Diversified industrial manufacturer Eaton Corporation teamed with Miller Industries Inc. to set a sustainability milestone during the recent Daytona 500 motorsports race, when the company’s hybrid-electric drive powered the first hybrid race recovery vehicle to work at a NASCAR event. The 2009 International DuraStar 4300 recovery vehicle raced to the scene of several incidents during the event.
The debut of the colorful white and green vehicle as part of Miller’s 12-truck fleet at the famed Daytona International Speedway was so successful that Miller announced plans to have it added to the company’s fleet of race recovery vehicles that will be operating throughout 2009. Miller supplies race recovery trucks for a large number of NASCAR events.
“The truck responded in a big way, and performed as well as any of our other trucks at the race,” said Randy Olson, vice president of Marketing for Miller Industries. “Consequently, we’ll be looking to add a few more hybrids to our racing fleet throughout the year.”
“Towing and recovery is a new application for trucks equipped with our hybrid power systems and we are looking forward to positive field results,” said Scott Davis, manager of Eaton’s Hybrid Power business unit in North America.
“Towing and recovery vehicles of this type are well-suited for Eaton’s hybrid electric system. The duty cycle typically associated with these vehicles takes advantage of the fuel saving and emission reduction features of the hybrid system. Add to that the use of the ePTO function of our hybrid systems to power the towing equipment, and you have yourself a very clean and highly efficient vehicle.”
Eaton employs parallel-type diesel-electric hybrid architecture, incorporating an electric motor/generator between the output of an automated clutch and input of the automated transmission. The system recovers energy normally lost during braking and stores the energy in batteries. When electric torque is blended with engine torque, the stored energy is used to improve fuel economy and vehicle performance for a given speed or used to operate the vehicle with electric power only. The system also can be designed to provide energy for use during engine-off work site operations, as in the case of Miller’s vehicles, further reducing noise, emissions and fuel costs.
Eaton hybrid power systems are now in service at companies such as FedEx Express, UPS, Coca-Cola Enterprises and PepsiCo, and Eaton’s diesel-electric hybrid power system currently is available as a production option at most North American commercial vehicle manufacturers. Eaton hybrid power systems are currently delivering fuel savings raging from 30 to 60 percent, depending upon the application, with similar decreases in harmful emissions, according to the company.
Miller Industries, the world’s largest manufacturer of towing and recovery equipment, markets its towing and recovery equipment under a number of well-recognized brands, including Century, Vulcan, Chevron, Holmes, Challenger, Champion, Jige, Boniface and Eagle.
For more information, visit www.eaton.com.