With "smart" electronics that are said to offer smoother shifting and improved fuel efficiency, Freightliner Trucks has introduced its AMT3 automated-manual transmission for Business Class M2 vehicles. Available to order now, it’s a proprietary Daimler Trucks transmission and is built in Gaggenau and Rastatt, Germany. In Germany it’s branded under Mercedes-Benz, in the U.S. and Canada under Freightliner.

As with others of its type, the transmission a manual transmission with electronic controls to form an automated two-pedal shift system that equalizes driver performance and improves fuel economy, at least for the worst drivers in a fleet. It eliminates the torque converter and instead couples the engine to the transmission with a hydraulically actuated clutch. This results in minimal torque interrupt during acceleration and shifting while providing constant lock-up, says Freightliner. The Transmission Control Unit (TCU) evaluates road, grade and load conditions to perform shifts at optimal engine rpm.

The AMT3’s smooth clutch actuation is said to reduce wear significantly, "eliminating the need to replace the clutch virtually over the lifetime of the truck," the company says. 

The transmission comes in two versions, one a direct drive unit (AMT3-520-6DA). Its gear ratios range from 9.20 to 1.0 and it can handle a maximum GCW of 33,000 lb. It’s rated for engines up to 520 lb ft and 220 hp. The overdrive version (AMT3-660-6OA) offers gear ratios of 6.70 to 0.73 and handles maximum GCW of 40,000 lb, engines up to 660 lb ft and 280 hp.

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