Mack boosts fuel economy under Earth Day backdrop

AUSTIN, TX - Mack Trucks' choice of the setting and day to unveil a series of powertrain upgrades was no coincidence. Austin, Texas is known for its music and barbecue, but is also recognized as one of the Top 10 greenest cities in the U.S. And April 22 marks Earth Day. Collectively, they offered a fitting backdrop for changes made in the name of fuel economy. The 2017 Mack MP engine lineup will see fuel economy jump between 2.1 and 8.8% compared to today's models, while a new Predictive Cruise will effectively memorize terrain and enhance shifts when routes are repeated. Engine upgrades include a common rail fuel system, and turbo compounding that tranforms waste heat into torque on the camshaft. Fuel-saving enhancements have certainly put the engines on a diet. The common rail fuel system, widely used in Europe, allows for an assembled camshaft that is 27 pounds lighter than its single-piece predecessor. The MP8's cylinder block is also 44 pounds lighter than today's models. Even when turbo compounding is introduced on the MP8, the engine is still 33 pounds lighter than existing models.

Cummins Gets U.S. Regulatory OK for Engine Lineup

COLUMBUS, IN -- Cummins Inc. on Monday announced that it received certification for its complete lineup of on-highway diesel and natural gas engines from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), meeting both the current EPA regulations and the second step in greenhouse gas (GHG) and fuel-efficiency standards which take effect in January 2017. Fuel efficiency is improved across the commercial vehicle engine lineup from 5.0 liters to 15 liters. "Cummins is committed to providing customer-focused innovation as soon as it is ready," said Amy Boerger, vce president of sales and support. "For example, efficiency improvements implemented in the 2016 ISX15 400 hp to 475 hp ratings will provide customers with fuel economy gains over the 2013 ISX15, ranging from 2.5 percent on the base engine up to 7.5 percent with a SmartAdvantage Powertrain with ADEPT SmartCoast features."

New U.S. Truck Emissions Rules May Be Tougher Than Expected

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - The trucking industry is finally hearing some frank discussion about Phase 2 of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Greenhouse Gas Reduction proposal that Canada is expected to adopt in one form or another. At the FTR Conference in Indianapolis Wednesday, a Daimler Trucks North America regulatory expert told attendees the standards are likely to be much more difficult to meet than originally believed. Amy Kopin, regulatory and compliance program manager, said because of the variations that are inherent in some of the testing procedures, and the lack of reasonable compliance margins, truck and engine makers may need to design products to exceed the rule's requirements just to come in under the compliance margins. "There are all kinds of technical provisions and problems with compliance that EPA has built into Phase 2 that make the rule almost twice as stringent as it should be," Kopin said. "They have made incorrect assumptions with many of their baselines, and they have over-estimated the rate of customer uptake on many technologies as well. These all affect the way equipment makers earn their credits, and because of that, we will have to compensate for those shortfalls in other ways."

Fight Expected Over Upcoming Truck Emissions Rules

The trucking industry in the U.S. is bracing for federal regulators to soon propose new rules requiring the fuel efficiency of new trucks to increase by as much as 40% by 2027 from 2010's level. That's according to a story this week from Reuters, in which it reports that some trucking aren't necessarily opposed to tougher standards. The reason is because fuel is one of any trucking operation's greatest costs, but the real fight may lie in the smaller details of the plan. For instance, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency earlier said it will introduce "performance-based" standards, meaning truck makers can use a variety of options to hit fuel economy and emissions targets, ranging from changes in the engine all the way to putting additions on trucks and trailer bodies.