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LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Eaton Corporation has unveiled its first fully automatic medium-duty transmission for the trucking industry — the new Eaton Fuller Automatic six-speed.

The fully automatic, “2-pedal” six-speed is intended for all medium-duty applications, ranging from beverage haulers, P&D operations and LTL fleets to municipalities who use medium-duty vehicles. The new trannie will be offered in two torque capacities: FO-6406A-ASW is rated to 660 lb/ft, and the FO-8406A-ASW is rated to 860 lb/ft. Both products will be offered for limited quantity release in July, and are slated for volume production in September.

“The new Eaton Fuller Automatic six-speed combines the performance, efficiency and reliability of an automatic with the simplicity and serviceability of an industry-preferred and industry-proven manual transmission,” according to Dave Leonard, product and market development manager, Eaton Fuller Automatics. “These factors should provide our customers with a much lower life cycle cost.”

The automatic six-speed takes Eaton’s modular transmission design philosophy to the next level, the company insists. Eaton says its approach uses a reliable base mechanical transmission, and applies increasing levels of electronic and mechanical automation to fit the needs of a particular trucking vocation.

Reliability has increased over previous AutoShift model, says Leonard. He explains the new ASWs don’t require the use of synchronizers — one of the most common warrantee items on the units predecessor. An Electronic Control Unit (ECU) has been added that enables communication between the engine and transmission via the SAE J1939 datalink allowing for smooth, automatic float shifts.

But what really separates the Eaton Fuller Automatic from the AutoShift is the addition of an oil-cooled, hydraulically actuated or “wet” clutch in place of a dry, pedal-actuated clutch. The automatic clutch is linked electronically to the ECU and shift controls.

This innovative technology, developed jointly by Eaton’s Automated Products division and Eaton’s Clutch division (formerly Dana Spicer Clutch), makes the Eaton Fuller Automatic six-speeda true, 2-pedal automatic without the inherent complexities or cooling requirements of a planetary automatic and torque converter.

According to Leonard, progressive ratios in the Eaton Fuller Automatic six-speed mean less shifting in lower gears, while maintaining close steps at highway speeds for improved fuel economy. An exclusive “urge-to-move” feature improves low-speed maneuvering, and assists in providing a responsive launch even on a six-degree grade.

Electronic shift protection and totally automatic operation reduces the potential for drivetrain abuse by inexperienced operators. The same dash-mounted, push-button shift console simplifies driver operation, and an exclusive “manual” shift mode holds the current gear or allows for driver-selected shifts, thereby increasing the versatility and responsiveness of the ASWs.

Accurate diagnosis and repair is enhanced through continuous electronic self-diagnostics, alerting drivers and technicians to service conditions through a simple fault-code system. And like all Roadranger electronically-enhanced products, the automatic six-speed is supported by the ServiceRanger electronic diagnostic system, using sophisticated diagnostic protocols and internet-delivered upgrades to improve performance according to changing operating conditions.

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