Iconic US truck company unveils fully electric battery operated refuse collection vehicle to go on trial next year in New York City

Think of Mack Trucks and you will probably imagine trucking gone large, the stuff of American movies, chrome plated smoke stacks and an engine that could power a small ship. You’re less likely to associate the brand with battery power and clean air. But that stereotype might soon change. The company used the recent WasteExpo

event to reveal its Mack LR battery electric vehicle (BEV) with a fully electric power train and designed for inner city waste collection. Still at the prototype stage, the new vehicle will commence trials next year with the New York City Department of Sanitation (DSNY). The Mack LR BEV integrated electric

powertrain consists of two 130kW motors, which combined produce a peak of 496hp

and 4,051lbft of torque available from zero revs. A two-speed transmission powers Mack’s proprietary S522R 52,000lb rear axles. All of the LR BEV’s accessories are

electrically driven through 12V, 24V and 600V circuits. Four NMC lithium-ion batteries (lithium nickel manganese cobalt oxide) are charged via a 150kW, SAE J1772-compliant charging system.

CHALLENGING TESTING DSNY is the world’s largest sanitation department, with 10,000 employees collecting more than 12,000 tons of refuse and recyclables each day. DSNY is also a sustainability innovator and has initiated several programmes designed to reduce

waste sent to landfills, as well as cut emissions. Even as electromobility technology and

supporting infrastructure continues to develop, refuse and recycling collection represents an ideal application for BEVs. Collection vehicles operate on predetermined routes and return home at the end of every shift, helping eliminate concerns about range and finding a location to charge. The frequent starts and stops, which happen thousands of times each work shift, also provide significant regenerative braking to recapture energy. In addition, fully electric trucks produce

significantly less noise, enabling night-time operation, a particularly attractive option for refuse operators in urban environments.


Farming robots could carry out some of the precision work more effectively than traditional farm equipment

Engineers and scientists from the Manufacturing Technology Centre (MTC) have been working with Hampshire-based Small Robot Company to develop a new generation of agricultural technology which will bring the power and precision of robots to farming, potentially replacing tractors for many jobs. The small digitally-controlled robots are

able to plant, feed and weed arable crops autonomously with minimum waste. They are able to plant seeds, apply fertiliser and herbicides, and weed crops with precision. The farmbots improve the way food is

8 /// Testing & Test Houses /// June 2019

❱❱ Farmers and engineers join forces to transfer technology from manufacturing into the fields

produced, minimising chemical use, making farms more profitable while increasing yield and efficiency. Prototypes of the robots have been

produced and are carrying out field trials on 20 farms across the UK. The Small Robot Company was inspired by work at the National Centre for Precision

Farming at Harper Adams agricultural college which suggested that much of the work done by tractors could be done with a series of highly accurate, smart, lightweight robots. According to Jeremy Hadall, chief

engineer for intelligent automation at the MTC, the technology has the potential to make significant improvements in farm productivity and profitability. He says: “The Small Robot Company’s

precision drilling and planting robot harnesses advances used in traditional manufacturing industries and allows exceptional accuracy, while creating a map showing the location of each seed.” Hadall went on to say that with growing

populations and increasing challenges in farming, using ideas and technologies from other sectors will bring about real innovation and transform the way we feed ourselves in the future

❱❱ Fully electric bin lorries will go on trial in New York next year to help cut emissions in the city

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