In the Towing Equipment industry many tow truck dealers use B50 calculations to estimate the expected life before an engine requires overhaul, replacement or other rotating equipment. In the car carrier and wrecker world it is usually described in terms of “miles of operation” in the trucking community.
B50 is the calculated estimate of when 50% of the engines of a certain type will require major repair (repairs requiring dropping of the oil pan or removal of cylinder heads – it does not refer to rotating components attached to the engine) and is often referred to as “average life to overhaul”. These values are indicators of the strength of a design. They are good comparison figures when evaluating the purchase of several different power units.
It is of the utmost importance to just use these numbers as guidelines based on the generalization of the machine at hand. Many factors may disrupt the accuracy of these numbers. As calculated figures, you need to be careful not to require too much of these figures – they are estimates generated using a set of assumptions about operating conditions. As such, B50 values should be seen as indicators rather than guarantees or actual test results.
B50 estimates are typically rounded figures like 400,000 and 500,000 miles — that makes sense when you consider that these estimates are comprised of half a dozen assumptions.
These vehicles typically travel 30,000 to 35,000 miles per year. The B50 rating of 400,000 miles, therefore, suggests that 50% of the specified units would run at least 11 to 13 years before requiring major engine work. The B50 rating is 100,000 miles higher, which suggests a 10 to 14+ year life to overhaul.
Although many start up tow truck companies are unsure how to read into buying older vehicles. The B50 life is a great place to start in addition to bringing a trusted towing equipment mechanic with you to pick up your first used tow truck. A regular mechanic would be able to verify everything under the hood, but a tow truck mechanic will be able to see what needs to be addressed aside from the cab and chassis. This may include hose lines; wear pads, Jerr-Dan cylinders, headboards or placards.
So what are the advantages of making sure to use the right B life when comparing apples to oranges. Four years of customer experience and production with the existing continuing design of engine and fuel system, 24% more displacement for better response and low speed performance. The HEUI fuel system is the most modern advanced electronic control system in the diesel engine field; which has electronic engine control system tailored to work with new tow trucks
Hopefully this information allows the purchase of towing equipment to a pleasant experience that produces the anticipated results that are needed to be a successful operator. It is important to do due diligence when it comes to researching an investment in an industry such as this to prevent possible shortfalls.