Technician scholarships available

Up to three scholarships are up for grabs for up and coming young service technicians under 25. Cummins South Pacific is sponsoring the search for young service technicians from Australian workshops to receive one of three scholarships to attend the 2015 Paccar and Dealer TMC in Melbourne on October 26-28.
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How to save fuel

The subject of fuel consumption in a truck should always be front of mind. In this video Diesel’s European Correspondent, Brian Weatherley, learns some lessons from a driving trainer around a course in the UK. The annual Volvo Fuel Challenge happened just the other day, a national competition where drivers duke it out over a fixed 11.6 km route, over two legs, to see who is the most fuel efficient.

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US catching up to European electronics

Judging by information being released in the US at the Mid America Trucking Show this week, the US is turning to much more sophisticated electronics in trucks coming out in North America. Where European truck manufacturers have held a considerable lead over their US counterparts in the past, innovation introduced in Europe is being quickly followed by its introduction on the US market.

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Making workshops attractive

Getting young people excited about working in a workshop environment is a difficult task at the best of times. Schooling is aimed to get as many as possible into university and working in white collar jobs. The world of the diesel technician is not front of mind for the average student in grades 10, 11 or 12.

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Ravaglioli Commercial Vehicle Wireless Mobile Column Lifts

Encouraging young technicians

The upcoming Technical and Maintenance Conference in Melbourne is providing workshops with an opportunity to reward and inspire young technicians in the workforce with the Cummins Workshop Scholarship. Read more

Looking for the Super Truck

Diesel News is visiting the US this week and on meeting a refrigerated trucking operator with a fleet of International ProStars in Illinois, discovered just how important fuel saving has become for the American trucking operator. These guys are looking for even the tiniest saving all over the vehicle to save a penny here and there.

 

This kind of interest, plus carbon emission concerns, has lead to the US Government’s spending on the Super Truck program, getting suppliers to the trucking industry to come up with low fuel use solutions in a co-ordinated effort to reduce fuel use, and therefore carbon emissions.

 

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The latest results of this program have been published this week about a Peterbilt 579, powered by a Cummins ISX15 engine. This achieved a mind boggling 3.6 km/l in running a route between Denton and Vernon in Texas. The 500 km route was tested in both directions to ensure factors like wind direction did not adversely effect the result.

 

Running at around 30 tonnes at 100 km/h the truck and trailer combination broke through the 10 miles per gallon barrier set by the program. In fact, the truck achieved 10.7 mpg in the test. The program goal was to achieve a 68 per cent freight-efficiency increase over a 2009 baseline vehicle of the same weight traveling along the same route.

 

The engine used in the testing uses a modified Cummins ISX15. Engine systems convert exhaust heat into power delivered to the crankshaft. GPS map based programs use topographical information about the route to adapt electronic control to optimise fuel use.

 

Eaton’s contribution includes the design, development and prototyping of an advanced transmission designed to ensure the engine is always running at the lowest feasible rpm level. Along with Cummins the mapping of engine parameters and gear shift points are co-ordinated to maximise fuel savings.

 

The SuperTruck design also includes chassis refinements, improvements in the aerodynamics and other significant advances in the engine. Every possible weight saving has been included to maximise results.

 

Chinese gas powered gliders

Now here’s an interesting concept! This company is going to import engineless Chinese trucks made by Foton, partner to Daimler in China, into the US before fitting them with a Cummins ISX12 G, powered by liquefied natural gas or compressed natural gas engines, as well as Eaton Ultrashift AMTs.

 

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The Alkane Truck Company is an all new start up company based in South Carolina who seem to be making a massive call on the quality of truck build coming out of China, what US truck buyers will buy and how popular LNG and CNG will become.

 

The company claims it has 120 dealers willing to set up sales outlets and come across in this video as having global ambitions. There is a growing interest in gas powered trucks on the US market, as emission incentives do make the technology more viable than it is in Australia, where zero government subsidy is available for alternative fuels.

 

The suspicion Alkane may have bitten off more than they can chew is increased when it is revealed the trucks will have to have all of their glass and lights replaced as part of the importation process, as the Chinese fitments do not meet US specifications. The snake oil salesman in the video doesn’t help either!

Power app, powers up

Cummins have launched a Power app for truck engine customers which works with Apple iPhone and Android operating systems. Cummins says the new Power app informs customers and drivers wanting branch and dealer locations and routing to these locations, 24/7 Cummins Support Centre contact, warranty information and engine fault code search and definitions.

 

Cummins Power app

 

“The app can be used as a service locator, finding the nearest Cummins branch or dealer to the vehicle location and then using the phone’s mapping function for routing to the facility,” said Nick Gorgievski who was behind development of the app as a member of the Cummins South Pacific service operations team. “This is just one of the features aimed at keeping Cummins customers connected, anywhere and at any time.

 

“Attention was paid to aspects such as the fault code and service centre search criteria to make sure that no matter where you are you can get the information you want. Even if out of internet range, the app can still be used by drivers who may be in remote country locations.”

 

Accoding to Cummins more features will be added to the app as it develops in the future with the focus on giving customers further access to relevant information about their engine.

 

The ‘Cummins Power’ app is a free download available from the Apple App Store for iOS devices and Google Play for Android devices.

Cummins Foton joint venture in China

A new truck has been launched in China by Foton fitted with the new Cummins ISG 11 and 12 engines, designed specifically for the truck and built by the Cummins/Foton joint venture in Beijing, China.

 

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The truck released by Foton to utilise the new engine is the GTL model, itself developed as part of Foton’s business relationship with Daimler Trucks. The new truck has a similar look of the Mercedes Benz Actros, probably as a result of the relationship with Daimler.

 

In its initial launch the truck is aimed at the Chinese truck market but it can be assumed as the truck matures it will be offered to other countries. With Cummins involved there should be little problem engineering the technology to meet different emission rules around the world.

 

The ISG is a completely new engine series from Cummins with 10.5 and 11.8 litre engine capacities available. Power ratings are set all of the way from 310 hp up to 490 hp (231 to 365 kW), with torque ratings from 1490 Nm to 2305 Nm (1100 to 1700 ft lb).

 

According to Cummins the new ISG design uses 50 per cent less components and weighs 30 per cent less than the equivalent Cummins ISX 11, as sold in the US market. This engine follows the earlier ISF 2.8 and 3.8 litre engines now being used in Foton trucks and utes sold in Australia.

 

Here is a video about the Foton Cummins engine plant in China: