Art Quality is improving massively with the advent of CNG and cleaner diesel technology big rigs.
Wayne Gerdes - CleanMPG
- Aug 23, 2012
Navistar Lonestar on the road and on the bottom of JD Power’s most Recent survey - Death By Hubris: The Decision That Could Bankrupt A Great American Manufacturer
The California Air Resources Board (ARB) and Port of Los Angeles have reported dramatic improvements in air quality in recent years due to new clean diesel technology and they predict more improvements in coming years.
In just the last 10 years, new diesel trucks have reduced NOx and PM emissions by 99% and 98% respectively in order to meet California and EPA requirements making them near-zero emissions vehicles.
According to the ARB:
Port of LA
"No other sector has done more to improve California's air quality in the last decade than diesel. Particulate emissions from heavy-duty diesel trucks have declined from 7.5 percent of the overall state inventory in 1990 to 3.8 percent in 2008, and by 2020 it will be just 1.6 percent. The ARB projects that from 2008 to 2020, while emissions of all sources of PM are expected to increase by 3.2 percent, PM from all diesels will decline by 58 percent."
The Port of Los Angeles instituted a landmark equipment upgrade and replacement program with the following results:
- As of January 2012, 100 percent of the drayage trucks hauling containers are now 2007 or newer models
- Particulate emissions from diesel use in the ports fell by 71 percent between 2005 and 2011.
Nationally, more than a third of all the trucks on the road today are 2007 or newer clean diesel technology. Sales of new heavy-duty clean diesel trucks are up by 20 percent over last year in large part because of the 5 percent gains in fuel economy from the new technology that not only translates into cost savings for truckers, but fewer emissions of greenhouse gases and near zero particulate and smog-forming emissions.
Quality of the new Diesel Technology Questioned
Emissions technology related to revised emissions standards for heavy-duty trucks are causing an increase in heavy-duty truck engine problems and a decrease in overall satisfaction with the powertrain, according to the J.D. Power and Associates latest report, the 2012 U.S. Heavy-Duty Truck Engine and Transmission Study.
The study measures satisfaction with engines and transmissions among primary maintainers of heavy-duty (Class 8) trucks that are one model-year old. Satisfaction is measured based on eight key factors: engine reliability and dependability; engine warranty; acceleration when fully loaded; electronic control module; accessibility to components for service or maintenance; vibration at idle; maintaining speeds on grades; and average fuel economy.
Technology designed to reduce emissions and make heavy-duty truck engines compliant with the 2010 EPA regulations is resulting in more heavy-duty truck owners experiencing problems with the engine
. The study finds that 46 percent of owners of heavy-duty trucks that are one model-year old report experiencing some type of engine-related problem, up from 42 percent in 2011. The most commonly reported problems are issues with the electronic control module calibration (cited by 23 percent of owners), exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) valve (20 percent), and electronic engine sensors (16 percent).
In addition, the average number of engine- and fuel-related problems has increased to 81 problems per 100 vehicles (PP100) from 71 PP100 in 2011. The rise in problems has impacted overall engine satisfaction, which declines to 719 index points on a 1,000-point scale in 2012, compared with 739 in 2011.
Dark Clouds with Silver Linings
Once manufacturers resolve quality issues related to the new emissions technology, customers should finally experience the benefits promised from the new cleaner engines. In the on-highway segment, the average reported engine service interval has increased to 22,703 miles in 2012, up from 20,303 in 2011. Additionally, maintainers of heavy-duty on-highway trucks report a 4 percent increase in fuel efficiency this year, averaging 6.3 miles per gallon (mpg) in 2012, compared with 6.0 mpg in 2011
Detroit (formally Detroit Diesel and now a Daimler company) engines rank highest in customer satisfaction with a score of 753--a 20-point improvement from 2011--and performs particularly well in the engine reliability and dependability factor. Cummins ranks second at 729 and Caterpillar third at 721.
Overall satisfaction with heavy-duty truck transmissions averages 812 in 2012, down eight points from 2011.
The decline is largely attributed to lower satisfaction with the reliability and dependability of the transmission and drivetrain. This decline in satisfaction comes despite transmission-related quality actually improving to 7 PP100 in 2012, down from 10 PP100 in 2011.
The 2012 U.S. Heavy-Duty Truck Engine and Transmission Study is based on the responses of 1,725 primary maintainers of Class 8 heavy-duty trucks that are one model-year-old. The study was fielded between February and May 2012.