Archive for February, 2011

The FTMTA Farm Machinery Show 2011

Thursday, February 10th, 2011

The FTMTA Farm Machinery Show 2011

The FTMTA farm machinery show is on at Punchestown and some of the many highlights


New Holland’s tractor of the year the 7.210 Auto Command with sidewinder CVT transmission

And the new Tier 4a engine using Adblue technology

D & S Machinery have the new Landini Powermondial 120 tractor it has a Dual Power electronic

management system which gives the tractor 121 hp under load from the 4 cylinder Tier 3 Perkins 1104D-E44TA engine, available in Top spec, 36 x 12 transmission with 3 speed powershift, power boosted brakes and the hydraulics now have a flow rate of 90 ltrs/min.

Also on the D & S stand is Dromone Engineering’s 3 point quick hitch which needs no modification to the implements and can connect up in about 30 seconds all from your seat in the cab. Check it out it on the back of the McCormick CX 110.

AGCO have all their tractor brands at the show some of the attractions are the Challenger MTC 765C tracked tractor the Fendt 828 Vario 280 hp using Adblue technology they also have some of the  Valtra range of tractors fitted with Datatags

Multihog are here with their Multihog MH90 multipurpose implement carrier made in Co Louth it is ideally suited to road maintaince work and groundscare

John Deere are well represented inside and outside, the have an interesting no frills 5065E tractor on their stand it has a 65hp 2.9 ltr powertech M mechanical injected engine and is aimed at the smaller farmer horticulture growers and groundscare

ECI have brough along the new JCB 3230 Fastrac and the TM220 tele loader

Manitou are previewing the MLA 630-125PS tele handler

Case have a CVT simulator to show now their transmission works. They also have on show the new PUMA 160 CVX 160hp boosting to 203hp thanks to APM Automatic Productivity Management giving efficient power, more productivity, less fuel use. The tractor also has their CVT transmission and is equipped with AFS Advanced Farming System

Vervaet have the Hydro Trike with a vacuum  tanker and trailing shoe

Vector are displaying the Vector Powerdrive all terrain post driver

Vaderstad have the Spirit 600S XL on the stand with 3900ltr hopper new fan, fenix 11 metering system, large offset packer wheels and Triforce suspension for the disc coulters

The FTMTA Farm Machinery Show 2011 is on  10 11 and 12 on February


Scania on how lower revs yield higher profit

Tuesday, February 1st, 2011

Scania on how lower revs yield higher profit

Hauliers that specify their trucks for lower revs at cruising speed can lower their fuel bills by three to ten percent in some cases. But this requires fresh thinking from both buyers and drivers, writes Hamish Bennett, product manager at Scania.

“A three percent saving will lower fuel cost by close to EUR 15,000 per vehicle each year,” writes Hamish Bennett, product manager at Scania.“A three percent saving will lower fuel cost by close to EUR 15,000 per vehicle each year,” writes Hamish Bennett, product manager at Scania.

It is possible to save fuel by choosing a faster rear axle ratio, thus lowering the number of engine revs per minute at cruising speed. If the propshaft needs to rotate fewer times to cover a given stretch of road, energy losses in the powertrain will be correspondingly less. And so will fuel consumption.

Aside from propelling the vehicle and its cargo, a truck engine must also overcome resistance in the powertrain, such as friction and other losses. It also has to drive all auxiliary systems, for example the alternator and water pump. At cruising speed on flat ground, this is about 15 percent of total losses, also including air and rolling resistance.

Today an overall gear ratio of 3.08 is common, which means that the propshaft must rotate 3.08 times in order for the rear wheels to rotate once. If we choose a ratio of 2.59, this lowers the number of engine revs at a given speed. In top gear at a cruising speed of 89 kilometres per hour, it means approximately 200 fewer revs per minute.

This reduces fuel consumption by three percent or more − in some applications by up to ten percent. In long-haulage, an annual mileage of 150,000 km is not uncommon. Assuming an average fuel consumption of slightly above 30 litres per 100 km and a typical diesel price of more than EUR 1 per litre, a three percent saving will lower fuel cost by close to EUR 15,000 per vehicle each year. That level is not possible in all transport applications, but for a haulier with many trucks, this adds up to major savings.

New Scania Opticruise enables economy gearing for cruising down to 1,020 r/min.New Scania Opticruise enables economy gearing for cruising down to 1,020 r/min.

So what needs to be done to implement such a change in practice? Above all, two things: Choosing a different rear axle ratio, and persuading drivers to accept a slightly different driving experience. In some markets this is already standard on long-haul trucks, for example in Great Britain, Poland and Spain. Elsewhere this trend has only just begun. It is naturally impossible to lump together all transport applications and to uncritically choose a specification that lowers engine revs in an entire fleet of vehicles. When the engine frequently needs to operate at maximum output due to hilly terrain, or when a vehicle often carries the maximum permitted payload, there may be reason not to choose a faster rear axle ratio. The fuel savings are less, and perhaps the vehicle owner wants to prioritise gradeability in top gear or other characteristics. When we choose a ratio of 2.59 instead of 3.08, many people believe this makes a truck feel less powerful. But the gearbox takes care of this difference in rear axle ratio, and with automated gearchanging, the driver can relax. This means that using a 2.59 rear axle ratio, a vehicle may even have more power at the wheels since it is operating in a lower gear.

A vehicle that normally maintains a cruising speed of 89 km/h on a typical European highway is using only a fraction of its maximum engine output. An engine with the most common output of 440 hp often uses thirty percent of maximum output on flat routes. Here operators can save fuel by maintaining lower engine revs, and this applies to between eighty and ninety percent of road transport in Europe.

For a driver, using lower engine revs means a quieter cab. It also means that the driving experience may be different, since taking maximum advantage of a new rear axle ratio requires that the vehicle be equipped with the Scania Opticruise automated gearchanging system. The vehicle also moves a bit faster when manoeuvring at terminals, but drivers soon become accustomed to this.

Hill climbing ability in top gear at cruising speed is admittedly somewhat lower. One noticeable difference is that the Scania Opticruise downshifts sooner up-hill. But this in itself is no disadvantage as an early downshift can result in higher speed in the hills. It is transport time that counts, and this does not increase with the new specification.
Powertrain specifications are increasingly important, and in many cases hauliers can no longer specify vehicles in the conventional way. It is necessary to optimise the powertrain for each user’s transport task, thereby minimising the environmental impact and the fuel bill.

Some hauliers also save a lot of money by applying a policy of 85 or even 80 km/h cruising speeds. Major savings are possible due to both lower engine revs and less air resistance at slower speeds.

Significant savings

Engine revs at cruising speed (per minute) - Engine revs per hour

  • 1,300 - 78,000
  • 1,100 - 66,000

Difference 12,000 revs for the same stretch of road

Fuel savings 3–10 percent (depending on application)

The new BMW 1 Series Coupé and Convertible

Tuesday, February 1st, 2011

The new BMW 1 Series Coupé and Convertible

  • Increased efficiency through race-bred aerodynamic Aero Curtain technology
  • Lowered CO2 levels across the range
  • Generous standard specification
  • Over €1800 added value for Sport models
  • On sale 26 March, 2011

Not to be upstaged by the launch of the stunning new BMW 1 Series M Coupé, the BMW 1 Series Coupé and Convertible ranges have received a number significant modifications and upgrades that make them even more desirable and efficient.

Both models differentiate themselves from previous incarnations by way of a new front bumper with redesigned fog lights and redesigned Halogen headlights with an ‘eyebrow’ element. When Xenon headlights are specified this ‘eyebrow’ element features an LED illuminated light bar. At the rear and the headlights have also been changed with a more detailed appearance.

However, the greatest change to ES, SE and Sport models is that they now come fitted with an Aero Curtain – a feature that channels the airflow around the front of the car to reduce aerodynamic drag, thereby increasing efficiency. Wheel arches are one of the main areas of aerodynamic drag and the Aero Curtain is BMW’s innovative solution to reduce this inefficiency. Derived from race technology, air is routed into two ducts in the front apron which then flows out of a narrow opening at high speed in the wheelarch. This jet of air effectively covers the side of the front wheels like a curtain and thus reduces turbulence.

As a result, CO2 emissions have been lowered throughout the range, with the 118d now rated at only 118g/km, while all 2.0-litre petrol versions have CO2 emissions of 154g/km or below.

As with all BMWs, the 1 Series Coupé and Convertible also come with a raft of other EfficientDynamics measures: Auto Start-Stop is fitted to all petrol and diesel models (excluding versions with automatic transmission), while Diesel Particulate Filters, Brake Energy Regeneration, Electric Power Steering (excluding 135i), Intelligent Alternator Control and Optimum Shift Indicator for manual models are all standard throughout the range.

All BMW 1 Series Coupé and Convertible ES models come as standard with 16-inch alloy wheels, Dynamic Stability Control, Halogen headlights, MP3 playback capability and rear seat easy access system. Sport models have as standard 17-inch star-spoke alloy wheels, Sport multi-function leather steering wheel and front Sport seats – over €1800 worth of equipment that is currently offered for no additional cost over an ES model. SE models get rear Park Distance Control (PDC), front fog lights and automatic air conditioning with two-zone control.

All M Sport models, in addition to SE models, come with 17-inch light double-spoke style alloy wheels, door sill finishers with M designation, chrome front exterior trim, high-gloss Shadowline window surrounds, M aerodynamic bodystyling, M Sport suspension, Run-flat tyres, Sport seats and M Sport multi-function leather steering wheel.

BMW 135i M Sport versions add twin black-chrome exhaust tailpipes, a unique M aerodynamic package, M Sport suspension with 135i-specific calibration, hydraulic power-assisted steering, rear spoiler and up-rated high-performance braking system.

The new BMW 1 Series Coupé and Convertible go on sale March 2011, with prices starting from €30,050 for the BMW 118d ES Coupé and €35,240 for the 118i ES Convertible.

BMW 1 Series Coupe & Convertable


Tuesday, February 1st, 2011


Volvo Trucks is beginning the new year by launching a new magazine that has been specially configured for iPad and written in English to target a global reading public.

‘Volvo Trucks Magazine’ will feature stories about life on the road, articles about technology and product development and analyses of important issues facing the industry. Topics may include anything from how to minimise fuel consumption to how to increase safety belt use. In the first issue, for example, we meet two record-holders: the world’s fastest driver and record-holder for the Standing Kilometre and Asia’s best driver in the eco-driving challenge.

“We are always on the look-out for new ways of reaching our target groups,” says Tommy Kohle, Senior Vice President Corporate Communications at Volvo Trucks. “We see this as a useful and effective way of spotlighting issues that concern our company, the breadth and depth of our technical expertise and, not least, the exciting assignments carried out by many of our customers.”

Volvo Trucks has a long tradition of communicating with customers and other players through editorial articles, both in print and online. Now the company is taking yet another step forward by focusing on tablet computers, starting with the iPad.

“As a knowledge company, it’s natural for us to lead the way and explore new communication channels. We want to capitalise on the opportunities offered by the iPad format, so we have included plenty of films and interactive material,” explains Kohle.

‘Volvo Trucks Magazine’ can be downloaded – free of charge – from the AppStore.

iPad magazine