Fuel Efficiency

FMCSA Issues Final Rule on Windshield-Mounted Technologies – Tech Tip Tuesday

September 22, 2016
Source: FMCSA

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) issued a final rule to amend the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs) to allow the voluntary mounting of certain devices on the interior of the windshields of commercial motor vehicles (CMVs), including placement within the area that is swept by the windshield wipers.

Section 5301 of the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act (FAST Act) directs the Agency to amend the FMCSRs to allow devices to be mounted on the windshield that utilize “vehicle safety technology.”

In addition, section 5301 states that all windshield-mounted devices and technologies with a limited two-year exemption in effect on the date of enactment shall be considered to meet the equivalent-or-greater safety standard required for the initial exemption.

The announcement of this final rule is a nondiscretionary, ministerial action that does not require prior notice and public comment under the Administrative Procedure Act.

Click here to read the Federal Register notice.

Updated: Friday, September 23, 2016

Contact the location nearest to you for more information.

Visit our Tech Tips section here.

By |October 18th, 2016|Bentley News & Events, Commercial Trucking Industry, Tech Tips, Truck Parts, Truck Service|Comments Off on FMCSA Issues Final Rule on Windshield-Mounted Technologies – Tech Tip Tuesday

Maintenance Tips for Fuel Efficiency – Tech Tip Tuesday

Truck fuel efficiency is no simple matter with many factors to consider. Some of them are out of our control – such as weather, traffic or required routes but many factors can be controlled like powertrain specifications, vehicle aerodynamics and driver training. Proper maintenance can also positively impact fuel economy.

Industry research shows that proper maintenance of your truck and engine can contribute significantly to improved fuel economy. Maintenance requirements vary for each vehicle and engine manufacturer; so, it is critical to have the proper maintenance information available.

Below are some factors that affect fuel economy and examples of service information that can help you keep your vehicles operating at peak efficiency.

Climate control: Air conditioning compressor usage accounts for approximately half of total engine cooling fan engagement time. Air conditioning operation increases fuel consumption because engine power is required to operate both the air conditioning compressor and the engine cooling fan.

Tire inflation: Fuel mileage is adversely affected by underinflated tires. In addition to fuel savings, properly inflated tires are safer and result in extended tire life.

Lubricants: Engine, transmission and axle oils with the proper viscosity also contribute to fuel economy. Using oils with too-high viscosity can increase the energy required to pump the oil through the lubricating system and result in internal viscous friction loss.

Wheel alignment: Properly aligned axles reduce fuel consumption and extend tire life by reducing wear.

Charge air cooler: Charge air cooler leaks result in loss of turbocharger boost, reducing engine operating efficiency, which results in increased fuel consumption.

Engine maintenance: Engine valves in proper adjustment and properly operating engine control systems contribute to good fuel economy. This includes performing overhead adjustments at proper intervals, as well as troubleshooting and repairing […]

By |October 11th, 2016|Bentley News & Events, Commercial Trucking Industry, Tech Tips, Truck Parts, Truck Service|Comments Off on Maintenance Tips for Fuel Efficiency – Tech Tip Tuesday

Electric Trucks Still Generate a Spark of Interest

Electric trucks have benefits, but still struggle against economics.

There’s still a spark of interest in electric trucks. As a fuel, electricity is cheap, and on the street, vehicles that use it are extremely clean. There is no internal combustion engine to maintain, so operating costs have been low. Drivers love them for their quickness and quietness, and clean-air advocates embrace them for their pollution-reduction potential.

But electric trucks still cost two or three times the price of conventionally powered trucks, needing government support for purchases to make decent business cases. Meanwhile, moderating fuel prices have reduced the potential savings needed to pay off any extra investment.

One start-up company, Boulder Electric Vehicles, shut down its California factory and Colorado headquarters over the summer, according to the Los Angeles Daily News. CEO Carter Brown told the newspaper slow sales were to blame. But Boulder is not filing for bankruptcy and is still servicing the trucks it has sold. Brown hopes changing market conditions will allow the company to be resurrected.

Boulder chose to develop a complete vehicle, including a chassis and a lightweight walk-in-type cab. This was expensive, says Tedd Abramson, president and CEO of Zero Truck in southern California, which converts Isuzu NPR low-cab-forward trucks to electric power.

“We remove the engine and transmission and sell them, and put in our own powertrain,” Abramson explains. The battery is a high-energy lithium polymer type, made in the U.S. by Xalt.

Zero sold its first truck in early 2010 to the City of Santa Monica, where it’s still in use. The company is now processing orders for 12 trucks that will go to municipalities and fleets.

“We don’t like to see any of the electric vehicle companies go out of business, because it […]

By |November 6th, 2014|Commercial Trucking Industry, Truck Sales|Comments Off on Electric Trucks Still Generate a Spark of Interest

Eaton Stirs up Medium-Duty Market with Dual-Clutch Transmission

Eaton’s Dual-Clutch Transmission

GALESBURG, MICH. — Eaton is bringing a new transmission to the medium-duty market that boasts car-like drivability with full-manual performance, a design of 10 years or 400,000 miles, and 8-10% better fuel economy than a torque-convertor-equipped automatic transmission.

The new 7-speed transmission, called Procision, features a dual-clutch design and electronic shifting that uses grade, vehicle weight and throttle input to provide optimal fuel efficiency and smooth, continuous delivery of torque to the drive wheels under all shift conditions.

The Procision transmission will be available for order in mid 2015, Eaton says.

Eaton’s senior vice president and general manager of Commercial Vehicle Transmission business, John Beering, says the target customer of this transmission wants a truck he or she can climb into, turn the key and drive away, while still meeting the unique needs of the multitude of applications that use such a product.

“Procision is a clean sheet of paper,” Beering told a press gathering in Galesburg this week. “We took a hard look at what we had done in the medium-duty space in the past and we listened to the voice of the market that told us there were gaps they wanted addressed. This new dual-clutch technology addresses those gaps.”

The transmission itself is a 7-speed set up rated for up to 660 pounds-feet of torque with direct drive in 5th gear. The overall ratio is 10.13:1, with a ratio of 6.5:1 in first, right up to 0.64:1 in seventh. It weighs 364 pounds and will be available in 26,000- and 33,000-pound ratings. It also offers right, left and rear PTO positions.

The key to the Procision transmission is the dual-clutch shifting technology. Eaton says the torque path to the drive wheels is not interrupted by the gear […]

By |November 5th, 2014|Commercial Trucking Industry, Press Releases, Truck Sales|Comments Off on Eaton Stirs up Medium-Duty Market with Dual-Clutch Transmission