Even if you are new to truck driving and just starting your CDL training you know that large trucks consume large amounts of fuel. Peterbilt, a leader in the semi-truck industry has just built a new “super truck” that increases the fuel efficiency. A modernized long-haul truck typically gets between 5.5 and 6.5 MPG. Cummins and Peterbilt Motors has partnered to create the ‘SuperTruck’ portrayed above, and they’ve been able to get fuel economy to 9.9 MPG under real world testing conditions (that matters — theory and practice can often diverge a lot), an change of ±54% that would “save about $25,000 annually based on today’s diesel fuel prices for a long-haul truck traveling 120,000 miles per year.
It’s named the Class 8 Peterbilt 587. Developed over a four year span as part of Peterbilt and Cummins $77.6 million “Super Truck” program, the 587 is built for efficiency. It’s powered by a six-cylinder, Cummins ISX15 engine with 400-600 HP and highlights a host of energy saving subsystems, including waste heat collectors, navigation guidance that automatically reroutes to maximize fuel economy, and low-rolling resistance tires. At 65,000 pounds, the 587 is also 15,000 pounds lighter than the legal maximum. Any of those students out there in the middle of there own CDL training can only dream to start out by driving one of there new super trucks.
In addition to the fuel economy improvements, the truck also demonstrated a 61 percent improvement in freight efficiency during testing compared to a baseline truck driving the same route. That significantly exceeded the 50 percent SuperTruck program goal set by the U.S. Department of Energy. Freight efficiency is an important metric in the transportation industry that is based on payload weight and fuel efficiency expressed in ton-miles per gallon.
The ‘SuperTruck’ is one of a few initiatives under the 21st Century Truck Partnership, which is a public-private partnership founded to further excite innovation in the trucking industry through the sponsoring government agencies, companies, national laboratories and universities. Testing will continue in 2013, and the partners feel positive they can keep improving the ‘SuperTruck’.