Detroit Diesel certifies Series 50

Detroit Diesel Corp. last month filed applications with the Environmental Protection Agency for emissions certification of its Series 50, the four-cylinder version of the company’s popular Series 60. The current Series 50 is available in ratings ranging from 250 hp to 320 hp.

The company already had submitted emissions certification applications covering 20 of the currently available Series 60 engine ratings. All engines submitted for certification employ cooled exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) technology to meet the emissions restrictions that become effective Oct. 1.

In August, Detroit Diesel announced indefinite layoffs of 705 workers, including 200 temporary workers it had hired to handle the heavy pre-buy of engines using existing technology. At the peak of the pre-buy, the company was producing about 270 engines a day in three shifts. The incoming order rate appears to be for 50 to 60 engines a day, said Tom Freiwald, senior vice president of marketing.

Now that Detroit Diesel has completed its initial emissions certification work, the company is focusing on improving the engines’ performance, Freiwald said in an interview with North American trucking editors at the IAA Commercial Vehicles Show in Hanover, Germany.

“We are really comfortable with everything on the Series 60 certified for October, but we don’t like the fuel economy,” Freiwald said. Referring to the buzz that the EGR penalty for fuel economy is 2 to 5 percent, Freiwald said that EGR engines, regardless of make, are probably “closer to a 5 percent reduction in fuel economy than to 2 percent.” With certification behind it, Detroit Diesel now will work hard to improve that performance.