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Eaton, Navistar Launch Truck Powertrain

Posted on March 22, 2013

Following its announcement earlier this month about a newly developed heavy-duty truck powertrain package with Cummins ISX15 diesel, Eaton has now launched a new family of UltraShift PLUS transmissions designed exclusively for Navistar in linehaul applications.

 To be co-released by the two companies, the new 16-speed direct drive automated mechanical transmissions are designed with a small 17 percent step between gears to optimize time in a diesel engine's most efficient RPM zone and thus help reduce fuel consumption.

 The new UltraShift PLUS LSE (Linehaul Small-Step Efficiency) will be released initially with Navistar's proprietary MaxxForce13L SCR engines on the International branded vehicles and followed shortly thereafter with Cummins ISX15 engines.  Production is scheduled to start in April.

 The new UltraShift PLUS LSE transmission has 16 forward gears and two reverse gears, and an overall ratio of 14.40.  All UltraShift PLUS transmissions use an electronic clutch actuator to provide faster shifting and smoother engagement, Eaton said. The clutch is fully engaged at idle, giving the driver control in situations, like parking lots, loading docks and other tight spaces.

  Additional UltraShift PLUS features include a fully automated two-pedal design (no clutch pedal).  Safety features include auto neutral and Intelligent Hill Start Aid, which prevents roll-back and roll-forward while launching on grades using foundation wheel brakes.

 Further, automatic, manual and low modes offer driver full control, while the optional crepe mode allows the vehicle to be driven at a constant speed.

 "The direct drive design also boosts the efficiency of the transmission gear train, to further promote excellent fuel consumption," said Shane Groner, North America product planning manager for Eaton's Commercial Vehicle Transmission Division. "All of the other features and benefits of the UltraShift PLUS are included in this newest addition to our lineup."