A new automated manual transmission (AMT) is now being offered by Freightliner Trucks for its business class M2 truck models.
The AMT3 transmission combines the design principles of a manual transmission with what Freightliner calls “intelligent electronics” to form an automated two-pedal shift system that equalizes driver performance and improves fuel economy.
Unlike automatic transmissions, the company’s new AMT3 eliminates the torque converter and instead couples the engine to the transmission with a hydraulically actuated clutch, said TJ Reed, director of product marketing for Freightliner Trucks.
This innovative clutch actuation results in minimal torque interrupt during acceleration and shifting, while providing constant lock-up, he noted.
In addition, clutch control and gear shifts are managed by the Transmission Control Unit (TCU), added Reed. This means that the TCU evaluates road, grade and load conditions to perform shifts at optimal engine RPMs, resulting in fast and smooth shifting, and significant fuel savings.
“We know what our customers want – smart, reliable solutions that will enhance driver comfort while maximizing savings,” he explained. “With the Freightliner AMT3, we have created yet another tool that will reduce fuel and maintenance costs to positively impact the bottom line.”
Reed also noted that AMT3’s smooth clutch actuation should significantly reduce wear, eliminating the need to replace the clutch virtually over the lifetime of the truck. At the same time, lightweight materials such as the AMT3’s aluminum housing increase fuel efficiency.