The BullyDog Heavy Duty WatchDog

The Heavy Duty WatchDog gives truck operators tools they’ve probably never had, including the ability to adjust the speed limiter from inside the cab. It can also read and erase trouble codes and grade drivers as they go.

The Power Pup is a programming tool that can fine-tune and optimize factory settings in the engine’s ECM and save fuel in the process, according to tests done by FP Innovations during the 6th Energotest campaign held in 2010 at the Transport Canada Motor Vehicle Test Centre in Blainville, Quebec.

They come from Bully Dog, represented in Canada by G.A.P. Big Rig Power in Edmonton.

The PowerPup tests done at Blainville were very legitimate, credible trials, based on the SAE J1321 Joint TMC/SAE Fuel Consumption Test Procedure — Type II (SAE International 1986). The control vehicle was a 2009 Volvo VN 670 tractor powered by a Volvo D13 engine, and the test vehicle was a 2006 Peterbilt 387 tractor powered by a Caterpillar C15 engine. The two tractors were pulling Wabash 53-ft van trailers.

The Bully Dog Big Rig Programmer (the PowerPup’s previous name, it seems) showed 7.72% fuel savings, according to the test report.

“However,” the FP Innovations report adds, “if ECM settings are modified to unconditionally reduce the fuel consumption, there are some possibilities that this would be done in the detriment of power and torque, or emissions performances…

“Therefore, we recommend considering other possible implications with the use of the Bully Dog Big Rig Programmer, such as the influences on emissions, OEM warranty, as well as climbing, passing and taking-off abilities.”

In other words, talk to your engine maker first.

With the WatchDog, a driver out on the road will be able to read and erase trouble codes himself without necessarily having to visit an OEM dealer. If it’s a major issue, he’ll know in just a couple of minutes whether he needs to keep the truck shut down, get it to a repair shop immediately, or simply make note of it and get it fixed once he’s back home, the manufacturer says.

Drivers who go in and out of Ontario and Quebec can switch the speed to or from the 105-kmh legal maximum in about 30 seconds, with no need to visit a dealership.

Bully Dog developed a ‘driving coach’ that’s part of the WatchDog’s bag of tricks. It provides instant feedback to a driver if he’s doing something that isn’t fuel-efficient, using both visual and audio feedback. An instantaneous score ranging from A to F is displayed depending on how well the driver’s doing.

It also incorporates a trial version of GearMaster, with the option of buying it later. It helps drivers find the right gear in any situation by way of a visual display.

The Heavy Duty WD includes a digital gauge package, dependent on the make/model/year of the tractor and engine. The Heavy Duty WD will work on Cat, Cummins and Detroit engines, with others — Volvo, Mercedes, Mack, Paccar, and Navistar in development.          
For more information call G.A.P. at 855-244-7441. Or see them at the Truck World Show in Toronto starting tomorrow.

The PowerPup engine programmer

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