KING CITY, Ont. – Private fleets wanting to test new technologies can take advantage of the pooled resources and studies at PIT, thanks to a new partnership between the Private Motor Truck Council of Canada (PMTC) and Performace...
KING CITY, Ont. – Private fleets wanting to test new technologies can take advantage of the pooled resources and studies at PIT, thanks to a new partnership between the Private Motor Truck Council of Canada (PMTC) and Performace Innovation Transport (PIT). The PMTC has developed an agreement with PIT, announced at the annual PMTC conference this June, for members to access the various services offered at PIT, such as testing and implementation of energy-efficient technologies for heavy-duty vehicles.
PIT offers accurate, independent testing of fuel-saving technologies.
Andrew Hickman, senior technician, PIT, said that in 2007, two fleets, (Cascades and Robert Transport), were doing their own testing, and brought in FP Innovations, with its expertise in networking with R&D groups, to validate the protocols and processes and to be a third-party intermediary.
“We created a test campaign called Energotest, testing 19 technologies in five days over 50 fleets who participated in the unveiling of the results several weeks later. This success led to the creation of a full program at the request of the industry in 2008; the program was called PIT,” said Hickman.
Eight campaigns later, essentially PIT acts as a hub for fleets, clients and governments who are interested in cost and emissions reductions, said Hickman. It’s a member-driven organization and projects are aimed at creating solutions.
“It takes the guesswork out of selecting the right technology for fleets,” Hickman said of PIT, allowing for a focus on the implementation of innovative technologies for maximum ROI.
PIT members comprise 30 Canadian and US fleets with more than 10,000 tractors and 30,000 trailers, federal and provincial government agencies, and municipalities.
“We can bring the cost of testing down by pooling our resources,” said Hickman. Test customers come from all over the world to access dedicated tests on the track, road, off-road, and in climatic chambers. Consulting, training and workshops are also available, as are tech guides covering such topics as biodiesel, tire pressure management systems, and IV-ITS Implementation (ie. on-board computers).
PIT has done studies on duty cycle test procedures, boat tails, and on ECM data.
“There are also some long-term operational observations going on in evaluating the service of hybrid delivery trucks, on the development of a hybrid truck best practices guide, and on disc brakes,” said Hickman.
In terms of testing on energy-efficient technologies, PIT is looking at aerodynamic drag reduction measures, rolling resistance measures, and technologies for improving powertrain efficiency. Under the Energotest model, “The main objective of testing on track is to conduct controlled test track studies to eliminate variables,” said Hickman.
Technology suppliers are referred to PIT by fleet members. PIT organizes Energotest campaigns by bringing together fleets and suppliers several weeks each year.
“We’re now doing some more developmental processes where fleets can rent the track for a time period and test various technologies at once,” said Hickman. Since 2007, eight campaigns and about $1.5 million in testing has been paid for by suppliers, and some 150 technologies and best practices have been tested.
“To be honest you can’t do this as a single fleet. We try and take this pressure off the shoulders of the fleet – our engineers are already devoted to looking at new technologies,” he said.
In 2012, two campaigns were scheduled for May 28-June 6 and Sept. 10-19. A big part of the testing is on emissions. Test results are quickly distributed to members and PIT staff supports members with implementation of the technologies.
“PMTC and PIT have entered into an agreement where PMTC members have access to the reports, guides, and services,” Hickman said.