Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Chasing mpgs

With profit margins thinner than Audrey Hepburn, truck builders are squeezing the brainpower out of their engineers to come up with every single thing that can be done to tweak fuel-saving enhancements.

Check out this slippery T680. (Photo by Jami Jones)

Some of those tweaks are obvious; some details you kind of have to look for them.
This morning at MATS, Kenworth, for example, showed the trucking press its T680 Advantage with 76-inch sleeper (it’s a new truck, just introduced in October) and pointed out some of the tricky new tweaks.

So there are the longer side extenders, lower cab fairing extenders for the 76-inch sleeper and front air dam. Then there are those aerodynamic mud flaps, even some optional wheel covers for drive tires.

The goal is to get as much as 5 percent more fuel efficiency. Kevin Barry, chief engineer, says the T680 will do that by May.

KW is chasing that 5 percent by combining the Paccar MX-13 engine, Eaton Fuller Advantage transmission, a Meritor 6x2 axle configuration and wide-base tires.

I’m not a fan of speed governors on all trucks, so their speed control management that utilizes speed limiters isn’t my favorite fuel-efficient feature. But the tire pressure monitoring system is neat, keeping tires at optimum PSI.

The new Kenworth Idle Management System, which provides 8 hours of A/C without idling, saves you about $4 an hour.

1 comment:

  1. They'd be a whole lot more aerodynamic if they'd slant the windshields cars. Might also make em a lil less prone during rock chucking season!