Truck News


Discussing Cummins’ Future

Truck News spoke to Cummins Diesel of Canada's general manager Alasdair McNellan, on the field performance of the '02 engines, plans for the '07 engines and why another pre-buy is not a smart idea. The following is the second part of McNellan's ex...

Truck News spoke to Cummins Diesel of Canada’s general manager Alasdair McNellan, on the field performance of the ’02 engines, plans for the ’07 engines and why another pre-buy is not a smart idea. The following is the second part of McNellan’s exclusive interview.

TN: The Cummins distribution centres in Quebec and Atlantic Canada were recently merged with the Cummins Ontario distribution centre. Can you explain the reasoning behind this move and what impact it will have on your customers?

McNellan: The idea is that we are going to have larger distributors and Cummins will own a percentage of them. We’ve gone from five distributors in Canada down to two. We have Cummins Western Canada, and now Cummins Eastern Canada. This way our customers will have more options with stocking of more parts in certain locations. And the people we have in place with the two distributors know the business and are both former Cummins people.

TN: I understand Cummins is also refocusing the way it approaches the market place?

McNellan: Three years ago we signed a Long-Term-Agreement (LTA) with Paccar, Volvo, and International designating them our heavy-duty partners, We work closely with our OEM partners and their dealers – but are also increasing our level of direct contact with the truck customer. We’ve instructed our distributors to be knocking on doors and to make sure they are available to answering specific engine questions, getting involved in the gearing spec’s etc. We have also added corporate field staff across North America for this new initiative.

TN: Let’s look ahead to 2007. How is Cummins coming along with preparations for the 2007 emissions standards?.

McNellan: The blueprint is in place in terms of where we are going. It will be the same basic engine as we have now. For the ISX it will be a 15L for the ISM it will be an 11L. The carcass will be the same. Crank, bore, stroke, etc., will be no different. Aftertreatment in the form of a DPF – Diesel Particulate Filter will be utilized by Cummins and other engine manufacturers. Here, Cummins will have a unique advantage in that we are the only company who can design and manufacture a complete, integrated engine/aftertreatment system. With our Fleetguard subsidiary we have access to a world leader in filtration and exhaust systems. Cummins will initially have a minimum of 30 engines available – both ISX and ISM’s – for customer field-testing. We’ve had a commitment from the fuel companies that there will be a corridor for low sulphur fuel – this is required with the new ’07 engines. To run these engine tests we have to make sure drivers can fill up with LSF.

TN: Why do you feel EGR will still be right for the North American market in 2007?

McNellan: The ISX was designed about a decade ago with the environment in mind. The ISX is capable of being around, like the N14 was, for over 30 years. The on-highway EGR application was the best way to go for RAM-air effect. This could not be done with a bulldozer but for highway applications it made far more sense to go with cooled EGR because the Ram-air effect was crucial. It was also technology we knew and understood from use in engines sold in California. And for the same reasons it makes sense to continue into 2007.

TN: You feel strongly that EGR is the right technology for North America. Why is SCR (selective catalytic reduction) not right for the North American market?

McNellan: EGR is the right technology for North America and has been well proven since the ’02 emissions introduction. This will continue to be the technology path forward for Cummins at ’07. SCR technology is the best solution for the European market due to the very high price of fuel, which makes the investment in a urea supply infrastructure for vehicles feasible. It will work and in the future it may just very well come to North America. But right now the availability of urea, which needs to be injected into the exhaust system, is an issue. Urea is a lot more available in Europe than it is here. If the driver runs out of urea and he continues to drive, the aftertreatment would not be doing its job. So what do you do? Do you stop the engine? Do you allow him to run without it?

TN: Are there any applications in North America where you see SCR making sense, and if so, do you have any plans to offer SCR?

McNellan: SCR remains an option for the future that the industry could consider but there are also other emission reduction options to evaluate after the introduction of the Cummins ’07 EGR products.

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