New medium-and heavy-duty Eaton automated transmissions, as well as Dana axles and wheel end products, were introduced at a Roadranger news conference held in Kalamazoo, MI, in late June.
Leading off was the new Eaton Fuller UltraShift HV (Highway Value) medium-duty automated manual transmission. The HV is designed for Class 6 and 7 vehicles with diesel engines in the 195- to 260-hp. range and is capable of handling torque capacities up to 660 lb.-ft. and loads up to 33,000 lb. GVW. “The UltraShift HV has been designed to deliver fuel savings superior to its competitors by allowing the engine to consistently operate in the most fuel-efficient portion of the performance curve”, said Bill Gross, product manager for Eaton's medium-duty transmissions.
Also announced was the Eaton Fuller UltraShift® LHP (Linehaul High Performance) transmission. The LHP is designed for on-highway applications where superior low-end and high-end performance, as well as excellent ratio coverage, is required to handle varying terrain and load conditions. Based on the Fuller RT transmission, the UltraShift LHP provides fully automatic two-pedal operation, and is capable of handling torque capacities up to 1,750 lb.-ft. and loads up to 110,000 lb. GCW.
The new Dana Spicer D-2000F steer axle series are compatible with both air disc and drum brakes, offer a five-inch drop beam option and feature increased axle ratings to better meet the performance demands of construction, refuse, fire truck and other heavy-haul applications. “The choice of disc or drum brakes allows the customer to better tailor the vehicle for their application needs, while axle ratings of up to 22,800 lb. allow greater payload,” said Mark Davis, Dana's product manager-steer axles.
Also new from Dana is the Dana Spicer LMS heavy-duty hub system. This wheel end setup is designed to complement Dana's new 20,000- and 22,000-lb. GAWR steer axle series. “The new heavy-duty LMS hub system reinforces Dana's commitment to provide on/off highway and vocational customers with advanced products, technologies and systems that deliver longer life and lower life cycle costs,” said Jason Altwies, wheel end product manager for Dana.
A “conceptual” Dana drive axle system was displayed mounted on the Dana Technology Truck to garner industry feedback on a configuration that the manufacturer says will provide maximum fuel economy for fleet users. The drive axle system consists of the new Dana Spicer S21-170DE high-entry single drive axle and a Dana Spicer R21BS reconfigurable tag axle.
Leo Wenstrup, Dana's senior product manager for drive axle systems, said the 6×2 drive and tag combination eliminates the extra weight and complexity associated with a traditional 6×4 tandem and generates more than a 200-lb. installed weight savings when compared to a traditional 40,000-lb. tandem. “The use of high efficiency, wide-based single tires, as installed on the technology truck, can save another 400 lb. over the standard dual tire arrangement, he said. “This, along with significant reductions in rolling resistance, further improves fuel economy.
“To address the issue of traction deficiency historically associated with 6×2 vehicles, the air bags of the tag axle are exhausted when the differential lock is engaged,” added Wenstrup. “This temporarily shifts all the weight to the driven axle at low speed, which gives the same traction as a traditional tandem axle.”
According to Wenstrup, the single-axle design requires 14 fewer pints of lubrication, providing additional weight and maintenance savings. In addition, efficiency is improved by eliminating the energy losses associated with inter-axle drivelines and rear axle assemblies. He said eliminating the inter-axle driveline also reduces maintenance and avoids damaging driveline-related vibrations.
Wenstrup noted that Dana plans to offer a kit to convert Dana's unique 6×2 configuration to a conventional tandem axle to increase vehicle resale value and to provide flexibility for various “second-owner” applications.