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7/30/2012 11:30:00 AM Write a Letter to the Editor Write a letter to the Editor

OEMs Combine Technologies to Maximize Fuel Efficiency

By Seth Clevenger, Staff Reporter

This story appears in the July 30 print edition of Transport Topics. Click here to subscribe today.

Heavy-duty truck manufacturers have improved the fuel efficiency of their tractors through a combination of new technologies, powertrain improvements, enhanced aerodynamics and efforts to reduce rolling resistance.

See related story: Fleets Enjoy Fuel Efficiency Gains in New Trucks, But Express Concerns on Maintenance Costs (TT subscription or 14-day pass required.)

All North American Class 8 truck makers currently are building trucks with selective catalytic reduction (SCR) technology except Navistar, which has developed its exhaust gas recirculation, or EGR, technology, which does not require the use of diesel exhaust fluid.

On July 6, however, Navistar announced plans to add SCR in future engines as part of a strategy to use several technologies to meet emissions goals.

Mike McHorse, marketing segment manager for Freightliner Trucks at Daimler Trucks North America, said his company’s adoption of SCR has provided up to a 5% improvement in fuel efficiency.

“Customers moving from the previous EGR-based solution for EPA 2007 were really rewarded for moving to that technology from a fuel-efficiency standpoint. But also, the engines run at cooler temperatures, so we didn’t need to have the big cooling packages and so forth for that engine platform,” he said.

At the same time, the company also added new aerodynamic enhancements to its primary on-highway tractor, the Cascadia, in 2011.

Freightliner added a roof deflector to the top of the truck to drive air flow better over the top of the trailer and closed off two sections of the bumper to make it more aerodynamic, McHorse said.

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