VMAC creates unique drive system for commercial truck application

02 September 2022

VMAC VR70 single gear spline drive air compressor VMAC matched the truck’s Allison transmission to a Chelsea 272 PTO and its own VR70 single gear spline drive air compressor. (Photo: VMAC)

The OEM solutions division of air compressor specialist VMAC works with customers around the world to develop unique systems for a wide array of applications. Recently, a partnership between the Canadian company and one of its dealers in New Zealand resulted in the development of a new spline drive system for a Hyundai Mighty EX9 cabover truck equipped with an automatic transmission and a medium wheelbase.

Mike Lenihan, commercial director for long-time VMAC dealer General Compression, contacted VMAC for a new system after discovering a need for it within his market. General Compression has several locations across New Zealand.

“My company, General Compression, approached VMAC because we knew they had a compact, under bonnet compressor,” said Lenihan. “We worked with Rick Duifhuis and his team to tailor a hydraulic-driven compressor setup that would be compact but deliver the volume and pressure required by the end user. We now have 18 units out in the field that are reliable and efficient, with more to come.”

VMAC VR70 single gear spline drive air compressor VMAC’s VR70 single gear spline drive air compressor. (Photos: VMAC)

New application

VMAC matched the transmission to a Chelsea 272 PTO and its own VR70 single gear spline drive air compressor. The VR70 is a 100% duty cycle compressor that delivers between 15 to 70 cfm, depending on the application. The company said it has a compact (10.7 L) and lightweight (12.7 kg) aluminum design, making it highly customizable. Every custom VR70 solution is engineered and manufactured at VMAC’s facility in Canada. The result is a compressed air system developed for the Hyundai EX9 that delivers 50 cfm of air at 100 psi, running at 1650 engine rpm.

“We were excited when Mike Lenihan contacted us with this opportunity because it allowed us to work on an application we haven’t worked with before,” said Rick Duifhuis, OEM manager, VMAC. “Hyundai’s Mighty lineup was a great fit for one of our custom OEM solutions, and we’re pleased with the result.”

The Hyundai Mighty EX9 is a popular commercial truck in Australia and New Zealand. It has a 3.4 m wheelbase and is powered by a Hyundai D4GA17 diesel engine rated 170 hp and the fully automatic model comes with a six-speed Allison S1000 XFE transmission.

VMAC VR70 single gear spline drive air compressor VMAC’s OEM division worked with a dealer in New Zealand to develop the system. (Photo: VMAC)

Working together

To facilitate the work, Lenihan connected VMAC with Colin Douglas, technical and product support for Hyundai New Zealand. The two teams worked together to confirm the specs and develop a mounting kit that would enable VMAC to put a compressor system onto the existing Allison transmission.

“The fully automatic Allison transmission is a fairly new innovation for Australia and New Zealand’s commercial vehicles, with Hyundai and Allison launching their partnership in 2020. Our team was happy to build off this leap in innovation and develop a compatible onboard air solution.”

While the truck model is not currently available in North America, VMAC sees other opportunities for the spline drive. “Now that we’ve put the VR70 spline drive onto the EX9, we’re looking at other PTO applications within the market,” said Duifhuis. “Many Class 4 through 8 trucks would benefit from this technology because it is faster and easier to install than many other underdeck and vehicle-integrated solutions.”

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