The Fuel Economy EquationMedium Duty Trucks and Fuel Economy
For many years the industry relied heavily on engine manufacturers to deliver the best fuel economy out of every drop of diesel they pour in to the tank. Then came a time when aerodynamics dominated the stage, especially for the long haul tractors. Now most recently, the drivetrain has taken center stage. The engine, drivetrain, and tires rule the fuel economy equation for Medium Duty fleets that run scheduled routes,
Let’s start with the engine.
Today’s engines run on SCR technology and are extremely efficient and they deliver unprecedented levels of performance – Higher horse power and torque are available on engines with less than 10 liters of displacement. International® offers two reputable engine brands in its medium duty product line, the Cummins ISB and the Navistar N9. Both deliver reliable performance and excellent uptime.
To take full advantage of the power and torque the engine delivers, an efficient transmission is needed.
Historically, fuel efficiency relied heavily on driver’s expertise to properly operate a manual transmission. New transmission technology allows a less experienced driver to be equally efficient. Eaton, a well-known supplier to the trucking industry has developed a dual clutch transmission (DCT) that eliminates the complexity of shifting at the right time every time. The Eaton Procision is a DCT transmission that has specific calibrations to match the power and torque characteristics of the Cummins and Navistar engines, delivering 8 to 10% better fuel economy when compared to a typical torque converter automatic transmission.But, things don’t end at the transmission yoke.
Equally important is the adequate specification of axles and propulsion shaft so all the gains achieved are not lost in the drivetrain.
You want to make sure you spec an axle with wide face gearing and high power density so all the power and torque is delivered to the road. The use of the Dana’s long life, low maintenance SPL prop shafts guarantee that the torque the transmission delivers is entirely transmitted to the drive axle. DANA’s S140 axle has the latest in gearing and bearing technology. Dana’s Gen Tech™ gearing decreases noise, vibration, and harshness (NVH) and its high-capacity gearing and bearing system delivers high power density. These features increase the reliability and efficiency of the axle contributing to fuel efficiency, high torque, and horsepower.
The choice you make when it comes to the tires is important.
Make sure to choose fuel efficient SmartWay low rolling resistance tires on all corners. Also, make sure all your tires are properly inflated and check them regularly. Finally, pay attention to the driving speed. The faster you drive, the higher the rolling resistance. Although not a major impact in a medium duty pickup and delivery application; rolling resistance is important to consider when hitting highway speeds.
Don’t forget the technology that can further improve your bottom line.
All New International trucks come equipped with OnCommand Connection, a remote diagnostic program that is focused on reducing the vehicle downtime and total cost of ownership for your entire fleet. It works well with our Connected Vehicles offering that further improves your profitability, by driving out unnecessary costs and by improving the vehicle uptime and communication with your drivers. Connected Vehicles solutions are scalable – they grow with your business.
Still have questions regarding the medium duty trucks and fuel efficiency?