Volvo enhances I-Shift transmission

by Sonia Straface

HAGERSTOWN, Md. – Volvo’s I-Shift transmission now comes with Crawler Gears the company revealed on Tuesday to a group of trucking journalists at its Hagerstown, Md. assembly plant.

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Volvo I-Shift with Crawler Gear

The new I-Shift with Crawler Gears automated manual transmission was designed for applications where very low speeds and maneuverability are key – like concrete mixers and dump trucks. It ensures the startability for heavy-haul and up to 220,000 lbs GCW.

This enhancement to the I-Shift allows Volvo to “bring fuel efficiency to the heavy haul market” according to Wade Long, the company’s director of product marketing.

“We are very excited to attack the vocational market because that market is important to us,” he added.

The new I-Shift with Crawler Gears will be available in two versions:

  • 14 forward gears, including one low crawler (19.38 ratio) and one ultra-low crawler (32.04 ratio) with an overall ratio of 41.08
  • 13 forward gears, including one low crawler (17.54 ratio) with an overall ratio of 22.34

Both versions will be available as an overdrive configuration in Volvo VHD, VNX, VNM, and VNL and can be spec’d with Volvo D11, D13 and D16 engines.

“With its unique blend of the best attributes of manual and automated manual transmissions, the Volvo I-Shift with Crawler Gears demonstrates our innovative approach to meeting our customers’ needs,” said Goran Nyberg, president of Volvo Trucks North America. “The added capabilities of the new transmissions will give our customers a tremendous advantage in driver productivity, whether at the job site or on the highway.”

The I-Shift was also upgraded with new hardware components for better performance, and new software enhancements, including its new I-See predictive cruise control feature.

I-See works together with I-Shift to learn and memorize the topography of the road and stores that information for use the next time the driver travels on that same route. I-See can store 4,500 different hills in its memory.

“We don’t need a constant GPS signal,” said Long. “So once the truck recognizes the road…the transmission can see ahead and speed up before a hill automatically.”

I-See’s electronics are constantly monitoring road grades, speed and weight to help maintain the most efficient gear possible, Volvo added.

Eight out of ten Volvo vehicles sold today, according to John Moore, the company’s product marketing manager, powertrain, have the I-Shift transmission.

“So we’ve taken a great product and we’ve made it better,” he said. “The integration between the transmission and the engine is critical to getting the best performance and fuel efficiency possible. Drivers are now going to get more power for less fuel spent.”

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