Sep 1, 2006 12:00 PM
ENVIRONMENTAL Protection Agency (EPA) 2007 and beyond engine emission mandates are designed to improve the environment, but they also lead to higher costs for carriers, said Joe Scarnecchia of Mack Trucks Inc.
He discussed the manufacturer's trucks at the International Milk Haulers Association annual convention April 23-25 in Branson, Missouri.
“As much as we complain about it, the environment has been improved as a result of engine efficiency,” Scarnecchia said.
Manufacturers estimate the mandates will boost the cost of a truck by $7,000 to $10,000, and weight will increase by about 130 to 150 pounds. In addition, the trucks will require ultra low sulfur diesel for fuel. However, the good news is that fuel economy is improved with the new Mack MP engine platform, Scarnecchia said.
Beginning in January 2007, all Mack tractor and straight truck engines will have diesel particulate filters mounted underneath the passenger side of the cab on the outer frame rail or vertically on the back of the cab. The system cannot be bypassed without generating error codes and causing a derate of engine horsepower and shutting the engine down, Scarnecchia said.
The filter system traps particulates that are not burned off during normal engine operations to meet EPA 07 emission compliance. As the automatic system works to reduce particulate emissions, it regenerates periodically. Drivers can manually inhibit the passive regeneration, but doing so can cause problems to the filter. They can control an active regeneration, which can be accomplished with the vehicle moving or stopped.
Turning to other discussions about the company's products, Scarnecchia said Mack's new trucks are designed to operate 30,000 miles between oil changes, but carriers should do periodic sampling to tailor the performance for the operation.
The big change with the 2007 Macks involves a design that moves the gear train to the rear of the engine because of higher fuel and cylinder pressures and to absorb vibration.
The Mack Model MP8 engine with 415-485 horsepower and MP7 with 325-405 horsepower appeal to many of today's carriers because it results in driver satisfaction, he said. The MP7 engine is in production today, and the MP8 launches January 2007 in Mack trucks.
“You may need to look at a 13-speed transmission rather than a 10-speed in order to increase fuel economy,” he said.
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