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Small difference, big impact: Keeping track of tire pressure

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According to the American Trucking Associations’ Technology & Maintenance Council, running on a tire that’s underinflated by as little as 10 percent can reduce fuel economy by 1.5 percent. And 20 percent underinflation can shorten tire life by 30 percent. (Courtesy: BENDIX COMMERCIAL VEHICLE SYSTEMS)

ELYRIA, Ohio — Often in trucking, it takes just a small change to make a big impact. This is especially true in tire pressure, where the difference of a few psi can directly affect mileage, maintenance, and safety.

During Newsal Tire Safety Week, May 20-27, Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems stresses that with all that is riding on a truck’s tires — driver safety, operating performance, timely cargo delivery, and more — it’s vital to be sure of the right pressure in them.

Sponsored annually by the U.S. Tire Manufacturers Association (USTMA), Newsal Tire Safety Week is an initiative aimed at providing information on the essentials of proper tire care and maintenance.

“Proper tire inflation will substantially impact your tire and ultimately your vehicle’s performance,” said Jon Intagliata, Bendix product manager for Tire Pressure Monitoring Systems (TPMS). “Fuel consumption can increase, stopping distances can increase, and tread life can decrease if the tires run on significantly different psi than what is recommended by the manufacturer — all of which can dramatically affect a fleet’s total cost of ownership (TCO) over the long haul, too.”

According to the American Trucking Associations’ Technology & Maintenance Council, running on a tire that’s underinflated by as little as 10 percent can reduce fuel economy by 1.5 percent. And 20 percent underinflation can shorten tire life by 30 percent. The more miles driven and the more wheel-ends in a fleet, the bigger the impact those few psi have on the bottom line. Underinflated tires also experience increased stress and generate higher running temperatures, compounding the risk of tire blowouts – about 90 percent of which are the result of underinflation, according to industry studies.

Real-Time Info on the Road

“Gradual tire pressure loss can be difficult to detect, and you could be quite a way down the road before you have a chance to notice it at the next spot check,” Intagliata said. “That’s why the best tool for tracking the proper psi on each tire is a technology like the SmarTire Tire Pressure Monitoring System by Bendix CVS – or the SmarTire Trailer-Link TPMS by Bendix CVS for trailers: When drivers get real-time information and pressure alerts, they’re better equipped for safer trucking. Early notification makes all the difference in addressing problems before they become hazards.”

It takes as little as a 5 psi difference between dual-mounted tires to create problems, including irregular or accelerated tire wear.

Bendix uses wheel-mounted sensors inside the tires on its SmarTire systems, allowing the TPMS to continuously monitor temperature inside the tire as well as pressure. This means the system can provide a deviation value showing the amount of overinflation or underinflation from the tire’s cold inflation pressure (CIP), automatically taking into account any increase in pressure due to temperature to provide early alerts of tire pressure issues. Reading temperature also helps the system alert the driver to potential wheel-end issues, such as dragging brakes, and may help the driver mitigate potential tire fires.

Fleets running TPMS-equipped vehicles can also use the system data to shape their tire strategy and maintenance plans by using a back-office system like SafetyDirect by Bendix CVS – a web portal that allows analysis of real-time information from TPMS and other connected safety technologies. Fleets can maximize uptime by planning vehicle service in advance and more effectively address issues such as frequent tire replacements and tire failures on the road.

High Tech, High Stakes

As vehicle safety technologies have advanced and higher regulatory standards have evolved – antilock brakes, Reduced Stopping Distance requirements, and the full-stability mandate, for instance – the importance of tires in good condition running at proper inflation has increased. Moving forward, collision mitigation and other advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) remain dependent upon precise and controlled interaction among the men and women behind the wheel, their vehicles, and the road itself – where tires are the sole point of contact.

“Today’s integrated vehicles mean you need to equip the best set of tools on your tractor and trailer to maximize performance,” Intagliata said. “TPMS can play a critical role to guarantee your advanced safety systems – including air disc brakes and advanced driver assistance technologies – are functioning at the optimal levels.”

According to Intagliata, “Like any safety system, a TPMS is meant to complement safe driving practices and is not intended to enable or encourage aggressive driving. No technology can replace skilled, alert drivers exercising safe habits, or the support of proactive, comprehensive driver training – the safe operation of any vehicle remains with the driver at all times.”

Bendix® SmarTire and SafetyDirect are part of Bendix’s full suite of technologies delivering safety, vehicle performance, and efficiency, backed by unparalleled post-sales support: areas critical to the success of fleets and owner-operators. By strengthening return on investment in advanced equipment that puts drivers behind the wheels of safer trucks, Bendix lowers total cost of ownership and helps enhance highway safety across North America.

To learn more about Bendix TPMS, call 1-800-AIR-BRAKE or visit bendix.com. For deeper insight on Bendix technology and the commercial vehicle landscape through podcasts, blogs, videos, and more, visit the Knowledge Dock at knowledge-dock.com.

 

 

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Volvo Trucks introduces enhanced Turbo Compound engine in VNL models

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The next generation Turbo Compound engine from Volvo Trucks provides up to an additional 3% improvement in fuel efficiency over the current 13-liter Turbo Compound engine, the D13TC. This new engine delivers up to 11% fuel savings overall compared to model-year 2015 trucks. (Courtesy: VOLVO TRUCKS NORTH AMERICA)

GREENSBORO, N.C. — Volvo Trucks North America is introducing the next generation of its Turbo Compound technology, providing up to an additional 3% improvement in fuel efficiency over the current 13-liter Turbo Compound engine, the D13TC.

This new engine delivers up to 11% fuel savings overall compared to model-year 2015 trucks. Other improvements include enhanced efficiency over a wider range of applications, more engine ratings and a new EE Extra Efficiency drive mode, according to John Moore, product marketing manager at Volvo Trucks North America.

The new D13TC will be available for order in the fourth quarter of 2019 and go into production at the end of the first quarter of 2020.

“We developed our first generation of the Turbo Compound engine in 2017, and since then almost 300 million miles have been logged, validating the up to 8% fuel-savings benefits,” Moore said. “This new D13TC builds upon this game-changing engine technology, further increasing fuel efficiency by up to 3% over the current D13TC engine, saving approximately $1,200 per year per truck, based on the average fuel price and 125,000 miles per year.”

Volvo Trucks’ new D13TC offers three individual drive modes, Dynamic Torque, an additional 405 horsepower rating, and the next evolution of the Volvo Trucks’ patented wave piston design. These updates enable further-increased fuel efficiency over a wider range of loads, vehicle speeds and engine RPMs. This offers a broader use of applications compared to the first generation of the D13TC engine, which was designed specifically for over-the-road, long-haul applications for trucks loaded at 80,000 pounds.

The three individual drive modes available with the new D13TC engine are extra efficiency, economy and performance.

Moore said these modes will allow the driver to better optimize fuel efficiency for the vehicle with desired performance, depending on application, topography and driving conditions. This new engine also features a wider RPM efficiency band, which enables top fuel efficiency for longer periods of time.

Dynamic Torque is an incremental torque system designed to provide the right torque at the right time.

Rather than operating in silos of high-torque and low-torque modes, Dynamic Torque automatically sets a torque level dependent upon the weight of the truck, the grade and the road conditions at any given time.

Dynamic Torque also features an automatic 12th gear lockout on heavy loads with Adaptive Gearing engine ratings. A kick-down switch along with performance drive mode allow access to full torque for customers requiring it on demand. This simpler, more effective system on the new D13TC engine will provide an even more consistent improvement in fuel efficiency across different applications, enabling customers to cut costs on a wider range of operations.

The new engine also features a revised wave piston, designed and patented by Volvo Trucks. The improved design optimizes wave technology to evenly distribute the air/fuel mixture in the cylinder, burning the fuel more consistently than a traditional piston. Volvo’s design increases the compression ratio from 17:1 to 18:1 while maintaining up to a 90% reduction of soot in the cylinder, further improving fuel efficiency in the engine.

“The individual drive modes allow drivers new heights in fuel efficiency without sacrificing performance. We are also taking it to the next level with a simpler torque package that delivers the right torque at the right time,” Moore said. “Not only is it cutting edge when it comes to sustainable use of diesel in the transportation industry, but it is the most fuel-efficient Volvo engine on the market for our customers, with trucks running cleaner at a reduced cost.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Mack Trucks increases uptime offering with dynamic maintenance

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Mack Trucks today introduced dynamic maintenance, offering customers a more predictive tool to enhance maintenance planning and increase uptime. (Courtesy: MACK TRUCKS)

RACINE, Wis. — Mack Trucks Thursday introduced dynamic maintenance, a connected vehicle service focused on proactive vehicle maintenance planning and fleet operations efficiency.

“Mack is focused on providing customers options to improve their total cost of ownership through connected vehicle services. Enhancing maintenance planning utilizing existing vehicle telematics and data analytics is yet another way in which we accomplish this. Vehicle technology and data provide us the capability to ‘customize’ planning so that it’s specific to a vehicle and its operation,” said David Pardue, vice president of connected vehicle and contract services for Mack Trucks. “This enables customers to optimize planned downtime.”

Mack’s dynamic maintenance service further expands the partnership with Noregon, an IoT (Internet of Things) company specializing in connected vehicle solutions.

Mack’s unique approach utilizes the Noregon platform to enhance the dealer user interface and brings the decision-making process closer to the customer through the dealer.

Dynamic maintenance leverages data intelligence from vehicle data analytics, combined with enhanced software features from Mack® GuardDog Connect telematics, the Noregon platform, and Mack’s ASIST service communications process to more accurately reflect planned maintenance needs and replace traditional ‘set mileage scheduled’ plans.

Currently, dynamic maintenance is targeted to powertrain-related maintenance services. “This is just another step forward in our connected technology journey,and will help our dealers prepare for changing and future vehicle maintenance opportunities,” Pardue said.

For more information, please visit a Mack dealer or www.macktrucks.com.

 

 

 

 

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First Freightliner eCascadia battery electric trucks headed to customers

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Penske Truck Leasing of Reading, Pennsylvania, and NFI of Camden, New Jersey, are both members of the Freightliner Electric Vehicle Council and will be the first companies to employ the revolutionary eCascadia in their commercial operations. (Courtesy: DAIMLER TRUCKS NORTH AMERICA)

PORTLAND, Ore. — Daimler Trucks North America (DTNA) said Monday it has built the first two Class 8 battery electric Freightliner eCascadias for customers at its research and development center in Portland.

The trucks are part of Freightliner’s Electric Innovation Fleet and built to test the integration of battery electric trucks into large-scale fleet operations, according to Roger Nielsen, president and CEO of DTNA.

Penske Truck Leasing of Reading, Pennsylvania, and NFI of Camden, New Jersey, are both members of the Freightliner Electric Vehicle Council and will be the first companies to employ the revolutionary eCascadia in their commercial operations. The eCascadias are destined for the Southern California operations of both companies and will arrive later this month. Additional deliveries of the Freightliner Electric Innovation Fleet will continue throughout 2019.

“This milestone in electric is important as both today and tomorrow’s technology is progressing. Our purpose is resolute — we build for our customers,” Nielsen said. “Our team is incredibly proud to be leading the way for the industry, but prouder still to be working with our customers in a process of co-creation to make real electric trucks for real work in the real world.”

Nielsen said the eCascadia is built on the proven foundation of the Freightliner Cascadia, the best-selling Class 8 heavy-duty truck on the market. The initial customer shipments are the first heavy-duty additions to the 30-vehicle Freightliner Innovation Fleet. Real-world use of the Innovation Fleet and continuing feedback from the members of the Freightliner Electric Vehicle Council will inform the final production versions of both the eCascadia and the medium-duty Freightliner eM2 in a process of co-creation.

Co-creation is the central tenet of DTNA’s approach to electrifying the future of commercial vehicles and a key enabler to the widespread adoption of battery electric trucks, Nielsen said. The Electric Vehicle Council brings together 38 Freightliner customers to identify and address all potential hurdles to large-scale deployment of commercial battery electric vehicles. Issues at the forefront of the discussion include charging infrastructure, partnerships with other parties in the e-mobility value chain, vehicle specifications and vehicle use case.

The Freightliner Innovation Fleet is supported by a partnership between DTNA and the South Coast Air Quality Management District (South Coast AQMD) which focuses on improving air quality in the South Coast Basin and partially funded the Innovation Fleet with a nearly $16 million grant. The first of the medium-duty electric Freightliner eM2s began service earlier this year with Penske Truck Leasing and are operated within the South Coast AQMD.

“This is an exciting time for the future of zero-emissions trucks, said Wayne Nastri, South Coast AQMD’s Executive Officer. “As we work towards meeting air quality standards, it is imperative that truck manufacturers accelerate the commercialization of these technologies that will help clean our air and protect public health.”

The Freightliner eCascadia is a Class 8 tractor designed for local and regional distribution and drayage. Both the eCascadia and the medium-duty eM2 are currently planned to enter series production in late 2021. The Freightliner eCascadia and eM2 are part of Daimler Trucks’ global electrified truck initiative, joining the company’s Thomas Built Buses all-electric Saf-T-Liner C2 Jouley school bus, the FUSO eCanter, and the Mercedes-Benz eActros and eCitaro.

 

 

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