Does engine programming work? PIT aims to find out.

Truck News

POINTE-CLAIRE, Que. — Many fleets and owner/operators swear they can get greater efficiency out of a diesel engine by programming it for its specific duty cycle.

FPInnovations’ Project Innovation Transport (PIT) group says it has received funding from the province of Quebec to test the potential of engine programming to see if they can actually improve fuel economy and reduce emissions.

The funding was announced by Pierre Arcand, Quebec’s Minister of Energy and Natural Resources. Results will be made public, since the government is funding the project. Partners in the project include Cummins Eastern Canada, Cascades Transport and the Societe des Alcools du Quebec.

PIT says it conducted a survey among members and partners that found there is a lack of knowledge around engine optimization. The organization points out more than 80% of truck engines are sold with default parameters, and may not be optimized for their specific duty cycles.

Appropriate engine programming could provide fuel savings of 10-15%, PIT claims.

“The entire road transport sector will benefit from the PIT Group’s research on engine programming. In our opinion, a direct source of fuel savings is waiting in the wings behind engine programming, and a better understanding of engine programming will help all industries improve their energy performance,” said Pierre Lapointe, president and CEO of FPInnovations

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  • To clarify, this article is referring to the customer programmable features all new trucks have available not the base engine calibration. These Programmable Parameters or “Trimable Parameters” in Cummins lingo include such features as Idle Management, Road Speed and Cruise Speed limits, Progressive Shift, and Gear Down Protection and are all proven to provide substantial fuel economy improvements. In the U.S. all major carriers utilize one or more of these features and have for quite some time now so there is substantial data to support the FE benefits and really no need to conduct extensive research in this area. Just consult your OEM; they can provide you with optimum driveline specs and parameter recommendations to optimize your truck to your application. Eh?