Heavy Duty Trucking

AUG 2014

The Fleet Business Authority

Issue link: https://heavydutytrucking.epubxp.com/i/364502

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34 HDT • AUGUST 2014 www.truckinginfo.com FuelSmarts I have saved the best for last — the aerodynamics. Bezner tells me the aero package on this SuperTruck reduced its drag coefficient by an astounding 50%. This became abundantly clear to me on the first significant hill we descended on the test drive. I had just been made aware of the road load management system and expected the truck to climb the hill a little slower than usual, which it did. But when it took off down the other side, I asked Bezner why the engine was powering us down the hill when it should have been saving fuel and letting gravity do the work. Bezner, grinning from ear to ear, pointed out that the truck is so aero- dynamic it's just not held back the way lesser trucks are. It was an astounding moment. I've rolled down my share of hills, but never before have I seen a truck gain speed so quickly on a modest grade. The implications are staggering, because it works the same way on flat ground too. "On our first SuperTruck demo vehicle, while running on flat ground in near-zero wind conditions, pulling 65,000 pounds GVW at 64 mph re- quired about 145 horsepower," Damon explained. "Our baseline truck and trailer with the same load and speed required about 210 horsepower." Under fairly typical conditions, advanced aerodynamics (among other factors) allowed the truck to maintain road speed with 65 horsepower less than the baseline truck. It's worth noting that in computational fluid dy- namics analysis, the aero package on the first demo vehicle showed a 38% drag reduction. The second demo truck, the one I drove, was just under 50% drag reduction. The Cummins-Peterbilt SuperTruck was the first one to emerge from the program. It exceeded the efficiency tar- gets by handsome margins, and I was impressed – all the more so because the driving experience had changed little. I can't wait to see what the other three SuperTruck teams put on the table. For more SuperTruck stories and photos, go to www.truckinginfo.com/ EPASuperTruck n notice. The truck also used a high- efficiency advanced transmission from Eaton, which I'm told, included some "experimental" shift algorithms. I no- ticed that, let me tell you, and it worked exceptionally well. The much-touted waste-heat recov- ery system, I'm sorry to say, was also virtually transparent to me, the driver. I can't report in detail on that either, except to say it felt good knowing I was operating one of — if not the — most thermally efficient diesel engines ever installed a truck. Engineers also developed some technology they call the road-load management system. It's cruise con- trol, of a sort, but far more advanced than what we see today. The system is loaded with GPS waypoints and ter- rain data so it knows the road profile. The system then runs the trip from origin to destination and bases its deci- sions on a predetermined trip time. It will give up speed (and time) where it makes fuel consumption sense, knowing it will make up the time at some later point coasting downhill when the extra speed is free. When the driver sets the cruise control (really the cycle efficiency management system) for 62 mph, the truck accepts that as a trip-time benchmark, not a road-speed benchmark. I suppose if I hadn't been brought up to speed on how the system worked, I probably would not have noticed it. Pilot Flying J to Pay $92 million in Fuel discount case T ruckstop chain Pilot Flying J has struck a deal with federal prosecutors to avoid criminal prosecution over allegations it cheated fleets out of fuel rebates, but the agreement does not mean individuals are off the hook. In fact, the agreement calls for Pilot Flying J to help track down those responsible for the criminal con- duct at the company. Zenith electric van Z enith Motors, which makes electric vans, says it is the first automaker to receive a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Certificate of Conformity for an electric commercial van. alt Fuel vehicles ProJected to grow W orldwide sales of alterna- tive fuel vehicles will reach 14% of total sales of medium and heavy-duty vehicles by 2035, according to a new report from Navigant Research. It forecasts the percentage powered by diesel is expected to fall from more than 79% in 2014 to 76% in 2035. advanced bioFuel conversions T he U.S. Environmental Protec- tion Agency has granted the first approval for an advanced biofuel conversion system for heavy-duty trucks to Optimus Technologies. The company says the system is also the first to achieve compliance for use with pure biofuel derived from recycled cooking oil. FUEL in the News The nose treatment and the sculpted sideskirts on the trailer (called pontoons by their develop- ers) contributed to a 50% reduction in the vehicle's drag coefficient.

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