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UltraShift HV test results show improved fuel mileage: Eaton

KALAMAZOO, Mich. - Eaton has revealed the results of comprehensive field testing it claims indicate its Fuller UltraShift HV medium-duty automated transmission delivers a seven to 19 per cent fuel sav...

KALAMAZOO, Mich. – Eaton has revealed the results of comprehensive field testing it claims indicate its Fuller UltraShift HV medium-duty automated transmission delivers a seven to 19 per cent fuel savings compared to competitive automatic transmissions. The tests were conducted by an independent firm to SAE J1526 standards and measured the performance of the UltraShift HV compared to a conventional automatic transmission, Eaton says. The most impressive results came during testing involving stop-and-go applications, according to Eaton officials, with the UltraShift HV delivering a 19 per cent improvement.

The improved fuel mileage was limited to 7.5 per cent during on-highway operations.

Bill Gross, product manager for Eaton’s medium-duty transmissions, said “With the ever increasing cost of fuel and raw materials, companies throughout the trucking industry are looking for ways to reduce costs. The UltraShift HV transmission allows companies to do just that.”

The UltraShift HV is currently only available in International Class 6 and 7 trucks with horsepower ratings up to 260 hp.

It’s limited to GVWs of 33,000 lbs or less and torque capacities of up to 660 lb.-ft.

It’s best suited for pickup and delivery, service/utility, food and beverage and recovery applications, Eaton officials said.

The UltraShift HV is comparable in weight and price to competitive automatic transmissions.

Acceleration is also comparable, says Gross, noting testing showed the UltraShift HV could finish a full day’s route within one second of the competition.

“Over the course of the day (testing showed) a one second difference in productivity,” Gross said. “If you give us one second, we’ll give you 19 per cent better fuel economy.”

The improved fuel economy is attributed to the UltraShift HV’s ability to “lock-up” at just three mph.

Lock-up refers to the point where the transmission’s gears catch, or ‘lock-up.’

Gross pointed out in fully automatic transmissions the torque converter spins and consumes fuel until lock-up occurs at 24 mph.

“The design of the UltraShift transmission allows lock-up between the clutch and transmission at approximately three mph compared to lock-up at 24 mph with a conventional automatic,” Gross explained.

“Until lock-up is achieved, the truck is wasting power and fuel. The Ultra-Shift transmission’s design provides a significant improvement in fuel economy, particularly in stop-and-go applications.”

Eaton suggests in an application involving 30,000 miles of city driving per year, a truck operator will achieve a fuel savings of about US$1,490 (based on diesel prices of $2.85/gallon).

The UltraShift HV also requires less maintenance than conventional automatic transmissions, added Gross.

With no scheduled maintenance required for 500,000 miles (beyond the normal lifespan of a medium-duty P&D truck), the UltraShift HV can save owners US$210 per year in lube and filter costs, said Gross.

Combining the fuel and maintenance savings, a 10-truck fleet can realize about US$17,000 in cost reductions, Gross pointed out.

The UltraShift HV also includes Hill Assist – a system that automatically minimizes rollback on grades of up to 10 per cent while the driver makes the transition from the brake pedal to the accelerator.

The transmission will be available in January, 2006 as a databook option on International 4300 and 4400 trucks with a DT 466 225-hp engine.

It can be ordered today as an SQ option on International Class 6 and 7 trucks for delivery in 2006. The company is working with other OEMs to expand the transmission’s availability to other truck makes as well.

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