Refuse fleets seek systems 'in sync'

There's an interesting spec'ing trend taking shape in the refuse industry that could alter how its trucks are designed over the next few years—a move toward improving the synchronicity between truck engine and refuse body hydraulic systems. "Refuse fleets want to be able to operate the compactor on their trucks at low rpm to reduce noise levels -- especially when they operate in residential areas," explained Steve Ginter, vocational market manager for Allentown, PA-based Mack Trucks. "If we can get a refuse truck engine to operate at low rpm but with sufficient horsepower, we could also adapt the hydraulic system to operate on less power -- and that generates fuel savings," he continued. Ginter said there's still a lot of debate over how much fuel could be saved by getting engines and refuse body hydraulic systems in sync, but that it could be significant over the daily operating cycle of a refuse truck. "We, as truck OEMs, need to cooperate more closely with the body manufacturers to provide engine power to their components in a more efficient way -- providing more control of torque and horsepower output across a range of customer needs while improving fuel economy," he noted. "It'll take two or three years to get there, but it's the beginning of a trend that could bring some big rewards."

TAGS: Truck Bodies
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