Eaton moves Fuller UltraShift 10-speed to full production

May 1, 2004
FOLLOWING more than 12 months of testing in the lab and on the road, with a variety of fleets and vocations, the Eaton Fuller UltraShift 10-speed transmission

FOLLOWING more than 12 months of testing in the lab and on the road, with a variety of fleets and vocations, the Eaton Fuller UltraShift 10-speed transmission has entered into high-volume production.

The fully automated heavy-duty transmission has accumulated nearly 24 million miles of field service in more than 700 trucks. Another 30 million miles of testing was performed in the lab.

“We have more than exceeded our reliability targets for this transmission,” said Curt Hutchins, general manager for fleet transmissions at Eaton Corporation. “Our internal tests results have been highly favorable, and so have the tests we've conducted at dozens of fleets.”

Among those touting the merits of the UltraShift 10-speed is Brad Meyer, fleet manager for Fundis Company, a 61-vehicle fleet based in Sparks, Nevada. His trucks tackle steep grades and intercity congestion on a daily basis while making 438-mile roundtrip hauls from Sparks to Oakland and San Francisco.

“We decided to participate in the testing of the UltraShift transmission to see if it could live up to its billing, and help us bring about better overall fleet efficiency,” said Meyer. “After more than 60,000 miles of road service, we fully expect that to happen.

“Our drivers love the transmission. Because of that, we anticipate our driver retention rates will show significant improvements. Concurrently, the UltraShift transmission is a sure bet to help us with our recruitment of new drivers. It's just flat-out safer and easier to use than anything else in today's market.”

As the UltraShift transmission goes into full production, it is available as an option on virtually all makes and models of heavy trucks manufactured in North America. The two-pedal, automated transmission is based on the industry-proven Eaton Fuller 10-speed “B” ratio transmission and is offered in four torque capacities from 1,050 ft-lb to 1,650 ft-lb.

Key features and benefits of the Eaton Fuller UltraShift 10-speed, include:

  • Automatic shifting (no clutch pedal) that greatly simplifies vehicle operation enabling fleets to access a wider pool of drivers and improve driver retention.

  • Computer-controlled shifts made at ideal engine speeds for improved efficiency and performance.

  • An automatic start with no clutch pedal that helps reduce drivetrain abuse.

  • A high-capacity inertia brake speeds automated upshifts for better overall performance.

  • Manual skip-shifting is available as operating and load conditions allow for optimum performance and fuel efficiency.

Favorably impacting overall vehicle safety is another important feature of the UltraShift because it enables drivers to keep their eyes on the road and both hands on the wheel. Optimized downshifting and use of the Jake brake entering onto exit ramps also reduces chances of truck rollovers.

The UltraShift 10-speed allows drivers to use the transmission in full automatic mode or with manual intervention, depending on conditions or driver preference. A manual mode holds the current gear and allows driver-selected upshifts or downshifts. The low mode feature can be used in any gear to prevent the transmission from upshifting, and initiates downshifts to optimize engine braking performance. Low mode also can be used to select first gear at a standstill, and will not hold in low until drive mode is selected.

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