The Fuller UltraShift LEP is the newest addition to Eaton’s UltraShift family of automated transmissions. ‘LEP’ stands for Linehaul Efficient Performance, incidentally. The company has also announced two product extensions of the UltraShift LST (Linehaul Standard) — the Overdrive
Multi-Torque and the Direct Drive Multi-Torque.

The UltraShift LEP is designed with optimized shift calibrations to keep engine speed low and in its ‘sweet spot’ while maintaining performance and drivability. Created to work in select engine families, this optimized shift calibration is obtained by computer-controlled shift points within a relatively tight window of close steps unique to that family. These shifts enable the
LEP transmission to stay within the engine’s fuel map contour for maximum efficiency and performance.

It’s a 13-speed box with three reverse ratios and overall ratio coverage of 14.25:1. Specifically designed for on-highway use in any terrain, its torque capacity is up to 1750 lb ft, and it’s good for an 80,000-lb gross combined
weight at cruise speeds up to 105 km/h. Eaton says it’s working with truck and engine makers to tune the LEP specifically to the unique operating characteristics of each engine for the most efficient match-up.

Eaton says that in a computer-driven duty cycle simulation, an UltraShift LEP has demonstrated a 2% fuel savings potential – but it cautions that these were simulations, and that a fleet’s actual mileage could vary widely.
Nonetheless, the company says that in a well-spec’d truck and powertrain, there is the potential for an Ultrashift LEP to pay for itself over a 10-speed AMT within two years.

Like all transmissions in the UltraShift product line, the LEP offers fully automatic operation based on Fuller manual transmission technology. It also offers a manual mode, which holds the current gear and allows driver-selected shifts for additional flexibility in changing conditions, and a low mode to provide maximum rpm during downshifts to increase engine braking and control.

The UltraShift LEP is available in two torque capacities, the standard 1650 lb ft model and a 1650 ‘M’ (Multi-Torque) model for 1750 lb ft in the top two gears.

The new UltraShift LST Overdrive Multi-Torque also has torque capacity coverage up to 1750 lb ft in the top two gears, allowing a truck to be spec’d with a ‘gear fast, run slow’ configuration while maintaining superior gradeability.

The new UltraShift LST Direct-Drive Multi-Torque features a 1:1 gear ratio that reduces drivetrain friction and oil churning, which in turn improves efficiency and saves fuel. It’s available in two models: one with torque capacities of 1450 lb ft in the first eight gears and 1650 lb ft in the top two; and the other good for 1550 lb ft in the first eight gears and 1750 lb ft in the top two.

The LEP is currently in ‘limited quantity release’ with full-volume production scheduled for the first half of 2007.

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