News this week from Cummins, Uber and Volkswagen/International is interesting, as is a couple of announcements from Mack Trucks and another SuperTruck.
Reports in the US trucking press talk about a joint press conference in Hannover with Andreas Renschler, CEO of Volkswagen Truck & Bus and Navistar CEO Troy Clarke. The discussion was about synergies possible since VW took a 16 per cent stake in the Chicago based truck maker.
“We are looking forward to a successful alliance,” Renschler is reported as saying. “Navistar needs what we can offer, including engines, transmissions and axles.”
From the International point of view, Clarke was quoted as saying, “We are excited to have found a partner that looks at the future the way we do and with whom we have a high degree of alignment. We have a common vision of the industry and its issues. That we can do it better together makes it a perfect fit.”
Uber is flexing its muscles in the freight space in the US after buying self-driving truck startup Otto. Some reports talk of Uber plotting its entry into the long haul trucking business, working as a freight transporter and a technology partner for trucking.
With 15 trucks in development now, the company expects to be running freight on the roads with autonomous trucks in 2017. Reuters report shippers stating Uber had already approached them about hauling goods.
Here in Australia, Mack Trucks is taking the precautionary measure of recalling 295 trucks due a potential incorrectly specified driveshaft. Mack says it is fully committed to safety and continual product enhancements, and is recalling these trucks as a precautionary measure, as in the unlikely event of a driveshaft failure, pieces may fall onto the road.
The driveshaft in question is being recalled on a limited number of Mack Granite, Trident, Super-Liners and Titans manufactured between 17 January 2012 and 29 September 2015. This recall does not apply to all Mack Granite, Trident, Super-Liner and Titan trucks manufactured during this time, only the limited number fitted with the driveshaft in question.
Mack Trucks Australia has already started contacting all impacted customers in writing, in accordance with its commitment to customer service and its legal obligations. Work to rectify the impacted vehicles has already commenced, and replacement parts have been despatched to dealerships. Customers are encouraged to contact their local dealer or authorised workshop to arrange a time for their vehicle to be inspected at their earliest convenience.
On another note, a Mack Granite cab chassis has been donated to TAFE Queensland SkillsTech, to be used as a training tool for the future generation of heavy-vehicle workshop technicians.
“Volvo Group Australia’s generous donation of this truck enables SkillsTech to provide the best possible training for our apprentices,” said Mary Campbell, General Manager of TAFE Queensland SkillsTech. “On behalf of TAFE Queensland SkillsTech, I would like to thank Volvo Group Australia for investing in the future of the heavy vehicle industry, and I’m confident our apprentices will make great employees, thanks to your support.”
At the IAA Show in Hannover, Cummins revealed the next generation X Series for heavy-duty truck applications with 15 litre and 12 litre displacements to meet Euro 6 and equivalent emissions standards as they become globally adopted from 2019 onward.
According to Cummins, a worldwide shift to low emissions standards takes effect in 2019-20, introducing regulations similar to Euro 6 in countries including China nationwide, India, Mexico, Brazil and Australia. With a global manufacturing, technical and service footprint, Cummins reckons it is ideally placed to support OEM domestic and export business.
Navistar’s SuperTruck was unveiled in the uS, with a claimed fuel efficiency of 13 miles per gallon (5.5 km/l), and achieving 50.3 per cent Brake Thermal Efficiency (BTE) and a possibilities to get to 55 per cent BTE.
The CatalIST, the International SuperTruck, uses an adapted version of the Navistar N13 engine. The cab and bonnet mounted mirrors are replaced with a series of cameras and interior-mounted monitors. There is also an all-new shape with a sloped windshield and wedged cab for improved aerodynamics. Aerodynamic improvements in the trailer reduce the drag coefficient by more than 30 per cent.