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Peterbilt Launches Model 320 Hydraulic Hybrid, Full Lineup of Natural Gas Powered Vehicles

The Model 320 Hybrid. Click to enlarge.

Among its other product introductions at the Mid-America Trucking Show in Louisville, Kentucky, Peterbilt announced the limited production availability of the Model 320 Hybrid Class 8 refuse truck, equipped with Eaton’s Hydraulic Launch Assist (HLA) technology (earlier post). The low-cab-forward Model 320 Hybrid is targeted for vocational stop-and-go applications such as refuse collection.

Peterbilt also announced full production capability of natural gas powered Peterbilt truck Models 384, 365 and 320. The compressed (CNG) and liquefied natural gas (LNG) power platforms join Peterbilt’s family of SmartWay®certified on-highway vehicles and alternative fuel vehicles.

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

Model 320 Hybrid. The HLA (Hybrid Launch Assistance) system is a parallel hybrid powertrain that captures a portion of the vehicle’s kinetic energy in the form of hydraulic pressure during braking, and releases that energy to supplement the vehicle’s engine for launch assistance. The HLA technology works by recovering up to 75% of the energy normally lost by the vehicle’s brakes in the form of pressurized hydraulic fluid. This fluid is stored until the driver next accelerates the vehicle which reduces fuel consumption and wear on the engine.

The Eaton HLA system in the truck. Click to enlarge.

This system reduces maintenance costs through regenerative braking and less wear and tear on the engine and transmission. Results provide up to a 30% improvement in fuel economy, 30 to 40% reduction in emissions and more than a 50% reduction in break wear when operating in fuel economy mode.

In “fuel economy mode,” savings occur when stored energy is used to launch the vehicle without power from the primary engine; testing in this mode has shown more than a 50% reduction in brake wear. In “performance mode,” the stored energy is released and blended with engine power at launch.

The Model 320 Hybrid was engineered to meet the reliability demands of refuse collection routes with 800-1200 stops per day.

Natural gas. All Peterbilt natural gas platform vehicles are equipped with the Cummins Westport ISL-G engine which offers a 320 hp (239 kW) rating and 1,000 ft-lbs (1,356 N·m) of torque and provides an extremely efficient fuel-to-power ratio. The ISL-G natural gas engine produces horsepower and torque comparable in capability and service to the diesel engines.

The cleaner burning platform eliminates the need for exhaust aftertreatment components like DPF or SCR. Peterbilt trucks equipped with the Cummins ISL-G engines use cooled EGR to lower in-cylinder exhaust gas temperature. The ISL-G engine has a maintenance free three way catalyst (TWC) that is 95% effective in NOx conversion and is highly effective in controlling all CO2 and hydrocarbons.

The Peterbilt Model 384 powered by the Cummins Westport’s ISL-G is the industry’s cleanest burning aerodynamic platform with the power and performance to meet the needs of a wide variety of customer applications including bulk and tanker hauling, as well as in shipping ports in non-attainment areas. Additionally, the Peterbilt Model 384 has been recognized as fuel efficient and environmentally-friendly by the EPA’s SmartWay program.

The Peterbilt Model 365 NG is powered by the Cummins ISL-G and features innovative solutions to improve ride and handling and enhance weight distribution, as well as maximize performance and profitability without sacrificing overall efficiency. The Model 365 has a 115” BBC and is available in both set-forward and set-back axle configurations and sets the standard for quality, durability, productivity and environmental responsibility for a vocational application.

The Peterbilt Model 320 is the environmentally responsible refuse collection and solid waste transportation solution. The Model 320 low cab forward Class 8 truck features high visibility and durability. The Model 320 is equipped with the Cummins ISL-G, with CNG or LNG tanks in various sizes to provide for longer work days.


Great! now we can sustainably transport our unsustainable trash habit. Ohh the irony.

Good idea though.

Nick Lyons

Trash collection trucks are the perfect application for hydraulic hybrids, considering the stop/go duty cycle as well as the synergy with the trucks existing hydraulic systems for lifting containers, compacting, etc.


Wouldn't it make more sense to figure out garbage trucks and landfill vehicles that can burn landfill gas? Waste Management's annual fuel bill must be astronomical.

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