Kyle Quinn general manger of Peterbilt Motors Co discusses the PACCAR integrated powertrain Photo Neil Abt

PACCAR unveils automated transmission

Aug. 22, 2017
New offering completes integrated powertrain for Peterbilt, Kenworth trucks

MOUNT VERNON, WA. PACCAR Inc. unveiled its new automated transmission on Aug. 22, which will be offered in Kenworth and Peterbilt trucks starting in October.

The new PACCAR automated transmission.

The new 12-speed transmission had been the missing piece “for our customers to complete our integrated powertrain” that includes the MX-13 and MX-11 engines, as well as PACCAR front and rear axles, said Landon Sproull, PACCAR’s vice president for powertrain. 

Sproull spoke during a press conference and ride-and-drive event at the PACCAR Technical Center that included executives from PACCAR's two North American truck making units.

The executives said the automated transmission is designed for line-haul applications up to 110,000 lbs. gross vehicle weight. It is available for engine ratings up to 510 HP and 1,850 lb.-ft. of torque.

They said it the lightest heavy-duty transmission for on-highway commercial vehicles at 657 lbs., which will further spark the transition to automated transmissions, already accounting for about 70 percent of Peterbilt and Kenworth on-highway orders.

This new integrated powertrain will be “the new for normal for line-haul customers,” with orders projected to reach 90 percent by 2020, said Mike Dozier, general manager of Kenworth Truck Co.

Kyle Quinn, general manger of Peterbilt Motors Co., said customers will benefit from the almost 400 lbs. of total powertrain weight savings, offering higher fuel economy along with greater reliability.

The continued popularity of automated transmissions was recently noted by truckload carrier Schneider, which announced it had passed the halfway mark in its fleet-wide implementation of automated transmissions.

The PACCAR transmission was build from the ground-up as an automated, rather than a converted manual transmission as many competitors have done, the executives said.

Carl Hergart, PACCAR's director of advanced technology, discusses the new transmission. (Photo: Neil Abt)

It was designed in close conjunction with Eaton Corp. over a three-year development period. It will be manufactured at a plant in Mexico. 

A new column-mounted shifter provides gear selection and engine brake controls at the driver’s fingertips, which the companies said helps improve driver performance and satisfaction.

Another feature is a 750,000-mile oil change interval that PACCAR said it the longest available for line-haul applications.

The transmission comes with a 5-five, 750,000-mile warranty. It has already been tested for about 2 million miles.

The ride-and-drive allowed journalists to test out features such as “urged to move” and “creep” modes, as well as easier driving in reverse.

About the Author

Neil Abt

Neil Abt, editorial director at Fleet Owner, is a veteran journalist with over 20 years of reporting experience, including 15 years spent covering the trucking industry. A graduate of American University in Washington, D.C., he began his career covering sports for The Washington Post newspaper, followed by a position in the newsroom of America Online (AOL) and then both reporting and leadership roles at Transport Topics. Abt is based out of Portland, Oregon.

Voice your opinion!

To join the conversation, and become an exclusive member of FleetOwner, create an account today!

Sponsored Recommendations

Leveraging telematics to get the most from insurance

Fleet owners are quickly adopting telematics as part of their risk mitigation strategy. Here’s why.

Reliable EV Charging Solution for Last-Mile Delivery Fleets

Selecting the right EV charging infrastructure and the right partner to best solve your needs are critical. Learn which solution PepsiCo is choosing to power their fleet and help...

Overcoming Common Roadblocks Associated with Fleet Electrification at Scale

Fleets in the United States, are increasingly transitioning from internal combustion engine vehicles to electric vehicles. While this shift presents challenges, there are strategies...

Report: The 2024 State of Heavy-Duty Repair

From capitalizing on the latest revenue trends to implementing strategic financial planning—this report serves as a roadmap for navigating the challenges and opportunities of ...