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Freightliner Custom Chassis introduces new powertrain features

CHICAGO, Ill. -- In an effort to provide increased fuel economy and performance, Freightliner Custom Chassis has in...

CHICAGO, Ill. — In an effort to provide increased fuel economy and performance, Freightliner Custom Chassis has introduced the availability of new powertrain features at the National Truck Equipment Association (NTEA) Work Truck Show.


Namely, FCCC has introduced the Vehicle Acceleration Rate Management System (VARMS) and Load-Based Shift Scheduling (LBSS). Both systems have been fully-tested and validated, states the company, “proving that when combined, both features achieve more than an 8% increase in fuel economy versus a comparably-specified vehicle without these features.”


Working with engine manufacturer Cummins, testing included the development and validation of the VARMS. This new, optimized programming system, implemented for use with the Allison 1000/2000 series transmission, includes a means for programming the vehicle’s acceleration rate and has been carefully integrated with the chassis powertrain components, states the company.


Acceleration rate management, which controls the vehicle acceleration rate to a maximum predetermined value, provides improved fuel economy and vehicle component life, adds the manufacturer. The VARMS is designed to be engaged at low speeds to discourage fast starts, thereby improving fuel economy and tire life, and will disengage automatically to allow the vehicle to meet the operational requirements of normal driving conditions.


Freightliner Custom Chassis also worked with Allison to validate and introduce new transmission programming. Testing shows that LBSS has been proven to provide additional fuel economy improvements, while not sacrificing vehicle performance, states the company.


Using advanced technology to calculate real-time vehicle load and operating grades, LBSS selects the appropriate shift schedule for the task at hand, explains the company. As the load of the vehicle changes, the transmission calibration is designed to switch between performance-based shifting and economy mode. LBSS automatically selects between an Economy 2200 RPM variable shift schedule or a Performance 2500 RPM variable shift schedule, based on the actual load and grade in which the vehicle is operating, according to the company.


“Our goal was to maximize fuel economy without sacrificing needed performance,” said Jonathan Randall, director of sales and marketing for Freightliner Custom chassis.

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