Visteon to Launch New Heat Exchanger to Boost Efficiency of Automotive AC
Shanghai VW to Show Hydrogen Fuel-Cell Passat Lingyu at LA Auto Show

Waste Management Field Testing Peterbilt Hydraulic Hybrid Waste Collection Trucks

Components of the Eaton heavy-duty hydraulic launch assist (HLA) system. Click to enlarge.

Waste Management, Inc., North America’s largest waste management company, is field-testing parallel hydraulic hybrid waste collection trucks. Four parallel hydraulic hybrid-diesel collection trucks have been incorporated into Waste Management’s fleet and are being tested in Fort Worth to study and optimize the hybrid system’s efficiency and reliability.

The four Peterbilt 320 vehicles in Fort Worth use the Eaton Hydraulic Launch Assist (HLA system). The HLA system can capture and store up to 75% of the energy normally lost as heat by the vehicle’s brakes in the form of pressurized hydraulic fluid. (Earlier post.)

The stored energy is then transferred to accelerate the vehicle to the next pickup location, reducing fuel consumption and wear on the engine. The HLA system provides 380 hp (283 kW) of power and 2,550 lb-ft (3,457 Nm) of torque.

Though hybrid technologies have been successfully deployed in automobiles and light trucks, Class 8 vocational vehicles, a category that includes waste trucks, pose additional challenges to hybrid design. Among the largest vehicles on the road, Class 8 vehicles require a robust drive train that can handle heavy loads, and have multiple systems for compaction and lifting that draw power from the engine, complicating hybrid design.

Eaton projects that the heavy-duty HLA system will result in a 28% fuel economy improvement when the truck is operating in economy mode, and 17% in productivity mode. Vehicle acceleration is projected to increase 2% in economy mode and 26% in productivity mode.

Eaton also suggests that the HLA system will deliver an 11.5% improvement in productivity cycle time, while more than doubling brake life.

The Peterbilt 320 HLA is equipped with a Caterpillar C-10 315 hp engine, and an Allison 4560 5-speed automatic transmission.

Eaton also supplies light- and medium-duty hydraulic hybrid systems; a hydraulic series hybrid system (now applied in UPS delivery trucks); and electric hybrid systems.

The HLA system is the first among many technologies Waste Management says that it expects to test and implement over the coming years.

We are working closely with a number of manufacturers to develop and test both hydraulic and electric hybrid systems for our fleet vehicles. The challenge for our engineering team is to make our vehicles as efficient as possible while also ensuring they are tough enough to withstand wear and tear on the road. Though development is in early stages, we are optimistic that the investment we are making now will lead to a reduction in greenhouse gases and ultimately benefit both manufacturers and users of heavy vocational vehicles.

—Eric Woods, vice president of Fleet and Logistics for Waste Management

Waste Management operates one the largest commercial fleets. With annual fleet expenditures of up to $500 million, the company is in a unique position to spur innovation and efficiency. By creating demand for efficient vehicles, and supporting CAFE standards for heavy vehicles, Waste Management is encouraging technologies that will have broad benefits.

The hydraulic hybrid project is part of an initiative announced last year increase the fuel efficiency of its fleet by 15% and reduce fleet emissions by 15% by 2020.

Waste Management is testing a number of measures to achieve this goal. In addition to working with truck and engine manufacturers to test hybrid systems, the company is continuing to make its routes and fleets more efficient. Waste Management has been a pioneer in the waste industry in the use of LNG and CNG as an alternative fuel for its fleet and evaluating a wide range of technologies that could create fuel for vehicles from landfill gas, such as liquefied natural gas and synthetic diesel.




I really don't understand why hydralic hybrid tech is lagging so far behind. This is dead simple farmboy tech that could be used on everything the size of a standard PU and larger.


I recently saw a site,, where they describe a hydraulic drive platform (bolt on a PU, passenger car, SUV, etc) that would achieve 120 MPG for the same production cost as the car, SUV that it replaces. What's the deal this legitimate? Why isn't this technology being pursued? I think they need $5 million for two production model prototypes...and we're about to give GM billions for a bailout!



120 mpg is either an outright lie or deceiving manipulation of the numbers. Cost too, probably. Hydraulic hybrids are nice, but not possibly 3-5X the mpg nice.

Henry Gibson

That any changes are made in the auto industry, except by law, is a pure miracle.

Hydraulic or air hybrids or even steam are probably the technolgies which will deliver the most savings for the least cost. ..HG..


regarding the commments of DC:

I'm not so sure they are "liers" nor should they be dismissed as such unless you have cause to make that kind of an assertion: if you are an expert on hydraulic drives then exactly where are their calculations or performance data in error? The web site shows some affiliations and endorsements that seem to be credible.


Any hybrid system will can only recover kinetic energy, not the drag and rolling friction. So even a 100% efficient KERS system will not improve the highway mileage very much, and can only get the urban mileage down to something like the highway mileage.

So, with absolutely no knowledge of hydraulics, I'd conclude that 120MPG is marketing hype and not credible.


Actually bud's car doesn't claim to get 120mpg on just hydraulics alone. I went to the site and found a breakdown of efficiency gains; lightweight, aerodynamics and and free-piston engine round out the package.


Valentin Technologies has registered for the new x prize competition. The Ingocar, a piston driven hydraulic hybrid will be their entrant. It is not a working 'bolt-on' at this point.

Bob, here at GCC we treat this a Vaporware until they prove something. A good showing at the competition could mean they have a future.

Kit P


If it too good to be true, mostly likely it is not. An improvement of 17-28% is impressive.

The garbage truck does not stop at our house. Between the neighbors’s four legged garbage disposal, composting, and recycling; we have about a gallon of garbage a week. When we lived in the city, the huge garbage can got emptied ‘free’ but most of the time it was not worth the stop.

It gripes me to see how much good stuff people throw away. There is a Goodwill drop off box across the road county transfer station.

Remember, composting is the lowest cost renewable energy project. Billions of heat engine bacteria converting carbon and nitrogen to plant useful energy (aka fertilizer).


"here at GCC we treat this a Vaporware until they prove something"

My point was that, based on their 35 page data sheet on the web site, it would seem like $5 million for the prototypes would be a worthwhile investment so they CAN prove contrast to the $25-$50 billion bailout for GM, Ford.

What I got out of the info was that the car consumes under 1000 BTUs per mile traveled, because of the efficiencies mentioned and the reduced weight.

Kit P

“Proof of Concept Models of the hydraulic motor have been tested successfully in 1986/87. Test for maximum power and durability in Bulle, Switzerland, and efficiencies at very low powers (< 0.5%) in Madison, WI, USA.

Grants for the development of a prototype of the hydraulic motor have been obtained by the Department of Energy, Washington D.C., and the State of Wisconsin in 1989 with a total of $240.000 - less than half of the requested.”

Looked at the web pages you linked Bud and I do not see much merit. You may be interested in cold fusion too.

Bud if you want to start a riot go to a renewable energy conference and announce that have $5 million to invest in a prototype. I have several several business plans myself just waiting to find someone with $5 million to save the world.



This is 22 years later than 1986.
Why do I get the idea that Valentin, who developed the hydraulic drive platform, and the engineers at Marquette and UW-Madison are a whole lot smarter than kitp. the fact that kitp doesn't see any merit is certainly a meaningless statement, just as denial itself is meaningless. The endorsements and affiliations mentioned on the site suggest that there is merit. I was hoping that readers of this blog could give some meaningful incite...maybe based on the 35 pages of data on the site.

Kit P

Wow Bud, You ask people to look at a web site. A mechanical engineer looked, that's me, and told you it did not have much merit. I did look at the endorsements and the credentials of the inventors.
Use a little common sense. College professors are always coming up with ideas. They make great student projects. However, after 22 years this one does not have much merit.



Kit P is mostly correct. The principles behind the Valentin drivetrain and vehicle (lightweight chassis, hydrostatic motor, pump and accumulator for propulsion, hydraulic regenerative braking, and free-piston HCCI combustion engine) would theoretically produce significant gains in fuel economy and emissions reduction. But getting all of these devices functional, reliable and low cost enough for use in a $25K production automobile is sheer fantasy.

Most career academics that I've met have not tended to be very well grounded in reality or practicality. But that's OK, because their main purpose is to stimulate the creative nature of their students' minds. The engineers and bean counters at the automotive OEM's are much better at deciding what technologies are ready for mass production.

Gary Greenwell

The missing link in the hydraulic hybrid is the drive pump-motor, which chould be in the wheel hub as Valentin illustrates in his design.

The problem is there is no commercially available pump-motor at this point in time that has the efficiency necessary, but that may soon change.

This GCC post is only a launch assist configuration, if the illustration is accurate. That is only the first step to a real hydraulic hybrid. What is not illustrated is the ability of even the simplest launch assist design to allow reasonable sustained speed operation with an engine on off strategy, that disconnects the engine from direct drive of the powertrain.

With that evolutionary development you can eliminate engine operation outside of the most efficient ranges of a normal engines Brake Specific Fuel Consumption map. This allows engine operation to be limited to the most efficient conversion of fuel energy into useful work.

Current swashplate variable displacement pumps are close but not quite there for the application, but designs are coming that will address the problem. The pump-motor needs to move to each hub in the vehicle to reach the efficiency levels of conventional powertrains. When that milestone is achieved the same operational tactic, using engines designed for that specific purpose, will allow mileage increases in the range predicted by Valentin.

Of course improvements in aerodynamics and tires will increase mileage, but all the gears in the world (in a transmission)are offset by lower operational engine efficiencies that necessitate an on off engine operational strategy to maximize benefits.

The preconception that hydraulic hybrids will be limited to trucks and heavier vehicles is plain wrong and shortsighted. Designs are already in the prototype stages that will allow them to be used in bicycles and small motorcycles.

When production begins you will see vehicles that are virtually identical to conventional vehicles produced today, but will 25% fewer manufactured components per vehicle, with base model passenger cars that cost less to produce than anything available today, in the $10,000 proce range, with manufacturers making a $2500 profit per vehicle.

Detroit has been aware of this and decided to ignore involvement. Now they may not be here to see the first model in operation, which is their own fault.


Thank you Gary Greenwell
I sensed something quite wrong with the picture; bloggers interjecting unqualified opinions without supporting evidence, or without even addressing the information on Valentin's site, made it all the more frustrating.

I'm hopeful that leadership and policy will change on this issue and other energy issues as well so we can start to solve these problems in good faith, instead of being continually ripped off by GM, the nuclear industry, coal and oil corporations, etc.

gary greenwell


The problem is there is no leadership. Greed has surpassed integrity as the driving force in Washington.

You have to fight the strongest entities on the planet to succeed.

These same entities, government, industry, and even the engineering community are dedicated to continuing the same status quo, because the public does not have the backbone to demand better.

10 years ago it was well known that you could make vehicles 3 times as efficient. I drive a 15 year old Honda and average 53 MPG, better than any hybrid without the replacement cost of hybrid components or longevity issues. In fact hypermiling evolved as a response to gas rationing in WW2. Now it is a new word for the dictionary!

A stock Opel station wagon managed 124 MPG almost 40 years ago while averaging the same speed as the EPA city cycle of today.

We still chase the elusive miracle battery, and have been doing so for 100 years. While we wait the atmosphere we breathe reaches levels of emissions we know can lead to catastrophic results, if we do nothing, and nothing is what we are doing.

Does our government want to see their gas tax revenues drop off dramatically?

Does Detroit want to destroy the resale value of every vehicle they have built to date, probably the largest economic loss in our history, and have to actually scrap what is sitting on the lots unsold, a testament to their shortsighted attorney and accountant run corporate empires that now are worth less that the local power company (all 3 combined).

Do the oil companies care if we reach an environmental tipping point, as long as their short sighted revenue hungry strategy continue the status quo.

Did OPEC see the collapsing world economy as any more than the junkie in withdrawals that needed a price break to survive for future exploitation. After all at less than 5 dollars a barrel to extract the crude, 55 a barrel is still 1100% profit, paltry compared to 2500%.

What would the US do if OPEC submarines were sinking 700 billion in US goods just outside our ports like Germany was doing in WW2?

Can we afford to allow those whose greed has overtaken any sense of what is really necessary to shoot themselves in the wallet and fix the real problem, which is not more energy, but better utilization of the energy we already have available.

A blockade runner in the Civil War needed no more power than a modern SUV to reach almost 20 knots and carry several hundred tons of weight.

Factories sprung up around natural water sources with some elevation change that allowed water wheels, which by the way are still some of the most efficient engines ever made, using mother natures most abundant renewable fuel, condensation.

If you want to see the future, you only have to look to history to see when ingenuity was the ONLY way to make things work.

The comments to this entry are closed.