Hyp(oid) (in)telligent

Hyp(oid) (in)telligent

New hypoid axles and trucks that think for themselves, net Mercedes-Benz industry-leading fuel efficiency

Fuel economy in vehicles can be improved in many ways; including increasing engine efficiency, reducing aerodynamic drag and rolling friction, and improving the fuel quality.

Mercedes-Benz engineers developed the new hypoid rear axle for the current Actros 2644LS/33 and Actros 2654LS/33 6×4 truck tractors, and tested them under everyday conditions along Mercedes-Benz South Africa’s (MBSA’s) well-known trial routes in the Eastern Cape. Significant fuel savings of more than five percent have been achieved.

Mercedes-Benz trucks combined the OM 502LA engine, with its 402 kW (540 hp), with the RT440 hypoid rear axle in the Actros 2654LS/33, which replaces the other air-suspended 2650LS/33. It now has a 3,583:1 rear-axle ratio.

Christo Kleynhans, product manager at Mercedes-Benz Trucks, says: “The new RT440 hypoid rear axles make for the most fuel-efficient Mercedes-Benz 6×4 truck tractors. In fact, the fuel saving achieved on the 2644LS/33 was 5,67 percent, and on the 2654LS/33 was 5,37 percent.”

It is an ongoing quest in which Mercedes-Benz Trucks continues to reduce fuel consumption and emissions in South Africa.

Kleynhans points out that South Africa is well known for its unique operating conditions and trucking environment, which provides a testing ground suitable for a wide spectrum of applications.

“The Mercedes-Benz Testing Department has an outstanding track record. It was, therefore, an obvious choice to call on their expertise to perform the comparative test between the new hypoid axles and the existing hub-reduction rear axles,” elaborates Kleynhans.

Independent testing, along with thorough research, also played a significant part in Mercedes-Benz introducing yet another innovative offering in the form of the Telligent Maintenance System, which makes it possible for the trucks to inform operators and drivers when it is time for a service.

The first truck manufacturer to introduce this product in South Africa, Mercedes-Benz Trucks is changing the maintenance and servicing mentality in the country. Moving away from pre-set service intervals, the truck is designed to monitor the condition of the engine oil, transmission oil, axle oil and general service components such as air filters, fuel filters and brake pads, based on the operating conditions of the vehicle.

This ensures optimum utilisation without risk to the service life or reliability of the engine and driveline. The Telligent Maintenance system stores information about faults, but only alerts drivers if they need to take action.

The system leads to less time in the workshop and more time where the truck and driver are productive, and can realise a saving of up to 14 percent in service costs.

Optimal results will be realised if used in conjunction with FleetBoard, the benchmark vehicle management and tracking system provided by Mercedes-Benz South Africa. Over an 18-month period between 2011 and 2013, Fleetboard registered a combined savings of over R6 million and uptime savings of 2 658 hours, in 658 cases.

FleetBoard provides impartial, comparable data from all vehicles of a customer’s fleet. This enables the fleet manager to determine the causes of high consumption and promptly address them to ensure correct deployment of the trucks, thus increasing the economic efficiency of the fleet.

From an environmental point of view, the Telligent Maintenance system also scores brownie points for the manufacturer and the truck owner. Less frequent oil and filter changes equate to less of these items contributing to pollution.

For an Actros to qualify for this unique value offering it simply needs to be activated on either the CharterWay BestBasic or CharterWay Service Complete contracts available at the nearest dealership. However, cancellation of the CharterWay contract will result in the vehicle returning to fixed service intervals.

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