SHORT HAULS

Herald Sun - Motoring - - WORKING WHEELS -

Chicago res­i­dents can look for­ward to qui­eter morn­ings thanks to the de­but of the first elec­tric rub­bish truck in the United States. Pro­duced by Mo­tiv Power Sys­tems, the truck is fully elec­tric — there is no diesel en­gine at all. The elec­tric mo­tor even pro­duces the en­ergy needed to power the hy­draulics, which lift the bins and com­pact the rub­bish. Chicago has signed a deal to buy 20 of the ze­roe­mis­sion trucks over the next five years. Mo­tiv Power Sys­tems says a sin­gle truck would pro­duce 23 tonnes less CO2 a year if plugged into the Chicago grid. Rio Tinto might be go­ing full steam ahead with au­to­mated min­ing trucks but BHP Bil­li­ton is not so sure. The lat­ter has told The Aus­tralian that it has in­creased the num­ber of au­to­mated trucks it is run­ning at its Jim­ble­bar mine in Western Aus­tralia to nine as part of a trial. How­ever, it is not con­vinced they are bet­ter than hu­man driv­ers. BHP says its hu­man driv­ers out­per­form the au­to­mated Cater­pil­lar trucks at the mine. The company says it still con­sid­er­ing us­ing more au­to­mated trucks but wants to im­prove their ef­fi­ciency. It says slower steer­ing and over­sen­si­tive safety sys­tems, which stop the trucks, are things that can be im­proved. Mit­subishi Fuso is re­call­ing nearly 400 trucks over a faulty warn­ing buzzer. The truck af­fected is the Euro 5 FK61 Fighter. Fuso wants to fix them be­cause, on af­fected ve­hi­cles, a warn­ing chime doesn’t op­er­ate prop­erly when the truck’s hill start as­sist fea­ture en­gaged. Nor­mally, the truck beeps when the driver pulls out the key with the HSA en­gaged be­cause it could roll if the park brake is not also switched on. Trucks cov­ered by the re­call were sold be­tween Fe­bru­ary 24, 2011 and Fe­bru­ary 12, 2014. North Amer­i­can Daim­ler brands Freight­liner and Western Star will now be avail­able with Mercedes-Benz com­pact en­gines. The Benz made 5-litre and 8-litre jobs will be re­tuned and re­badged as Detroit en­gines and will be called the DD5 and DD8. Ini­tially, the en­gines will be made at a Mercedes-Benz fac­tory at Man­heim, Ger­many, but Daim­ler plans to have them pro­duced in North Amer­ica from 2018. Medium duty trucks will be the pri­mary des­ti­na­tion for the Euro­pean en­gines. They will also be made avail­able for the Daim­ler-made Thomas-Built buses. There is no word yet on whether the smaller en­gines will be avail­able in Freight­liner and Western Star trucks sold here. Sca­nia has teamed up with a univer­sity to work on lo­gis­ti­cal so­lu­tions. It has joined with Swe­den’s KTH Royal In­sti­tute of Tech­nol­ogy to cre­ate a new trans­port fo­cused lab­o­ra­tory called the In­te­grated Trans­port Re­search Lab. “The aim is to cre­ate world-class lo­gis­tics flows,” Sca­nia chief Martin Lund­st­edt says. The trans­port in­dus­try should help the EU re­duce trans­port emis­sions with bet­ter tech­nol­ogy, he says, but also with “sys­tems-based so­lu­tions” that help im­prove traf­fic flow and stream­line trans­port lo­gis­tics.

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