While fleets today are focused on offsetting record high fuel prices by adopting new technologies and operating practices, there are some tried-and-true solutions available that can cut fuel consumption in medium-duty vehicles. Among the solutions are the fan drives made available by companies like Horton Inc. that are designed to boost efficiency by only running the engine’s cooling fan when it is required.
Airflow management technology has been Horton’s specialty for more than 50 years. During the U.S. energy crisis in the 1970s, for example, the company focused on proving how variable, on/off and multi-speed fan drives could be used to save fuel. Today, in addition to supplying fan drive options for heavy-duty, bus, off-highway and other applications, Horton also offers innovative cooling solutions for reduced-emissions medium-duty engines.
One of the newest offerings from Horton for medium-duty applications is its line of DM Advantage fan drives in on/off and two-speed technologies. DM Advantage, according to the company, also addresses the issue of higher under-hood heat that is common with today’s hotter running, emissions-compliant engines.
Horton spring-engaged DM Advantage fan drives are designed with premium bearings, a top-of-the- line air cartridge and a longer wearing friction liner. These components, the company notes, provide improvements in cooling ability that yield better engine performance and longer operating life.
For example, Horton points out, the DM Advantage on/off fan drive keeps engine coolant at a more consistent operating temperature and has increased reliability in high-horsepower applications. It features high torque for turning larger fans, a lighter weight, fewer parts for simplicity and a fail-safe design.
The company also relates the benefits of its DM Advantage two-speed fan drives, which it says are designed to alternate between eddy current and spring-actuated cooling for precise, highly efficient temperature control and faster engine warm-ups in cold weather. This is ideal for aerodynamic vehicles with little or no ram air, Horton notes. For instance, the design uses eddy current to turn the fan at a lower speed, which reduces operating noise, increases available horsepower for auxiliary systems and minimizes radiator abrasion from dust and debris. When additional cooling is needed, it spring-actuates and runs the fan at full input speed.
According to Horton as well, DM Advantage fan drives have performed flawlessly during two years of field-testing in the highest heat under-hood applications, proving a level of reliability that translates into increased uptime and decreased maintenance costs. The evaluations were performed on over 250 trucks, which were driven more than 45 million total miles.
In addition to its DM Advantage fan drives, Horton offers variable, on/off and multi-speed fan drives and fans designed for medium-duty truck applications, including the Stratis viscous fan drives, VMaster air-sensing viscous fan drives, VMaster directly controlled viscous fan drives, and the EC450 and EC600 electromagnetic fan drives.
All of these products are also compatible with Horton’s WindMaster fans. In particular, the company adds, certain fan models have been designed to meet the higher performance standards of today’s hotter running engines and offer maximum cooling performance and efficiency. The lighter WindMaster plastic fans are available in several models for medium-duty trucks.
Well regarded for its commitment to innovation, Horton continues to engineer fan drives and fans for today’s increasingly lower emissions engines and as a solution medium-duty fleets can count on to help save fuel.