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Stop. Pick-up. Go. Repeat. This is the routine your sanitation and recycling trucks follow as they go about their daily rounds, relieving us of the astonishing amount of junk we all manage to accumulate in a week's time. This eats up fuel in traditionally-powered vehicles. Peterbilt might have a solution on display at the Waste Expo 2008 in Chicago (Waste Expo? Who knew?). The Model 320 HLA is equipped with Eaton's Hydraulic Launch Assist, which captures braking energy and stores it as pressurized hydraulic fluid. That fluid is then used to help propel the truck when the driver gets it back underway. UPS is currently piloting a delivery van equipped with the same technology.
Peterbilt has not released any specific numbers, but states that the reductions in emissions and fuel consumption observed during the Model 320's testing are significant, and that as a bonus, the system should help reduce brake-related maintenance costs as well. Because garbage trucks start and stop so frequently, this might be the most natural application of hydraulic launch assist yet. Fuel sure isn't getting any cheaper, so it'll be interesting to see whether the technology catches on in the sanitation biz.
[Source: Peterbilt via Truck News]