Cummins Heavy Trucks – Engine History & Top Models

Cummins Inc. is a multinational corporation that was founded in America in 1919. The company is known in history for manufacturing, designing, and selling a wide range of Cummins and products that includes heavy-duty trucking, filtration engines, and power generation products.

Clessie Cummins founded this corporation in Columbus, Indiana. He had no business background, but he was passionate about mechanical and engineering things. He was a person with high visions. At the age of 11, Clessie manufactured his own steam engine by using molten cast iron that was poured into wooden molds. That little steam engine turned out to be a success, and it was then used to pump water on his family farm.

Clessie started looking for different jobs in Indiana, and finally, he got a job in a luxury car maker in America called the Marmon Motor Company. He was appointed as a mechanic in that company. During Clessie’s journey at Marmon Motor Company, he met William Irwin. Irwin became pretty much impressed by Clessie’s mechanical understanding of things. So they started working together, and it was in 1918 when they both were first introduced to diesel engines.

A Component All Of It’s Own

You will not see their own heavy-duty trucks, but the variety of their engines is used in several automotive brands, including Volvo, Peterbilt, and Freightliner. Other products that they design and manufacture includes air handling, filtration, fuel systems, electrical power generation systems, and emission control. Cummins also produces engines for regular duty trucks, such as the Dodge RAM trucks.

Cummins Engine Company

Formed in 1990, the Cummins engine company started with $10,000 from Irwin. The company redesigned an 8 HP Hvid engine, with which it earned enough money to cover the cost of operations. Later in 1924, the company made its own model F engine that was completely designed on its own accord. At this point, they ended the partnership with R.M. Hvid Company.

Cummins was astonished by the Australian truck market in the post World War II era. The market was basically influenced by European diesel trucks and petrol-powered northern American trucks.

Cummins Heavy Truck engines

Blackwood Hodge did some repowering of diesel trucks by using Cummins JBS, 150HP engine. However, the HB600, which was the forerunner of the 14-liter N-series, did not turn out to be successful as it was quite heavy and expensive, and there were no drivelines available at that time to handle its torque.


Since Linehaul was almost unspecified at the time, so they finally made a decision to introduce the new C-series in 1961. About four of the engines of this C series were developed per week in Melbourne, making full use of the favorable tariff regulations.

Soon it was revealed to them that these Cummins diesel engine could provide 150,000 miles compared to 70,000 to 80,000 miles for petrol engines.

The amazing worshiper-charged C-180 engine developed about 180 hp at 2500 rpm, having a peak torque of 410 lb-ft at 1700 RPM. Cummins Repair Manual of this C180 engine tells all that you need to know about the engine.

This CCTV’s turned out to be such a great success that it remained in the market until the mid-1970s.

Over it’s history, Cummins has manufactured some great engines, which is why it is the top over-the-road truck engine manufacturer worldwide. It is a global company in 197 countries. One estimate tells that more than half of the $19 billion they made in 2015 were from countries outside the US.

Let us have a look at a few top models of Cummins. 

Cummins NTC-350

This 14-liter 855 cubic-inch engine was released in the late 1950s. Cummins N-series had to come up with a Big Banger as heavier loads got onto Australian roads. Its peak output includes 335 hp and 900 lb-ft. They were indeed reliable insurance but were not have a very good fuel economy. Throughout the 1970s and 1980s, the N-14 engine went through various developmental phases, which resulted in Big Cam 1, 2, and 3 engines.

Cummins Service Manual
Cummins N14 Repair Manual

Cummins Signature 600

This was one of the most advanced heavy-duty diesel engines in Cummins history that were manufactured in 1996. It was a 15-liter engine That could give 620HP and a peak torque of 1050 pound-ft. This diesel engine had an innovative design that was also equipped with electronics and dual overhead cams. To further improve its reliability and durability, its Generation II version was released in the year 2003.

X15 Productivity 2020

X15 productivity is a modern machine that gives outstanding performance. This model comes with six variations having different horsepower from 430 to 605. The peak torque ranges from 1650 to 2050 pound-feet. Cummins claims that you can go 5000 miles more without needing to change the fuel filter or oil. The X15 is expected to be used in new Freightliner trucks. There will be a need to change the oil every 50,000 miles, while the diesel particulate filter should be cleaned after 450,000 miles. It was indeed one of the most amazing diesel engine produced by Cummins in it’s long history.