After 15 months in review, the Heavy Vehicle Speed Limiters proposed rule has cleared the White House Office of Management and Budget, meaning it is available to be published in a few days and a public comment period will begin. The rulemaking was officially initiated in May 2013. The OMB approved the proposed rule as “consistent with change” indicating the mandate meets federal regulatory guidelines. Still unknown is the speed at which the limiters would be set. The American Trucking Association has suggested a 65 mph limit. The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association opposes such a rule contending the mandate “would make highways less safe”.
KENWORTH is enhancing its T370 with additional options that further expand its capabilities for vocational customers. The T370 is a proven option for the medium-duty vocational market and shares a heavy-duty heritage and key components with KENWORTH’S heavy-duty vocational trucks. The T370 is adding a durable straight steel channel bumper, large size 385/65R22.5 tires, and rugged, molded thermoplastic fender extensions to benefit vocational customers. 16,000, 18,000 and 20,000 pound front axles can be paired with 46,000 pound rear axles to create specifications ideally suited for vocational applications, such as dump, fuel delivery, crane, service trucks, or mixers. The T370 can be spec’d with the PACCAR PX-9 engine rated up to 350-hp and 1,150 lb-ft of torque.
CUMMINS ENGINE COMPANY will be offering two X15 engines for 2017. Both engines build off the legacy of CUMMINS ISX platform and offer a variety of design and performance improvements. These new engines will exceed the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s 2017 greenhouse gas and fuel efficiency standards. While the ISX platform has only one 15-liter starting option, the X series offers two. One is the fuel efficient X15 efficiency series geared toward line-haul and regional markets, and the other is the X15 performance series built for heavy-haul, vocational, and other demanding applications. Cummins made several hardware changes to improve performance on the X15 performance engine, including a high-flow EGR cooler and piston cooling nozzles and exhaust valves to improve reliability. The X15 performance boasts from 485 to 605 horsepower ratings, torque ratings up to 2050lb-ft and as much as 600 braking horsepower. The X15 efficiency series ranges from 400 to 500 horsepower and 1450 to 1850 lb-ft of torque.
- USE DATA TO IDENTIFY POSSIBLE PROBLEMS. If you suspect a truck is having MPG problems, schedule a fuel economy check. This includes valve and overhead adjustment, air filter check, alignment, and fuel flow.
- TAKE CARE OF YOUR TIRES. Maintaining correct air pressure in tires equates to fuel savings. For every 10psi of under-inflation, a 10% reduction in fuel economy can result. Improper wheel alignment can rob fuel efficiency by creating rolling resistance and also cause premature tire wear.
- CHANGE YOUR OIL. Too little or too much engine oil can create more friction and rob power. Clean oil lubricates better than dirty oil, so pay attention to oil change intervals. Explore the use of lower viscosity oils to improve fuel economy.
- LET THE ENGINE BREATHE. A restricted air intake system or exhaust system will decrease engine power. Check components at regular PMs and fix any leaks. These leaks can be particularly hard to find, as leaking air is not as noticeable as fuel or oil, but their repair will improve engine operation and fuel efficiency.
- MAINTAIN ENGINE COOLING FAN. The main engine cooling fan requires a lot of power to operate on today’s hotter-running, lower-emissions engines. Ensure the fan clutch is operating correctly so the fan runs only when needed.
- CLEAN DPFs REGULARLY. Clean diesel particulate filters improve fuel economy by about 2 to 3%. Somewhere around 200,000 miles is a good time to clean these filters.
- MAINTAIN AERO DEVICES. The money you spend on aerodynamic trucks and trailer aero devices can be wasted if they are not working right. Always maintain the devices, whether they came with the tractor or are add-ons. Replace or repair them as soon as possible.
If you found Ford’s previous F650 useful, comfortable, and easy to drive, you’ll feel the same way about this new generation. The new series of medium-duty trucks looks and drives a lot like the older ones, even if the 2016s sit on new frames and are assembled in the U. S. instead of Mexico. The production change was the result of the expiration of the Blue Diamond deal with Navistar, which had assembled the midrange F-series using Ford cabs and many other components on Navistar-designed frames. I can make comparisons because 2 years ago, Ford sent me an F-650 dump with the Triton V-10 engine outfitted to burn compressed natural gas. In the following week I found that, except for the large cabinet that housed the CNG cylinders, it ran like a gasoline-engine truck. My only concern was where to refuel it. Two months ago, from Ford headquarters came a bright-orange F-650 dump, also with the Triton V-10. It burned gasoline and ran like the CNG-powered engine. A gasoline-powered V-10 F-650 lists for about $15,000 less than one with Ford’s Power Stroke V-8 diesel. The new series F650 features fresh styling with attractive creases in its hood and a sleeker look to its grille. Headlamps are projector-beam halogens that light the way quite well. The hood-and-fender assembly opens fairly easily, revealing the shrouded engine and all the plumbing and wiring associated with it. Cabs and interiors are carried over from the previous midrange model, and from behind the wheel things look similar. The gauges, controls, and overall dash design are very much like those from the previous series. The F-650 can be had with three cab styles-2-door regular ,and 4-door Super and Crew. The driving experience is much like the older series: an easy climb up, good visibility all around, and good ride. From the drivers perspective, the new Ford is a familiar vehicle. Production is at Avon Lake, Ohio. This is a reprint from a test drive made by Tom Berg and can be found in Heavy Duty Trucking magazine.
In 2005 automatic and automated transmissions were sold in about 10% of class 8 trucks and tractors. Current usage of these types of transmissions varies at different manufacturers and ranges from approximately 80% at Volvo down to 33% at Navistar. Highway tractors rank highest in usage percentage, with vocational trucks and tractors slowly catching up as improved models are introduced that work well in these applications. Mack, Volvo, Freightliner, and Western Star have proprietary transmissions and also offer Allison and Eaton models. Kenworth, Peterbilt, and Navistar offer Allison and Eaton brands.
Kenworth’s plant in Chillicothe, Ohio, is undergoing a $17M construction project to enhance assembly efficiencies, the company has announced. The 25,000 square-foot addition, which is being built on top of the current plant, will feature a climate-controlled environment to provide quality improvements for painted parts and a new system will increase the plant’s efficiency by using technology to achieve rapid storage of painted parts, and faster delivery of those parts when needed on the assembly line. The Chillicothe facility recently produced its 500,000th truck.