Daimler pleased with demand for DT12 transmission

HANNOVER, Germany — The acceptance rate for the new Detroit DT12 automated manual transmission has exceeded the expectations of Daimler powertrain executives, with a take rate of about 25% in the Freightliner Cascadia just one year after the transmission’s launch.

“Customers are asking for it. They don’t only accept it, but they are asking for it,” said Dr. Frank Reintjes, executive vice-president, global powertrain and manufacturing engineering trucks, during a media roundtable at the IAA Commercial Vehicles show.

So far this year, more than 15,200 DT12-equipped trucks have been sold. The transmission is now available with the DD13, DD15 and DD16 heavy-duty engines. Daimler plans to bring production of the DT12 to its Redford, Mich. plant late next year and sees global long-term demand for the transmission reaching 250,000 units per year.

Reintjes said North American customers are seeing the benefits of powertrain integration. He noted 60% of Freightliner trucks have Detroit steer axles and 40% have Daimler-built rear axles.

Dr. Elmer Bockenhoff, vice-president, truck product engineering powertrain, said integration extends to the aftertreatment system as well, which plays an important role in the powertrain’s performance.

“The aftertreatment system is not a muffler anymore, it’s a chemical factory,” he said. “The integration and communication between those components (engine, transmission and aftertreatment system) is of essence. Each has its own brain and those brains are now working together.”

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James Menzies is editor of Today's Trucking. He has been covering the Canadian trucking industry for more than 20 years and holds a CDL. Reach him at james@newcom.ca or follow him on Twitter at @JamesMenzies.

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