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FINDING ROI

PIT Group director, Yves Provencher, says, “With the continual need to improve competitiveness and the increase in environmental compliance restrictions, the demand for green technologies has never been stronger. Large and small operations that field trucks can benefit from neutral testing that helps fleet managers select the best technologies to reduce costs and environmental impact.”

SERVICES PROVIDED

“We evaluate technologies that promote efficient energy use in the commercial transportation, municipal, and transit industries across North America,” Provencher continues. “Large companies see us as a seamless extension of their engineering teams and smaller operations consider us their entire engineering department. We have no agenda other than to certify and implement the best and most fuel efficient and environmentally friendly technologies.”
Headquartered in Montreal, PIT Group recently opened US offices in Atlanta. The PIT Group team consists of engineers, technicians, eco-driving trainers, and fleet management specialists that can guide the selection of products. For a membership fee, fleets can access test results of fuel saving technologies on their vehicles or results of tests conducted for other members.
Driver trainer services are also available, as are fleet audit and energy management plans that begin with a review of vehicles, their usage and fuel consumption, and include recommendations for optimizing the size of vehicles and the size of the fleet. PIT Group also has specialists in funding available through public programs or private financing.
ROI_2Featured Image: The PIT Group’s certification process, known as an Energotest, is conducted using stringent, proven controlled SAE/TMC fuel efficiency evaluation procedures run by a team of ISO certified engineers.
Above: For large and small operations that field trucks, the PIT Group provides neutral testing that helps fleet managers select the best technologies to reduce costs and environmental impact.

PROVEN TESTING

The PIT Group’s certification process, known as an Energotest, is conducted using stringent, proven controlled SAE/TMC fuel efficiency evaluation procedures run by a team of ISO certified engineers. The tests provide indisputable results of products evaluated on trucks in real life conditions. PIT Group will now hold two Energotest events in Canada and two in the US each year.
Energotest options available include:

  • SAE J1321 TMC-SAE Type II Test Procedure, which involves fuel consumption testing that compares the fuel consumption of a test vehicle, operating under two different conditions (base and modified), with the fuel consumption of a control vehicle (at all times non-modified).
  • SAE J1526 Joint TMC/SAE Fuel Consumption Test Procedure Type III, which involves fuel consumption testing that compares the fuel consumption of one component of a combination vehicle to the same component in another combination vehicle.
  • Tests on fuel consumption for specific duty-cycles determined according to customer demands.
  • Portable Emissions Measurement System (PEMS), which measures emissions in moving vehicles.
  • SAE J1263 Road Load Measurement and Dynamometer Simulation Using Coast Down Techniques, which tests for evaluating the influence of technologies on the drag force of vehicles.
  • Dynamic performance tests under various duty-cycles using a Taylor Towing Dynamometer designed to maintain constant drawbar pull and simulate an uphill slope of 25 percent.

Provencher also reports that Transport Canada mandated the PIT Group to develop a Stop-and-Go testing procedure—based on the SAE TYPE II protocol—for tests on work trucks.

TECHNICAL REPORTS

PIT Group also develops technical reports. For example, a highly popular report was issued recently comparing data on fuel consumption from engine Electronic Control Modules (ECM) with test track evaluations. The report details ECM data precision and accuracy between engine manufacturers and among engine models from a single manufacturer.
“The ability to measure fuel consumption accurately and precisely and defend the results is critical for writing vehicle specifications, for establishing effective maintenance practices, and for training drivers to operate vehicles as fuel efficiently as possible,” states Marius Surcel, technical leader at PIT Group. “Our tests show that engine ECMs present different levels of precision and accuracy and that ECM data should be used with caution for evaluating the impact of a fuel saving technology or operational practice.”
The PIT Group study that compared engine ECM data with actual test track fuel consumption was conducted in the fall of 2014 on 14 different vehicles with engines from four manufacturers. The test track evaluations, which followed the Joint TMC/SAE Fuel Consumption Test Procedure Type II, compared fuel consumption data provided by the engine ECMs.
“Fuel consumption has always been an important component in transportation costs,” Surcel says. “It is also a very complicated element to measure, especially when it comes to diesel engines. With the advent of electronically controlled engines, many truck fleets have used data on fuel consumption from engine ECMs.”
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 Transport Canada mandated the PIT Group to develop a Stop-and-Go testing procedure—based on the SAE TYPE II protocol—for work truck tests.

INHERENT ERRORS

Engine ECMs record information about engine and vehicle performance, including fuel usage. Original equipment manufacturers provide fuel consumption data via the ECM using comprehensive algorithms, which take into consideration parameters such as engine speed, road speed, distance, and fuel volume used, among other factors. “However,” Surcel states, “because fuel consumption data in an ECM is not derived from actual fuel flow and does not account for fuel energy content, density, or temperature, there is an inherent error with those calculations.
“Despite extensive research, no report or technical information has been found containing engine manufacturers’ statements regarding the accuracy or the precision of ECM fuel consumption data,” Surcel adds. “In verbal communication, engine manufacturers seem to concur on a +/-4 percent error, although no scientific evidence was ever provided confirming these statements.”

UNBIASED AND ACCURATE

PIT Group is an unbiased resource for precisely measuring fuel consumption. With the fuel efficiency data it provides, fleets can accurately measure the return on investment they can expect from vehicle specifications and maintenance practices.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Seth Skydel has more than 30 years of truck-related publication experience. He has held editorial roles at numerous national business-to-business publications focusing on fleet and transportation management, vehicle and information technology, and industry trends and issues.
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MODERN WORKTRUCK SOLUTIONS: MARCH 2016 ISSUE

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