Technology to be used in U.S. truck engines
Isuzu Commercial Truck of America says it intends to use selective catalytic reduction (SCR) to achieve the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s 2010 standards for emissions of nitrogen oxides (NOx) by diesel engines. The new technology will be used in Isuzu engines sold in its trucks in the United States under the Isuzu, Chevrolet and GMC trademarks.
SCR is an aftertreatment technology that involves injecting a water-based solution containing urea into the hot exhaust stream of an engine. This diesel exhaust fluid (DEF), working with a catalyst in the exhaust aftertreatment system, breaks down the NOx into harmless nitrogen and water vapor. Isuzu notes that DEF, which contains an organic nitrogen compound used as a fertilizer in agriculture, is classified by EPA as a nonhazardous substance. The company intends to continue to use both a diesel particulate filter (DPF) and exhaust gas recirculation (EGR), which it introduced in its trucks in 2007.
Given its past experiences with SCR, the company is expressing confidence in its choice of exhaust-reduction technology. “Isuzu has been developing aftertreatment technology in Japan for many years,” says Shaun Skinner, executive vice president and general manager. “We’ve studied different systems, and found SCR to be highly reliable under even the most extreme applications and conditions.”
Navistar, Ford strike new deal
Ford Motor Co. and Navistar International Corp. announced last month that they had agreed to restructure their ongoing business relationship and settle all existing litigation between the companies. As a result of the agreement, the companies will end their current diesel engine supply arrangement effective Dec. 31, 2009. However, the companies will continue to collaborate on a range of initiatives, including their existing Blue Diamond Truck and Parts joint ventures.
Navistar will acquire additional equity in the Blue Diamond joint ventures, which will continue to offer dealers and customers F-650 and F-750 medium-duty trucks, as well as parts support for a variety of Ford products, including Ford’s PowerStroke Diesel-equipped trucks. Ford and Navistar also will continue their diesel engine supply relationship in South America. As a result of the agreement, Ford will make a payment to Navistar.
TMC adopts RP on vehicle lifts
According to the Technology and Maintenance Council, RP 534, Guidelines for Determining Vehicle Lift Productivity Efficiencies, exited the appeals process on Oct. 1 and will be published with the rest of its graduating class during the first quarter of 2009.
RP 534 was developed by the S5 Task Force on Lift Productivity and ROI to address fleet managers’ needs to recruit and retain technicians, improve shop efficiency and reduce shop-related injuries. According to the RP, “Vehicle lift technologies can assist fleet operations in these critical areas, but equipment users should have a sound means of determining the cost-effectiveness for acquiring these devices.”
The RP includes a simple ROI formula that fleet managers can use to estimate the additional revenue a new lift would generate or the cost savings it would provide. Recognizing that it can be challenging to calculate ROI for a piece of equipment a shop has never used, RP 534 includes typical ROI examples derived from and validated by independent sources that are representative for commercial vehicle maintenance operations; all of the examples show a reduction in preventive maintenance costs through improvements in technician productivity. Typical savings range from $27,840 to $74,472 annually per lift, after the price of the lift has been recovered.
The S5 Task Force on Lift Productivity and ROI began developing RP 534 in 2004. It was balloted and approved by TMC membership at TMC’s 2008 Annual Meeting, and it went into the appeals process in July; no appeals were filed. For more information, call TMC at 703-838-1763.
Coca-Cola buys more hybrids
Coca-Cola Enterprises says it plans to deploy another 185 hybrid-electric trucks across the United States and Canada in 2009, bringing its total number of hybrid-electric delivery trucks to 327. The company says this would make for the largest such fleet in North America.
The company has 142 hybrid-electric delivery vehicles on the road, the majority of which are 12-bay box trucks (33,000 gross vehicle weight). Coca-Cola also will use a larger hybrid-electric tractor (55,000 gross combination vehicle) for large deliveries. The company says the tractor builds on the success it has had with its fleet of hybrid-electric 12-bay trucks and marries hybrid technology from Eaton with equipment from Kenworth and Cummins. In 2001, Coca-Cola began with its suppliers a research and design program to develop, test and produce hybrid-electric trucks.
Detroit Diesel adds advanced diagnostics to DDDL
Detroit Diesel Corp. has launched advanced diagnostics features for its Detroit Diesel Diagnostic Link (DDDL) tool. DDDL’s enhanced features provide service technicians a truly interactive tool by not just reading diagnostic data, but also interpreting it and automatically determining next steps, the company says. A troubleshooting tree provides step-by-step diagnostics to help technicians address issues quickly and easily; additional features include encrypted videos and animation clips that further aid in diagnoses. Onscreen graphics also serve as a teaching tool for technicians.
“We collaborated with Daimler’s electronic engineers to create the most comprehensive, innovative tool,” says Drew Plant, manager of support system development for Daimler Trucks North America. “DDDL’s new technology makes it fast and convenient to diagnose and resolve many problems – getting you back on the road faster.”
Technicians can use DDDL’s advanced features to report back to Detroit Diesel’s support center, which helps Detroit Diesel engineers monitor and evaluate repairs being made, enhancing continuous engine and technology improvements.
Mack delivers another hybrid to USAF
Mack Trucks recently delivered its fifth hybrid truck to the U.S. Air Force. The latest – a TerraPro Low Entry refuse truck with a diesel-electric hybrid drivetrain – went to the USAF Advanced Power Technology Office and was delivered Dec. 12 to the Warner Robbins Air Logistics Center at Robbins Air Force Base, Ga.
The TerraPro hybrid has a rear-loading refuse packer body and is equipped with a 325 hp U.S.’07-compliant Mack MP7 engine. The Mack hybrid-electric powertrain used in the truck features an integrated starter, alternator and motor that assists the MP7 in providing torque to the wheels and regenerates energy during braking. The energy captured during braking – stored as electricity in lithium ion batteries – then is used in place of diesel fuel and helps launch the truck from stops.
Clean Diesel Technologies and Eaton Corp. announced an agreement under which Eaton will use Clean Diesel’s Advanced Reagent Injector System (ARIS) technology for injection of hydrocarbon fuel in emissions reduction applications, including Eaton’s urea-free aftertreatment system.
Allison Transmission rolled out its Load-Based Shift Scheduling (LBSS) for model year 2009 Allison 1000/2000/3000/4000 Series models. LBSS is designed to automatically choose between economy and performance shift schedules based on payload and grade to optimize both fuel economy and productivity.
FTR Associates released preliminary data showing December Class 8 total net orders for all major North American OEMs at 8,775 units, the weakest monthly order activity since mid-2002. December order activity was significantly lower, by 45 percent, than the same month in 2007, according to FTR Associates.
Cummins Inc. said it will reduce its permanent professional work force worldwide by at least 800 employees by the end of February and freeze salaries for the year due to economic conditions.
Peterbilt Motors celebrated
completion of its 300,000th production truck at its manufacturing facility in Denton, Texas. The milestone Model 387 was presented in December to Witte Brothers Exchange.
Firefly Energy began deploying the first prototypes of its Oasis deep discharge advanced battery to some of the nation’s top trucking fleets. The Group 31 battery is designed for applications that require repetitive deep discharges, such as key-off power for supporting overnight hotel loads.