KALAMAZOO, Mich. –Eaton has introduced a new generation of its UltraShift automated transmission.
The UltraShift PLUS family of transmissions features new automated clutch technology and intelligent shift selection software that employs grade sensing, weight computation and driver throttle commands to make more intelligent shift decisions, according to the company.
The new series has been several years in the making, with Eaton developing it in cooperation with North American truck makers so each model is specifically engineered to be integrated into its intended powertrain configuration.
“The many different models reflect our commitment to now offer the trucking industry the best possible automated transmission solution for a variety of applications,” said Staci Kroon, senior vice-president and general manager of Eaton’s transmission business. “We have taken into account customer feedback, industry demands and field testing data, and designed these transmissions to offer our customers the perfect solution for use in virtually any vocation.”
There are hundreds of individual configurations available, so customers can choose the transmission that’s best suited for their application and powertrain, Eaton says.
The new UltraShift PLUS family includes six platforms: Linehaul Active Shifting (LAS) available in overdrive and direct drive; Multipurpose High Performance (MHP); Multipurpose Extreme Performance (MXP); Vocational Construction Series (VCS); Vocational Multipurpose Series (VMS); and Vocational Extreme Performance (VXP).
A new self-adjusting electronic clutch actuator (ECA) allows for fast, smooth clutch engagements, according to the company. Each model also employs a new Hill Start Aid, which prevents rollbacks on grades. A sight glass allows operators to easily check fluid levels and a new creep feature allows for better maneuverability with continuous low-speed control, Eaton claims. Eaton says the new series has been in development for seven years, with test fleets collectively logging 2,500 months of testing across North America.
The UltraShift PLUS transmissions will soon be available through limited quantity release with full production slated to begin in 2010. The new generation UltraShift was unveiled as this issue of Truck West went to press, however the November issue will feature a first-hand review of the new transmissions, tested at Eaton’s proving grounds over grades of up to 20%. •
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