Caterpillar will introduce its new planetary transmission designed for medium-duty on-highway applications-- the CX28—as an integrated system with Cat C7 and C9 engines. That would make the new entry a competitor with Allison in the lucrative medium-duty automatic transmission arena.
The CX28 joins the CX31 and CX35 transmissions, which are its heavy-duty counterparts introduced by Caterpillar earlier this year.
The CX28 has six forward speeds and one reverse speed with horsepower ratings of up to 400 and torque ratings up to 1,250 lb.-ft.
“For decades Caterpillar has been building planetary transmissions for its construction equipment,” said Chris Schena, Caterpillar vp- Motion and Power Control Division. “We are now leveraging this expertise and applying it specifically to the transmission needs of on-highway customers.”
“We’re not trying to run Allison out of the business,” Larry Riekert, On-Highway manager, Caterpillar OEM Solutions Group told FleetOwner. “We believe that automatics will be a growing percentage of total sales and we feel our sales will go up while [Allison’s] go up. What we’re seeing now is that the rate of conversion of manuals to automatics is increasing. Of course, Allison might not see it that way.”
With end users trending toward automatics, Cat believes that its’ established expertise with the technology in construction presented the right timing for this medium-duty truck entry.
“I think the main reason [for our entry into the market] was the intensity of the request from loyal Cat engine customers combined with where we are in this conversion from manuals to automatics,” Riekert said. “Quite honestly, people see the benefit of an integrated engine where there is a Cat transmission at the flywheel. We try to design our product to be robust and in perfect harmony with Cat engines.”
So far there are no plans to release a transmission for non-Cat engines, but that may change depending on the success of the product, Riekert hinted. “Our primary path is with Cat engines, but if it makes sense to couple our transmissions with another engine we’ll consider it.”
Additionally, Cat touts the three power take-off locations available on the transmission, as well as improved performance, and a single source of service.
For more information, got to www.cat.com.