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Keeping an eye on fuel

Published: 25th August 2013
Source: Bell Equipment

Bell Equipment has always prided itself as having the best fuel economy with its Articulated Dump Trucks (ADTs). This is no inflated guarantee - it is backed by customers who have run both Bell and competitor vehicles as well as performance averages obtained from Bell Equipment’s cutting edge Fleetm@tic telematics programme. Through innovative design and the use of the best components, Bell engineers continually strive toward delivering ADTs with a superior fuel efficiency advantage. Best-in-class fuel efficiency means that more of your fuel cost is spent moving the material and not moving the machine, thereby decreasing your overall cost per tonne.

 

With fuel burn compromising as much as 40% of a machine's daily operating costs, this has long been a strong focal area in the design philosophy of Bell ADTs.

 

Simply put, fuel efficiency is directly impacted by the unladen or tare weight of the vehicle as well as the efficiency of the components used in the drivetrain. Every effort is made to ensure that Bell ADTs are designed optimally with no unnecessary excess weight. This is achieved through the use of weight optimised fabricated componentry comprised of high alloy steels rather than the use of oversized castings.

 

Further weight reductions are achieved by using correctly matched components for each truck size in the extensive range that Bell offers to suit customers' specific applications.

 

As an articulated truck specialist Bell has taken the decision to utilise world class driveline component manufacturers that are best suited for trucking applications and conditions. Mercedes Benz engines are industry leaders in providing lightweight, powerful, reliable and fuel efficient engine packages. Bell engineers carefully select the correct displacement engines to ensure the optimum power-to-weight ratio and efficiency rather than choosing oversized industrial engines for the sake of commonality.

 

An industry leading, fully automatic six-speed planetary Allison transmission with torque converter lock-up maximises fuel efficiency over the toughest of hauls. These inline planetary transmissions also ensure significantly lower losses than the countershaft designs used in some other ADTs.

 

Continuous focus on minimising the losses in all the rotating drivetrain components from engine to the ground allows Bell articulated trucks to further gain significant fuel burn advantages.

 

Due to the nature of the ADT application, for every laden run the ADT will do a corresponding unladen run back to the loading zone. For this, it is important that the machine is designed to best suit this and can adapt to giving the best economy with these vastly different gross weights. Gear patterns and shift points continually adapt to the terrain as well as vehicle weight to ensure maximum fuel efficiency without compromising performance. Charging of accumulators, activation of cooling fans, and other ancillary systems are also programmed to take place when engine is not loaded reducing unnecessary fuel burn.

 

As a trucking specialist Bell understands the effect of efficiency on the overall vehicle layout, specifically when it comes to power and fuel hungry ancillary systems. A good example is that Bell continues to use forced cooling from the front of the ADT as is common on all mainstream motor vehicles. Less reliance on complicated hydraulic fans, which require air to be pulled in from a direction different to vehicle travel, ensures higher efficiency and significant savings in fuel.

 

In addition Bell Equipment is aware that certain applications, site conditions as well as operator driving style can have a significant impact on fuel economy. The company has dedicated operator trainers who are available to ensure the machines are correctly set-up according to the site conditions as well as improve operator techniques for best fuel economy.

 

Complementing the Bell ADT range is the company’s world class telematics fleet monitoring system. Bell Fleetm@tic provides accurate up-to-date production data in terms of hours operated, tons moved, average fuel consumption, total cycles completed to help you monitor and improve your operation for maximum efficiency. Additional to this are other added benefits; such as operational data, fault data as well as machine location and movements.

 

Recent analysis of production data taken from Bell Fleetm@tic on fuel consumption shows the following machine averages:

 

Bell Machine Model....................................................

Average Fuel Consumption

B20D...........................................................................

7.86 L/hr

B30D...........................................................................

12.78 L/hr

B40D...........................................................................

19.98 L/hr

B50D...........................................................................

27.23 L/hr

 

These averages are across a wide range of machines working in a variety of different applications and we invite customers to contact us to ensure that you are getting the best efficiency for your site.

Whatever the machine size, whatever the application a Bell truck owner can be assured that Bell Equipment is focused on reducing fuel costs to reduce overall operating costs. Delivering maximum productivity and maximum cost efficiency to your business.