Machine of the Month: Cummins B4.5 Powered Excavator

Trackhoe B6.5 Engine

Power and productivity are key for the Cummins B4.5 Performance Series powered excavator. Necessary for building roadways and preparing jobsites, this excavator must be ready to work in any environment.

According to operator, Vincent Torres, “The environment out here changes daily. One day you’re digging in sand and the next day you’re digging in mud. It’s hot, dusty, some days it’s cold in the morning and hot in the afternoon.”

Originally powered by a six-cylinder engine, the 44,000 lb. excavator was repowered with a Cummins B4.5 Performance Series by Cummins South in 2018. This repower increased the horsepower and torque of the engine, while downsizing engine displacement. “I was shocked to find out that it was only a four-cylinder, that’s amazing. To get that much power out of that small of an engine,” said Torres who continued to say “ I would put this Cummins 4.5 against of our 6 cylinders we got…”

In addition to the increase in power and torque, repowering the excavator with the Cummins B4.5 Performance Series took the emissions level from Tier 2 to surpassing Tier 4 final. The addition of the new emissions technology was seamless for the operator.  “Honestly I didn’t know it was there until the fuel guy came and filled it up,” said Torres

Watch the video to hear more about the end-user experience and see the excavator in action.​

 

Cummins Office Building

Cummins Inc.

Cummins is a global power leader that designs, manufactures, sells and services diesel and alternative fuel engines from 2.8 to 95 liters, diesel and alternative-fueled electrical generator sets from 2.5 to 3,500 kW, as well as related components and technology. Cummins serves its customers through its network of 600 company-owned and independent distributor facilities and more than 7,200 dealer locations in over 190 countries and territories.

Decades of dedicated service go into Cummins-powered RAM Trucks

Longtime employees at the Columbus MidRange Engine Plant are honored for their dedicated service to the company and the RAM engine.
Longtime employees at the Columbus MidRange Engine Plant are honored for their dedicated service to the company and the RAM engine.

A little bit of Debra Brown’s heart goes into every RAM engine produced at the Columbus MidRange Engine Plant (CMEP). 

Her face lights up as she talks about her journey from the assembly line to now working in Facilities Maintenance at CMEP. She’s been part of the RAM team since Cummins’ partnership with the truck maker started 30 years ago.

Brown is not alone. Nineteen other employees have been working on RAM engines since Cummins began producing them in 1989.

Debra Wilson leaves her mark on Cummins 3 millionth engine for RAM.
Debra Brown leaves her mark on Cummins' 3 millionth engine for RAM. All of the employees at Cummins since the partnership with RAM started in 1989 signed the milestone engine.

Brown is so confident about the engines she has helped build for decades that she’s a RAM customer herself.  She beams with pride as she speaks about the “great pulling power” of her beloved 2004 RAM Dually, the second consecutive RAM truck she’s owned. 

“Every engine has a personality of its own,” said Harold Barnes, a recent retiree who, like Brown, worked on engines for RAM trucks at CMEP over the last three decades. Perhaps the personality of the engines Barnes alludes to comes from the experienced and dedicated hands that bring each engine to life. 

A POWERFUL COMBINATION

Cummins-powered RAM trucks have the DNA of superior technology coupled with decades of dedicated service from the employees who build them – the kind of dedicated service that inspired Brown, Barnes and 18 others to remain committed to CMEP long enough to see the 3 millionth engine roll off the assembly line last month. 

“We are honored these 20 employees have chosen to devote more than 30 years to Cummins,” said Melina Kennedy, Executive Director of Cummins Pickup Truck business. “They, and the whole plant team, are a big-hearted group committed to improving where they live.”

All the employees at CMEP have powered the success of the partnership between Cummins and RAM, which has resulted in engines that break records and set new standards in the pickup industry. 

RAM engine
The Cummins RAM engine has changed over the years but the dedication of the employees behind it has been a constant.

"Our dedicated employees deserve a huge thank you for their commitment to the success of the engines they produce,” said Nicole Wheeldon, Cummins CMEP Plant Manager. “The excellent reputation for the Cummins engine is a product of their hard work." 

ATTITUDE IS KEY

When asked about his experience working at CMEP for 30 of his 45 years at Cummins, Barnes praised the can-do attitude of his former colleagues, adding that they are always willing to step up and support the success of the plant and customers. 

“The people I worked with always made coming to work, worth it,” Barnes said.

The dedication of CMEP employees is representative of the global Cummins workforce. Employees live the company’s values and ensure Cummins continues to deliver innovative and dependable solutions to power the success of every customer.
 

Cummins Office Building

Cummins Inc.

Cummins is a global power leader that designs, manufactures, sells and services diesel and alternative fuel engines from 2.8 to 95 liters, diesel and alternative-fueled electrical generator sets from 2.5 to 3,500 kW, as well as related components and technology. Cummins serves its customers through its network of 600 company-owned and independent distributor facilities and more than 7,200 dealer locations in over 190 countries and territories.

The test drive of a lifetime!

The Clean Cruiser Project’s re-powered Land Cruisers with Pico de Orizaba in the background on what would be a harrowing trip up the mountain.
The Clean Cruiser Project’s re-powered Land Cruisers ,with Pico de Orizaba in the background, make a harrowing trip up the mountain.

Perhaps the biggest test for the R2.8 Cummins Turbo Diesels came perched precariously on the side of Pico de Orizaba.

Drivers Nathan Stuart and Steven Ploog took a wrong turn in their Land Cruisers, re-powered with Cummins crate engines, about 13,000 feet up Mexico’s tallest mountain, the third highest peak in North America, and they were quickly running out of options.

The Clean Cruisers wade through a stream in Central America
The entire 9,000-mile journey from California to Nicaragua would test the Cummins crate engines under almost every condition imaginable. See a video on the trip here.

It seemed like such a good idea, climbing to a base camp at 14,000 feet as part of their Clean Cruiser Project from California through Central America and back to demonstrate overlanding, a form of adventuring in four-wheel drive vehicles, could be done in an environmentally sensitive way.

The friends had managed to get past some of the deepest ruts they had ever seen on the way up, but now they were on an out cropping of slippery, shale-like rock with no easy way to turn around without flipping over. Adding to the challenge: each vehicle had a trailer attached with supplies for planting trees to help offset the environmental impact of their trip.

RETREAT TO THE TOP

Slowly and painstakingly, Stuart and Ploog backed up, inch by inch, counting on their engines to provide the torque they needed despite the altitude and rocky trail. Eventually, they reached a place where they could slowly turn and head up the narrow trail they’d found earlier using a drone they had packed for the trip. Upon reaching the base camp, they shared a bottle of wine with those waiting to summit the mountain.

“I can’t emphasize enough how hard we worked those engines,” Stuart said, recalling not just the wrong turn, or the climb up Pico de Orizaba, but the entire 9,000-mile journey from California to Nicaragua and back.

Once they warmed up after a cold night half-way up Pico de Orizaba, the crate engines performed flawlessly on the climb despite the colder, thinner air. Four hours after Ploog and Stuart wore down jackets toasting with others at the base camp at 14,000 feet, they were driving in tropical conditions at sea level. The R2.8 Cummins Turbo Diesel never missed a beat.

Over the course of the trip, tires blew, bearings in the trailer wheels failed, and, in one particularly scary instance, one of the trailers flipped over several times on the road in Nicaragua (thankfully, no one was hurt). But the Cummins crate engines just kept going, through deep ruts, over sand, across streams and in all kinds of weather.

It should be noted the engines were running on bio-diesel, the same B20 mix available at many U.S. service stations. The fuel blend was another step Ploog and Stuart took to reduce their carbon impact. 

HEADING HOME

The trailer flip would prove a salient moment for Stuart, who manages a herd of more than 200 sheep at a California winery, and Ploog an Army veteran, accomplished backpacker and full-time student who took a break to work on the project. 

They had planned to drive through Costa Rica and all the way to Panama. But with their 600 trees planted, and after the various challenges along the way (repairs took much longer in remote areas than they anticipated), as well as some particularly difficult border crossings – one, Stuart said, was like the worst trip to the Bureau of Motor Vehicles you can imagine – they decided to turn back.

Neither man is a professional mechanic and they were grateful the R2.8 Turbo Diesels worked so well. Cummins helped sponsor their trip in part to show that hobbyists could install the new engines and benefit from their clean, dependable power.

Stuart and Ploog talk to a local resident on their trip with Pico de Orizaba in the background.
Stuart and Ploog talk to a local resident on their trip with Pico de Orizaba in the background.

The trip home would prove to be the final challenge. Stuart and Ploog were eager to get back after so long on the road. They drove their Land Cruisers at eight and 10 hour stretches, at 65 mph most of the way.

From Mexico City to Texas, across New Mexico and Arizona, and finally back to California, the stretches of desert never seemed to end, always up a gentle incline. Temperatures reached 100 degrees, but the engines never faltered.

“We just wanted to get back to our wives and families,” Stuart said. 

After six weeks on the road starting in mid-May, Ploog and Stuart arrived home. Over time, their memories will focus on the incredible things they saw and the amazing people they met. They truly demonstrated off-road adventuring can be done in a low carbon way.

But now, it’s still difficult to get past all the hard work that went into the trip.

“With all that we faced, it was nice we never had to worry about the engines,” Stuart said.

Clean Cruisers Nathan Stuart and Steven Ploog
TO GET INVOLVED
The project lives on. Steven Ploog (left) and Nathan Stuart (right) want to plant more trees. Learn more about their effort at the Clean Cruiser Project.
    

 

blair claflin director of sustainability communications

Blair Claflin

Blair Claflin is the Director of Sustainability Communications for Cummins Inc. Blair joined the Company in 2008 as the Diversity Communications Director. Blair comes from a newspaper background. He worked previously for the Indianapolis Star (2002-2008) and for the Des Moines Register (1997-2002) prior to that. [email protected]

 

Near zero emission natural gas engine expands reach outside U.S.

The L9N Near Zero emission engine is being tested in Santiago, Chile's capital city.
The L9N Near Zero emission engine is being tested in Santiago, Chile's capital city.

Cummins, the global power leader offering customers a broad portfolio of solutions, is propelling a bus in Chile with the company’s L9N Near Zero emission natural gas engine, the first application for the engine outside the United States.

The L9N, considered one of the world’s cleanest internal combustion engines, can significantly reduce particulate matter (PM), nitrogen oxides (NOx) and greenhouse gases (GHGs). The 320-horsepower engine is powering a bus through Santiago, Chile’s capital city, on a  test basis.

“We are proud to present our Cummins L9N gas engine in Chile, which will significantly contribute to reducing greenhouse gases and decontaminating the

The L9N powered bus in Santiago, Chile
The L9N Near Zero emission natural gas bus is ready to demonstrate its environmental benefits on the streets of Santiago, Chile.

city of Santiago,” said Fábio Magrin, General Manager of Cummins Chile. “We endeavor to bring our customers the right power solutions for the work they need to do. The solution found in Chile is in line with our mission to make people’s lives better by powering a more prosperous world.”

GRABBING ATTENTION

The announcement of the Cummins gas-powered bus was attended by the Chilean Minister of Transport and Telecommunications, Gloria Hutt, and generated interest from the Chilean news media. Much of the coverage highlighted the engine’s potential to help improve the environment in the country.

“Natural or renewable gas-powered engines can be incredibly clean and efficient,” said Luís Pasquotto, Vice President of Cummins Brazil  and the leader of the company’s engine business in Latin America. “With increasing gas abundance and a mature technology requiring relatively simple infrastructure investment, these engines are a great solution for many customers and markets, including in Latin America.” 

A RECORD OF SUCCESS

Cummins delivers natural gas solutions that are reliable, durable and efficient. The 80,000 Cummins natural gas engines currently in use offer dependable, clean and quiet performance, as well as low emissions, high efficiency, low total fuel costs, and reduced dependence on imported oil.

With 100 years of experience and technology leadership, Cummins innovates for a future with energy diversity and will continue to deliver the right technology at the right time for every customer.

The inside of the bus testing the L9N in Chile
The inside of the test bus is ready for customers.


 

Cummins Office Building

Cummins Inc.

Cummins is a global power leader that designs, manufactures, sells and services diesel and alternative fuel engines from 2.8 to 95 liters, diesel and alternative-fueled electrical generator sets from 2.5 to 3,500 kW, as well as related components and technology. Cummins serves its customers through its network of 600 company-owned and independent distributor facilities and more than 7,200 dealer locations in over 190 countries and territories.

Appreciate everything that truck drivers do

National Truck Driver Appreciation Week
The following letter was authored by Amy R. Boerger, Vice President of Sales – Engine Segment, Cummins Inc.; and Shorty Whittington, founder of Grammer Industries, former Chairman of the American Trucking Association and executive committee members of the Board of Indiana Motor Truck Association

Sept. 8-14 is designated as National Truck Driver Appreciation Week. This is a time for the nation to make a rest stop and honor the more than 3.5 million professional men and women who drive across the country to ensure our gods are delivered safely, securely and on time. The trucking industry supports nearly 8 million jobs across the country, while contributing more than $700 billion in revenue annually. 

On behalf of Cummins Inc., the global leader in power technology solutions, and Grammer Industries, a leading fleet and innovator in the trucking industry, we thank truck drivers for their commitment ot one of the most demanding and important jobs to our U.S. economy. We are joining companies like ours to make every effort to appreciate and recognize truck drivers each day, not just this week. We’re doing this by continuing to make technological and safety advancements, creating better work environments (including work-life balance) and providing drivers with the tools to help them perform their jobs more safely, effectively, efficiently, comfortably and successfully. 

We need more drivers to help businesses like ours succeed and move the economy forward. According to the American Trucking Associations, there is a shortage of nearly 50,000 drivers, and that number is expected to reach 175,000 by 2024. Cummins recognizes the importance of this issue, which is why we have been working with the AT and other groups to address the driver shortage. 

Truck Driver Appreciation Week - Cummins Inc.

For the U.S., a truck drivers shortage could negatively impact consumers from higher costs associate with product delivery, to longer delays in receiving products to your home, local grocery or pharmacy. 

We can all help by highlighting the innovations in today’s trucks in in the truck driving profession. From the tires to the engine, and from the chairs to the sleepers, today’s trucks are state-of-the-art vehicles meeting stringent emissions and fuel economy standards, while still providing an enjoyable experience for drivers. In fact, many heavy-duty trucks now offer automatic transmissions. Many people think of a truck driver as a person who is on the road for weeks at a time and for long hours each day. However, times have changed, and we’re doing everything we can to provide drivers the quality of life we all want. 

We’re also employing new technologies like our Connected Solutions to help truck drivers. Cummins Connected Solutions makes real-time updates to engine calibrations or tunes the engine to meet operating conditions whenever and wherever. Today’s society is connected, and we’re our drivers stay connected, too. 

We all count on drivers to get our supplies. In fact, over 80 percent of the nation’s communities depend exclusively on trucks to move their goods. The word needs to be out; this is a rewarding career that pays well, can provide a strong work-life balance and make our economy and communities stronger. 

On behalf of Cummins and Grammer industries, we thank all drivers for the work they do each day and their immeasurable contributions to our lives and the economy. 

This letter originally appeared in The Columbus Republic.
 

Cummins Office Building

Cummins Inc.

Cummins is a global power leader that designs, manufactures, sells and services diesel and alternative fuel engines from 2.8 to 95 liters, diesel and alternative-fueled electrical generator sets from 2.5 to 3,500 kW, as well as related components and technology. Cummins serves its customers through its network of 600 company-owned and independent distributor facilities and more than 7,200 dealer locations in over 190 countries and territories.

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