With only one week to go until the first Formula One pre-season test in Barcelona unveils the latest innovation in the sport, race fans around the world are eagerly awaiting a season where for the first time since 1994 a reigning Drivers’ Champion will not competing. This is after Nico Rosberg announced his retirement from the sport in December 2016.
Mercedes are also set to start the season as the defending Constructors’ Champion, having secured their third consecutive title at the 2016 Japanese Grand Prix.
Part of this success is down to having world class drivers such as Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg but a huge contribution comes from the research, development and learning that has produced the Mercedes Hybrid PU106A engine. Born from a change in engine rules, and powered by a mix of turbo, electric motor and internal combustion technology, as well as providing the Silver Arrows with a word class engine, the technology tested and created in Formula One quickly has benefits that feed into the commercial world, from electric cars to diesel trucks.
As Mercedes-Benz are a key supplier to Brit European Transport, (who is one of Silver Arrow’s major clients), we were keen to find out what was in the pipeline for the Mercedes-Benz truck range.
It turns out a lot.
Under the banner of Road Efficiency, the next generation of Mercedes-Benz trucks are packed with technology, tools and innovation aimed at providing a safe and economical experience. IN this blog article, we will walk you through the details of these exciting innovations, and most importantly, what it means for our drivers.
Low Total Costs
One of the things that are usually at the foremost of most truck owners minds when they make a purchasing decision is a low cost from the outset and throughout the truck’s entire useful life. The Mercedes-Benz Actros has played its part here by winning an impressive 90% of over 2000 Fuel Challenges – with a consumption advantage of about 10%. Now we see the modified OM 470 and OM 471 engines, which include the optimised 12-speed transmission, improved shift strategy and Predictive Powertrain Control. Theses innovations are reported to be able to provide a further 6% fuel savings compared to their predecessors.
Predictive Powertrain Control
Predictive Powertrain Control (PPC) uses digital 3D road mapping alongside GPS data to create a virtual horizon which is then used to optimise shift points, as well as gear selection and the cruise control settings. This highly efficient guidance to even the most experienced driver is also reported to generate additional fuel savings of up to 5%.
Steep uphill gradient – To prevent shifting on an incline, if it is deemed to be of benefit, PPC will perform the shift prior to the start of the climb and can offer an optimised shift sequence, which means fewer gear changes and larger gear steps.
Coasting – the vehicle will determine if it can reach the necessary cruise control speed quickly enough without unnecessary acceleration, and instead via simply coasting.
The brow of a hill – to avoid unnecessary braking on downhill sections of road, the vehicle will assess in advance if it can coast over the brow of a hill at adequate speed to reduce the need for braking later, and loss of kinetic (movement) energy.
Alongside the mechanical improvements, Mercedes have unveiled Fleetboard which uses the analysis of technical information from within the truck. This innovation delivers a reduction in consumption and wear by influencing driving style. This is achieved via assessment, feedback and if necessary individual driver training. FleetBoard Performance Analysis then operates on an ongoing basis to monitor driving style which can offer potential long-term fuel savings of up to 15%.
For more information check out the Mercedes-Benz Road Efficiency website.
If you are already a Silver Arrow HGV driver and you have any questions about the content of this article, please contact your driving consultant for more information, or call us on 0370 787 0484.
About Silver Arrow
Silver Arrow is a specialist recruitment agency that focuses on the recruitment and placement of temporary and permanent drivers of all classes.
We offer temporary, temporary to permanent or permanent assignments, with a focus on compliance and quality, 24/7 customer service, and a simple streamlined administration and timesheet approval process for our customers.
We specialize in placing our drivers into a range of sectors including general haulage – articulated (LGV CE) and rigid (LGV C) transport, fuel and chemical distribution (Pet. Reg. and ADR), automotive distribution (car and low loader), self-unload (HIAB and truck mounted forklift), and IPAF.
As a group, we are proud to be ISO 9001 accredited and recent winners of the Motor Transport and the Automotive Supply Chain Global awards. By being built on a strong foundation we are able to deliver a professional, compliant, and cost-effective service to our clients.