In the USA, all the truck buyers are talking about is fuel economy. At the same time, the Obama Government has laid out regulations ensuring truck manufacturers reach specified fuel economy targets by a series of set dates. It’s all about fuel economy, and truck and trailer makers are going all out to offer genuine fuel consumption changes in their current product, with more fuel saving technologies to come.
Among the current highway trucks winning the fuel consumption war, the International ProStar seems to be in the lead. This is the model on which the Cat Trucks models sold in Australia are based. Its aerodynamics, coupled with the 13 litre engine and an AMT is getting some good figures in fleets looking to cut fuel costs.
Second comes the Freightliner Cascadia, which dominates the heavy duty truck market in the US and has taken Freightliner to a, massive, 35.74 per cent of the heavy duty truck market this year, so far. This model is currently being assessed by Freightliner here in Australia, in the lead up to its potential launch here in the next few years.
The truck in question in the video above is the Kenworth T680, the Paccar entry into this highly competitive sector of the market. The basic truck has been specced up to wring every last kilometre out of each litre of fuel. Road conditions and Australian Design Rules mean some of these items aren’t going to get up in Australia. Single drive tyres attract a GVM penalty and those low slung skirts may have a limited life on a typical Aussie highway.
However, the use of smaller lighter engines and low friction gear boxes may be of interest here. Eaton are working with all of the engine makers in the US to get much improved integration between engine and AMT, with low fuel use programs where engine rpms never go beyond 1500 and removal of the manual override option, is being trialled with some success.
Also of interest, to Aussies, in this video is the new T 680 interior, with its standard 2.1 metre width. This is the basic cab interior layout premiered by Kenworth at the ITTES Melbourne Truck Show earlier in the year. The expectation is this interior is set to roll out in Kenworth models here over the coming years.