Allison fully automatic transmissions now optional with International S13 engines

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Trucking news and briefs for Friday, April 26, 2024:

Allison transmissions now available in certain International trucks

Navistar is now offering Allison fully automatic transmissions in International trucks equipped with International’s S13 engine.

Through the partnership between Allison Transmission and International Truck, the Allison 3414 Regional Haul Series (RHS) is now available to order in International RH trucks equipped with the S13 engine. Additionally, the Allison 4000 Series is also available to order with S13-equipped International HX trucks.

As part of the S13 engine launch plan, Navistar recognized the need for additional powertrain options. With the combination of Allison fully automatic transmissions, International's RH and HX platforms, and the Navistar S13 engine, customers are presented with two high-performance solutions with superior acceleration and optimized efficiency, Allison said.

"We are proud to collaborate with International Truck to pair both the 3414 RHS and 4000 Series fully automatic transmissions with the Navistar S13 engine for an industry-leading driving experience," said Rohan Barua, Vice President, North America Sales, Global Channel and Aftermarket at Allison Transmission. "Specifically, the 3414 RHS fully automatic transmission offers increased horsepower and a lighter weight, translating into more deliveries, more loads and more productivity."

Since launching with the Navistar A26 engine in 2020, 3414 RHS-equipped International RH trucks have been selected by some of the largest fleets in North America including leading wholesale food distributors. The transmission has also gained traction with regional food and beverage distribution fleets.

The 3414 RHS is designed to enhance vehicle handling and maneuverability in urban duty cycles. It provides superior performance and efficiency while improving fuel economy by up to 8% compared to the Allison 3000 Highway Series transmission. Additionally, it eliminates downtime associated with automated manual transmissions (AMTs) by avoiding the need for clutch replacements.

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[Related: International debuts its first integrated powertrain, powered by new 13-liter]

Renewable natural gas use grew in 2023

The Transport Project (TTP) and Coalition for Renewable Natural Gas (RNG Coalition) this week announced that 79% of all on-road fuel used in natural gas vehicles in 2023 was renewable natural gas (RNG), surpassing the previous year’s record-breaking level.

Captured above ground from organic material in agricultural, wastewater, landfill, or food waste, RNG can produce carbon-negative results when fueling on-road vehicles like short- and long-haul trucks, transit buses, and refuse and recycling collection vehicles. 

RNG use as a transportation fuel grew 16% over 2022 volumes, up 92% from 2019 levels. TTP and RNG Coalition also reported that in 2023, a total of 675 million gallons of natural gas were used as motor fuel. Of that, 531 million gallons were from renewable sources.

“Commercial fleets deploying trucks fueled by RNG can achieve a cost-effective carbon-negative transportation outcome today without compromising existing business operations,” said Dan Gage, president of The Transport Project. “The newest natural gas engines with Zero Emissions Equivalent technology exceed stringent federal NOx emissions standards and are certified to the CARB Model Year 2024 standard without using credits.”

RNG use as a motor fuel in 2023 displaced 6.96 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent, the groups noted. Put into perspective, RNG motor fuel use last year:

Lowered greenhouse gas emissions, equivalent to removing the GHG from over 17.8 billion miles driven by the average passenger car

Eliminated CO2 emissions, equivalent to removing CO2 emissions from over 783.5 million gallons of gasoline consumed

Sequestered carbon, equal to growing over 115 million tree seedlings for 10 years, or over 8 million acres of U.S. forests for one year

“Renewable natural gas supply is growing,” said David Cox, founder & CFO of the RNG Coalition. “With 338 RNG facilities transforming waste into fuel, and another 489 planned or under construction, we are increasingly able to affordably offer consumers the opportunity to decarbonize with RNG - the cleanest of any fuel available today.”

[Related: 'Massive tailwind' from renewable natural gas as proponents seek new fuel tax credit]

Georgia man pleads guilty to CARES Act fraud, falsifying FMCSA records

Roderick Billingslea, a Georgia-based former fleet owner, pleaded guilty on April 11 to one count of wire fraud and one count of falsification of records in a federal investigation.

An by the Department of Transportation Office of Inspector General (OIG) and Small Business Administration OIG investigation revealed that Billingslea devised a scheme to defraud SBA by using false statements and fraudulent pretenses related to a loan/grant request for CARES Act funds. As a result, Billingslea wrongfully received $564,363.

Additionally, Billingslea knowingly made false statements to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration on Form MCSA-1, which is required to operate as a motor carrier.

After FMCSA ordered Billingslea to cease operation for willful violations, he reincarnated numerous motor carriers, including E-Cargo, Hidden Valley Transportation, US Transport, Midwest Express, and Dispatch USA, to bypass federal regulations and laws.

Pilot taps new Energy division president

Pilot, one of the leading suppliers of fuel and the largest travel center network in North America, has announced the appointment of Gary Hoogeveen as president of Pilot Energy. Hoogeveen brings more than 20 years of industry and business experience to Pilot as the company aims to shape the future of energy.

Gary HoogeveenGary Hoogeveen“We’re excited to welcome Gary to our team. I’ve known Gary for a long time, and he is an experienced and talented leader who will bring a trusted voice and perspective to an important part of our business,” said Adam Wright, chief executive officer of Pilot. “Our energy team will continue to be foundational to our ability to reliably serve customers and navigate the alternative fuels transition.”

As president of Pilot Energy, Hoogeveen will oversee the company’s integrated fuel supply chain, including upstream infrastructure and asset management, business development, fuel procurement, logistics and transportation. In addition, he will steward the ongoing development and innovation of electric and alternative energy solutions. 

“As a leader in energy, Pilot understands we have a responsibility to help move the industry forward while continuing to optimize traditional fuel supply, which is core to our business,” Hoogeveen said. “The potential for positive impact and innovation at this company is incredible and so is the talent. It’s an honor to lead this team and to join a company that plays such an essential role in keeping North America moving.”

Prior to joining Pilot, Hoogeveen most recently served as CEO of Rocky Mountain Power. He has held several management roles as part of Berkshire Hathaway Energy since 2000.