Reducing the rotating mass of drivetrain components and reducing the amount of heat generated within drivetrain components both help to improve energy loss from the engine to the tires, say ArvinMeritor officials. The appropriate specs for the vehicle application and operation will result in the engine consuming the least amount of fuel for the road cruise speed. Drivetrain component ratios should target the bands of the engine manufacturer and work as a true system for maximum fuel economy.
The officials recommend that fleets consider the following operating factors when specifying drivetrain components for maximum fuel efficiency:
• What kind of freight will the vehicle be transferring and how much does it weigh?
• Where does the vehicle operate geographically - mountains, snow, and ice?
• What percentage of the time is the vehicle on the highway?
• What is the most important: performance or fuel economy, or the best of both?
• What size tires and tire brand?
• Are automated transmissions of interest?
• How important is resale? Are you willing to pay up front for a premium specification?
• What will be the startability, gradeability and gearing of the vehicle to run at the optimum engine rpm for maximum fuel economy at road cruise speed?
Optimizing the drivetrain for reliability, long life and reduced ownership costs is a matter of devoting the necessary time and attention to the details, conclude ArvinMeritor officials. The payoff from properly spec'ing the components and making sure they are well-matched with one another and are used and maintained correctly is higher vehicle productivity and low lifecycle costs.