The power behind proprietary powertrains

The power behind proprietary powertrains

Detroit-Integrated-Powertrain

Adoption of proprietary integrated powertrains continues to climb, making up the majority of today’s Class 8 orders. At the launch of the Volvo VNR during ExpoCam, held in Montreal last month, Wade Long, director of product marketing for Volvo Trucks North America, said that demand for the Volvo engine makes up around 93% of orders and its I-Shift automated manual transmission is at about 83% “and growing.” In fact, Volvo’s I-Shift demand number is up nearly 10% since Fleet Equipment named automated manual transmissions (AMTs) as our Truck Equipment Trend of the Year back in December of 2014.

“We have a lot of control over our own powertrain,” Long said. “Our exceptional efficiency, XE, package, for example, is where we downspeed the engine—we drop it 200 RPMs. For every 100 RPMs we drop, we save 1.5% fuel economy. We are able to drop it that low that because of the I-Shift transmission integration.”

Within Daimler Trucks North America (DTNA)’s brands, demand for its proprietary powertrain, which includes the Detroit engine lineup, the Detroit DT12 AMT and Detroit axles, hovers within the mid-70s percentage-wise in the on-highway segment.

“In the Western Star 5700XE, we’re seeing penetration rates as high as 70% with the Detroit DT12,” reported Kelly Gedert, manager of powertrain and components marketing for DTNA. “We’re seeing those same trends on the Cascadia side as well. We’re expecting DT12 penetration rates in 2017 to be close to 80% when looking at the combined take rate in the Classic Cascadia and New Cascadia. DT12 is the only AMT that will pair with the Detroit engine offering in the New Cascadia.”

It’s too soon to say what the proprietary powertrain take rate will be on the New Cascadia as the orders roll in and DTNA rolls out its staggered powertrain offerings. But Kary Schaefer, general manager of marketing and strategy for DTNA, expects to see strong demand for the Detroit powertrain.

“It has proven its fuel efficiency, durability and reliability,” she said before explaining that the continued development of Detroit’s Intelligent Powertrain Management (IPM) system will drive further improvements. “We continue to refine the algorithms we use to predict the terrain ahead of the vehicle to improve fuel efficiency. With the data and information we get from experiences in the field, the integrated electrical architecture allows us to squeeze out even more improvements. We can do that because we have the deep integration of data and powertrain components.”

From a fleet’s perspective, it’s not just the increased operational efficiency. Proprietary powertrains are also improving after-the-sale service and support.

“The main reason I moved this way was because the manufacturer is offering extended warranties on their proprietary parts and honoring these repairs at their dealerships without delay,” explained Peter Nativo, vice president of fleet solutions at Oakley Transport. “In the past, you would have to wait for approval from the engine manufacturer or the suspension manufacturer before they would start the repair. It would cause delays in getting the truck up and running. Now, I have one-stop shopping—I call one person whom I purchased the truck from, and all my issues are addressed without delay.

“In my world,” Nativo continued, “it’s all about uptime to keep the wheels rolling. If our trucks are down, then we don’t make deliveries and we don’t make a profit.”

You May Also Like

Volvo Group to build new heavy-duty truck manufacturing plant in Mexico

Volvo expects the plant to be operational in 2026.

Volvo-name-logo-north-american-heavy-duty-truck-production-mexico-mack-plant

The Volvo Group announced that it will build a new heavy-duty truck manufacturing plant in Mexico to supplement its U.S. production. The plant will provide additional capacity for both Volvo Trucks and Mack Trucks in the U.S. and Canadian markets, and support Mack truck sales in Mexico and Latin America, Volvo said. Volvo expects the plant to be operational in 2026.

Beyond standard TPMS: The crucial role of customizable tire health alerts

Delving into the shortcomings of standard TPMS and why customizable tire health alerts are crucial for commercial vehicle fleets.

Driving for Alabama: A family affair

The stories of two truck drivers for ’80s country hitmakers Alabama.

Photos by Amazing Grace Photography
So you want to write for Fleet Equipment?

Of course you do. As the premiere online publication for the heavy-duty truck market, charting the latest in trucking equipment, technology, and service trends, Fleet Equipment has a knack for digging up the stories behind the stories (while having a lot of fun along the way). Now you can be a part of it! But

Write for Fleet Equipment
Babcox Media mourns the passing of Tim Fritz, longtime editor and friend

Babcox Media Editor Tim Fritz passed away on Feb. 23 from a heart attack. He was 53 years old. Related Articles – Debating the merits of ethanol – Why isn’t a truck’s appearance part of the PM process? – Change is coming to U.S. energy policies Tim joined Babcox Media in 1990 and spent 31

Tim-Fritz-1400x700

Other Posts

J&R Schugel wraps Kenworth T680s to support driver causes

After a driver beat breast cancer, the company wrapped her truck in pink and white to support her goal of raising awareness.

JR-Schugel-breast-cancer-awareness-truck
FTR: Class 8 orders down more than 30% month-over-month

Despite the substantial drop from February, FTR says the market is performing well, as March orders are on track with 2023.

FTR-March-24-Preliminary-Class-8-Net-Orders
A ‘Toward Zero’ emissions Q&A with Volvo Trucks’s Roger Alm

Talking through the challenges, the technological advances, and the strategies for a sustainable future.

Volvo-Trucks-roger-alm-world-volvo-sustainability-1400
ACT Research trailer report finds carriers with ‘reduced willingness to invest in equipment’

ACT Research says limited capex and companies saving money to meet EPA regulations are currently weighing on trailer demand.

ACT-Feb-24-Trailer-Net-Orders-Cancellations