Freightliner has announced that it has introduced a new fuel efficiency package for its Coronado and Argosy models with Detroit DD15 engines.

The company is offering the package in models fitted with Eaton Ultra Shift AMT models and includes the neutral coast feature as well as an optimised rear axle ratio and targeted fuel-efficiency software calibration for trucks running at up to 68 tonnes.

The company says its own tests with a Coronado B-double tautliner returned fuel economy improvements of five per cent, although customer results would be dependent on individual specification, load and route.

Freightliner Australia Pacific Director, Stephen Downes, says the company’s engineers were excited to introduce the changes.

“We are always looking for ways to drive down costs for our customers, so we have been working very hard with Eaton to bring these changes to the Australian market to further improve our Detroit offering,” he says.

“The upgrades that we have introduced are significant and we know our customers will appreciate the fuel efficiency improvements they will deliver,” he adds.

However the company says fuel economy gains are not the only benefit of the upgrade, with a lower cruising rpm at highway speeds reducing engine noise in the cabin.

The neutral coast function of the Eaton Ultra Shift AMT enables the transmission to select neutral for short periods on modest gradients in order to save fuel by using the momentum of the truck. The function will only operate if the driver has selected cruise control.

The upgraded transmission ECU also senses the combination weight and shifts accordingly by skipping gears and shifting early. On steep grades, the transmission will shift down two or three gears to maintain momentum. The new rear-axle ratio is 3.73 and leads to a 150rpm reduction in 18thgear at100km/h.

The company also says that operators will also have the option of customising top speeds at load and empty to further improve fuel economy and safety.