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Volvo wins 2011 TWNA Technical Achievement Award

TAMPA, Fla. -- The Truck Writers of North America (TWNA) have awarded Volvo the 2011 Technical Achievement Award for its XE13 powertrain package.


Ed Saxman with the TWNA Technical Achievement Award.
Ed Saxman with the TWNA Technical Achievement Award.

TAMPA, Fla. — The Truck Writers of North America (TWNA) have awarded Volvo the 2011 Technical Achievement Award for its XE13 powertrain package.

The award was presented to Volvo Trucks powertrain product manager Ed Saxman by TWNA Technical Achievement Award Committee chair and Truck News editor James Menzies at the Technology & Maintenance Council meetings here today.

The annual award, now in its 21st year, recognizes a product or service that clearly exhibits technical innovation, has a wide applicability in the trucking industry, offers significant benefits and is widely available. Complete vehicles do not qualify, but components and systems do.

The Volvo XE13 powertrain package introduces the concept of ‘downspeeding,’ by combining a set of specifications – including Volvo’s I-Shift automated manual transmission – that collectively allow the engine to run about 200 rpm slower than the average truck sold today. That translates to a fuel savings of about 3% compared to a similarly specified truck with an overdrive transmission.

“Volvo’s XE13 powertrain package brings the concept of running slow to a new level,” said Menzies. “Several members of the committee have had the chance to drive a Volvo VN equipped with the new powertrain package and we were all very impressed with how it performed on the road.”

“It’s an incredible honour to be recognized by the Truck Writers of North America,” said Ron Huibers, president, Volvo Trucks North American sales and marketing. “We truly appreciate their thorough evaluations of our XE13 package, a proprietary solution that provides just a glimpse at the future potential of Volvo Trucks’ integrated powertrain.”

Saxman, who received the award on behalf of Volvo, added: “The benefits of ‘downspeeding’ an engine are intuitive – lower engine rpm results in less fuel consumed – but virtually impossible to achieve without a perfectly harmonized powertrain. The intelligence of the Volvo I-Shift and proprietary software used in the XE13 package has created an incredible paradigm shift, so we now see the transmission controlling the engine.”

The six finalists for the award were: The Bendix EverSure spring brake; the Fontaine/Volvo integrated fifth wheel; Goodyear’s G392 SSD/SST DuraSeal wide-base tires; RigDig’s Truck History Reports; Spectra’s Hub Alert; and the winning Volvo XE13 powertrain package.

The Technical Achievement Award winner was selected by committee members Paul Abelson (Road King and Land Line magazines), John Baxter (Randall-Reilly Publishing), Tom Berg (Heavy Duty Trucking and Construction Equipment magazines), Peter Carter (Today’s Trucking), Paul Hartley (AddMedia), James Menzies (Truck News and Truck West), and Jim Park (Heavy Duty Trucking).


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