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New generation of diesel power driving 36% of U.S. commercial trucks

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WASHINGTON — Adoption of the newest, cleanest diesel truck technology has jumped by 6 percent in one year and now makes up more than one-third of all trucks on the road, with some states having new technology diesel in more than two-thirds of their fleets, says new research from the Diesel Technology Forum (DTF).

According to analysis by DTF of 2017 U.S. vehicles in operation data (Classes 3 through 8) provided by IHS Markit, 36 percent of all commercial diesel trucks on U.S. roads – from the ubiquitous white box delivery trucks on up to the largest 18 wheelers – are now powered by the newest generation of diesel technologies (MY 2011 and newer), up from just 30 percent in 2016 and 25.7 percent in 2015.

The DTF considers the newest generation of diesel power to be those technologies which incorporate selective catalytic reduction and particulate control technologies, which combine to achieve stringent new EPA emissions requirements for NOx emissions of no more than 0.20 grams per brake horsepower hour (g/BHP-hr.). This is in addition to particulate emissions levels of no more than 0.01 grams per brake horsepower hour (g/HP-hr.) established in 2007. In the case of heavy-duty trucks, such technologies were manufactured beginning in 2011.

“Especially for the largest of trucks, no other fuel matches what the newest generation of diesel technology continues to improve upon: efficient performance, low-emissions, reliability, durability, low-cost operation, and maximum flexibility in utilization, routing and fueling,” said Allen Schaeffer, executive director of the Diesel Technology Forum. “In comparison, about 21 percent of all commercial trucks (Class 3-8) use gasoline and about 4 percent use other fuels, with those using natural gas amounting to less than 1 percent.”

Schaeffer said just a 6 percent increase in the number of new-technology diesel trucks on the road has delivered important benefits in the form of cleaner air, fewer carbon dioxide emissions “The more than 4.9 million new-technology diesel trucks now on the road have removed more than 26 million tonnes of nitrogen oxides (NOx) and 59 million tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2) from the air,” he said. “On average, truckers saved $2,600 in fuel, which adds up to 138 million barrels of crude oil – that’s 50 percent of the entire U.S. Strategic Petroleum Reserve, saved by just a few thousand trucks.”

The U.S. trucking fleet is transitioning to newer diesel technology, which means immediate fuel savings, lower greenhouse gas emissions and cleaner air, Schaeffer said.

With diesel costs rising and fuel representing 61 percent of total cost of ownership, transportation companies can realize a first-year savings of $26,687 when upgrading from a 2012 sleeper model-year truck to a 2019 model.

This represents a 15.5 percent increase in savings compared with a similar analysis a year ago upgrading to a 2018 model when diesel prices registered $2.57. Based on data analytics from Fleet Advantage’s ATLAAS (Advanced Truck Lifecycle Administrative Analytics Software), these calculations remain a critical part of a fleet’s asset procurement strategy, which includes identifying the TIPPINGPOINT — the point at which a truck reaches economic obsolescence, and costs more to operate than to replace with newer equipment.

The adoption rates of the newest diesel technologies in these states’ diesel fleets varies widely. Indiana (66 percent), Tennessee (60 percent) and the District of Columbia (48 percent) have the highest percentage of new-generation Class 8 diesel trucks.

Meanwhile, between the years 2016-2017, Florida (81 percent), California (37 percent) and New Hampshire (35 percent) have the fastest-growing heavy duty clean diesel fleets.

A full state-by-state breakdown is available on the Forum’s website at https://www.dieselforum.org/in-your-state

“Over the last decade, truck and engine manufacturers and their suppliers have fundamentally transformed diesel technology to near-zero emissions performance while also increasing its fuel efficiency,” Schaeffer said. “Diesel’s continued dominance as the technology of choice for heavy-duty trucking reflects the technology’s proven record of continuous improvement and low-cost operation.”

The Diesel Technology Forum is a non-profit organization dedicated to raising awareness about the importance of diesel engines, fuel and technology. Forum members are leaders in clean diesel technology and represent the three key elements of the modern clean-diesel system: advanced engines, vehicles and equipment, cleaner diesel fuel and emissions-control systems.

For more information, visit http://www.dieselforum.org.

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Technology

74 years later, this can still be a truckers best friend

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These days our lives are all about technology.

Heck, look what you are doing right now. You are reading a story from a 32-year old trucking newspaper on your computer or cell phone!

The CB radio was invented in 1945 by Al Gross, the inventor of the walkie-talkie and owner of the Citizens Radio Corporation.  It caught on in the trucking world in the early 1970’s.

Still today in our high tech world, it is nice to see a trucker making use of an older piece of technology to pass a 30′ wide oversize load in Wyoming.

Courtesy: Dooner James LivingStone

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Optronics introduces first custom LED lamps featuring GloLight technology

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The new Optronics lamp’s traditional LED-style lens pattern surrounds the logo graphic in the middle of the lamp. (Courtesy: OPTRONICS INTERNATIONAL)

TULSA, Okla. — Optronics International, a manufacturer and supplier of heavy-duty LED vehicle lighting, said it will be displaying the industry’s first stop, tail, turn lamps with integrated graphics at the North American Commercial Vehicle (NACV) Show in Atlanta October 28-31. The new lamps merge brand identities into the lighting design, juxtaposing a smooth GloLight lens appearance against a more traditional LED pattern, Optronics said.

According to Brett Johnson, president and CEO of Optronics International, GloLight technology allows Optronics to consolidate even complex graphics into the functional operation of the lamps.

The new lamp’s traditional LED-style lens pattern surrounds the logo graphic in the middle of the lamp. The GloLight logo portion of the lamp illuminates when operating in its standard function as a tail lamp, and when the lamp’s turn signal or brake functions are in operation, all portions of the LED lamp brighten.

“This is an industry first and a novel use for our GloLight technology,” Johnson said. “Logos and branding have been widely incorporated into conspicuity tape for decades, so the migration to lighting is a logical one.”

Marketing professionals also recognize that the four-inch round and six-inch oval lighting formats are among the most noticeable features on any vehicle.

“Whether you’re consciously aware of it, if you’re driving behind a commercial vehicle, particularly at night, you’re constantly monitoring its tail lights,” Johnson said.

Optronics employed its 3-D printing capabilities in preparing prototypes for the manufacturers. The company also worked with a number of OEMs during the development of the lamp, including Vanguard National Trailer Corporation and Miller Industries.

The LED lamps offer users a broad level of creative design flexibility for those responsible for a company’s branding, because the GloLight technology can be used in both red and white or a combination of both. Lens striations can also be used to achieve unique and complementary visual effects.

Optronics products are available in the U.S. and Canada through the company’s extensive distribution network of more than 20,000 convenient distribution locations. Users can access individual Optronics distributor websites by simply clicking on their logo icons. For information on international sales and distribution of Optronics products, please contact Dorian Drake at +1 914-697-9800 or visit http://doriandrake.com.

 

 

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NHTSA issues ANPRM on camera monitoring systems as alternative to mirrors

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Last December, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration granted an exemption requested by Stoneridge Inc. allowing its MirrorEye CMS to be installed as an alternative to conventional rear-vision mirrors currently required on commercial motor vehicles in the United States. (Courtesy: STONERIDGE INC.)

WASHINGTON — The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has published an advance notice of proposed rulemaking that could eventually lead to camera-based rear visibility systems, commonly referred to as camera monitoring systems (CMS) as an alternative to inside and outside rearview mirrors.

The federal motor vehicle safety standard currently requires that vehicles be equipped with rearview mirrors to provide drivers with a view of objects that are to their side or to their side and rear.

In a notice published in the Federal Register Thursday, NHTSA said the ANPRM responds to two rulemaking petitions: one pertaining to light vehicles from the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers and Tesla and one from Daimler Trucks North America relating to heavy vehicles.

The agency said the ANPRM builds on the agency’s prior efforts to obtain supporting technical information, data, and analysis on CMS so that the agency can determine whether these systems can provide the same level of safety as the rearview mirrors currently required under federal regulations.

There is already some development underway in the CMS arena.

Last December, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration granted an exemption requested by Stoneridge Inc., allowing its MirrorEye CMS to be installed as an alternative to conventional rear-vision mirrors. The exemption applies solely to Stoneridge’s MirrorEye system, making it the only CMS that allows for complete removal of traditional mirrors in the United States, Stonebridge said in a news release.

In issuing the ANPRM Thursday, NHTSA acknowledged that part of its responsibility in carrying out its safety mission is not only to develop and set new safety standards for new motor vehicles and motor vehicle equipment, but also to modify existing standards, as appropriate, to respond to changing circumstances such as the introduction of new technologies.

“Examples of previous technological transitions that triggered the need to adapt and/or replace requirements in federal safety regulations include the replacing of analog dashboards by digital ones, the replacing of mechanical control systems by electronic ones, and the first production of electric vehicles in appreciable numbers,” the Federal Register notice said.

The agency said it was publishing the ANPRM to gather information and receive feedback to enable the agency to decide whether (and if so, how) to propose amending federal regulations on rear visibility to permit camera-based systems as an alternative compliance option in lieu of outside rearview mirrors or in lieu of all rearview mirrors, both inside and outside ones. Specifically, NHTSA said, it hoped the ANPRM, through the public comment process, will provide the agency with additional safety-related research and data to support a potential future rulemaking on this subject.

NHTSA said it was asking for information based on 21 questions among the following seven categories:

  • Existing industry standards
  • System field of view and related test procedures
  • Image quality and related test procedures
  • Rearview image display type related human factors
  • Side rearview image display locations, driver acclimation and related test procedures
  • Camera durability, reliability and related test procedures
  • System availability when vehicle ignition is off

The ANPRM can be found at https://federalregister.gov/d/2019-22036, and on govinfo.gov

The deadline for public comments is December 9.

To comment online, go to www.regulations.gov, follow the instruction on the site using docket number NHTSA–2018–0021.

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