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Hydraulic Freightliner a First for Eaton’s HLA

The first Freightliner (an M2 112 chassis) with a parallel hydraulic hybrid drivetrain by Eaton is being shown by Pennsylvania’s GSP Marketing/GS-Products at WasteCon 3531.

Freightliner M2 112 chassis with a Eaton parallel hydraulic hybrid drivetrain

Freightliner M2 112 chassis with a Eaton parallel hydraulic hybrid drivetrain

The Eaton HLA drivetrain — for Hydraulic Launch Assist — was installed by Fontaine Modifications (APWA 1147) in Charlotte, N.C.

It was “a collaborative project,” says Dave Bryant, Freightliner vocational sales manager for hybrids, between the various partners. A key HLA advantage? “You can retrofit it on an existing chassis because your are not displacing the existing powertrain,” Bryant says. “It is a parallel system.”

Eaton HLA on an M2 112 Freightliner chassis as executed by Fontaine Modifications

Eaton HLA on an M2 112 Freightliner chassis as executed by Fontaine Modifications

Eaton announced deployment of four Peterbilt Model 320 trucks with the HLA drive and bodies by Labrie (WasteCon 2875) for recycling collection in Ann Arbor last month. The Michigan deployment follows successful trials on refuse vehicles in Fort Worth and Denver. The system “captures the trucks’ kinetic energy during braking to assist in launching and accelerating the vehicle,” Eaton says, “recovering up to 75% of the energy normally lost as heat by the vehicle’s brakes in the form of pressurized hydraulic fluid.

“This fluid is stored in an on-board accumulator until the driver next accelerates the vehicle, reducing fuel consumption and wear on the engine.”

Tests have shown “significant” reductions in maintenance costs, while “brake replacement cost can potentially be reduced by four times compared to a baseline truck.”

HLA Peterbilts have been tested by Waste Management (WasteCon 2927) in Texas, too.

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