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Truck news from the Mid-America Trucking Show 2014

May 2, 2014
Volvo Trucks’ Greenhouse Gas (GHG) 2014-certified engines are providing even greater fuel efficiency than anticipated, Volvo Trucks officials announced

Volvo touts GHG engines

Volvo Trucks’ Greenhouse Gas (GHG) 2014-certified engines are providing even greater fuel efficiency than anticipated, Volvo Trucks officials announced during the 2014 Mid-America Trucking Show in Louisville, Kentucky.

The integrated engines are delivering up to a 3% fuel efficiency improvement compared with their 2013 counterparts.

“We remain focused on ensuring that the ongoing phases of engine and vehicle regulations do not burden our customers, but instead create value for their operations,” said Göran Nyberg, president, Volvo Trucks North American Sales & Marketing. “Introduction of our SCR-equipped models yielded a 5% fuel efficiency increase, and we’re pleased to announce that our 2014 engine lineup is delivering up to an additional 3% savings.”

Volvo officials also said the truck builder continues to make progress with its alternative fuel portfolio. The company is making good progress with development of an engine that runs on dimethyl ether, and test vehicles continue to perform well. In addition, the company is moving forward with its natural gas engine development efforts.

On the diesel engine side, a combination of in-lab and on-road testing proved that the initially announced fuel efficiency figures of up to 2% understated the true fuel savings and value of 2014 Volvo engines.

“Fuel efficiency remains top-of-mind across the industry, but there’s no one-size-fits-all solution that will deliver massive improvements. Every drop counts,” Nyberg said. “On average, a 1% fuel efficiency improvement amounts to annual savings of more than $650 per truck. Carriers ignoring opportunities for incremental fuel efficiency gains are leaving money on the table.”

Refinements and design changes contributing to fuel efficiency improvements in Volvo’s 2014 D11, D13, and D16 engines include:

• Low-friction cylinder improvements, including a redesigned piston, liner and oil scraper ring developed with smoother surfaces;

• A clutched air compressor, which reduces engine load by completely disengaging the clutch from the engine when not in use;

• Advanced combustion technology of a new seven-hole injector, which offers better fuel atomization for a more even distribution of fuel within the cylinder, maximizing fuel efficiency and offering a greater savings for customers; and

• An improved crankcase ventilation system, which filters more oil from blowby gases before they leave the engine and at the same time improves engine backpressure for better performance.

Along with fuel efficiency improvements, a two-piece valve cover on the D13 engine improves serviceability, which helps reduce repair time and is easier to handle than previous covers. Volvo also removed lead from the impact.

In addition to the fuel efficiency gains delivered with 2014 Volvo engine technology, Volvo Trucks’ XE—exceptional efficiency—powertrain package boosts fuel efficiency by up to an additional 3%. Available on Volvo VNM and VNL models equipped with 2014 Volvo engines, the XE11, XE13, and XE16 packages improve fuel efficiency by lowering engine rpm at a given vehicle speed, a concept Volvo calls “down speeding.” Possible through the combination of Volvo’s standard I-Shift automated manual transmission and Volvo engine with modified software, XE allows the engine to cruise about 200 rpm less than the average truck sold today.

Fuel efficiency improves by about 1.5% for every 100 rpm of down speeding, so customers spec’ing the XE package can expect up to a 3% improvement when compared with another overdrive transmission in a similar operation.

Demand for XE powertrain packages has grown each year since the initial introduction of XE13 for the D13 engine. In 2013, about 87% of all Volvo trucks invoiced in the United States and Canada were specified with a Volvo engine. Of that population, 23% featured XE powertrain packages.

Peterbilt shows new cabover

Peterbilt took the wraps off its new Model 220 during the Mid-America Trucking Show (MATS) in Louisville, Kentucky.

The truck builder also used the annual truck show to promote its 75th anniversary. Peterbilt Motors Company introduced an all-new Model 220 to its medium-duty COE lineup. The Model 220 will be equipped with a new electronic braking system (EBS) that provides quicker responsiveness and an improved braking feel. The new curved dashboard features easy-to-read instrumentation and an interactive, five-inch color display module that provides information on vehicle and driver performance. The display will include information in three languages: English, French and Spanish.

Other operating environment improvements include a multi-function steering wheel and a push-button style shifter within easy reach of the driver

The centerpiece of Peterbilt’s yearlong anniversary celebration, though, is a special Model 579.

“This is a milestone year for the company and we wanted to acknowledge it in a way that has been defining Peterbilt for 75 years—products distinctively styled, technologically advanced and designed to maximize the satisfaction and bottom lines of our customers,” Siver said. “In this tradition, we have taken the most innovative on-highway vehicle in the company’s history and complemented it with components, accents and amenities that celebrate Peterbilt’s past and future.”

The Model 579 75th Anniversary Edition—which is now available for order—was on display in Peterbilt’s exhibit at MATS. Highlights of the new vehicle include bright accessories, a two-color paint design similar to the original 1939 Peterbilt (as well as the 50th anniversary edition Peterbilt),and a premium interior with exclusive logos and a unique numbered nameplate.

Kenworth enhances cabovers

With momentum building for its line of Class 6 and 7 cabover trucks, Kenworth announced exterior and interior enhancements to its K270 and K370 models. The company displayed the latest K270 cabover at the Mid-America Trucking Show in Louisville KY recently. The K270 Class 6 and K370 Class 7 cabovers are ideal for city and neighborhood applications, where tight turning and a shorter overall length are required. Inside the cab, a new dash and gauge cluster provide more information than ever before to the driver. Both truck models feature a standard air-ride driver’s seat and two-person bench seating with storage underneath. A new option is single driver and passenger seats with a large console that has cup holders in between. Available with wheelbases ranging from 142 to 242 inches in 12-inch increments, the K270 and K370 can accommodate bodies from 16 to 28 feet. A 2,500-square inch wraparound windshield combines with large side windows to give optimum visibility. These trucks offer a 30% better curb-to-curb turning radius than a conventional truck, a 63.4-inch BBC dimension that provides an extra 45 inches of payload room over a conventional, and a 35-foot overall length. Powered by the 6.7-liter Paccar PX-7 engine, which has power ratings from 200 to 250 hp, and up to 660 ft-lb of torque, the Kenworth cabovers are now supplied with a six-speed Allison transmission, joining a five-speed transmission already available. New this year on the Kenworth cabovers are Dana axles as well as front air disc brakes for improved stopping power and longer brake life. In addition, as part of the braking system, Kenworth has added an electronic braking module that will allow for the addition of stability control later in 2014. For specialized applications, Kenworth offers its new “clear rail” package that relocates the air tanks, DEF tank, battery box, and exhaust after treatment up behind the cab. This option creates room for custom bodies. Access for further details.

Mack focuses on fuel efficiency

Fuel efficiency and uptime remain top priorities for Mack Trucks, executives with the company said March 27 at the 2014 Mid-America Trucking Show in Louisville, Kentucky.

This ongoing focus to help reduce customer operating costs, along with recent investments in products, support solutions, facilities and the brand, has Mack well positioned for success as it expands its marketing efforts to include more of the on-highway market.

“Customers need trucks that maximize their ROI (return on investment),” said Stephen Roy, president of Mack Trucks North American Sales and Marketing. “The best way to do that is to provide products that increase fuel efficiency and aftermarket services that keep trucks on the road generating revenue. It also means offering uptime solutions that go beyond the industry norm to support our customers when they need it.”

Mack’s focus on fuel efficiency includes a wide range of high-performing proprietary engines and the Mack mDRIVE automated manual transmission (AMT). Mack engines are GHG 2014-certified and offer up to a 2.4% increase in fuel efficiency. The mDRIVE improves drivability and boosts fuel efficiency by up to 5% over a manual transmission.

A Mack Pedigree Powertrain combines a proprietary Mack engine, transmission, and axles. A recently introduced version of the Pedigree Powertrain, the Mack Super Econodyne, seamlessly integrates a Mack MP8-445SE engine, mDRIVE AMT, and proprietary axles to increase fuel efficiency by up to 3% compared to similarly spec’d vehicles.

All of these fuel saving features are available in the versatile Mack Pinnacle model. Offered in both axle-forward and axle-back configurations, the Pinnacle easily handles the rigors of the road, while providing the power and performance expected of a Mack. An optional 6x2 version, as well as drag-reducing roof, chassis, and side fairings, make this king of the road even less inclined to spend time at the pump.

“We’ll put our fuel efficiency up against any other OEM’s products,” Roy said. “For Mack, it’s all about positively impacting our customers’ bottom lines. That’s the commitment we’re making to them every day.”

About the Author

Bruce Sauer | Editor

Bruce Sauer has been writing about the truck trailer, truck body and truck equipment industries since joining Trailer/Body Builders as an associate editor in 1974. During his career at Trailer/Body Builders, he has served as the magazine's managing editor and executive editor before being named editor of the magazine in 1999. He holds a Bachelor of Journalism degree from the University of Texas at Austin.