storage conditions?
Dust and condensed water are certainly a challenge in this region; however our vehicles are equipped with specific fuel filters to separate water and other particles from the fuel to overcome this challenge. Whether the storage of fuel causes certain contaminations cannot be generalized as such.
What are some measures that are necessary to deal with the diesel in the Middle East for the engine?
Some measures are for example specific fuel filters, referring to a main fuel filter and a heated pre filter with water separator in addition. The increased performance of the engine cooling system and more frequent and regionally adjusted service intervals can also benefit.
With vehicles expected to remain in service for many years or decades, what are the best measures for customers to ensure long life from their engine or drivetrain?
Mercedes-Benz endorses the regular maintenance according to the manufacturer’s standard recommendations and usage of original spare parts along with recommended oils and fluids. Furthermore, driver trainings offered by Mercedes-Benz and the use of our FleetBoard telematics system can certainly optimize the engine life.
Since many trucks that Mercedes-Benz produces cannot be sold in the Middle East, does this impact on the range of models you sell here? Are you confident that you have a full range of models to service the market?
As the biggest truck manufacturer worldwide, Daimler offers an extensive range of trucks in various regions in the world. Each truck is produced to fit the specific needs of the region, which for the Middle East stands for the current range on offer. We have been in the region for more than 50 years, serving our customers with the best possible vehicle solutions while constantly expanding our network and dealership operations. Furthermore our range does not only consist of the vehicles itself, but also includes important service solutions like, maintenance packages, service contracts and extended warranties.
ENOC is now selling Euro 5 diesel, and it is expected that other countries in the GCC will follow suit (eventually). Do you envisage in the future being able to import Euro 5 or 6 vehicles in the Middle East? Would there be any environmental conditions that would prohibit this or is only the presence of sulphur in the diesel?
The availability of high quality, low sulphur diesel is the prerequisite for the introduction of Euro 5/6 vehicles. Mercedes-Benz is proud to say that no matter how harsh the environmental conditions, we have the solution to get the customer’s job done. Our trucks are equipped to withstand conditions from polar ice to the heat of the desert.
If ULSD was readily available in the Middle East, and vehicle importers were selling Euro 5/6 engines, do you think that customers would still have to be heavily educated on the new engines? After all, many are buying fuel in bulk, and there would be a chance for the fuel to be contaminated in their own storage tanks.
It comes without saying that the introduction of new vehicles/ engines would always be accompanied by appropriately creating awareness of all features and benefits. Mercedes-Benz is determined to provide our customers with the best service in terms of vehicle handover and driver training.