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Journal Article

The Impact of Lift Axles on Fuel Economy and GHG Emissions Reduction

Using lift axles enables fleet to increase the load capacity of a vehicle, eliminating the need for multiple trips, thus reducing operational costs. In a project to assess the potential of reducing fuel consumption and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by lifting axles on unloaded semi-trailers, lift axle regulations in various jurisdictions and the studies that led to these regulations were analyzed. The SAE Fuel Consumption Test Procedures Type II (J1321) was used for fuel consumption track test evaluations. The tests were conducted on unloaded two-axle van semi-trailers, four-axle van semitrailers, and B-trains, and resulted in fuel savings of 1.3% to 4.8%, depending on vehicle configuration and the number of axles lifted during the test.
Journal Article

The Impact of Design, Position and Combination of Aerodynamic Devices on Drag and Fuel Consumption

The performance of several aerodynamic technologies and approaches, such as trailer skirts, trailer boat tails, gap reduction, was evaluated using track testing, model wind tunnel testing, and CFD simulation, in order to assess the influence of the design, position and combination of various aerodynamic devices. The track test procedure followed the SAE J1321 SAE Fuel Consumption Test Procedure - Type II. Scale model wind tunnel tests were conducted to have direct performance comparisons among several possible configurations. The wind tunnel tests were conducted on a 1/8 scale model of a tractor in combination with a 53-foot semi-trailer. Among others, the wind tunnel tests and CFD simulations confirmed the influences of trailer skirts' length observed during the track tests and that the wider skirt closer to the ground offer better results. The differences in the shape, dimensions and position of rear deflectors and trailer skirts on the trailer are reflected in the test results.
Journal Article

Comparison of Fuel Efficiency and Traction Performances of 6 × 4 and 6 × 2 Class 8 Tractors

The objective of this project was to compare the fuel consumption and traction performances of 6 × 2 and 6 × 4 Class 8 tractors. Two approaches have been considered: evaluation of 6 × 2 tractors, modified from 6 × 4 tractors, and evaluation of OEM 6 × 2 tractors. Compared to the 6 × 4 tractors, which are equipped with a rear tandem with both drive axles, the 6 × 2 tractors have a rear tandem axle with one drive axle, and one non-drive axle, also called dead axle. The 6 × 2 tractor configurations are available from the majority of Class 8 tractor manufacturers. The SAE Fuel Consumption Test Procedures Type II (J1321) and Type III (J1526) were used for fuel consumption track test evaluations. Traction performances were assessed using pull sled tests to compare pulling distance, maximum speed, and acceleration when pulling the same set sled on similar surface.
Technical Paper

Development of a Fuel Consumption Test Procedure for Representative Urban Duty Cycles

This project's objective was the development of an on-road vehicle fuel consumption test procedure for representative stop-and-go urban duty cycles. The scope of the project included a review of existing stop-and-go urban duty cycles, the development of a track testing methodology for measuring the fuel consumption on stop-and-go urban duty cycles, and testing with a view to the validation of the methodology. Literature review analyzed several transport activities to determine specific stop-and-go urban duty cycles, such as pick-up and delivery operations, refuse collection, bus transport, and utility and service operation. It was found that driving cycles should be easy enough to recreate and replicate on the test track and should be representative of application driving patterns. The cycles should be adapted for fuel economy testing, and geometric cycles are easier to follow than the cycles based on actual drive traces.
Journal Article

Feasibility Study of a Heavy-duty Tractor - Motorized Semi-trailer Hybrid Electric Combination

The objective of this study was to evaluate the concept of a heavy-duty tractor - motorized semi-trailer hybrid electric combination, which would have electric drive axles on the semi-trailer. The scope of the project included an analysis of the general concept of a power-driven semi-trailer, the positioning of the concept of the heavy-duty tractor - motorized semi-trailer hybrid electric combination in the general context of the technology, and the evaluation of the applicability of the concept for different duty cycles. Several transport activities were analyzed to determine specific duty cycles for heavy-duty vehicles: highway line haul and regional haul, construction haul, and off-highway hauling of raw materials, such as forestry transport with Class 8 and off-highway tractor-trailer combinations.
Technical Paper

Evaluation of Tractor-Trailer Rolling Resistance Reducing Measures

This study aimed to evaluate several rolling resistance reduction measures applicable to class 8 tractor-trailer combinations. Two methods have been employed: fuel consumption tests according to the SAE J1321 Joint TMC/SAE Fuel Consumption Test Procedure - Type II, and long-term operational observations using control and test vehicles monitored throughout baseline and test periods. One way to reduce the rolling resistance is to use wide-base tires: two different Type II fuel consumption tests revealed a more than 9 % improvement in fuel economy for a tractor-trailer combination equipped with wide-base tires. Long-term operational observation assessed the use of single wide-base tires on two 8-axle B-train tractor-trailer combinations. The results showed an average 5.11% fuel improvement and an average 4.37% energy intensity improvement. Other tests compared single-wide base tires with different tread patterns and tire compounds.
Journal Article

Fuel Consumption Track Tests for Tractor-Trailer Fuel Saving Technologies

The objective of the project was to conduct controlled test-track studies of solutions for achieving higher fuel efficiency and lower greenhouse gas emissions in the trucking industry. Using vehicles from five Canadian fleets, technologies from 12 suppliers were chosen for testing, including aerodynamic devices and low rolling resistance tires. The participating fleets also decided to conduct tests for evaluating the impact on fuel consumption of vehicle speed, close-following between vehicles, and lifting trailer axles on unloaded B-trains. Other tests targeted comparisons between trans-container road-trains and van semi-trailers road-trains, between curtain-sided semi-trailers, trans-containers and van semi-trailers, and between tractors pulling logging semi-trailers loaded with tree-length wood and short wood. The impact of a heavy-duty bumper on fuel consumption and the influence of B5 biodiesel blend on fuel consumption were also assessed.
Technical Paper

Performance Evaluation of Heavy-Duty Vehicles Equipped with Automatic Transmissions and Powertrain Adaptive Systems in Forestry Transportation

The purpose of this study was to evaluate automatic transmissions in a forestry context by comparing their performance with that of standard manual transmissions, and assessing the possibility of improving fuel efficiency by adapting the engine and automatic transmission performances to the vehicle's load. Long-haul test results showed that during the test day, the degradation in driver performance with the manual transmission truck translated into a 2.9% relative increase in fuel consumption when compared with the automatic transmission truck. The fleet data assessment indicated no obvious difference in fuel consumption between the performance of automatic transmissions and manual transmissions. One system for adapting engine performance to vehicle load uses an onboard weigh scale to determine the load status of the vehicle.