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Amazing Truck Power

Discussion in 'Science and Technology' started by Debater Slayer, Aug 3, 2022.

  1. Debater Slayer

    Debater Slayer Veteran Member
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    Watch as the Kenworth K200, an American-made truck that is now popular in Australia, hauls immensely heavy loads without breaking a sweat:



    Achieving the amount of torque required to go uphill so smoothly while loaded with over 80-100 tonnes (including the weight of the truck itself) is an engineering marvel.
     
  2. Shaul

    Shaul Well-Known Member

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    Merica!
    upload_2022-8-3_12-6-9.jpeg
     
  3. sun rise

    sun rise "This is the Hour of God"
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    • Funny Funny x 1
  4. exchemist

    exchemist Veteran Member

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    The engine seems to be a Cummins X15 in-line 6 cylinder engine, with 15l displacement, 450-600hp, running at 2000rpm. So yes a biggish high-speed automotive diesel. Max torque is 1750Nm, which may be important for ease of driving heavy loads.

    But I'm not that familiar with high-speed truck engines. I used to look after lubricants for the medium-speed and low-speed engines. The designers of these tend to be European rather than American. They tend to start at around the 1000hp mark and you don't find them in trucks. Here's a 16V Wärtsilä, 32cm bore diameter (pistons ~ one foot across). They are mostly made in Finland.

    [​IMG]
     
    #4 exchemist, Aug 3, 2022
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2022
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  5. Revoltingest

    Revoltingest Abnormal before it was fashionable
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    Torque is easy to achieve with the proper transmission
    mated to the engine. Any engine can pull any load.
    The question is how fast to pull how much. Power is
    torque x speed...that's what impresses.

    That Kenworth is an odd duck. We no longer see many
    "cab over" tractors on the road...ever since length
    restrictions were eased. Mounting the engine in front
    is safer, easier to service, more aerodynamic, & less
    of a problem for the driver's belongings in sleeper cabs.

    The engine-forward design is preferred for big powerplants.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
    #5 Revoltingest, Aug 3, 2022
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2022
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  6. Twilight Hue

    Twilight Hue Twilight, not bright nor dark, good nor bad.

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    Probably a 13 speed Eaton Fuller or Cummins with splitter.

    No such thing as hills .
     
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  7. Debater Slayer

    Debater Slayer Veteran Member
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    One thing that I've been trying to understand better is why trucks can pull so well with 400-600 hp while many supercars and hypercars with 600+ hp can't even tow another car without choking. I know transmission and chassis tuning, among other things, are crucial elements in towing capacity, but since power is torque times speed, why does a truck engine need to weigh as much as several cars and have massive displacement in order to pull cargo even though it outputs less power than a supercar engine?

    If I were a truck driver, I definitely think I'd prefer the roomier cabins of front-engined trucks, but modern European trucks are cab-overs and are often quite safe, comfortable, and fuel-efficient. Volvo and Scania in particular excel in all of these areas, according to reviews I've seen.

    Of course, there's also the extra maneuverability that comes from having a shorter wheelbase, although I'm not sure how important that is to a skilled driver.
    You should have used a spoiler on these. Pornographic content is banned by Rule 5.
     
  8. Revoltingest

    Revoltingest Abnormal before it was fashionable
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    I didn't see anything pornographic in the pix I posted.
    If there is, it's by accident.
    Edit....
    I realized you're joking.

    Truck engines are designed to run at max power
    for a much longer duty cycle than cars. And they
    have the weight & gearing to use it for heavy pulling.
    High performance cars are lightweight & their engines
    aren't designed for continuous max power output.
    I recall that in the 70s, Ford designed 1st gear in
    cars to only last an hour at full power. That was
    more than would be used in hundreds of thousands
    of miles.

    Cab-over trucks are less safe because there's less
    crush volume in front of the driver. European trucks
    typically negotiate more cramped conditions. Perhaps
    there are length limitations too...which would be bad law.

    For long life, engines weigh more because they have
    heavier duty components. And diesels run at far
    higher compression ratios. Stationary engines weigh
    even more. The 12 hp Graz I just removed weighs
    around 8000#. The flywheel alone is about half.
    Some low speed oil field engines have been run
    continuously for 100 years. Operators just keep
    replacing ignition parts (torch heated hot tubes).
    Their power/weight ratio is far lower than heavy
    truck engines.
     
    #8 Revoltingest, Aug 5, 2022
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2022
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  9. Debater Slayer

    Debater Slayer Veteran Member
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    That was just a joke referencing my love of trucks. You're good.

    So the weight of truck engines is necessary to let them pull regardless of power output? Is it a function of trucks' need to be heavy in order to tow, or are there parts that simply can't be replicated in a smaller package?

    I recall reading about mechanisms designed to make the cabins of cab-overs break or disconnect in specific ways during crashes to protect drivers. I don't know how safe that makes them compared to front-engined trucks, though. The lack of crumple zones, as you said, does seem to be a potentially major issue.

    Much of Europe indeed has length limitations on truck-trailer combinations, hence the prevalence of cab-overs there (along with trucks' having to navigate smaller spaces, as you mentioned). Considering the smaller streets and towns in some parts of Europe, the length limitations may not be bad law at all.
     
  10. Revoltingest

    Revoltingest Abnormal before it was fashionable
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    Weight is necessary for traction. Semi-trailers have
    a major portion of weight over the tractor's drive wheels,
    so it can be lighter. But still some weight is required on
    the steering axle. (To the unfamiliar, "tractor" is the
    term for a truck that pulls a semi-trailer.)

    To design an engine that can perform at max power
    with long life always involves increasing weight to
    increase the durability of components. Ancillary
    systems are also heavier, eg, cooling system, air
    cleaner, electrical system, air compressor, air dryer.
    There is no substitute for crush volume between the
    driver & the obstacle. The more you have, the lower
    the g load the driver will experience. G loads kill.

    Of course, truck designers are weight conscious.
    The typical limit without special permits in USA
    is 80,000# gross. So the less a tractor + trailer
    weighs, the more payload capacity it has.
    Weight & cost are optimized.
     
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  11. Debater Slayer

    Debater Slayer Veteran Member
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    These posts are quite informative and fun to read. I'd post more of my many, many questions on diesel engines, torque, etc., but that might make this thread resemble an interview. So I'll hold off for now. :D
     
  12. Revoltingest

    Revoltingest Abnormal before it was fashionable
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    Post what you want.
    Others are knowledgeable too, with
    driving experience that I lack.
     
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