Startrack scores stadium goal
KENWORTH has developed the ultimate aerodynamic truck and trailer combination in the US. The company has presented the T680 Advantage package that runs a series of efficiency improvements that are all now available in the US.
The T680 is not built in right-hand-drive and therefore not sold in Australia, but some of its technology, including some components featured on the Advantage trucks, could soon make their way here.
The standard T680 features an aerodynamic design including a sloping roof that rises up close to the top of the trailer to push air up and over it.
This Advantage model is fitted with an additional Trailer Nose, which reduces the gap between the front of the trailer and the back of the cab, which also helps in crosswinds and features a cut out in order to not affect the ability to swap trailers.
Side skirts are fitted to the prime mover, concealing the fuel tanks and AdBlue tanks and creating a smooth airflow down the side of the truck. The trailer also has side skirts.
The most obvious aero change is the ATDynamics Trailer Tail. This oddlooking addition to the trailer, often referred to as a duck tail, has been found to deliver an impressive fuel saving of 6 per cent. From the side, it looks like the trailer doors have been left open, but what you see are actually side panels aimed inwards, while roof panels slope down and a lower panel is faced up.
The idea is to create a kind of tapered tail, which helps improve the airflow by breaking up the lowpressure zone at the rear of the trailer.
All of the panels are hinged and are designed to fold out of the way so they don’t affect the loading and unloading. One of the main issues that could hurt this system being adopted in Australia is the fact that our truck and trailers must not exceed certain lengths, which means a Trailer Tail system would take up room that would usually be used to carry freight.
The wheels of the truck and trailer also feature disc covers that create less drag than regular wheels.
Kenworth fitted the Advantage truck with special wide wheels and tyres on all but the steering axle, taking the place of two narrower tyres, which saves weight and improves consumption.
The truck is a 6x2, instead of 6x4, with a dead axle running at the rear of the prime mover, to save weight and reduce the load on the engine.
One of the items on the Advantage truck which is starting to appear in Australia is the Idle Management System.
This is not a stop/start engine idle system that kills the engine when the truck pulls up at the lights, but a battery-supported climate control system.
This is aimed at drivers who let their trucks idle in order to power the cab climate control systems, which is not just noisy but also inefficient.
The IMS is basically a split system like those used in a house, but can run off four regular batteries and features an on-board diagnostic system to monitor when power levels are getting low. Kenworth claims using this system can save fleet operators as much as $7500 a year per truck.
It runs the latest Paccar MX13 engine, which is soon expected to be made available in Australian Kenworths, linked up to an Eaton UltraShift Plus automated manual transmission. The engine software encourages the driver to change up to the next gear by limiting power at a certain rpm level, while a limiter keeps the truck from running at less efficient speeds. FREIGHT company StarTrack has won the naming rights to an AFL stadium.
It has done a two-year deal with the AFL and its newest club Greater Western Sydney to name Canberra’s Manuka ground the StarTrack Oval during the AFL season.
GWS will play some of its home games at the ACT boutique stadium.
StarTrack Express used to be owned by Qantas and Australia Post, but is now wholly owned by the latter. It transports more than one million freight articles across Australia every week.
Truck industry icon Vern Mildren has passed away.
The founder of Noelvern Transport was named the NatRoad driver of the year in 2001 and the Australian Trucking Association national professional driver of the year in 2002.
A veteran truckie, Mildren recently participated in Road Transport Awareness Week in Albury and Wodonga by taking trucks to local schools, driving in parades and serving on a committee.
ATA director Doug McMillan says Mildren’s death was a great loss for the trucking industry. The Mitsubishi Fuso Canter’s 50th birthday celebrations are under way.
More than 3.7 million of the light duty trucks have been sold around the world since it was first launched in Japan in 1963.
Mitsubishi Fuso is now owned by Daimler, along with Freightliner, Western Star and Detroit Diesel.