Eaton Corporation and the City of Ann Arbor announced the first deployment in Michigan of recycling trucks that utilize Eaton’s Hydraulic Launch Assist (HLA) hybrid power system. (Earlier post.) The four trucks, based on the Peterbilt Model 320 Hybrid with Labrie body, will operate in daily curbside recycling duty and are expected to provide up to 30% improvements in fuel economy and emissions and significant reductions maintenance costs.

The Eaton HLA system in the truck. Click to enlarge.

Eaton’s Hybrid Launch Assist technology has been tested on refuse vehicles in Fort Worth and Denver. The Eaton HLA system captures the trucks’ kinetic energy during braking to assist in launching and accelerating the vehicle. The HLA technology works by recovering up to 75% of the energy normally lost as heat by the vehicle’s brakes in the form of pressurized hydraulic fluid.

This fluid is stored in an on-board accumulator until the driver next accelerates the vehicle, which reduces fuel consumption and wear on the engine. Testing has shown a significant improvement in maintenance costs. Brake replacement cost can potentially be reduced by four times compared to a baseline truck.

The Model 320 Hybrid was engineered to meet the reliability demands of refuse collection routes with 800-1,200 stops per day.