The technology for fuel efficiency especially for heavy duty towing trucks and similar vehicles largely depends on its power train. For example, using a diesel engine as a replacement for a gasoline engine in medium-duty trucks is pretty efficient. However, 99% of heavy-duty trucks are already using diesel trucks.

Diesel Engine

The technology for diesel engines is focused on high gas temperatures. This is then generated via compression as its ignition source. The ignition’s timing is determined primarily by when fuel is injected. The engines are operating on a 4-stroke cycle and are arranged either in an “in-line” or “V” formation.

The displacements are ranging from 3 to 16 liters and these engines are usually burning of course, diesel fuel but sometimes, biodiesel blends and kerosene. Some engines that were mainly designed as diesel engines are actually converted to utilize spark ignitions. This is to take exploit alternative fuel sources. Oftentimes, these engines are burning gaseous fuels similar to:

  • CNG or Compressed Natural Gas
  • LNG or Liquefied Natural Gas or;
  • Propane

Though, it is possible to use other spark ignition fuels as well.

In essence, all diesel engines used nowadays in both medium and heavy duty trucks and vehicles are also electronically controlled, direct fuel injected and turbocharged. Most are also after cooled or intercooled. Apart from that, they are using exhaust gas recirculation or EGR in order to limit the in-cylinder formation of the nitrogen oxides and some are forming of exhaust after treatment.


With regards to the turbocharger, the radial exhaust-driven turbine is driving the radial compressor in order to boost the air density that is fed to the engine. Turbochargers may have the common variable geometry turbine or fixed geometry. There are instances as well in which they could have a wastegate turbine or also known as a bypass.

The compressor’s improved efficiency or turbine is going to help in fuel consumption. The higher pressure ratio radial compressors or axial compressors are only a few of the emerging technologies. The developments and innovations in turbine and/or compressor efficiency contribute a lot to better fuel consumption. Of course, in the logistics industry, better fuel consumption translates to better productivity.