International Truck and Engine Corp. has unveiled camless engine technology which uses electronics to control valve timing in place of a conventional mechanical camshaft and push rod assembly.In bring...
International Truck and Engine Corp. has unveiled camless engine technology which uses electronics to control valve timing in place of a conventional mechanical camshaft and push rod assembly.
In bringing the new technology to the diesel engine market, International borrowed from its electro-hydraulic technology, which it introduced six years ago with its low pressure common rail fuel system, available on all International brand engines and the Power Stroke engine.
“International camless engine technology represents a radical change in the way engines operate,” says Patrick Charbonneau, vice president of engine engineering, Engine Group.
The camless engine demonstrated at the company’s Melrose Park, Ill. technical centre and engine plant uses an International 8100 truck with an International 530E diesel engine. International is now able to control air to and from the engine without the limitations imposed by a mechanical system of cams and levers. Instead, the camless engine technology uses electronics and hydraulic actuation of the valves. According to International, this technology offers “infinite possibilities” of variable valve timing, which is expected to enhance durability and driveability and reduce weight while lowering emissions.
Mack’s bulldog has a new master as Volvo takes control
Volvo AB has taken control of North America’s oldest trucking company, acquiring century-old Mack Trucks with its $2-billion (U.S.) takeover of Renault VI’s trucking business. In turn, Renault takes 15 per cent of Volvo’s shares, and will maintain the stake for at least three years.
Mack, Renault and Volvo trucks will continue to be marketed under their individual brands, with their own distribution networks. Powertrain work, however, will be merged and a joint engine program will be developed. Several services are also expected to cross over to the different brands.
Including Renault VI/Mack, Volvo will become the largest manufacturer of heavy trucks in Europe and the second largest in the world. It becomes the world’s third-largest engine maker. Volvo’s and Renault VI’s combined market share for heavy trucks in North America will hit about 24 per cent, while its Western European share will reach 28 per cent.
The acquisition still needs to be authorized by Volvo shareholders at the company’s annual general meeting, and is subject to regulatory approval.
In terms of Class 8 trucks, Volvo sold 4,426 units in Canada last year, compared to the 2,858 sold by Mack. Combined, they hold a 23.5 per cent of Canada’s heavy truck market, according to the Canadian Vehicle Manufacturers Association. DaimlerChrysler, meanwhile, holds 33.5 per cent of that market with the combination of Freightliner and Sterling nameplates.
Worldwide, Renault, Mack and Volvo will have an annual output of 165,000 trucks over five tons.
The markets for Mack and Volvo trucks are quite different, says Volvo Trucks North America president Marc Gustafson. “They’re complementary.” Where Mack has a strong position in vocational markets such as construction, refuse and local and regional operations that buy one to three trucks per year, Volvo has made a name for itself with LTL carriers, private and regional fleets, and several truckload operations, he says.
Where the two overlap is with Mack’s Vision, which was launched last year in a bid for the on-highway market.
“The Vision has to prove itself and it’s very soon to see what the acceptance is,” Gustafson adds.
Volvo will continue with its plans to launch a new vocational truck line in July, Gustafson confirms. “If I could make that go any faster, I would.”
Under the terms of the proposed deal, Louis Schweitzer, chairman and CEO of Renault, and one other person selected by Renault, will be elected to Volvo’s board after the transaction has been completed.
The deal could also open opportunities for Mack dealers to carry Mitsubishi-Fuso medium-duty trucks. Canada’s Volvo dealers were recently given that option because of the parent company’s stake in Mitsubishi’s commercial truck business.
Petro-Canada welcomes change in ownership rules
The federal government has announced plans to change the ownership rules surrounding Petro-Canada, and nobody is more pleased than the petroleum giant.
The feds plan to strike the 25 per cent restriction on foreign ownership under the Petro-Canada Public Participation Act, and will allow individual stakes in the business to rise to 20 per cent, from the current cap of 10 per cent.
The changes “will give us the competitive access to capital markets and the flexibility we need to help finance our future investment opportunities including the East Coast Offshore, Western Canada Natural Gas, the Alberta Oil Sands, and our Refining and Marketing activity across the country,” said Petro-Canada president Ron Brenneman.
Goodyear delivers for P&D fleets with a new tire
Goodyear has introduced a tire specifically for pick-up and delivery applications.
The new tire, dubbed the G647 RSS Regional Service Steer, was borne out of a request by Federal Express, a longtime Goodyear customer for a design that improved tire life.
“The life of a tire on a package delivery truck can be brutal – a lot of start/stop driving, backing, tight turns and city driving,” says Mike Thomann, marketing director for Goodyear commercial truck tires. “These conditions promote increased tread wear and considerable sidewall scuffing.”
The G647 RSS comes with a 16.5/32nd inch tread, compared with the standard 15/32nd inch on other tires for this application. The tire also employs a new tread compound and tread pattern designed to improve mileage. Circumferential grooves and lateral blading provide traction on wet roads, while a scuff rib has been added to the casing for sidewall protection. Finally, a steel body cord and steel plies produce a casing that is retreadable.
The tire is available in 225/70R19.5.
International upgrades its line of tough work trucks
International has made several upgrades to its 2000 Series of tough work trucks, including an up to 40-degree wheel cut on setback axles and an extended cab.
The 40-degree wheel cut with 18,000- and 20,000-lb axles and flotation front tires should make it much easier for the trucks to be maneuvered around worksites. Maneuvering inside the cab has also been made easier. Truck operators can now spec an 18-inch tilt steering wheel and an extended cab, which combine to provide four extra inches of belly room.
The chassis packages have been reconfigured according to specific application to simplify the ordering and manufacturing process. The six basic chassis package configurations place the fuel tank(s), battery box, air tank, air dryer and exhaust system where it’s easier and faster to mount the truck body.
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Mechanical slider claimed to be industry’s lightest yet
Holland Binkley claims its new UltraLite mechanical slider-suspension is not only the lightest mechanical suspension system available but also the most adaptable.
UltraLite 2 is 70 lb lighter than competitive mechanical suspensions, the company says, and 229 to 505 lb lighter than air suspension systems without sacrificing strength or durability. It includes an 80,000 lb yield sub-frame, cast torque arms with 20 per cent thicker bushings and heavy-duty hold down clamps.
The UltraLite 2 shows its adaptability with a design that fits upper rails with six-inch or the new four-inch lock pin spacing. It complies with SAE Standard J560b.
The secret is out and Goodyear couldn’t be happier
Goodyear has 167 medium-duty truck retread facilities in Canada and the U.S. but many truckers still view the company as only a manufacturer of new tires.
The company is planning to change that by renaming its retreading program NEXT-TRED in order to make this aspect of the business stand out. And Goodyear is looking beyond mere name changes to bolster its retreading program, which it considers one of the best-kept secrets in the tire industry. During the year, G
oodyear solidified Truckwise, a network of nearly 500 commercial truck tire outlets in Canada and the U.S. Only the outlets which can meet Goodyear’s specific standards for service and customer volumes will be allowed to remain as Truckwise locations.
Goodyear also wants its NEXT-TRED dealers to employ state-of-the-art equipment to diagnose tire casing problems. It has approved the K2 Tirescan, a non-destructive casing inspection system based on sound waves, for use by its dealers. The K2, developed by Technic Systems in Great Britain, can detect casing separations, undercure conditions, radial belt irregularities and liner anomalies, and rusty belts. The system can also be used to inspect the integrity of a retread or patches. It uses a high-speed micro-pulsed data collection system. The equipment’s scanning arm is positioned between the beads into the body of the tire. The tire is then immersed in water, which as a conductor for sound waves, helps the scanner generate a sharper image.
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