KALAMAZOO, Mich. — Eaton has announced a new 10-speed manual transmission that could save fleets up to 1.9% in fuel consumption.
The Eaton Fuller Advantage (FA) Series transmission offers several benefits over today’s FR model, including reduced weight, increased efficiency and longer service intervals. The biggest development is the elimination of the oil cooler and cooler lines, which reduces weight and complexity, the company announced today.
Jeff Walker, global product manager for manual transmissions with Eaton, said the enhancements are enabled by a new precision lubrication system, which “allows us to put the right amount of oil, where we need it.”
This has allowed Eaton to eliminate the wet sump design and the associated oil-churning losses. It also generates less heat; so much so that the transmission oil cooler is no longer required. The use of aluminum parts has shaved about 35 lbs from the transmission while eliminating the cooler has cut another 40 lbs, providing 75 lbs in total weight savings.
“We think every pound of that matters today, as it translates to better fuel economy or larger payloads,” Walker said.
The potential fuel savings of 1.9% were validated through third-party laboratory testing and in field-testing with a major fleet, Walker said.
“Those fuel savings can have significant bottom line benefits for our customers,” he added.
Other enhancements include a sight glass to allow operators to more easily inspect oil levels, and oil level sensors on the transmission, which the OEMs can connect to their in-vehicle notification systems, providing the driver with instantaneous information on oil levels.
“These enhancements lower the total cost of operation,” Walker said.
The FA Series transmission will initially be approved for linehaul applications in a 10-speed configuration, beginning in August 2013. The same enhancements will be rolled out to Eaton’s UltraShift Plus automated transmission line in the first quarter of next year. Eaton expects to expand availability of the FA series to include vocational transmissions and other models in the future.
Like the FR Series, the FA will be serviceable by any OE dealership and it will be backed by the same five-year/750,000-mile warranty.
The Fuller Advantage Series manual won’t replace any current offerings. It will likely be priced at a slight premium, but Eaton noted the truck OEMs will ultimately determine pricing.
“We’ve designed our most sophisticated lubrication system ever on this transmission and I think it will particularly appeal to fleets that really value fuel savings and who really track and monitor closely their total life-cycle costs,” Walker said. “So, we think in that sense, this would be for them a premium step-up. But that said, we think the properties of this transmission will lend themselves to a very quick payback for these customers.”