Freightliner has introduced an intelligent fuel efficiency package for its Coronado and Argosy models with Detroit DD15 engines.
The package, available with Eaton Ultra Shift AMT models, includes the Neutral Coast feature as well as an optimised rear axle ratio and targeted fuel-efficiency software calibration, and is suitable for trucks running at up to 68 tonnes.
Freightliner says its own tests using a Coronado B-double tautliner returned fuel economy improvements of 5 per cent, although customer results would be dependent on individual specification, load and route.
The Neutral Coast function of the Eaton Ultra Shift AMT enables the transmission to select neutral for short periods on modest gradients in order to save fuel by using the momentum of the truck. The function will only operate if the driver has selected cruise control. However, fuel economy gains are not the only benefit of the upgrade, with a lower cruising rpm at highway speeds reducing engine noise in the cabin
The upgraded transmission ECU also senses the combination weight and shifts accordingly by skipping gears and shifting early. On steep grades, the transmission will shift down two or three gears to maintain momentum. The new rear-axle ratio is 3.73 and leads to a 150rpm reduction in 18th gear at 100km/h.