Dana offers new drive axles, updated tire analytics system

March 5, 2018
Also aims to bring all-electric drive axles being developed in China to the U.S. soon.

ATLANTA. New single and tandem drive axles are on the way from Dana Inc., as well as an updated version of it Rhombus Tire Analytics system introduced by the company last year.

During a press conference here at the Technology & Maintenance Council (TMC) 2018 annual meeting, provided details on its new Spicer S172 series single drive axle and Spicer D172 Series heavy-duty tandem axle for construction and severe-service vehicles – both of which will be available in the second quarter this year.

Steve Slesinski, Dana’s director global product planning, said the new S170 single drive axle weighs over 60 lbs. less than the unit it is replacing and is crafted for 4x2, 6x2, and 8x2 applications up to 25,000 lbs. The S172 single drive axle also offers a broader range of gear ratios, from 3.07 to 6.14, and features a low hypoid offset with high-power Density AdvanTEK gearing to maximize efficiency.

Silenski noted that the high-strength pinion bearings on the new S172 allow for greater lifespan under heavy loads, improving durability and overall performance. In addition, a passive lube management system requires less lube while utilizing a patented meter to optimize the amount of lube flow to the high-efficiency bearings.

The company’s new D172 heavy-duty tandem axle for construction, heavy-haul, and severe-service applications is also 60 lbs. lighter than Dana’s existing D170 series tandem axles and again offers a broader range of gear ratios, from 3.07 to 6.14, to serve a variety of needs.

Dana also introduced a “next generation” version of its Rhombus Tire Analytics cloud-based platform introduced last year, dubbed Rhombus 2.0, that adds in the ability for a technician to connect tire pounds per square inch (PSI) readings and access both tire PSI and tread depth devices wirelessly, thus reducing the possibility of errors and the need for excessive data input.

Tire serialization is another addition offered with the new Rhombus 2.0 version, noted Tim Farney, vice president of global sales for commercial vehicle driveline technologies at Dana; providing fleet managers with the ability to better manage the lifecycle of tires, tracking the current status as well as the history of each tire in the fleet based on its serial number.

“Rhombus Tire Analytics addresses a key maintenance area in truck maintenance – tires,” said Farney. “It’s a total life cycle management tool for controlling the cost of tires.”

Silenski added that Dana is also currently field-testing all-electric drive axles in China on Class 3 commercial vehicles; an axle it expects to eventually bring to the U.S.

“With electric drive axles, we are really targeting the highest volume markets first and Class 3 vehicles are very popular in China,” he said. “And China has a target of a 200,000- to 300,000-unit electric vehicle market, mainly buses. But the plan is to bring an electrified drivetrain to the U.S. later on in 2018. We are trying lots of things when it comes to electrified vehicles; Class 3 is especially ideal for last mile/pickup and delivery operations. But the jury is still out on the electrification of linehaul vehicles.”

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