LOUISVILLE, KY. Cummins Inc. debuted a high-performance ISX rating, announced production of its ComfortGuard APU and unveiled its next-generation QuickCheck information tool here last night at a press briefing ahead of the Mid-America Trucking Show.

Jeff Jones, vp—sales & market communications said the 600-hp. and 2050 lb.-ft. torque rated engine is the "most powerful ISX in years" and is aimed at heavy-haul and expedited-freight customers, as well as "performance enthusiasts in the trucking industry."

Jones said the high-performance ISX provides extra torque so drivers can maintain road speed even on steep inclines, reducing the number of downshifts and fuel consumption. He added that with the ISX enabling a higher average road sped with less shifting, driver fatigue can be lessened and trip times shortened.

"The fact that we've increased the torque on this engine and maintained exceptional fuel economy while meeting the 2007 emissions regulations with a single diesel particulate filter and turbocharger shows the true benefit of our integrated design and manufacturing capabilities," Jones stated. "It is a testimony to the advanced thinking and visionary design of the ISX."

Jones also announced that Cummins is "bringing back our Uptime Guarantee for all heavy-duty products." He said if it takes longer than 24 hours to fix one of these engines, Cummins would cover the cost of a rental vehicle for three days. "This is our way of stating our confidence in these products."

Other key announcements included:

  • The ComfortGuard APU (auxiliary power unit) is now in production as an OEM-installed option or as a field retrofit. According to Cummins, this "complete and compact" system offers an effective solution for heating and cooling the cab with the main engine off."

  • The new QuickCheck 5100 engine information tool is a self-contained handheld device that makes capturing and reading engine data easier and faster, said Cummins. It connects to any electronic diesel engine, using standard J1587 or J1939 data links with supplied 6- or 9-pin cables. A supplied USB cable allows users to link their QuickCheck 5100 to a desktop PC. It runs on the Windows CE operating system and is preloaded with QuickCheck CE and PowerSpec CE applications.

  • Cummins has approved the use of B20 biodiesel blends in its 2002 and later (including 2007) EPA-compliant ISX, ISM, ISL, ISC and ISB engines. The engine maker said this was thanks to a new ASTM fuel spec; greater availability of quality fuels, and because it has completed the testing it felt necessary "to ensure customers can reliably operate their equipment with confidence using B20 fuel."

As for what will be coming down the pike to meet EPA 2010 diesel emissions regs, Steve Charlton, executive director of heavy-duty engineering, said Cummins will be ready to announce which direction it will take to meet those requirements sometime later this year -- probably in the third quarter.