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opinions Rolf Lockwood

ENGINES DOMINATE AT TMC

Posted: March 3, 2014 by Rolf Lockwood

February 15, 2006 Vol. 2, No. 4

We’re getting down to the short strokes with the engines that will power trucks built after January 1, 2007. Though we’ve known at least the generalities of the motors that Cummins and Volvo will bring to market next year, we now have some of the detail.

Last time out I said I’d have news about Cummins in particular from the annual meeting of the Technology and Maintenance Council in
Tampa, Fla., but earlier this week we also had a look at Volvo’s lineup for 2007.

The Swedish outfit has added an engine to its team, the new 10.8-liter D11. It’s aimed at pickup- and- delivery, LTL, and regional
distribution fleets, as well as fuel haulers and tankers in general because of its light weight — 2175 lb.

It joins the 12.8-liter D13 that’s a stroked D12, and the updated 16.1-liter D16. All three will be assembled at the Volvo plant in
Hagerstown, MD, where the company has invested $150 million in the switchover from building just Mack engines to building both. In
fact, for 2007 and beyond, the two truck brands will share the same basic engine, though they’re quick to say that only the basics are
common.

The good news about Volvo’s ’07 engines is that they should deliver fuel economy equivalent to current engines. That’s what Volvo says, and since the only real change is the addition of a particulate filter, there’s no reason to doubt them.

The bad news? Well, they also announced that the price of a Volvo truck equipped with an ’07 engine will rise by US$7500. That
includes the Cummins ISX that will continue to be available in Volvo VT and VNL trucks next year through at least 2010.

All three ‘D’ models will continue to use cooled exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) technology with the addition of a diesel particulate filter (DPF) made by Fleetguard, a Cummins subsidiary. In fact there will be two to choose from – a conventional filter that integrates with the truck’s muffler plus a new and very compact DPF that mounts on the frame behind the right front wheel. The idea there is to stay as
close to the turbo as possible to take advantage of high exhaust temperatures which helps with burning off accumulated soot.

And how much soot are we talking? Well, in a TMC chat with veteran Volvo engineer Ed Saxman, I heard some interesting calculations. Just for fun, he worked out that a typical 2002/04 diesel using 20,000 gal of fuel in a year’s driving (about 120,000 miles) would produce 2.7 million pounds of exhaust material. Of that, a mere 100 lb is soot (hydrocarbon crud). And with the 90% reduction in particulate emissions demanded for 2007, that residue will become an infinitesimal 10 lb! Amazing.

Over at Cummins it’s a broadly similar story, though they seem to be much further ahead in field testing, which began last May. They’ve even had some ’07 engines installed in customer trucks on a normal assembly-line basis. Two Canadian fleets are presently running Cummins ’07 diesels in revenue service.

The Indiana company, which has staged a remarkable turnaround over the last few years, will continue to employ its successful EGR
technology with the additions of a Fleetguard particulate filter and a crankcase ventilation system with its own filter. This is consistent on all Cummins on-highway diesels in North America, including the heavy-duty ISX and ISM as well as the mid-range ISL, ISC and ISB engines. Ratings will be essentially the same as now.

“What was right for 2002 is the same technology that’s right for 2007,” says Cummins engine business president Jim Kelly.

All engines will use the patented Holset variable-geometry turbocharger, which features an electric actuator for 2007 with faster response and improved precision in adjusting air flow to the engine.

The particulate filter burns off soot automatically, invisible to the driver. It will have to be removed and cleaned of ash – by a special machine – every 200,000 miles or so, a process that will take about half an hour. Oil-drain intervals will not change for 2007, and fuel economy should stay the same too.

Cummins has some 300,000 EGR engines on the road, and they’ve racked up more than 30 billion miles of experience. Its 2007 field
testing is said to be well ahead of schedule.

The same Cummins subsidiary that makes these DPFs, including those used by Volvo, has also launched an interesting new line of oil
and fuel filters with a polymer, not metal, casing that can be readily recycled. That’s Fleetguard, and their new filter is 50% lighter. You can drain it and send it to a landfill or crush it and incinerate it. It also won’t dent if you drop it. They’re stackable, and they’ll be priced the same as the metal ones they’re replacing.

I’ll report again from TMC next time out.

This newsletter is published every two weeks. It’s a heads-up notice about what you can see at www.todaystrucking.com where
you’ll find in-detail coverage of nearly everything that’s new. Plus interesting products that may not have had the ‘air play’ they deserved within the last few months. There’s more here than we could possibly fit into the magazine. Subscribe today!

If you have comments of whatever sort, please contact me at rlockwood@newcom.ca.

Rolf Lockwood, Editorial Director

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