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In their own words – Part 5 The proof is on the road

Today, fleets are buying hundreds of reliable new Cummins ISX, ISM and ISB engines - and their drivers love them.More than 140 fleets have already placed orders since the October EPA deadline passed, ...



Today, fleets are buying hundreds of reliable new Cummins ISX, ISM and ISB engines – and their drivers love them.

More than 140 fleets have already placed orders since the October EPA deadline passed, increasing build rates for Cummins engines.

“We are very pleased with the number of customers who have placed orders for these new engines,” says Jeff Jones, Cummins vice-president, sales and support. “The early feedback has been extremely positive. Drivers are immediately impressed with the performance characteristics, and fleet managers are reporting excellent reliability and operating costs.”

Danny Looker, a driver for Tri-State Commodities agrees.

“The ISX really improves your acceleration on the foot pedal and in cruise control. It responds a lot faster, and of course it carries more boost too. On a three-to-four per cent grade, it’ll lay in for a long period of time. When you finally get to a seven per cent grade, it’ll stay in there and pull and pull.

“The brake is awesome. I’ve never driven a truck with an engine brake like that,” he adds. “It’s very quiet. You’ll notice the quietness of it right off.”

Several fleets have placed large orders for more than 100 of the new Cummins units, demonstrating their confidence in the engines. Among these fleets are Knight Transportation, P.A.M. Transport, Tyson Foods, Mesilla Valley Transportation and Celadon. This complements the many small and medium-sized fleets also placing orders for these new engines.

“We are also seeing a great deal of interest from fleets who have not operated Cummins products for several years,” says Jones. “Many of these competitive fleets have decided to evaluate the new products, and I’m confident that these tests will lead to significant orders for Cummins power in 2003.”

Cummins was the first engine manufacturer with an engine – the ISX – compliant to the EPA’s stringent new emissions regulations for on-highway engines. Cummins also received certification for a complete line of on-highway engines. These engines have been proven in real-world fleet testing since 1999.

“The cooled EGR subsystem, based on the already proven performance of the ISX, ISM and ISB engines, has undergone more real-world testing than any previous new product launch,” says Tom Kieffer, Cummins executive director of marketing. “By all measures this is turning out to be one of the best product launches in Cummins’ history.”

Bob Maddox, a Cummins field test customer, agrees.

“I run a Cummins Signature 600, so I’m not easily impressed,” Maddox says. “But I have to tell you, the performance of this new engine is remarkable. We’re running it at 565 hp, and it’s every bit of that.

“The throttle response is quick – the driver says it sounds like a jet engine. Drivers are impressed with it, and I’m impressed with it. It’s been out there on the road for a while – it’s actually out there in the field right now, doing the job.”

In a show of confidence, Cummins has introduced an Uptime Guarantee program for customers trying the new heavy-duty on-highway engines. The program, in addition to the strong standard warranty programs and extended coverage plans, assures the industry the engines will meet and exceed performance and reliability needs.

Malvin Lund is a man who has made a habit of finding his own answers. That’s how he built his company, M.G. Lund Trucking.

“I like to hear what other folks think,” Lund says. “But you can’t rely just on other people when it’s time to make a choice.”

Like everyone else, Lund had heard a lot of stories about the new lower-emissions engines.

“There were a lot of people asking questions,” he explains. “People were wondering about the new technology, fuel efficiency and performance but no one seemed to have the answers.”

The answer that Lund found in his research was Cummins power.

“Based on everything I found, Cummins is way ahead of the curve when it comes to low emission engines,” says Lund.

He placed his order and took delivery of his new truck powered by a Cummins ISX 500 on Oct. 15, 2002.

One of Lund’s biggest questions is being answered every day. With an average GVW of 140,000 lbs. and running demanding routes through B.C, Ontario, and the northwestern U.S., the fuel economy for the new ISX has proven comparable to that of the rest of Melvin’s fleet (N14 525 and Cat C16 550 engines).

“I’ve had several other operators in the region ask about the new ISX,” Lund says. “I tell them it’s been great. I wouldn’t hesitate a minute to buy more.”

And for good reason. While different engine manufacturers have taken different approaches to meet the 2002 EPA emissions deadline, Cummins has remained dedicated to the research and development of the already trusted and reliable cooled EGR engine subsystem.

Cooled EGR is the most effective means to reducing nitrogen oxides (NOx) by routing a small amount of hot exhaust air through a cooler where it is then mixed with fresh air going into the engine. The use of cooled EGR allows Cummins engines to meet the latest emissions standards without expensive aftertreatment or special fuels.

Extensive testing and research convinced Cummins that cooled EGR provides end users with the best balance of fuel economy and performance.

Cooled EGR is not new. Cummins has used this technology for nearly a decade in various automotive applications. Cummins began developing cooled EGR technology in the early 1990s and tested its first cooled EGR engine in 1995. By certifying its products ahead of the deadline, OEMs were able to complete validation work and ship the most proven products out.

On Apr. 2, 2002, the Cummins ISX became the first heavy-duty diesel engine certified as compliant to the new standards agreed upon by the industry. This is not surprising considering the ISX was designed with cooled EGR in mind. Cummins worked beyond just meeting the EPA standard to deliver a superior driving experience.

The ISX diesel engine features improved braking capability and overall responsiveness. In addition to the cooled EGR subsystem, the ISX features a Holset Variable Geometry Turbocharger that improves throttle response while boosting the ISX Intebrake by as much as 100 hp to generate a maximum braking horsepower of more than 600 hp. The proven combination of cooled EGR and Variable Geometry Turbocharging means the ISX has set the bar for high-horsepower diesels for ’02 and beyond.

Drivers of the new product prefer its performance by a three to one margin compared to the old product. Additionally, based on actual fleet tests, it’s believed that the ISX will have the best fuel economy of any big bore engine meeting the current emissions requirements.

On Aug. 15, 2002, Cummins received certification for its mid-range ISB engine from the EPA. The ISB became the second Cummins engine to receive early certification by the EPA as compliant to the new standard. This certification makes the ISB the cleanest engine available in its class. And that is important to the school bus, fire and intercity trucking and transit markets that it serves.

The ISB has earned a reputation as an industry leader in performance, fuel economy and durability. It maintains previous maintenance intervals, offers better performance and enjoys the same or better fuel economy. Additionally, it has been extensively tested in real-life applications with superior results.

The emissions-compliant ISB was first introduced in Europe over a year ago and has proven to be a reliability and performance leader. To meet the EPA emissions standard, the cooled EGR subsystem was added. In addition to the base engine experience in Europe, the new ISB with the cooled EGR subsystem has more than one million field test miles. Customer feedback has been outstanding.

On Sept. 30, 2002, Cummins received certification for its heavy-duty ISM engine from the EPA. The EPA approval certified that the ISM, along with the ISX and ISB, complies with the emissions standards agreed upon by the EPA and the trucking industry. The certification gave Cummins a complete line of certified and compliant engines.

The 11-litre IS
M engine, with horsepower ranging from 280 to 450, complements the Cummins ISX product in meeting the needs of short-haul trucking, vocational, fire and bus customers. The ISM utilizes the same cooled exhaust gas recirculation subsystem design used on the ISX and ISB engines. This common approach provides customers with the most reliable and best-performing engine in its class.

With a full lineup of ’02 EPA-compliant engines, an Uptime Guarantee and customers proudly endorsing them, Cummins is proving its ’02 products on the road.

Special to Truck News, this story was prepared by Amy Davis, director, communications strategy for Cummins Inc.


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