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Advanced Diesel Engines-1

Views: 0     Author: by Cummins Inc., Global Power Technology Leader     Publish Time: 2023-07-20      Origin:


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Advanced Diesel Engines

Advanced Diesel

Have you ever heard the phrase, “doing more with less?” Advanced diesel engines are specifically engineered to minimize fuel emissions while also achieving optimum performance through high torque and horsepower. There are thousands of applications for advanced diesel engines, from buses and trains to agricultural equipment, mining, boats, and barges—all these and more run on diesel. As global emission regulations tighten, the migration to advanced diesel engines, among other solutions, has begun in earnest.

Electric powertrains, natural gas engines, and hydrogen fuel cell engines are emerging in the market, but diesel is still going to be a fuel source for decades to come. As Tom Linebarger, former Cummins Inc. president and CEO, said in a 2021 interview, “Our view is that the tail end of diesel will be a lot longer than people expected.  And that’s not because we sit around and hope for the preservation of diesel.  It’s because the diesel market is so complicated.”

Consider as an example, the agriculture industry. According to Diesel Technology Forum, 90% of U.S. agricultural products are transported to consumers using diesel engines, with 75% of large agricultural machinery also relying on diesel power. Additionally, one-fifth of the irrigation systems in the U.S. are powered by diesel.

Yes, that’s a lot of engines. It will take time to replace them one-by-one. But diesel engines have also advanced, continuing to build on the already long list of advantages. To continue the example, it would take 25 of today’s tractors to produce the same emissions as one tractor manufactured in the year 2000. Newer diesel models have a long lifespan before requiring replacement. As older models deteriorate, owners may opt to upgrade to the current market's more efficient diesel alternatives.

In this piece we will describe what you need to know about advanced diesel engines, as well as highlight some emerging diesel and emissions technologies to consider.


The 3 types of diesel engines are classified by size. There are small, medium, and large diesel engines.

  • Small diesel engines are typically either four or six-cylinder, and output 288 horsepower or less. These are found in light trucks, agriculture equipment, and construction machinery, as well as in small stationary generators like the ones aboard a pleasure craft

  • Medium diesel engines can start as small as a V-8 or V-12, but may generate as much as 1,000 horsepower. These tend to be the best diesel engine for a 4x4 truck in commercial use.

  • Large diesel engines are the ones powering trains, ships, and other vehicles, as well as large stationery equipment like oil drills and generators.These engines often come fitted with components like turbocharger, which Cummins introduced to the market in the 1950s. These helped diesel engines perform better no matter the altitude or air conditions.

Cummins’ powerful, reliable engines are the best on the road, on the water and at worksites across the world. Their engine lineup ranges from 2.8 to 95 liters of displacement, allowing customers to leverage Cummins’ diverse catalog of diesel engines for their specific needs. This also extends to the type of fuel customers need and want to burn.

There are three common types of diesel engine fuel:

  • Diesel No. 1: This is premium fuel which is lower viscosity, meaning it runs better in an engine during cold conditions. Additives and lubricants in the fuel keep the engine cleaner, but the thinner fuel burns faster.

  • Diesel No. 2: This is a thicker form of fuel which is most commonly used among diesel drivers because it is less expensive and more fuel efficient.

  • Biodiesel: Biodiesel is a fuel made out of plant oils and/or animal fats. Cummins certifies many of its engines and filtration products for interchangeable use with biodiesel blends and standard diesel fuels. To successfully use biodiesel blends in a Cummins engine, the fuel must meet quality specifications, or performance will be impacted and damage to the engine will occur.

Engines are usually certified for one of these three types of diesel, though some engines may be able to use all of them.


A vehicle’s powertrain is the assembly of parts that cause the vehicle to move forward. The powertrain system includes the engine to convert the energy of combustion into motion or action. In addition, there’s the transmission, driveshaft, axles, and differential. The differential is the set of gears that transmits power to the wheels/propellers at different speeds when needed, like on a turn.


There are three types of powertrains that convert the engine’s energy into motion. These are defined by the transmission of the vehicle.

  • Traditional Automatic Transmission: In a traditional automatic powertrain, the engine and wheels are always connected through a part called the torque converter. Gearsets within the assembly determine how hard and fast to shift gears up or down based on acceleration, current speed, and braking.

  • Automated manual transmission (AMT): In a manual automatic transmission, the driver can shift gears up or down at will, typically through buttons on the steering wheel or paddles. These can also still perform as automatic transmissions but give operators more control.

  • Continuously-Variable Transmission (CVT): A CVT powertrain does not have distinct gear ratios, instead achieving smooth, consistent acceleration through a transmission controller. This is the most fuel-efficient type of assembly and has become common in electric vehicles.

A powertrain is as good as its engine. In fact, without the engine in the mix, the powertrain is just called the drivetrain. So, what happens when the powertrain fails? The connection between the engine and the assembly to drive motion has been lost.

Optimizing powertrain functionality is key to maximizing the potential of diesel engines in transport applications. Here are some of the unique powertrain features Cummins is bringing to the market:

  • Predictive Gear Shifting: Uses data to enhance shifting efficiency on hills.

  • On-Ramp Boost: Identifies when a vehicle is on a ramp and allows more acceleration to assist in merging with other traffic.

  • Predictive Braking: Uses data to better-control vehicle speed on hills.

  • Dynamic Power: Adaptive power rating technology delivers improved fuel economy during easy drives and adequate performance during difficult ones.

  • Hill Roll-Out: A feature which increases speed at the bottom of a hill to keep the journey going.

These innovations not only keep operators safer but also optimize fuel economy and preserve the life of the powertrain over time. It takes full integration and connected features throughout the powertrain to make the most of advanced diesel engines.


The newest improvements in diesel engines are driving growth. These machines reduce diesel emissions to near-zero while maintaining consistency for technicians and staff. They are also better-connected to the growing world of data and analytics, even providing advanced notification of impending maintenance issues.

Here are some of the ways Cummins commonly see advanced diesel engines put to work across industries:

  • Agriculture Engines: Advanced diesel engines power combine harvesters, tractors, sprayers, and even autonomous farm equipment. Around 1 million Cummins engines ranging from 2.8 to 19 liters are in agricultural operations all over the world.

  • Construction Engines: Diesel delivers power to job sites around the world, with advanced engines also achieving the emissions and fuel efficiencies needed to stay in compliance and under budget. Equipment manufacturers and equipment users can all do more with less through a Cummins construction engine.

  • Bus Engines: Cummins bus engines are used in public transit applications as well as school buses. It’s known that consistent uptime and low cost of operation are key for the public sector to achieve its goals and serve the community.

  • Marine Engines: Fishing boats, tugboats, and passenger vessels are among the marine vehicles that function more efficiently, affordably, and reliably with advanced diesel engines.

  • Mining Engines: Mining is an industry where analytics are especially essential to continue production and innovation in the face of a variety of challenges, including meeting tightening emissions compliance.

  • Truck Engines: Cummins serves the commercial trucking industry with advanced diesel engines in four classifications.

    • Vocational: These include refuse trucks, concrete mixers, and dump trucks. Cummins provides a wide range of engines to meet the needs of any duty and operations schedule.

    • Light Commercial: Trucks, vans, pickup trucks, and utility vehicles need advanced diesel engines which are reliable, durable, and cost-effective.

    • Medium Duty: Cummins is North America’s leading provider of the best diesel engines for semi-trucks. Their mid-range diesel engine lineup, service, and support are unparalleled in the market.

    • Heavy Duty: Their 15-liter and 12-liter advanced diesel engines are some of the most popular and reliable ever produced. For the most demanding applications that demand continuous engine use, trust their engine lineup.

These are just some of the current and emerging applications for advanced diesel engines.

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