Meritor unveils new high-efficiency tandem drive axle

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Meritor introduced its new 14X HE high-efficiency tandem drive axle at a packed house on Broadway on the eve of the Technology & Maintenance Council’s spring meeting here this week.

Hundreds of customers were invited to the launch, which preceded a performance by a Johnny Cash cover band – appropriate, mused head of sales and service John Nelligan, since the new axle is designed to save its operators plenty of cash.

The 14X HE is designed for linehaul applications and is 30 lbs lighter and up to 2% more fuel efficient than its predecessor. Nelligan claimed at the launch that it “outperforms the competition in weight, efficiency and overall gross combination weight. It’s the perfect axle for linehaul in North America.”

The 14X HE has a GCWR of 90,000 lbs and can handle torque of up to 1,950 lb.-ft., Nelligan said. It features high-efficiency bearings, spiral bevel gearing and a new Meritor lube management system.

The axle is the first of what will be about 20 new products designed and brought to market by Meritor over the next three years.

“Built upon our trusted and valued 14X platform that is specified by a large majority of fleets, the new 14X HE is an evolutionary axle that takes efficiency to a whole new level,” said Ken Hogan, vice-president, rear drivetrain for Meritor. “Based on today’s diesel prices, a fleet with 1,000 trucks equipped with the 14X HE could realize $1 million per year in fuel savings.”

Weight was reduced through the use of laser welding, Meritor said. The 14X HE’s ring gear is laser-welded to the differential housing, offering a robust joint that eliminates fasteners and reduces oil-churning losses. Ratios as fast as 2.15 are available for aggressive downspeeding.

“With fuel being the largest operating cost to fleets, the 14X HE rounds out more of our portfolio with a product focused on improved fuel economy to save fleets money and reinforce Meritor’s leadership in axle efficiency,” Hogan said. “Meritor recognizes that fuel prices won’t stay low forever and that customers are always looking for solutions to reduce their operating costs.”


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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 or follow him on Twitter at @JamesMenzies.

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