Volvo Trucks upgrades help logistics companies cut fuel consumption

22 Jul 2019 / 18:12 H.

VOLVO Trucks is introducing new software functions and upgraded engines to help logistics companies and their drivers save fuel, even when cruise control is not activated, thus reducing operational costs.

The upgraded D13 diesel engines for Euro 3, Euro 4, Euro 5 and EEV (energy efficient vehicles) markets, together with the new software updates, can enable fuel savings of up to 3%.

“The new software and engine upgrades are introduced to help our customers optimise on fuel consumption and at the same time, save costs,” says Volvo Malaysia managing director Mitch Peden.

“This is important because we understand that fuel costs can make up one of the biggest chunks of a company’s overall operational cost.

“With today’s challenging business environment, it is understandable that logistics companies everywhere are constantly looking for cost effective ways to operate more efficiently and stay competitive.

“Our goal at Volvo Trucks is to offer the most fuel-efficient trucks, anchored with a strategy that revolves around satisfied and productive customers, and these constant upgrades to our trucks portray the strong commitment that we have towards helping our customers’ business succeed.”

Upgraded software

A key feature in the software upgrade is the new function called Volvo Torque Assist which is intended to reduce fuel consumption by providing more efficient driving when the cruise control is disabled in long haul operations.

Volvo Torque Assist is designed to give more fuel-efficient driving by automatically adapting the lorry’s torque and acceleration to the road topography, the load and speed changes. The function is only active when driving without using cruise control.

Another supporting function of this feature is that it keeps the amount of injected fuel constant after the engine’s “green range”* has been passed. The slightly compromised performance is compensated by improved fuel economy.

In addition, the pedal map has also been recalibrated. A less sensitive pedal creates a smoother torque development, which, in turn, makes the lorry easier to control and keep vehicle speed.

Volvo Truck direct product management director Peter Hardin says: “The new software gives a more significant result with heavy loads, many slope changes or large speed variations, while drivers transporting lighter loads with constant speed on flat roads will save less fuel.

“Drivers who are less skilled or trained in economical driving can benefit from these upgrades. In field tests, we have actually seen examples of a larger potential for fuel savings than the 3%.

Upgraded hardware

The hardware upgrades in the Euro 6 Step D versions of the D13 engine, released earlier in 2019, are also being used to raise the standards of the Euro 3 to 5 engines.

Internal friction has been reduced with new cylinder liners and new V-shaped oil scraper rings. The turbo efficiency has been improved and the engine management system is upgraded to a newer version with better capacity.

In all, these hardware upgrades save around 1% fuel, while the fuel saving potential for the new software depends on driver experience and the operating conditions.

Volvo Trucks believes that smarter and more fuel-efficient lorries are becoming a necessity for ensuring a sustainable future, and that technology, product and human behaviour must work together to make it happen.

Its driver development programme which has been continuously offered to all customers helps drivers learn about fuel-efficient driving techniques.

This programme also educates drivers about the significant co-relation of fuel-efficient driving and enhanced safety on the road, and how they play a very important role for the entire ecosystem.

Both the software and hardware upgrades are applicable for new lorry orders encompassing the Volvo FH, FM and FMX models for customers in Malaysia.

*In vehicles such as lorries and tractors, the tachometer often has a green arc showing the speed range in which the engine produces maximum torque. The green range of Volvo Trucks can be from 1,050rpm to 1,600rpm, depending on engine types.

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