Since its launch in 2009, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE)’s SuperTruck initiative has helped the trucking industry develop and commercialize about 32 technologies designed to improve overall freight efficiency by 50% in heavy-duty Class 8 tractor trailers. 

Broadly, the commercialized technologies include:
•    Engines, e.g., downspeeding, intelligent torque management, integrated engine/transmission controls
•    Drivelines, e.g., automated manual transmissions, predictive transmission shifting
•    Aerodynamics, e.g., tractor aerodynamics, trailer aerodynamics
•    Weight reduction, e.g., aluminum fifth wheel, aluminum driveshaft, lightweight brakes
•    Tire rolling resistance, e.g., single wide-base tires, reduced rolling resistance tire compounds and designs
•    Energy management, e.g., predictive GPS cruise control, eco-driving feedback systems, LED lighting

Examples of specific commercialized products include Hendrickson’s OPTIMAAX liftable forward tandem axle, SOFTEX NXT integrated steer axle and monoleaf suspension system, AIRTEX NXT air suspension system, and TIREMAAX PRO automatic tire pressure control system. With the launch of SuperTruck II, the aim is to challenge manufacturers to achieve greater than 100% improved efficiency over the original goals established by the first phase of the SuperTruck program. 

To find out how the SuperTruck program is making heavy-duty truck fleets more efficient now and will do so in the future, download Hendrickson’s whitepaper “SuperTruck Technology: A Discussion on Commercialization.”

By Hendrickson