The American Trucking Associations’ Technology & Maintenance Council announced it plans to study vehicle alignment impacts on fuel consumption and electro-mechanical braking systems. The studies, to be initiated in 2022, were announced during TMC’s Fall Meeting on Sept 12 in Cleveland, Ohio.
The first project will be to replicate an 2008 evaluation conducted by Goodyear Tire on the effects of total combination vehicle alignment on fuel economy. Taking into account recent advancement in aerodynamic designs, TMC will replicate the testing protocols from the earlier study. The research seeks to determine if mis-alignment in a tractor-trailer is better, worse, or the same before the induction of common aerodynamic devices.
The second study, through TMC’s Future Truck Committee, is to conduct a performance demonstration of at least two prototype electromechanical braking systems. This testing will access if EMBs perform in conformity with current Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards for air drum and disc braking systems.
EMBs are a type of electronically controlled braking system which use “drive by wire” commands to controllers at each wheel end brake assembly, applying the brake by an electric motor rather than by a pulse of air.
TMC is seeking out contributions of the prototype EMB systems, as well as vehicles they will be installed upon. TMC is also currently attempting to raise funding to cover both of the project costs.