truck news

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Volvo’s FH truck has led a platoon test of vehicles on a public road in Barcelona, Spain as part of the SARTRE (Safe Road Trains for the Environment) project.

This was the first ever test drive of a road train with both trucks and cars rolling on a public road. The test convoy was able to cover a distance of 200 kilometres (125 miles) in one day.

Andreas Ekfjorden, Project Manager for Volvo Trucks in the SARTRE project and test driver of the lead truck in Spain declared “The truck behaved exactly as expected, and the following vehicles responded just as planned. It was great to be a part of this landmark event.”

In the SARTRE project the trucks use radars and cameras to stay posted on the lead truck maneuvers. The official press release says that “by adding wireless communication, all the vehicles in the platoon ‘mimic’ the lead truck – accelerating, braking and turning in exactly the same way as the lead vehicle”.

The driver of the leading truck has a major role in the SARTRE project as he holds the responsibility for the entire platoon in order to permit the other drivers to relax and follow its lead.

The environmental impact of a road train is lower than that of today’s conventional traffic system, since the following vehicles are close behind the truck and each other and all of them can benefit of lower air drag.

“The focus on driver environment is at the very core of Volvo Trucks’ R&D work. Making the truck a safer workplace and supporting the driver is one of the most efficient ways for us to contribute to road safety. It is also part of our ultimate goal: zero accidents with Volvo Trucks. Our participation in the SARTRE project is a natural extension of that philosophy,” says Carl Johan Almqvist, Traffic & Product Safety Director, Volvo Trucks.

The SARTRE project was initiated in 2009 and until now, the vehicles in the project have covered a total of 10,000 kilometers.

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CAT has officially announced introduction of the new 15L CT15 engine which will be offered together with the CT11 and CT13 units for the CT660 heavy duty truck. The new engine develops a maximum output of 550 hp with a peak torque of 1,850 lbs.-ft achieved at 2100 rpm.

To be able to offer these superior performances, the engine uses sequential turbochargers and a high pressure common rail fuel system. Moreover, interstage cooling between turbochargers increases air density to maintain power as speeds increase. The CT15 uses an EGR system to reduce the emissions and meets EPA 2010 requirements without the need of additives (AdBlue).

The engine is perfectly suited for heavy haul operations as it offers a massive pulling power from relatively low revs.

George Taylor, director of the Caterpillar Global On-Highway Truck Group said, “The CT15 engine is the perfect power solution for heavy-duty applications and extreme environments. Cat vocational truck customers can count on the CT15 for years of reliable, durable operation, which translates into a longer-lasting truck and higher resale value.”

The new CAT CT15 engine is also offered with a capable engine brake than provides a retarding power of up to 600 hp being among the strongest in this class. Besides improving the stopping power, the engine brake also keeps the use of service brakes to minimum.

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More and more truck manufactures turn their head towards efficient technologies and recently Volvo decided to design its own 13 liter liquefied natural gas (LNG) engine. The engine will be designed especially for the North American market and according to the press release it will be launched on the market in 2014.

The LNG engine consumes less fuel than the current conventional natural gas powered engines. Moreover, the company is also planning to introduce a clean technology which will run on DME (dimethyl ether) a new fuel that can be produced from natural gas.

Ron Huibers, president of Volvo Trucks North American Sales & Marketing declared: “Despite the near-term infrastructure questions regarding widespread adoption of natural gas as a heavy-duty truck fuel, it is clear this segment will grow over the next several years. We’re already delivering factory-built CNG-powered trucks and as the long-haul fueling infrastructure develops, the advanced technology in our new LNG engine will provide increased range and improved fuel efficiency in a seamlessly integrated Volvo powertrain.”

Hit the jump for the press release

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The Fiat Fiorino won the Best Light Van Award in the 2012 Van Fleet World Honours. The vehicle received its award in London at the Royal Automobile Club and the commission board included experts from the Van Fleet World editorial team.

Talking about the award, Sebastiano Fedrigo, director, Fiat Professional UK said “Fiorino has enjoyed considerable success ever since it was launched, and continues to receive recognition and plaudits from both the experts and customers. It offers customers a winning combination of practicality, comfort, reliability and economy.”

Van Fleet World editor, John Kendall said, “Fiat opened up a new market sector when it launched the Turkish-built Fiat Fiorino. Although launching the new model as the economy went into meltdown might not have been part of the original plan, it enabled the company to point fleets towards models that fitted in with the spirit of recessionary downsizing.”

“A 2.5m3 capacity body and 660kg payload plus frugal 1.3-litre diesel engine suits many pockets and purposes, even if few will match the 80+mpg we’ve recorded on the MPG Marathon for the past few years.”

The Fiorino was developed together with Peugeot and Citroen and was designed for light commercial purposes and different urban transportations. The Fiat Fiorino is offered with a choice of Euro 5 diesel or petrol Multijet engines which develop between 73 and 95 hp.

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Automotive Testing and Development Services (ATDS) has made a comparison test between the Mitsubishi Fuso and Isuzu NPR-HD.

Both vehicles were loaded with 14.490 lbs and were tested under identical conditions over a 97.4-mi. course in various driving situations.

Mitsubishi declared that after the test, the Fuso scored fuel consumption of only 12.331 mpg which was better with 8.45% than the Isuzu NPR-HD that has achieved a fuel consumption of 11.370 mpg.

Mitsubishi declared that the test was conducted in accordance with SAE J1321 Type II Fuel Consumption Test procedures, and included multiple runs conducted over several days. It removes the partiality of internal tests and unreliable results of internal OEM testing.

In the past year we have heard from customers telling us of improved fuel economy compared to their EPA07 engine Fuso trucks and measurable fuel cost savings,” said Mike Rumsey, VP of Sales. “Now we have irrefutable proof that the Fuso Canter will deliver better fuel economy than the comparable Isuzu product configured with the EPA 10 engines. This report shows a tangible savings in operating costs and further reinforces the decision of a prospective buyer to choose Fuso.”

You can see complete details about the test

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The trucking industry is continuously searching for new ways to improve the costs of commercial transport and to maximize the productivity.

Siemens wants to redefine the way of commercial transportation and has introduced a futuristic and innovative concept named the “eHighway of the future”. The new idea was presented at the 26th Annual Electric Vehicle Symposium in Los Angeles.

Shortly, this concept’s purpose is to electrify the trucks by using overhead electrified wires for highways, which are similar with those used by today’s city trolleys.

Siemens’s CEO, Daryls Dulaney declared that after they made a detailed research, they think that the idea could be put in practice pretty easy using the existing highways and infrastructures.

To put in practice this concept, the company designed a hybrid diesel electric technology which helps the trucks to run on both fuel and electric power. When the truck detects overhead lines it can automatically attach to them and run on electrical power.

Talking about the new concept Dulaney said: “When most people think of vehicle emissions, they assume cars do most of the damage, but it’s actually commercial trucks that are largely to blame. Freight transportation on U.S. roadways is expected to double by 2050, while global oil resources continue to deplete. And by 2030, carbon dioxide emissions are forecasted to jump 30% due to freight transport alone.”

At the moment, Siemens tests the concept in Germany and there are also plans to bring the project in US with the first locations being the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach.

Dulaney added: “It’s really about creating a more sustainable environment. Already more and more consumers are driving electric and hybrid vehicles. If we can get the commercial freight industry to come on board, we’ll decrease emissions dramatically and improve sustainability.”

Hit the Jump to watch the video!

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Western Star celebrates its 45th anniversary in 2012 and to mark the event has launched a new version of its 4700 model in Las Vegas. The new truck is a tractor unit and was designed for bulk haul, local delivery and construction applications. With the introduction of the new truck the company extends the horizons of its strategy and hopes to fill the gaps in its lineup.

Mike Jackson, Western Star’s general manager said, “It didn’t take much to add a 5th wheel to our 4700 chassis, converting it to a tractor platform. It’s another way to enhance our product line by adding a lighter-weight tractor as well as one with a lower price point.”

The new tractor version of the Western Star 4700 is offered in both set-forward and set-back day cab configurations, and comes with a wide range of engines, wheelbases and transmissions. The engine range includes the Cummins ISC and ISL units together with the Detroit DD13, while the transmission offerings include Allison’s fully automatic units, Eaton manual gearboxes and Eaton’s UltraShift Plus automated transmission.

Talking about the new truck, Mike Jackson added “It’s part of our re-engagement effort in the market, to develop a diverse line of premium, rugged, customized yet traditionally-styled trucks that appeals the specialized trucking operator. Next, we’ll eventually be brining a natural gas-powered truck option to the market – that’s a natural step for us.”

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Recently, Volvo said that its Mean Green hybrid truck will attempt to break its own world speed record achieved in 2011. The company has announced that it had succeeded in its attempt and the new world speed record was achieved on April 27 at the Wendover Airfield.

Boije Ovebrink, Mean Green driver and owner said “We are very pleased with Mean Green’s performance, especially at such a high altitude. We knew Wendover would present challenges because it’s more than 4,200 feet (1,280 meters) above sea level. To compensate for the thinner air and help prevent overheating, we reduced the truck’s power by nearly 20 percent. Even with the reduction in total output potential, Mean Green had ample power to surpass the previous records.”

The previous world record was 218.780 km/h for the flying kilometer and 152.253 km/h in the standing kilometer. The new record speeds are 236.577 km/h for the Flying Kilometer and 153.252 km/h for the Standing Kilometer.

The Mean Green uses Volvo’s VN Day cab, but in order to achieve these performances the truck received a host of exterior modifications which were designed to keep the drag coefficient to as low as possible. Under the hood, the Volvo Mean Green is equipped with the D16 engine which is mated on a modified version of Volvo’s automated I-Shift gearbox, which interacts with the hybrid’s electric motor.

Volvo said that “the combination of an electric motor and Volvo D16 diesel engine delivers 2,100 horsepower and nearly 5,000 lb-ft. torque – of which, 200 horsepower and 885 lb-ft. of torque come from the electric motor”.

Ron Huibers, Volvo Trucks president, North American Sales & Marketing said “Mean Green’s incredible performance underscores the strong potential of hybrid drivelines when applied to the right operation. Neither hybrid or any other alternative fuel technology, like natural gas, is a one-size-fits-all solution, but the technology is available for appropriate applications. While diesel remains the most efficient transportation fuel currently available, we know the future of petroleum is limited. The Volvo Group continues to test and evaluate the merits of a number of alternatives.”

Hit the jump to see the truck in action!

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At the upcoming Waste Expo (May 1-2) that will be held in Las Vegas, it will take place the Mack Driving Skills Safety Challenge. The contest consists of a challenge between refuse drivers which will need to show their abilities to safely operate refuse and recycling routes. Mack will sponsor the event together with Allison, Bridgestone and Michelin.

The Contest is open for all drivers who poses a valid CLD and will include challenges such as pre trip inspection, turning radius and reverse driving. The competitors will drive a Mack TerraPro model through a closed course and will received marks for safety and accuracy.

John Walsh, Mack vice president of marketing said: “Driving a refuse truck takes special skills to safely negotiate city traffic and residential neighborhoods. The Mack TerraPro model is designed specifically for safety, maneuverability and durability, but the most critical safety component is the driver. Mack is pleased to again be sponsoring the Driving Skills Safety Challenge at Waste Expo.”

The competition will be conducted 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday, May 1, and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Wednesday, May 2, while the winners will be announced at 4 p.m., Wednesday, May 2.

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At the 2012 Commercial Vehicle Show held in UK, SDC Trailers presented its first 15.65m double deck trailer. The new trailer is 4.52 high and weights 10,995 kg. For maximum practicality the trailer features four independent load ratchet bays that can be moved vertically by forklift.

The trailer’s chassis was tapered by 360 mm thus offering the 30 degree wheel turn required to achieve 44 tones GVW (gross vehicle weight) at 15.65 m. Until now the company has taken more than 100 orders for longer trailers, with the 15.65m variant in demand.

Paul Bratton, SDC director said “Operators want the space to load an extra four pallets. The split between self-steer rear axle and command rear-steer axle is 60-40. Ordering command rear-steer axles is an extra £4,000 straightaway, and those ordering it tend to be operators who have older yards who can’t get the trailer straight to activate the locking pin for self-steer.”

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