Top 10 of 17 — Meritor’s high-efficiency linehaul tandem

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Keeping in the spirit of saving weight, Meritor’s new 14XE HE high-efficiency linehaul drive axle is 30 pounds lighter than the 14X models that came before it, but it has also improved ­efficiency by 1.5%.

This product announcement was not just about shedding pounds. The axle features high-efficiency bearings, the Meritor Lube Management system, precision-finished gearing, and ratios as low as 2.15 for aggressive downspeeding.

Many of the gains were realized through laser welding. This made it possible to connect the ring gear to the differential housing, creating a joint that eliminates fasteners and reduces oil-churning losses.

Other Top 10 picks for the year include:

Over the Air engine programming

Paccar’s 12-speed automated transmission 

Accuride ROLLiant Hub System 

SAF-Holland’s lighter AeroBeam suspension

Truck-Lite’s smart trailer system 

Thermo King power management tools

Bendix’s greener air dryer cartridge

PeopleNet’s wireless backup camera

FlowBelow’s removeable fairing


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John G. Smith is Newcom Media's vice-president - editorial, and the editorial director of its trucking publications -- including Today's Trucking,, and Transport Routier. The award-winning journalist has covered the trucking industry since 1995.

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