Mid-America Trucking Show Report (March 01, 2007)

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Cummins introduces more powerful ISX

Cummins has given its ISX some extra juice, with a new rating boasting power of 600 hp and a torque rating of 2,050 lb.-ft.

The new rating is aimed at heavy-haul customers as well as fleets and owner/operators who specialize in expedited freight. Performance enthusiasts will also appreciate the extra horsepower.

Cummins officials announced the new rating at the Mid-America Trucking Show. The extra torque will allow drivers to maintain road speed on steep inclines and will allow for fewer shifts, reducing driver fatigue and improving trip times, the company said.

The Cummins ISX will also include electric actuation on the VG Turbo for improved engine response across the entire power range, the company announced. Meanwhile, the Interbrake integrated compression brake capable of 600 braking horsepower will continue to be offered as standard equipment in 2007.The new horsepower rating will be available on the ISX by this fall.

Cummins releases new version of handheld engine information tool

Cummins has introduced a new generation of its QuickCheck engine information tool – the QuickCheck 5100.

The latest version of the handheld engine information tool makes capturing and reading data quicker and easier, the company announced at the Mid-America Trucking Show. The handheld unit is designed to withstand the abuse of a typical shop environment. It can connect to any electronic diesel engine using standard J1587 or J1939 data links and six- or nine-pin cables. The unit can also be connected to a personal computer with a USB cable.

The QuickCheck 5100 comes equipped with the QuickCheck CE and PowerSpec CE software applications so it can be used right out of the box, the company announced. QuickCheck CE reads fault codes, parameter values, lifetime trip data and the data plate of any diesel engine with standard connectivity to an engine control module.

PowerSpec CE is a proprietary application for Cummins engines that allows users to download and customize engine parameter settings on their own PC.

The QuickCheck 5100 allows users to run trip summary reports that are compiled from 10 data fields including: average miles per gallon; idle-time; time in top gear; maximum vehicle speed; sudden decelerations; and total engine hours and trip times. These reports can be downloaded to a PC where fleet managers can monitor and track the information.

The handheld device has a push-button touch-screen for easy navigation. The 3.8-inch screen is back-lit for easy viewing. It’s powered by a rechargeable lithium-ion battery that can last up to 10 hours before requiring recharging.

Cummins officials announced the QuickCheck 5100 can be purchased online at powerstore.cummins.com as well as through Cummins dealers.

Michelin launches support program for small fleets

Michelin has announced a new program it says will provide additional support to its small fleet customers.

The Michelin Advantage Program, introduced at the Mid-America Trucking Show, consists of: the Michelin Cash Back Advantage; the Michelin Truck Support Advantage; and the Michelin Direct Information Advantage.

The Cash Back Advantage is offered through the Michelin Advantage Visa card. The card, which was offered for the first time at the Mid-America Trucking Show, offers cash back on each purchase. Card holders earn 3% back on Michelin tire purchases and 1% on other purchases including fuel, Michelin announced at the show. The credit card features a low introductory rate and no annual fee, the company announced.

Also unveiled as part of the package was Michelin’s ONCall system, an emergency roadside service program. Michelin Advantage Program members are automatically enrolled in the ONCall emergency roadside assistance service program, officials said. The system guarantees customers will receive roadside assistance within two hours of calling or Michelin will cover the dispatch fee. Also, under the program, pricing for products and services is set at a pre-determined rate so truckers won’t be gouged if they run into problems on the road.

The final part of the program is the Michelin Direct Information Advantage, which provides access to an online business portal that provides information on subjects including: tire maintenance software tools; fuel modeling; access to Michelin ONCall’s online dispatch/case management; and training videos.

“Unprecedented” truck-engine integration delivering benefits for International

International Truck and Engine Corporation believes the integration it is able to provide between truck and engine is a key differentiator in its market space and it used the continent’s largest truck show to showcase its line of 08MY International “Star” series trucks along with its new MaxxForce engines.

International revealed the power and torque ratings for its MaxxForce 11 and MaxxForce 13 Class 8 diesel engines, which provide up to 1,700 lb.-ft. of torque at 1,000 rpm. They’re the most powerful in a family of six engines models that offer ratings in the ranges of 330 to 475 horsepower.

Designed and engineered specifically for International brand Class 8 trucks, the MaxxForce big bore engines will be exclusively offered in International ProStar line-haul tractors, TranStar regional-haul tractors, and WorkStar severe service vehicles beginning in late 2007.

The new MaxxForce 11 and MaxxForce 13 are the first outcomes of the collaboration between International and MAN Nutzfahrzeuge. Both global companies contributed to the design, development, engineering, sourcing, testing and manufacturing of the technologies, systems and components.

The MaxxForce big bore design, which includes a high-pressure common-rail fuel system, twin-series turbochargers with interstage cooler, and a heat-management system, boasts an “unprecedented level of integration” with International’s trucks, according to Jacob Thomas, vice president of International’s Big Bore Diesel Engines Business Unit.

“These new engines provide clear advantages over traditional Class 8 big bore diesels,” Thomas said. “We’re providing power and performance that drivers can put to work, and new levels of efficiency that owners can take to the bank.”

The advantages include fuel- and air-management systems that provide instant response to reach peak torque at 1,000 rpm. This means earlier acceleration upshifts and fewer grade-climb downshifts and keeps MaxxForce big bore engines operating more often in the lower speed range – where fuel economy is inherently best, Thomas explained. Other 11- and 13-liter engines do not achieve peak torque until higher engine speeds, he claimed.

“Our goal is best-in-class fuel economy, which is extremely important to Class 8 truck owners,” said Thomas. “Because even one-tenth of a percentage improvement in fuel economy can mean huge savings, the capability for unprecedented fuel economy is a key part of the basic design of these engines.”

The MaxxForce 11 and MaxxForce 13 engine’s high-pressure common-rail fuel system controls fuel with great precision at very high pressure, according to Thomas. This yields more complete combustion and fuel efficiency, he explained.

The electronically controlled common-rail design introduces fuel into the cylinders at very high pressure and in several metered sequences with each combustion cycle. Other Class 8 diesel fuel systems also use high pressure – but Thomas claimed they do not achieve high pressure at engine speeds as low as the MaxxForce big bore engines.

Meanwhile the engines’ Eco-Therm heat-management system is made possible by unprecedented engine-truck integration on the MaxxForce big bore engines. It electronically controls coolant flow and temperature across the various coolers to achieve optimal intake-air and exhaust-gas temperatures under all conditions. Intake-air temperature control enables faster warm-ups and engine operation at peak ef
ficiency in cold climates. By maintaining exhaust-gas temperatures at optimal levels, there is an enhanced level of passive regeneration of the diesel particulate filter that leads to improved fuel economy, Thomas said.

Put it all together and the advanced fuel system, twin-series turbochargers along with the patent-pending Eco-Therm heat-management system deliver an optimized balance of power, performance and emissions control, according to Thomas. A smaller primary turbo responds quickly to deliver air for immediate take-off at low engine speeds. The larger secondary turbo maintains peak power at high speeds and grade changes. An interstage cooler after the first turbo and an after-cooler following the second turbo reduce the temperature of the intake air increasing its density so that more air can be packed into the engine to achieve efficient, peak performance.

Volvo makes stability technology standard on concrete mixers

The Volvo VHD vocational truck now has Volvo Enhanced Stability Technology (VEST) as standard equipment on all concrete mixers, the technology is also standard across Volvo’s entire range of highway tractors in North America.

VEST is a full electronic stability program, engineered to bring a higher level of protection from truck rollover and jackknife, using a standard pneumatic foundation brake system. The Volvo VHD also has a standard antilock brake system (ABS), as well as ABS-based traction control.

In addition to mixers, this advanced vehicle stability and anti-rollover protection is being implemented on other VHD models as each configuration and application is validated by Volvo’s engineering department.

VEST uses a steering angle sensor, a lateral acceleration sensor, and pressure sensors in the rear suspension air bags to determine driver input and vehicle response in rapidly changing situations. A modified ABS electronic control unit uses an advanced software algorithm to determine from sensors and other inputs when the vehicle is approaching a critical safety threshold. As the truck approaches critical safety limits, VEST begins to reduce engine power while immediately applying braking pressure as needed to individual wheel ends. This reduces speed and avoids the imminent risk of rollover or jackknife.

Another standard feature on new trucks from Volvo is the Volvo Link Sentry, which provides fleet management capabilities. The system increases security and support for drivers on the road, while at the same time protecting fleets’ bottom lines, noted the company.

Volvo Link Sentry is an onboard vehicle monitoring and communications system, which tracks and communicates key productivity and performance information each week for individual trucks, including fuel used, distance traveled and miles per gallon.

A new feature of Sentry also provides a look at individual driving behavior and performance that affects safety. Sentry automatically sends weekly reports to fleet managers, which show actions with safety implications during the preceding week for individual trucks including interventions by VEST, antilock brake activations, traction control assistance events and wheel spinouts.

Chevron introduces Delo synthetic gear lubricant

Chevron has introduced a synthetic gear lubricant the company says offers excellent thermal and oxidation stability while meeting all OEM warranty requirements.

The Delo Synthetic Gear Lubricant SAE 75W-90 is suitable for rear axles and differentials, the company announced at the Mid-America Trucking Show. The new lubricant also meets SHAES 256 Rev C – a new specification developed by Dana. The spec’ was designed out of a need for a gear lube that can handle greater power densities at lower operating temperatures, Chevron officials said.

Chevron says customers will notice improved durability, less churning losses and fuel economy gains, particularly in cold weather.

The new lube will be available Apr. 1, in pail and drum sizes.

Chevron revs up promotional tour with new technology truck

Chevron has constructed a new 30-tonne high-tech Delo Truck to showcase its lubricants product line across North America.

The truck already has several Canadian dates lined up. It will appear at ExpoCam in Montreal Apr. 12-14 and at the Fergus Truck Show July 26-29. Motortruck Fleet Executive was among the first to tour the new Delo truck at the Mid-America Trucking Show where it made its debut.

The truck itself is a Volvo VT880 with 625 hp Volvo power. The trailer is home to the D-Lab – a sensory stimulating mobile exhibit. Visitors are greeted by a virtual host, Delola, when they step inside the trailer. Delola guides visitors through the interactive trailer which educates them about Delo products using digital graphics, light- and sound-effects and visual aids.

There are nine different zones in the trailer, each focusing on a Delo product. The trailer includes: an on-demand Delo theatre; a video timeline of Delo’s history; and a pinball game. Visitors can use touch-screen displays to learn more about various Delo products.

International Introduces new BBC, roof choices for flagship ProStar

International Truck and Engine Corporation is planning to provide more options for its flagship ProStar, including the new 113-inch bumper-to-back-of-cab (BBC) dimension to complement the 122-inch BBC already available and a wider range of cab roof heights.

The Class 8 tractor is also available with new fuel efficiency features.

“The increase in options reflects the many different applications that buyers favor today in their tractors,” said Janelle Liechty, product manager, Line Haul Segment at International Truck’s Heavy Product Center. “In a 113-inch day cab, for instance, a shorter wheel base will deliver better maneuverability and will be lighter weight for regional haul delivery or any bulk haul application.”

In addition to day cabs, the International ProStar is available in a sleeper configuration with the choice of four cab roof heights: 56-inch Low-Rise, 56-inch Hi-Rise or a 73-inch Hi-Rise and a 73-inch Sky-Rise configuration with a “built-in” air faring, which helps drive aerodynamic performance. The ProStar’s initial 122-BBC production featured only the 56-inch Hi-Rise or 73-inch Hi-Rise roof options.

The 113-inch BBC and new roof heights will be available for delivery beginning January 2008. The 122-inch BBC Hi-Rise began rolling-off the line earlier this year.

Also new to the International ProStar is a feature that will help save fuel, the Cummins ICON Idle Management System, which automatically starts the truck based on a pre-set desired interior temperature.

The Meritor Antilock Air Brake System with roll-stability and automatic traction control is also available on the International ProStar. This will give our WABCO customers the ability to purchase roll stability for their high cg loads.

And ProStars can now be spec’d with Caterpillar’s new C13 engine beginning this summer. Approximately six months ahead of schedule, the Caterpillar C13 rounds out the Cummins and International MaxxForce engine offerings previously announced.

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