Smarter Drivelines

Smarter Drivelines

The trucking world now has a wide range of smarter drivelines available in a wide range of trucks on the Australian market. We are used to the Europeans coming up with cutting edge electronics and offering the latest and greatest. Read more

Preventative Maintenance is Vital

Latest in Engine Technology

In a tour of the Columbus Technical Centre, Diesel News’ US correspondent, Steve Sturgess saw Cummins present the latest in engine technology, saying that for many markets diesel engines will be the best solution for decades to come. The latest products are claimed to be the most commonly used power on American roads today. New versions of the X15 and lightweight X12 engines were introduced in early 2017 and are engineered for optimal performance and power, while offering class-leading fuel economy from advanced air handling and fuel system controls.

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LNG And All That Gas

LNG And All That Gas


The price of diesel goes up a little bit and immediately LNG and all that gas comes back into the reckoning. The margins in road transport are so slim, only a small incremental change can tip the balance between fuel options.


Here we have Volvo talking about its LNG 13 litre engine developing comparable power and performance to the diesel version, while offering carbon emission savings.


While carbon emission reduction is a major talking point in Europe, it is barely on the horizon here in Australia. The apparent impasse in Canberra in developing any kind of viable carbon reduction scheme, means truck operators here are not looking to reduce carbon emissions to reduce costs.


However, this is not stopping some operators from having a go. Currently, there are two trucks, a Kenworth T403 and a Volvo FH540, working in a major resources hauling fleet with a bespoke gas and diesel mix system researching the cost, carbon and particulates reduction implications.


The only driver for reduced carbon engines is the corporate decisions made by some of the multinational giants operating here to reduce their carbon emissions globally, including Australia. We will not expect any major changes in the economics around reduced carbon footprint until a clear policy framework evolves.


Another driver for change in Europe and North America is the production of methane gas from renewable sources, biogas. This has the ability to drastically cut carbon emissions up to 100 per cent.


In the US the next round of emissions control are all about carbon footprint reduction. There are also even stronger restrictions in areas around the Ports of LosAngeles and Long Beach, incentivising transport businesses to look at alternatives like electric and LNG power. As a result engines like this Cummins Westport 12 litre are being trialled in many fleets:




Cummins Unveiled Its All-Electric Powertrain

Cummins Unveiled Its All-Electric Powertrain

In the US recently, Cummins unveiled its all-electric powertrain demonstration truck in its home city of Columbus, Indiana. The event took many by surprise, with Cummins is underscoring the move to electric traction – as the environmental alternative to diesel – as a power choice for vocations that can use it going into the next decade.


Cummins Unveiled Its All-Electric Powertrain


Based on what appeared to be an International Class 7 cab and chassis, heavily modified by Detroit engineering and performance house Rousch Engineering, the two-axle Aeos featured a production-intent Cummins electric power module, and a single, direct-drive motor and battery pack.


According to Julie Furber, Executive Director of Cummins’ Electrified Power Business, the truck is weight neutral with its diesel-powered equivalent, but offers greater performance and zero emissions. Range with its single 140kW-per-hour battery pack is 100 miles, which can be boosted to 300 miles with a second battery pack.


The lighter, denser battery design allows it to hold a longer charge for improved range and faster charging, reducing downtime. The concept truck design includes an ‘Engine Generator’ option for extended range capabilities, allowing users to benefit from Cummins’ B4.5 or B6.7 engines, providing a claimed major advantage over today’s hybrid systems. These engine options offer 50 per cent fuel savings compared to today’s diesel hybrids with zero emissions.


Tim Proctor, Executive Director Product Management and Market Innovation at Cummins, said in a separate interview during the launch that the electric motor offered a peak power of 470hp and a continuous rating of 300hp with 2,500 lb ft of torque at peak, and 1,365 lb ft continuously. With such peak torque, the truck accelerates more rapidly than a diesel equivalent vehicle, while offering better than 30mpg (7.84 l/100km) equivalent mileage.


He also commented that at today’s rates of charge the battery takes an hour to charge but Cummins is predicting that battery advances in the interim will mean this charge time will be down to 20 minutes by 2020.


Demonstration Truck


The unique exterior styling was to Cummins’ designs and executed by Rousch. The Aeos – named after one of the four flying horses in Greek mythology that pulled the god Helios’ chariot of the sun – is a demonstration project that will serve to further Cummins electric powertrain development. It will be in the main an engineering tool, but there are plans to put it into commercial service with a few carriers that are strong Cummins partners. Furber said that Cummins is not interested in becoming a truck manufacturer but is keen to work with partner original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) in developing electric powertrains.


The unveiling in front of Cummins employees, local dignitaries and the truck press was the climax of a morning press conference at which Cummins executives pledged the company would support its customers with conventional diesel, alternative fuels and various electric powertrains according to customer needs and market demands.


On the electric powertrains, Srikanth Padmanabhan, President of Cummins’ Engine Business, said the company will pursue three electric architectures: pure electric using only batteries, electric powertrain with range extending power generation that could in future use fuel cell technology from supplier partners, and hybrid power systems with smaller diesels complemented by electric drive.


New Paccar AMT, Terrorism Alert and Electric Vans

New Paccar AMT, Terrorism Alert and Electric Vans

In the news this week from Diesel News, there is a New Paccar AMT, Terrorism Alert and Electric Vans, in reports from around the world.


New Paccar AMT, Terrorism Alert and Electric Vans

In the US, Paccar has released an automated manual transmission (AMT) specifically designed to work with the Paccar MX engine. Coming in at under 300kg in weight, it is 90kg lighter than the 10-speed Eaton AMT it is intended to replace.


The gearbox has been developed from the ground up as an AMT and not as a manual transmission with automatic activators. It has been developed by Eaton for Paccar with input from Cummins, as part of the close technology cooperation between the transmission and engine maker.


Implications for the Australian market are, as yet, unclear. Paccar MX engines are not selling in big numbers here, but if the AMT is also integrated with the Cummins engine, the chance of Australia seeing the new AMT would be increased.


Security guidance


The Australian Government has issued security guidance for truck drivers and operators, after the events in Barcelona last week. The fact sheet provides practical security advice to the trucking industry to help prevent vehicles being used in attacks. It can be downloaded here.


Electric Van

New Paccar AMT, Terrorism Alert and Electric Vans

Deutsche Post DHL Group and Ford presented the first of their jointly produced electric delivery vans in Germany this week. The van, called the StreetScooter WORK XL, is based on a Ford Transit chassis, fitted with a battery-electric drivetrain and a body designed and built to Deutsche Post DHL specifications.


In 2017, around 150 early-build e-vans will be manufactured in the StreetScooter plant in Aachen, Germany. DHL will use the e-vans to support its urban parcel delivery service in Germany. The consortium plans to build 2,500 e-vans by the end of 2018. Each WORK XL is said to be able to save around five tonnes of CO2 and 1,900 litres of diesel fuel each year. With 2,500 vehicles in service as planned, this could result in a total saving of 12,500 tonnes of CO2 and 4.75 million litres of fuel every year.


International Trucks, Safety, Innovation, Top Technicians and an Electric Truck

International Trucks, Safety, Innovation, Top Technicians and an Electric Truck

There are Awards and Dealerships this week for International Trucks, Safety, Innovation, Top Technicians and an Electric Truck.

International Trucks, Safety, Innovation, Top Technicians and an Electric Truck

Iveco has announced five more dealerships to oversee the sales, service and parts support for the reintroduced International truck range in Australia. The latest appointments include Black Truck Sales and Honeycombes Sales & Service in Queensland, Sydney Truck & Machinery Centre in New South Wales, Bendigo Truck Centre in Victoria and Purcher International in Western Australia.


These join an initial group of 11 outlets, further increasing coverage for potential Inter owners, and as with the original appointments, the new dealerships are all current Iveco dealers as well as authorised Cummins service outlets.


Safety Innovation Award


The National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR)/the Australian Livestock and Rural Transporters Association (ALRTA) Safety Innovation Award is a joint government-industry initiative that recognises and rewards rural road transport operators who have identified Heavy Vehicle National Law (HVNL) related safety risks and implemented successful, innovative control measures.


The award will be announced at the Livestock and Rural Transporters Association of Victoria (LRTAV) conference on 11 August in Torquay, Victoria.


The finalists for the award are:


Athol Carter, Frasers Transport, QLD

Undertook a complete organisational safety review and implemented processes and training to improve operations where safety improvement opportunities were identified.


Dean Clarke, Hopkins Transport, NSW

Instilled an emphasis on correctly and consistently performing safe operating procedures through the roll out of an organisation-wide program.


Graham Hoare, Martin Group, NSW

Introduced lower speeds set in speed limiter and a GPS-based alert system for speeding. Achieved 90 per cent less speed occurrence since introduction of new systems.


Marcus Watson, Marley’s Transport, WA

Installed seeing machines to fleet vehicles identified as high risk. This influenced safer driving behaviour and reduced driver fatigue and loss of concentration on the road.


Peter Callanan, Shanahan’s Livestock Transport, VIC

Improved carrier-customer communications and expectations to more safely and better manage livestock loads and driver rest.


Ron Harvey, Dennis Transport, SA

Undertook extensive review into safety risks to improve safety procedures. Introduced measures to counter identified risks such as live fatigue feeds, GPS vehicle tracking, speed controls and safety refresher training.



Master Technician

International Trucks, Safety, Innovation, Top Technicians and an Electric Truck

Penske Power Systems has awarded Scott Simpson as the Detroit Master Technician for 2017. A technician from Penske Power Systems’ Hunter Valley branch, Simpson was the winner of the annual skills test which sees the best Detroit technicians from around the business compete for the spoils.


Simpson edged out five other finalists in the final round on Friday which included major diagnostic and troubleshooting tasks, assessed by a panel of judges. The in-house competition is open to all Penske Detroit Guild members in Australia and New Zealand and offers technicians an opportunity to demonstrate their skills and be recognised as the leading Detroit technician.


Electric Truck

International Trucks, Safety, Innovation, Top Technicians and an Electric Truck

Fuso is to start production of the world’s first all-electric light-duty truck, the Fuso eCanter. The production plant was recently opened in Tramagal, Portugal, where all eCanters for the European and US markets will be produced in line with the conventional Fuso Canter truck.


The eCanter has a range of 100km and a load capacity of two to three tonnes, depending on body and application. The vehicle’s electric powertrain contains six high-voltage lithium-ion battery packs rated at 420V and 13.8kWh each.


New Communication

International Trucks, Safety, Innovation, Top Technicians and an Electric Truck

A new DIN-Size five-watt UH9050 UHF CB mobile radio has been launched by Uniden. Designed with a contemporary style, the radio is powered with 12/24 voltage, which is suitable for any vehicle type.


The Uniden UH9050 includes features such as Smart Mic, Master Scan and a built-in scanner, making it more than just a radio. Smart Mic works in the speaker microphone and allows users to push a button to switch between 100 user-programmed channels, the voice enhancer, call tone and Selcall.



Electric Power For Cummins, Fuel Cells and Hybrid Vans

Electric Power For Cummins, Fuel Cells and Hybrid Vans

This week, alternative power for trucks is on the agenda with Electric Power For Cummins, Fuel Cells and Hybrid Vans in Diesel News.


Electric Power For Cummins, Fuel Cells and Hybrid Vans


A Belgian hydrogen technology company has won a European Union grant to develop a new extended range fuel cell truck. The H2Share Project will see a 27-tonne electric, fuel cell-extended range, rigid truck going into service, with the chassis and body provided by Dutch manufacturer VDL.


The truck will be developed alongside its own mobile refuelling system, which is being coordinated by German technology firm Wystrach. The truck will be put on trial in six locations across Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium and France. The aim is to demonstrate the long-term viability of hydrogen fuel cells for long distances, as well as urban applications, with a view to creating a technology roadmap for the rollout of a proper hydrogen fuel cell refuelling network for road transport in northern Europe.


Cummins Goes Electric


In the US, Cummins has been talking about its current and future technologies, including electrification and alternative fuels. The company points out it continues to focus on its core business segments, engine, power systems, components and distribution business.


Cummins is looking to commercialise its electrification capabilities, bringing its knowledge and experience in the electrified powertrain space. In addition, Cummins is exploring potentially partnering with others in development of technology in energy storage, power electronics, traction motor systems and component control for commercial applications. It expects to begin electrified powertrain delivery in 2019, including battery electric and plug-in hybrids.


The company has also invested in research and development projects to build capability to develop products utilising a wide range of fuels. It is examining high efficiency petrol technology which can deliver diesel-like performance and durability, meeting the most stringent emission requirements while maintaining competitive fuel economy.


German Hybrid Van


Electric Power For Cummins, Fuel Cells and Hybrid Vans


Deutsche Post DHL Group subsidiary StreetScooter and Ford are entering a partnership for the manufacturing of battery-electric delivery vehicles. The chassis of the Ford Transit provides the technical basis. It will be equipped with a battery-electric drive train and fitted with a special body construction.


The start of production is scheduled for July 2017. Before the end of 2018 at least 2,500 vehicles will support the urban delivery traffic of DHL. With this volume, the joint project will become the largest manufacturer of battery-electric medium-duty delivery vehicles in Europe.

Cummins Eaton Collaboration

Cummins Eaton Collaboration

The ongoing Cummins Eaton collaboration comes to the fore with the new Cummins X15 in developing a more fuel-efficient powertrain package. The two companies claim to have best-in-class engine-transmission integration in the heavy-duty truck market, a claim emphasising just how important integration has become to providing a more fuel efficient, reliable and robust powertrain package.


Cummins Eaton Collaboration


Importantly, a lot of engineering work has been done locally by Cummins and Eaton to ensure the integration delivers engine and transmission performance suited to Australian and New Zealand operating conditions.


The X15 features ADEPT (Advanced Dynamic Efficient Powertrain Technology), a suite of electronic engine features capable of improving fuel economy by up to six per cent, according to Cummins. ADEPT is designed to work specifically with Eaton’s UltraShift Plus 18-speed automated manual transmission to make powertrain control decisions in real time.


“The integration of Cummins engine and Eaton transmission is now at a level that is delivering customers significant lifecycle cost improvements,” says Andrew Penca, Managing Director of Cummins South Pacific. “The latest chapter in our partnership combines some of the best technologies from both companies and makes them smarter, delivering the level of fuel economy improvements that our customers have come to expect.”


ADEPT utilises load-, speed- and grade-sensing software, making minor adjustments to speed, power and transmission gear selection to take advantage of vehicle momentum for better fuel economy.


The ADEPT package includes ‘SmartTorque2’ and ‘SmartCoast’ with additional features such as predictive cruise control being developed for further efficiency gains.


SmartTorque2 is the next generation of torque management technology from Cummins. SmartTorque2 senses both the selected gear and overall engine load as a result of the gross vehicle weight, aerodynamic drag and road grade. As these conditions vary, SmartTorque2 determines the exact amount of torque needed to maintain road speed and eliminate unnecessary downshifts.


This ensures steadier engine operation with more time spent in the ‘sweet spot’, the rpm range that achieves the best fuel economy.


SmartCoast operates when cruise control is enabled and the vehicle is coasting on moderate downhill grades. The engine returns to idle, leveraging the kinetic energy of the vehicle to maintain road speed. This reduces engine fuelling to improve fuel economy. Vehicles operating on undulating terrain will see the greatest benefit of ADEPT technology.

“We continue to develop new technologies to enhance the benefits of the Cummins-Eaton powertrain,” says Andrew.


In the future, technologies such as predictive cruise control will be added to ADEPT. Predictive cruise control utilises the vehicle’s GPS position along with an on-board map database to dynamically adjust speed and torque in anticipation of changes in road grade. This enables further fuel savings. When predictive cruise control is paired with SmartCoast the decision-making capabilities are enhanced to provide further fuel economy improvements.

New Cummins Engines Coming to Australia in 2017

New Cummins Engines Coming to Australia in 2017

After their launch in the US, there will be new Cummins engines coming to Australia in 2017. Cummins has announced it will release the X15 Euro 5 in 2017. This is an evolutionary development of the 15-litre ISXe5.

New Cummins Engines Coming to Australia in 2017

“The X15 uses the same hardware and emissions reduction technology, SCR, as the existing ISXe5, and incorporates all the product improvements since the ISXe5 release in 2012, including power cylinder, cylinder head and turbocharger upgrades,” said Andrew Penca, Managing Director Cummins South Pacific. “The X15 features ADEPT technology, a suite of advanced electronic features capable of delivering fuel economy gains through improved powertrain integration.

“Another feature to be released with the X15 is Connected Diagnostics, a telematics solution that delivers instant and expert diagnosis of engine faults to the customer.”

Advanced Dynamic Efficient Powertrain Technology (ADEPT) is for use with Eaton’s 18-speed automated UltraShift Plus transmission and has been under field test in Australia since early 2016. It utilises load, speed and grade-sensing technology to initiate adjustments to engine power, torque and transmission gear selection to take advantage of vehicle momentum for better fuel economy.

The first ADEPT package includes two features: SmartCoast and SmartTorque.

SmartCoast operates when the vehicle is on a moderate downhill grade by disengaging the front box of the transmission and returning the engine to idle to reduce drag, maintain momentum, and ultimately improve fuel economy. Once the engine commands the transmission to be put back in gear, the appropriate gear is engaged.

SmartTorque uses torque management intelligence to help eliminate unnecessary downshifts and keep the engine operating in the most fuel efficient ‘sweet spot’. Torque is varied across all gears depending on torque requirement.

For Australian operating conditions, the torque varies up to 2500 Nm (1850 lb ft) or 2880 Nm (2050 lb ft) depending on the horsepower and peak torque rating of the engine.

Cummins say further features such as predictive cruise control will be added to ADEPT in the future.

Cummins Connected Diagnostics will also be available with the release of the X15 in 2017. A telematics system, it automatically processes fault code data, sending instant notifications from Cummins detailing probable root cause and providing recommended actions.

Advice, delivered by email, app or web portal, enables the fleet manager to make an informed decision about continuing truck operation and when to schedule a service visit for the most convenient time.

Additional connected solutions that will be added in the near future include Over-the-Air (OTA) engine programming and customisation. This will allow an engine to be reprogrammed or updated with the latest calibration without having to take the truck to a service bay.

“The X15 builds on the success of the ISXe5 of which more than 6000 have gone into service in Australia and New Zealand since 2013,” said Mike Fowler, Director On-Highway Business for Cummins South Pacific. “During this time our 15-litre Euro 5 product has established class-leading reliability, fuel economy and performance.

“Our product development is no longer driven by emissions, but is instead inspired by customer needs and application requirements. The X15 is a sign of what is to come from Cummins in terms of significant efficiency gains for our customers.”

The X15 will be offered with the same ratings as the ISXe5, from 450 to 600 hp with peak torque spanning 1650 to 2050 lb ft.

Ravaglioli Commercial Vehicle Wireless Mobile Column Lifts

QuickServe from Cummins

QuickServe from Cummins is a key focus of Cummins and at the engine maker’s Carole Park, Brisbane facility, this starts when the truck rolls in the driveway. It’s the driver’s first port of call, where the truck is checked over by a technician who diagnoses the problem and reports back to the truck owner within the hour. This way the owner knows, upfront, the diagnosis and time line of the repair and can reschedule workloads accordingly.

QuickServe from Cummins

“A lot of our work is the smaller jobs where the driver has heard a noise or a light on the dash has come on,” said branch manager, Sean Hill. “We can diagnose the problem within an hour and let the fleet manager know how long the repair will take. That way they are not waiting for a day to find out the repair would have only taken one hour or at the other extreme that the truck will be off the road for a week.”

Sean stresses effective communication is the key to keeping customers happy. He explains when the trucks come into QuickServe the engine number is checked to see if there are any open campaigns, alerts or updates for the engine.

“We always let the customer know if there are any updates relevant to their engine and ask if they want us to spend the extra time doing the update while we’re working on the truck,” said Sean

Another initiative the company has implemented is capped price servicing and repairs. Operations like changing turbos or water pumps, tune ups or even a rebuild or engine change-out fall under the capped price arrangement. It’s a feature common to Cummins branches across the country and gives the customer peace of mind that the price won’t change if the job takes longer than anticipated.

“We want our people to have safety as a value rather than just a priority,” said Sean. “Values don’t change but priorities can change depending on circumstances. Cummins has a global initiative called Passport to Safety where every employee is required to complete a nine hour course on safety.”

Another safety feature the company embraces can be seen in its field service division where every technician is issued with a ‘panic button’ which can be used in emergency situations whereby the required emergency services are immediately dispatched. With a lot of work carried out in remote areas, this feature provides peace of mind to the employees and the company.

Diesel News’ visit to Cummins’ Carole Park branch provided a useful insight into the ongoing success of this global company. With an absolute focus on the highest levels of customer service along with an equally high care factor for the safety, health and wellbeing of its employees, it’s no wonder the company continues to remain strong in all aspects of the heavy duty engine business.