Matchmaking and downspeeding

Matchmaking and downspeeding

Choosing an engine, transmission and axles that are specifically matched to work together for optimum performance is a fast emerging trend. When I say “optimum performance,” I mean maximum fuel efficiency with the right horsepower engines, coupled with an automated manual transmission that shifts at exactly the right RPM, and an axle with the best ratio to haul loads without straining.

OEM systems

All the major original equipment makers (OEMs) are now offering matched components designed and built to ensure maximum fuel efficiency, provide and lower maintenance costs.

Daimler Trucks of North America offers an integrated Detroit Powertrains (for Freightliner and Western Star trucks) that include the Detroit DD15 engine with a new downspeed rating, a Detroit DT12 automated manual direct drive transmission with Intelligent Powertrain Management, and Detroit front and rear axles. Mack Trucks offers the integrated Mack powertrain and suspensions. The truck maker states that all its powertrain components are designed to work together for optimum performance. Navistar International ProStar trucks are offered with proprietary engines and Cummins engines, which are integrated with automated manual transmissions (AMTs) from Eaton. PACCAR’s Peterbilt and Kenworth trucks may be spec’d with PACCAR MX-13 engines that can be integrated with the Apex integrated powertrains and the Eaton Ultra Shift Plus AMT. Volvo Trucks North America offers the Volvo engine, transmission and rear axle ratio.

Fleet experiences

According to Ryder’s Vice President of Supply Management and Global Fuel Products, Scott Perry, “Ryder’s fleet is diverse and covers a broad range of duty-cycles across the U.S. and Canada. We have several thousand vehicles that are leveraging integrated powertrains including the DD15/DT12, the Volvo proprietary engine platform and the I-Shift transmission, and the Cummins ISX and Eaton Ultrashift Advantage products.”

As for meeting anticipated fuel improvements with these vehicles, Perry says, “our expectation was to achieve 3% to 7% fuel economy improvement, and we have achieved that in all instances. The duty-cycles are quite varied, but being able to optimize the proper engine/transmission/axle ratio combinations allows us to tailor the configuration to deliver optimal performance based upon the application.

“It is important to understand the intended application when tailoring those specifications. In making sure that the fleets understand that once those specs are optimized for a primary duty cycle, those benefits can be eroded, and performance and reliability can be negatively impacted if the vehicle is pushed into a different duty cycle,” he continues. “This is a case where you really can’t put a square peg into a round hole without really having negative consequences.”

As for fuel economy with these trucks, Perry says that it varies by customer application, but explains that they “can definitively say that the performance has improved in every application where the specification is being properly applied. Specifically, the benefits are greater fuel efficiency, and in the case of the automated transmission specifically, improved total average fuel economy.”

Michael Sizemore, director of maintenance for Cowan Systems, talks about his experiences with integrated powertrains: “Within our several national divisions, we run a variety of routes that include cross county on-highway, regional and city delivery applications, with drivers that fit into each of those operations. We have a mixed fleet that includes 1,400 pieces of equipment. We run Peterbilt 384 and 579 with PACCAR MX-13 engines with the Apex integrated powertrains, with Eaton Ultra Shift Plus automated manual transmissions and Navistar ProStar 13-liter MaxForce engines and the International powertrain with the same AMTs.

“The last 48 months we have spec’d axle rations of 3.08 that seem to be the best matched power and torque for hauling and fuel economy. With these vehicles we are seeing a .5 MPG increase in fuel economy. This is significant given the number of trucks in the fleet and the miles covered.”

Sizemore adds that he thinks the ATMs are an integral part of the fuel savings equation because they provide shifting at the correct RPMs at a consistency level most drivers can’t execute.

Click “Next Page” to continue reading.

You May Also Like

ATA Truck Tonnage Index declines 1.2%

ATA Chief Economist Bob Costello cites continued market softness, potentially leading to reduced industry capacity.

transprotation-market-generic

American Trucking Associations’ advanced seasonally adjusted For-Hire Truck Tonnage Index further declined 1.2% in April, after the 2.2% decrease seen in March. In April, the index equaled 111.7 compared with 113.1 in March.

“The truck freight market remained soft in April as seasonally adjusted volumes fell for the second straight month,” said Bob Costello, American Trucking Associations chief economist. “With a rebound in freight remaining elusive, it is likely that additional capacity will leave the industry in the face of continued softness in the market.”

Freightliner M2, SD Plus Series launch updates its medium-duty truck offering

Freightliner introduced the new Plus Series–enhanced versions of its M2 and SD models, including the M2 106 Plus, M2 112 Plus, 108SD Plus, and 114SD Plus. The enhanced models provide a major update to the interior and electrical systems of the M2 and SD models. The OEM noted that the Plus Series is designed to

Freightliner-MD-SD-Plus-Series-1400
Truck cruise control technology that looks at the road ahead

If you’ve ever visited the Northeast region of the country, you’ve most likely encountered intimidating terrain. The winding roads. The steep hills. The intricate routes that challenge any seasoned driver, and, most recently, advanced cruise control systems that aim to improve fuel efficiency and driver comfort.   Related Articles – Four ways A.I. can help cut

Four ways A.I. can help cut diesel fuel costs

The fluctuation of fuel prices has made it more challenging to operate day-to-day. Drivers get paid by the mile, and, when fuel costs go up, margins shrink, impacting how fleets profit and pay their employees. Intelligent technology can lessen the impact of high prices by improving overall fuel efficiency. Related Articles – New ways to

trucking-technology-hacking
Peterbilt GM Jason Skoog charts today’s truck support, tomorrow’s truck solutions

Peterbilt made headlines recently when it became the first major North American OEM to open orders for an electric truck, the Peterbilt 220EV. In this exclusive interview, Peterbilt General Manager and PACCAR Vice President Jason Skoog details the technology investments that are keeping fleets productive during this year’s trying pandemic and laying the groundwork for

Peterbilt General Manager PACCAR Technology Electric Truck

Other Posts

Daimler Buses, BMZ Poland drive zero-emission EU bus transport

BMZ Poland expects the next generation NMC4 battery to combine high energy density with an ultra-long cycle life.

Daimler-Buses-BMZ-Poland-charging-station-mercedes-benz-electric-eCitaro
BAE Systems, Eaton test electric commercial truck drive technology

Testing occurred at Eaton’s proving grounds in Marshall, Mich., on a Class 7 demonstration vehicle.

BAE-Systems-Eaton-EV-Demo-Truck
Navistar releases decarbonization update in 2023 sustainability report

Navistar said the report also looks at its commitment to sustainability through environmental initiatives, human rights due diligence and more.

Navistar-2023-sustainability-report
Scania opens orders for autonomous mining trucks

Scania’s 40-tonne autonomous heavy tipper for mining available to order, and the 50-tonne model to follow shortly afterwards.

Scania-autonomous-mining-truck