In Brazil, the biggest country in South America, a lot of transportation activities are required for the internal supply of the inhabitants, for the import of products that are needed in the country and for the export of locally produced goods. The strongest industry in Brazil is the agricultural business, i.e. the production of grain, corn and soya, for usage in the country but also for exportation. Large truck-trailer combinations (the Bitrain, or in Portuguese “Bitrenzão”) of up to 74 tons on 9 axles are commonly used, to bring the grain to the far distant harbors. A big difference compared to the typical European application with “only” 40 tons. Since the railway transportation is not very well developed in the country, the transport of goods on road is often the only alternative. The fuel efficiency of the trucks, nowadays, is the first buying criteria, especially for the big fleet owners with several hundred vehicles. They even pay their drivers according to their efficiency in driving and the truck manufacturers are commonly invited for a fuel efficiency competition before the fleet owner makes his buying decision. The article first summarizes the general improvements concerning fuel efficiency, introduced in 2016 with the new ACTROS face lift – the Mercedes-Benz flagship in the Brazilian market. The following chapter focuses on a specific application in the grain transport of a customer in the south of Brazil. There, the vehicles always run the same route from the interior to the local harbor and back, 24 hours a day and nearly 100% in loaded condition. Based on the analysis of the customer operation, specific measures to improve the fuel efficiency in this application are proposed and discussed. The last chapter summarizes the fuel efficiency potential of an application specific optimization and gives an outlook of future improvements in the sector of fuel efficiency.
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- Fuel Efficiency Optimization of Market Specific Brazilian Truck Applications
Abimael de Sousa
Christof Maria Weber
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