Denton, TX-based Peterbilt Motors Co. is now offering Caterpillar’s “Cat Messenger” system on its Model 387 tractors equipped with Cat engines. The system provides real-time engine performance and fuel economy data.

Cat Messenger monitors various vehicle systems to record and analyze numerous data, such as fuel economy by trip or life of the vehicle, idle time, average speed, oil pressure and fuel, coolant and ambient air temperatures. Information is displayed via an in-dash LCD (liquid crystal display) monitor, said Bruce Ewald, Peterbilt’s assistant general manager.

“Customers are always looking for ways to reduce their operating costs, and improving fuel economy can contribute to that significantly,” he noted. “Monitoring fuel economy is just one of the many valuable functions Cat Messenger provides, allowing operators to adjust their driving characteristics to optimize their miles per gallon.”

The system can also be programmed to give preventive maintenance due reminders based on date or mileage, with real-time diagnostic features that can display engine fault codes and descriptions to help expedite troubleshooting and servicing, Ewald noted. An optional function is a theft-deterrent feature that requires the operator to enter an access code before the engine can be started, he added.