Cat’s future road
Cat Trucks has taken the wraps off its plans for 2012, proving it is committed to the Australian truck market and will continue to engineer equipment to meet growing customer demands.
The company has had an interesting start to its assault on Australia since it unveiled its trucks at a global launch in Australia 12 months ago, but numbers on the road are steadily growing and orders are picking up. While there were only 125 units delivered as of early December, Cat is happy with the outcome and has laid plans for the future.
There has been interest building from some major fleets in the country and growing numbers are evident on highways in a variety of applications, something Cat Trucks is planning to expand as the new year kicks off in Australian transport.
While Cat Trucks Australia produced a large number of units for Australian sale fitted with ADR80-02 compliant engines, it has addressed that issue and developed a solution. The company was recently awarded regulatory certification that the Cat ACERT C15 engine meets ADR 80-03 emissions standards for use in Australia.
“This important milestone confirms that we will continue to offer the largely unchanged and customer-preferred Cat C15 engine, which is available only through Cat Trucks Australia and has the service support of the Cat dealer network,” said Bill Fulton, Managing Director of Cat Trucks Australia.
“We can confirm that there will be no impact on performance or fuel economy in the C15 engine’s operating range.”
The Cat C15 ADR80-03 engine will deliver up to 550hp and 1850 lb/ft of torque. The updated Cat ACERT C15 engine is based on the well-proven EPA04 Cat C15 platform. The engine software has been recalibrated to reduce emissions with no hardware changes made to the engine except for a crankcase breather and the addition of a passive diesel particulate filter (DPF) system.
The package will also include a Cat DPF monitoring system to continuously monitor backpressure and exhaust temperatures.
The engine development program for the updated Cat C15 was conducted in Australia and optimised for the ADR 80-03 requirements.
The emissions solution does not require the use of EGR or SCR technology, a significant advantage for Cat Trucks. Instead, a particulate matter reduction of over 95 per cent is achieved using well-proven dual DPFs with passive regeneration technology. Ongoing in-country testing has demonstrated that passive regeneration is extremely effective at all loads and speeds, negating the need for a complex active regeneration system.
“Our goal was to assure that the emissions changes required by ADR 80-03 would not result in a fuel penalty under normal driving conditions,” says Terran Barber, project manager for Orbital Corporation, which supported Caterpillar during the development of the C15 emissions solution. “After analysing a range of available technologies, the team determined that by adding an additional DPF and a crankcase breather, as well as making some calibration changes, the C15 engine would meet the ADR 80-03 requirements with no fuel consumption penalty under the speeds and loads that are normal in the Australian market.”
“The solution achieved by Cat Trucks offers multiple advantages,” Terran points out. “It is simple, it has little to no impact on fuel consumption, and it does not affect the engine’s durability.”
Testing of emissions controls on the updated Cat C15 engine is already under way, with encouraging results to date. The first test unit has already undergone extensive in-market dyno testing, as well as more than 10,000km of on-road testing in a Cat CT630 prime mover.
“Cat Trucks, as always, is pursuing a very thorough testing program,” says Cat’s test driver, René Bueman, who has been conducting the on-road testing. “Our current testing program attempts to find a point at which the exhaust system’s back-pressures might compromise the engine’s performance.”
To find that point he has been driving the CT630 under worst-case conditions for producing soot and clogging up the system. “This includes driving bobtail and empty-trailer running, in both heavy peak-hour traffic jams and stop-start conditions, and in all of these conditions, the back-pressures are remaining normal.
Test results to date also confirm that no active regeneration is required for the system, as the dual DPFs are cleaning themselves at about 240°C, far lower than the engine’s peak operating temperature of 600°C or more. Testing under typical working conditions has also been completed.
“We expect this next phase will also show strong results, as the CT630 will be running at temperatures required to maintain the exhaust system, during the hottest time of the year, whilst always maintaining the emissions standards,” says René.
In addition, the C15 is demonstrating excellent fuel economy. “These results are consistent with the vehicle’s low tare weight, which is lowest in its class, as well as its outstanding aerodynamics” he adds.
After the formal on-road testing is concluded, three units will be fitted for customer fleet testing.
“Our extensive product development and testing program for this engine has been focused on meeting the stringent requirements of Australian customers for power, fuel economy, reliability and durability,” Bill Fulton says. “As always, we are fully committed to providing best value products and best-in-class Cat dealer support to our customers in Australia.”
Joining the Cat line-up in 2012 is a 13 litre engine to give customers a broader power rating choice and to expand business applications.
“The Cat CT13 will be available in 2012 and will be launched in Australia later this year,” said Bill.
The Cat CT13 has already proven itself in Cat’s North American line-up of vocational trucks, including the Cat CT660 vocational vehicle.
“The Cat CT13 engine is designed specifically to yield optimum horsepower/torque combinations that are critical in the Australian market, whilst optimising fuel consumption” explains Bill. “It also provides customers with the flexibility to match power and performance to specific applications and operating conditions.
“The CT13 continues the great tradition of Cat power. With displacement of 12.5 litres, it provides peak horsepower at 475hp and peak torque of 1700 lb/ft performance ratings that are comparable to many 15 litre engines.
“In fact, the Cat CT13’s peak torque is achieved at 1000rpm – just over idle,” he indicates. “And it sustains at higher rpm, for a more responsive off-the-line driving experience. By providing peak torque at lower rpm, the Cat CT13 engine will enable Cat’s truck customers to conserve fuel.”
The CT13 engine combines an advanced exhaust gas recirculation system with a high-pressure common-rail fuel system, precision intake-air management system and electronic controls to provide an optimum blend of high performance, low emissions and superior fuel economy.
The combination of dual, sequential turbochargers and a precise fuel injection system allows the Cat CT13 to develop peak torque at lower speeds, a characteristic that reduces shifting and also allows for shifting at significantly lower speeds.
Another reason the CT13 is fuel efficient is the fact that its cylinder block is made of compacted graphite iron, making it both stronger and lighter than engines made from gray iron. Compared with gray iron, CGI iron is 40 per cent stiffer and offers 75 per cent higher tensile strength and 200 per cent greater fatigue resistance.
The CGI engine block, designed to deliver durability, also reduces weight by as much as 226kg compared with conventional all-iron designs. This reduced engine weight enables users to increase payloads for added efficiency and profit.
The engine’s advanced, ribbed CGI block and high-pressure, multi-shot injection system also combine to produce 30 per cent lower noise inside the vehicle’s cab, together with much lower vibration. Both of these factors significantly improve driver comfort. CGI iron also offers customers in the line haul business significant advantages in durability and reliability.
The Cat CT13 engine overall has been engineered to a B-50 rating of more than 1.9 million kilometres. Its main bearings and connecting rod bearings are fractured metal technology, which not only assures precise fit and positive alignment, but also keeps lubrication consistent for the life of the engine.
The CT13 also features a ‘dry’ cylinder deck, which prevents coolant and oil from mixing via head gasket leak paths.
Bill also pointed to the significant benefits Cat Trucks’ customers will receive from the engine not needing a NOx aftertreatment system.
“For prime movers, the new standard should not just be fuel economy, but fluid economy – diesel fuel plus liquid urea consumed,” Bill says.
“This is in addition to the benefits Cat truck owners will achieve by avoiding the hassle of maintaining aftertreatment systems, of needing to have drivers fill up with liquid urea, or of retraining their technicians.”
The Cat CT13 is also designed for fast routine service, providing easy access to systems and components, ranging from the valve cover to filters. A single ECM and fewer electrical connections throughout enable less diagnostic and maintenance time.
Cat Trucks Australia intends to grow its business and indicates there is more to come as it develops models to meet customer and market demand. There is a cabover rumoured to be in the wings. You will not see that in the short term – but don’t discount it either.