Freightliner Custom Chassis Corporation Introduces New Powertrain Features to Walk-In Van Market

CHICAGO, Ill.In an effort to provide increased fuel economy, performance and value to its customers, Freightliner Custom Chassis Corporation (FCCC), the leader in engineering and manufacturing chassis for the diesel walk-in van (WIV) market, introduced the availability of new powertrain features today.

FCCC, at the National Truck Equipment Association (NTEA) Work Truck Show here, introduced the Vehicle Acceleration Rate Management System (VARMS) and the Load-Based Shift Scheduling (LBSS). Both systems have been fully tested and validated, proving that when combined, both features achieve more than an 8 percent increase in fuel economy versus a comparably specified vehicle without these features.

Working with engine manufacturer Cummins, testing included the development and validation of the VARMS. This new, optimized programming system, implemented for use with the Allison® 1000/2000 series transmission, includes a means for programming the vehicle's acceleration rate and has been carefully integrated with the chassis powertrain components.

Acceleration rate management, which controls the vehicle acceleration rate to a maximum predetermined value, provides improved fuel economy and vehicle component life. The VARMS is engaged at low speeds to discourage fast starts, thereby improving fuel economy and tire life, and will disengage automatically to allow the vehicle to meet the operational requirements of normal driving conditions.

In addition to the introduction of new engine programming, FCCC also worked with Allison to validate and introduce new transmission programming. Testing shows that LBSS has been proven to provide additional fuel economy improvements, while not sacrificing vehicle performance.

Using advanced technology to calculate real-time vehicle load and operating grades, LBSS selects the appropriate shift schedule for the task at hand. As the load of the vehicle (physical of increased grade) changes, the transmission calibration can switch between performance-based shifting and economy mode. LBSS automatically selects between an Economy 2200 RPM variable shift schedule or a Performance 2500 RPM variable shift schedule based on the actual load and grade in which the vehicle is operating.

"Our goal was to maximize fuel economy without sacrificing needed performance," said Jonathan Randall, director of sales and marketing for FCCC. "FCCC is committed to bringing new products to market that significantly contribute to our customers' ROI by reducing their operating expenses."

Freightliner Custom Chassis Corporation manufactures premium chassis for the motorhome, delivery walk-in van, and school bus and shuttle bus markets. Freightliner Custom Chassis Corporation is a subsidiary of Daimler Trucks North America LLC, a Daimler company.

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