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SmartWay Upgrade Kit Technologies

trucks The technologies used in SmartWay Upgrade Kits fall into one of three categories:  Fuel-Saving Technologies, Idle Reduction Technologies, or Emission Reduction Technologies.  The kits used in the North Central Texas Council of Governments (NCTCOG) Upgrade Kit Demonstration Project contain at least one technology from each category.  Basic information on each type of technology is outlined below.  Additional detail on innovative strategies to save fuel and reduce emissions is available from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for both freight carriers and freight shippers.

Click on one of the following technology categories to view details:

Fuel-Saving Technologies

Rising fuel costs make these technologies increasingly valuable. In addition, for each 100 gallons of fuel saved, approximately one metric ton of carbon dioxide emissions have been avoided. 

View more about the Fuel-Saving Technologies available for the SmartWay Upgrade Kit Demonstration Project.

Single-Wide Tires:  Use of these tires in place of the traditional twin-tire configuration can reduce fuel use by reducing vehicle weight, reducing rolling resistance, and reducing aerodynamic drag. They also allow tank trailers to be mounted lower, which can improve stability. The US EPA estimates that fuel savings due to this technology can amount to two percent annually (US EPA, Feb 2004).

Automatic Tire Inflation (ATI):  Maintaining proper tire pressure is a widely known method of maximizing fuel efficiency. Under-inflated tires cause more rolling resistance and premature tire wear and can also pose safety hazards. However, constantly monitoring tire pressure can be time consuming. ATI systems can detect the presence of low tire pressure and automatically feed air into the affected tire to restore proper tire pressure. Fuel savings can amount to 100 gallons/year (US EPA, Feb 2004).

Advance Trailer Aerodynamics:  Improved aerodynamics can reduce drag and realize annual fuel savings of up to 2,000 gallons (US EPA, Feb 2004).  Aerodynamic improvements include a variety of measures for both tractors and trailers. Trailer aerodynamics include (but are not limited to) reduced tractor-trailer gap, side skirts, and rear air dams.

Low Viscosity Lubricants:  Synthetic lubricants can reduce friction and perform better in the engine, transmission, and drive train systems. Fuel economy can improve by three percent, or an estimated 500 gallons of fuel a year (US EPA, Feb 2004).

For additional details on these technologies, click here.

Idle Reduction Technologies

On average, an idling truck burns almost one gallon of diesel fuel per hour.  Drivers often have been forced to idle for hours at a time at rest stops to maintain cabin comfort.  Upgrading a truck with a product designed to provide auxiliary power or climate control provides great opportunity for both fuel savings and emission reductions.  EPA maintains a list of currently available devices, including manufacturers and a comparison of product specifications.  Additional information is available through the following links:

View more about the Idle Reduction Technologies available for the SmartWay Upgrade Kit Demonstration Project. 

Bunk heater/cooling system:  These units provide cabin temperature control without requiring the diesel engine to run, saving fuel, engine wear and tear, and emissions.

Auxiliary Power Unit (APU):  This unit provides a source of electricity for various applications without requiring the diesel engine to run, saving fuel, engine wear and tear, and emissions.

For additional details on these technologies, click here.

Emission Reduction Technologies

The freight industry is a major source of air pollution.  By outfitting trucks with emission reduction technologies, major reductions in pollutant emissions can be realized without sacrificing truck performance.  NCTCOG encourages the use of emission reduction technologies which have been verified by EPA and/or the California Air Resources Board (CARB).  Both agencies maintain lists of currently verified products, including manufacturers and applicability:

View more about the Emission Reduction Technologies available for the SmartWay Upgrade Kit Demonstration Project.

Crankcase Filter:  Diesel emissions produce crankcase emissions, or blow-by emissions, when high-pressure gases escape around the piston ring and are vented to the atmosphere. Closed-crankcase ventilation (CCV) or crankcase filters trap these gases and return them to the intake system. These systems not only prevent pollutants from entering the atmosphere, but also keep the engine system cleaner, improve reliability, and can reduce oil use by minimizing oil loss.

Diesel Oxidation Catalyst (DOC):  A DOC oxidized pollutants in the exhaust stream and is often used in conjunction with a crankcase ventilation/filtration system.

Diesel Particulate Filter (DPF):  Diesel Particulate Filters physically trap and then oxidize the particulates in the exhaust stream in a fine mesh or honeycomb filter.  They may use active or passive regeneration systems in order to oxidize the particulates; the passive DPF devices require very high operating temperatures to properly function.


Nitrogen Oxides (NOx) Reflash:  This technology is applicable for most diesel engines manufactured in model years 1993-1998.  Engines manufactured during these model years were dual-calibrated, which allows the engine to produce excess NOx emissions.  NOx reflash is a process through which a software upgrade package reprograms (reflashes) the vehicle’s computer so that the engine will operate on a more fuel-efficient cycle, thus reducing fuel consumption as well as emitting less NOx.  This upgrade should be available from an authorized dealer to the owner/operator at a minimal charge. For details concerning which engine models are eligible for the NOx Reflash, please click here.  Contact your engine manufacturer for additional details.

For a list of authorized NOx Reflash Dealers in Texas, please click here.

12/5/2017  11/26/2008 LCP %Arc

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