At Agritechnica in Hanover, the world’s leading trade fair for agricultural machinery and equipment, Continental is presenting exhaust aftertreatment solutions for agricultural and construction machinery. Continental’s solutions are designed to conform to the upcoming EU Stage V emissions standards, which from 2019 will set stricter emissions limits for non-road mobile... Read more →

DOE to award up to $3M for R&D to improve efficiency of off-road fluid-power systems

The US Department of Energy (DOE) will provide up to $3 million of new funding (DE-FOA-0001815) for fluid-power systems research for off-road vehicles. Construction, mining, and agriculture equipment represent the majority of fuel consumption in off-road vehicles, and this equipment relies heavily on fluid-power systems (i.e. hydraulics) to actuate most... Read more →

With funding provided by the California Energy Commission, Volvo Construction Equipment (Volvo CE) demonstrated its LX1 prototype mid-sized (20 ton) hybrid-electric wheel loader (earlier post), a piece of equipment widely used in the construction, refuse, and agricultural industries, that achieved a 50% improvement in fuel efficiency. The LX1 is a... Read more →

California has invested $559M in cap-and-trade funds in ZEVs; state represents more than 40% of US ZEV sales

The California Air Resources Board (ARB) announced that California Climate Investments in zero-emission vehicles have reached $599 million since 2013, putting hundreds of thousands of ultra-clean cars, and entire fleets of zero-emission trucks and buses on California roads and highways. ARB made the announcement at the annual Advanced Clean Transportation... Read more →

Volvo Construction Equipment (CE) presented the HX2 autonomous, battery-electric, load carrier at CONEXPO/CON-AGG 2017. The second-generation concept machine is part of an electric site research project that aims to transform the quarry and aggregates industry, reducing carbon emissions by up to 95% and total cost of ownership by up to... Read more →

Study shows renewable diesel from crude tall oil is a high quality drop-in fuel for off-road engines

A team from the University of Vaasa (Finland) and UPM-Kymmene Corporation has examined how the blends of fossil and renewable diesel produced from crude tall oil (CTO) affect the performance and exhaust emissions of the modern common-rail off-road diesel engine. The study, published in the journal Fuel, used four different... Read more →

Cal Energy to award up to $4M for off-road heavy-duty natural gas vehicle research and development

The California Energy Commission will award up to $4 million (GFO-16-501) to projects to to support the research and development of heavy-duty off-road vehicles powered by conventional or renewable natural gas. Projects should incorporate advanced low emission engine technology currently available for heavy-duty on-road vehicles. Existing advanced natural gas engine... Read more →

Researchers in the HRL Laboratories Sensors and Materials Laboratory have developed an active variable stiffness vibration isolator capable of 100x stiffness changes and millisecond actuation times, independent of the static load. According to Principal Investigator Christopher Churchill, “This performance surpasses existing mechanisms by at least 20 times in either speed... Read more →

Dana Holding Corporation is now offering its Spicer PowerBoost hydraulic-hybrid system for field testing by off-highway original-equipment manufacturers (OEMs). Dana engineers have conducted extensive field tests of the Spicer PowerBoost system integrated with a dual-motor hydrostatic transmission in a series configuration. These functional evaluations include more than 1,000 hours on... Read more →

Adrian Narvaez of Hawaii Hydrogen Carriers (HHC) observes a metal hydride storage tank, part of a project led by Sandia National Laboratories. (Photo by Dino Vournas) Click to enlarge. Sandia National Laboratories and Hawaii Hydrogen Carriers (HHC) are partnering to design a solid-state metal-hydride hydrogen storage system for forklifts; the... Read more →

Oerlikon Fairfield will unveil its new patent-pending off-highway hybrid electric drivetrain technology at the upcoming ConExpo-Con/Agg trade show from March 4-8 at the Las Vegas Convention Center. The drivetrain technology utilizes a Tier 3 or Tier 4 engine driving a 227kW switch reluctance generator with step-up gearing to produce electrical... Read more →

Summary of comparison of NOx emissions and fuel consumption of hybrid (D7E) and conventional (D6) dozers. Negative values mean hybrid benefit and positive values mean dis-benefit. PM, THC, and CO emission rates were very low for both the D7E and D6T and thus were not able to be quantified as... Read more →

New valveless electro-hydraulic steering system for off-road equipment shows significant fuel savings and productivity benefits

Researchers at Purdue University have developed a new valveless hydraulic steering system for heaving construction equipment that improves efficiency and reduces fuel consumption. The new approach eliminates valves now needed to direct the flow of hydraulic fluid in steering systems and uses advanced algorithms and models to control hydraulic pumps... Read more →

ARB issues solicitation for zero-emission off-road equipment projects

The California Air Resources Board (ARB) issued a grant solicitation for demonstration projects on zero-emission off-road equipment. ARB expects that up to $1 million will be available for this solicitation, although funding could be increased to a maximum of $5 million depending on the availability of state funds. The potential... Read more →

Westport and Caterpillar to co-develop natural gas technology for off-road equipment

Westport Innovations Inc. has signed agreements with Caterpillar Inc. to co-develop natural gas technology for off-road equipment, including mining trucks and locomotives. Caterpillar and Westport will combine technologies and expertise, including Westport High Pressure Direct Injection (HPDI) technology and Caterpillar’s off-road engine and machine product technology, to develop the natural... Read more →

Combustion engine driving the input shaft of the HVT. The upper hydrostatic and lower mechanical path can be seen inside the HVT, which transmit power separately or in combination. The power is combined on the output side in a summation gear train and made available to the drive shaft. Click... Read more →

The NH2 hydrogen fuel cell tractor. Click to enlarge. New Holland previewed the farm-ready version of the hydrogen fuel cell NH2 tractor (earlier post) at the Agritechnica international agricultural machinery show in Hannover in November. Derived from the New Holland T6.140 production model, the new tractor will operate all the... Read more →

Profi 4135 Natural Power. Click to enlarge. Steyr has introduced the first production tractor powered by natural gas. The new Steyr Profi 4135 Natural Power is equipped with a turbocharged mono-fuel CNG engine, made by Fiat Powertrain Technologies (FPT), another Fiat group company. (Steyr is part of CNH Global N.V.,... Read more →

Purported benefits of the Caterpillar D7E Electric Drive Track-Type Tractor. Click to enlarge. Scientists at the University of California, Riverside’s Center for Environmental Research and Technology have received a $2-million contract for a first-of-its-kind study of hybrid construction vehicles. The two-year project, which is being funded by the California Air... Read more →

The roadmap features parallel technology streams depending on duty cycle. Click to enlarge. The UK Automotive Council has published a long-term strategy aimed at helping manufacturers of commercial vehicles and construction equipment move to low-carbon solutions. These technologies include hybridization, more efficient powertrains and alternative fuels; the “Low carbon Commercial... Read more →

Diagram of the New Holland T7 engine and SCR system. Click to enlarge. Together with its engine development partner, Fiat Powertrain Technologies, New Holland is introducing a range of Tier 4A compliant engines, based on Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) technology, which reduce fuel consumption and running costs; and improve power... Read more →

EPA Tier 4 Interim and EU Stage IIIB emissions standards and effect dates vary by power category. Source: Cummins. Click to enlarge. Cummins Inc. has begun production and supply of the first EPA Tier 4 Interim and EU Stage IIIB certified engines and aftertreatment for early installation by off-highway equipment... Read more →

Benefits of the D7E. Click to enlarge. Caterpillar Inc. presented the keys of the first AC electric drive track-type tractor in the industry to a long-time customer, TJ Lambrecht. TJ Lambrecht, headquartered in Joliet, Illinois, is one of the most recognized heavy, civil, and earthmoving contractors in the country, with... Read more →

BorgWarner VTG turbochargers are the first to help industrial diesel engines for the off-highway market meet new emissions regulations while improving fuel economy. Click to enlarge. BorgWarner will supply variable turbine geometry (VTG) turbochargers to boost John Deere Power Systems Interim Tier 4/Stage III B PowerTech PVX and PowerTech PSX... Read more →

DEUTZ Introduces Mild Hybrid Drive for Off-Road Construction Equipment

The DEUTZ hybrid unit. Engine manufacturer DEUTZ has developed a mild hybrid drive system for off-road construction equipment that has the potential to reduce fuel consumption by as much as 30%. The hybrid drive consists of a DEUTZ four-cylinder diesel engine, an electric motor, a lithium-ion battery pack and a... Read more →