ZF Meritor Launches Fully-Automated Heavy Truck Mechanical Transmission

Dec. 1, 1999
ZF Meritor LLC - the joint venture between Meritor Automotive and ZF Friedrichshafen - unveiled its initial offerings at the ATA management conference

ZF Meritor LLC - the joint venture between Meritor Automotive and ZF Friedrichshafen - unveiled its initial offerings at the ATA management conference in Orlando, Florida. ZF Meritor President Rick Martello introduced the company's FreedomLine fully-automated transmissions. It is the first fully-automated mechanical heavy truck transmission without a clutch pedal to be marketed in North America, Martello said.

The new transmission will be produced at ZF Meritor's Laurinburg, North Carolina, plant and will be available as optional equipment from leading truck OEMs' production vehicles in fall 2000, Martello said.

ZF Meritor plans to offer FreedomLine in four configurations: a 12-speed direct-drive model rated for 1,450 lb-ft of torque, a 12-speed overdrive model rated for 1,650 lb-ft of torque, a 16-speed direct drive model that can handle 1,650 lb-ft of torque, and a 16-speed overdrive model rated for 1,850 lb-ft of torque.

Martello said that the "no clutch pedal" design will be easier for drivers to learn and operate than competing automated systems that require a clutch for starting and stopping, while giving drivers complete control over the shifting process. By eliminating clutching and shifting, drivers are freed from potential distractions so they can concentrate on safe driving and maneuvering in traffic.

FreedomLine has a twin countershaft design with full helical gearing for reduced noise, while delivering drive quality that rivals automatic transmissions. It eliminates manual clutch actuation for start and stop, and gives drivers the option of fully automated or operator-controlled shifting.

The new line of transmissions will benefit fleets through increased fuel economy. Electronically-controlled shifting senses loads and automatically knows when to skip shifts, maximizing fuel efficiency. Its ease of use means that it will be easier for drivers to learn to operate.

About the Author

The Refrigerated Transporter Staff

Sponsored Recommendations

Reducing CSA Violations & Increasing Safety With Advanced Trailer Telematics

Keep the roads safer with advanced trailer telematics. In this whitepaper, see how you can gain insights that lead to increased safety and reduced roadside incidents—keeping drivers...

80% Fewer Towable Accidents - 10 Key Strategies

After installing grille guards on all of their Class 8 trucks, a major Midwest fleet reported they had reduced their number of towable accidents by 80% post installation – including...

Proactive Fleet Safety: A Guide to Improved Efficiency and Profitability

Each year, carriers lose around 32.6 billion vehicle hours as a result of weather-related congestion. Discover how to shift from reactive to proactive, improve efficiency, and...

Tackling the Tech Shortage: Lessons in Recruiting Talent and Reducing Turnover

Discover innovative strategies for recruiting and retaining tech talent in the trucking industry during this informative webinar, where experts will share insights on competitive...

Voice your opinion!

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