Nothing in truck and motor purchasing seems as great concern to commercial carriers and private fleet owners and managers as Environmental Protection Agency on-highway emissions standards that must be met in 2007.
There is understanding that cleaner air is the goal and is desirable, and there will be reductions in fuel mileage with the new engines. It’s a competitive market and suppliers are using leading edge design skills and manufacturing techniques to meet the new requirements with the best products possible. Here’s where they stand today.
Caterpillar, Inc. (www.cattruckengines.com) says it’s proven ACERT technology will be employed in the company’s 2007 engines and will deliver the same reliability, fuel economy, service intervals and durability as their current engines using the technology.
In order to further reduce NOx (nitrous oxide) emissions in its 2007 engines, Caterpillar combines ACERT technology with Clean Gas Induction (CGI), which draws clean inert gas downstream of the particulate filter, then puts it into the intake air system.
One key advantage the manufacturer claims is that CGI intake charges are soot-free. Too, CGI’s low intake manifold gas temperature contributes to lower NOx emissions.
Cummins Inc. (www.cummins.com) says that its 2007 on-highway heavy-duty engine field test evaluation program is well under way and on schedule. The manufacturer intends to meet the new emissions standards by integrating its particulate filter with its current cooled-Exhaust Gas Recirculation (EGR) engine technology.
The particulate filter replaces existing vehicle mufflers, with minimal weight gain and reduction in emissions by more than 90% over current levels. The filter automatically collects and burns particulate matter. When there’s not enough heat in the exhaust to burn the matter, the Engine Control Module takes an active role, so that the catalytic reaction can occur.
Detroit Diesel Corp. (www.detroitdiesel.com) also uses EGR technology in it Series 60 Mercedes-Benz MBE 900 and Mercedes-Benz MBE 4000 engines. Its upgraded EGR system is available in vehicles produced by Freightliner business units.
In addition to its upgraded EGR system, Detroit Diesel will include closed crankcase breather system that requires no maintenance, as well as an improved turbo charger system. The design is to enhance airflow, provide a cleaner combustion cycle, boost fuel economy and give the driver better load response and acceleration.
International Truck and Engine Corp. has introduced its big bore diesel (www.internationalbigbore.com). It will be fully emission compliant and is targeted to be available in the manufacturer’s Class 8s in Fall 2007. With diesel, noise is a factor. The big bore will have a rear gear train and pad mounted accessories that will contribute to a lower noise level.
These in-line 6-cylinder 11- to 13-liter turbocharged diesel engines have performance-drive direct injection high-pressure common rail electronic fuel systems. Big bore has a compacted Graphite Iron cylinder block that combines high strength with low weight.