Waste Management field-testing hybrid trash trucks in Fort Worth
Houston-based Waste Management is field-testing what the company claims is the first prototype parallel hydraulic hybrid truck to be deployed in a waste-collection vehicle.
Four parallel hydraulic hybrid-diesel collection trucks have been incorporated into Waste Management’s fleet and are being tested in Fort Worth, Texas, to study and optimize the hybrid system’s efficiency and reliability.
The four Peterbilt 320 vehicles use a hydraulic launch assist (HLA system) that was developed by Eaton Corp. to capture and store energy during braking, which not only improves efficiency but also reduces wear on break pads, according to Waste Management. The stored energy then is transferred to accelerate the vehicle to the next pickup location, reducing fuel consumption and wear on the engine.
Mike Moncrief, mayor of Fort Worth, said the field test is “just another example of the city and its contractors working together to improve the quality of life for both current and future generations.”
“As a local leader in sustainability, Fort Worth is proud to partner with Waste Management to test this cutting-edge technology,” Moncrief said. “If proven effective, it will help us improve our air quality, protect the environment and control cost for our residents.
The system is the first among many technologies Waste Management expects to test and implement over the coming years, according to the company.
“We are working closely with a number of manufacturers to develop and test both hydraulic and electric-hybrid systems for our fleet vehicles,” said Eric Woods, vice president of fleet and logistics for Waste Management. “The challenge for our engineering team is to make our vehicles as efficient as possible while also ensuring they are tough enough to withstand wear and tear on the road. Though development is in early stages, we are optimistic that the investment we are making now will lead to a reduction in greenhouse gases and ultimately benefit both manufacturers and users of heavy vocational vehicles.”
Waste Management points out that hybrid vehicles “hold great promise for the waste industry because collection vehicles have many cycles of braking and acceleration along a given route.”
Hybrid technologies have been deployed successfully in automobiles and light trucks. However, Class 8 vocational vehicles, a category that includes waste trucks, pose additional challenges to hybrid engine design. Among the largest vehicles on the road, Class 8 vehicles require a robust drive train that can handle heavy loads, and have multiple systems – for compaction and lifting – that draw power from the engine, complicating hybrid design, Waste Management notes.