Diversified industrial manufacturer Eaton Corp. introduced the Fuller UltraShift LEP (Linehaul Efficient Performance), the newest addition to the UltraShift family of automated transmissions along with two product extensions of the UltraShift LST (Linehaul Standard): the UltraShift LST Overdrive Multi-Torque and the UltraShift LST Direct Drive Multi-Torque.
The UltraShift LEP transmission is designed with optimized shift calibrations to keep engine RPMs low and in the best “fuel-island” while maintaining performance and drivability, the company said. Created to work in select engine families, this optimized shift calibration is obtained by computer-controlled shifts within a relatively tight window of close steps unique to that family. These shifts enable the LEP transmission to stay within the engine’s fuel map contour for maximum efficiency and performance, the company said.
The LEP features 13 forward speeds and three reverse ratios with overall ratio coverage of 14.25:1. Specifically designed for on-highway use in any terrain, the UltraShift LEP offers torque capacity coverage up to 1,750 pounds per foot (in the top two gears) and an 80,000 gross combined weight at cruise speeds up to 65 miles per hour, the company said. Eaton said it is working with truck and engine makers to tune the UltraShift LEP specifically to the unique operating characteristics of each engine for the most efficient match-up.
“The LEP’s software is custom-calibrated for each approved engine, allowing us to tailor the transmission to address the specific needs of individual fleets,” said Scott Steurer, Product Line Manager for Heavy Duty Transmission Performance/Vocational.
Steurer said that in a computer-driven duty cycle simulation, an UltraShift LEP has demonstrated a 2 percent fuel savings potential but cautioned that these were simulations, and that a fleet’s actual mileage could vary widely.
“In a well-spec’d truck and powertrain, there is certainly the potential for an Ultrashift LEP to pay for itself over a 10-speed AMT within two years, and to start paying back to a fleet in fuel savings starting in year three”, he said.
Like all transmissions in the UltraShift product line, the LEP offers fully automatic operation based on industry proven and preferred Fuller manual transmission technology. This eliminates the need for manual shifting and allows the driver to keep both hands on the steering wheel for safer vehicle operation. UltraShift transmissions also offer a “manual” mode, which holds the current gear and allows driver-selected shifts for additional flexibility in changing conditions and a “low” mode to provide maximum RPMs during downshifts to increase engine braking and control.
Additional key features and benefits of the UltraShift LEP transmission include:
Two torque capacities, both approved to 80,000 lbs. GCW: 1,650 lbs/ft and a 1,650 “M” (Multi-Torque) model with 1,750 lbs-ft operation in top two gears.
Automatic starts, utilizing Eaton’s AutoClutch module, based on the industry standard 15.5-inch twin plate, ceramic-facing technology.
Electronic shift protection and totally automated operation reduces the potential for drivetrain abuse.
Reduction of part counts and improved serviceability by utilizing the same electronics, controls and XY shifter as Eaton’s other Gen3 UltraShift products.
The UltraShift LST Overdrive Multi-Torque with torque capacity coverage up to 1,750 lbs/ft in the top two gears allows the truck to be specified with a ‘gear fast, run slow’ configuration while maintaining superior gradeability. This ‘gear fast, run slow’ configuration allows the engine to run slower at cruise speeds, which translates into potential reduced fuel consumption. The Multi-torque feature allows the engine to provide additional power when needed, as when climbing a grade. By specifying a multi-torque transmission with a dual powered engine, the fleet operator obtains the best combination of fuel economy and performance, the company said.
The UltraShift LST Direct-Drive Multi-Torque features a 1-1 gear ratio that reduces drivetrain friction and oil churning, which in turn improves efficiency and saves fuel, the company said. This transmission is available in two models. The first model offers torque capacities of 1,450 lb/ft in the first eight gears and 1,650 lb/ft in the top two, while the second model offers 1,550 lb/ft in the first eight gears and 1,750 lb/ft in the top two.
Several electronic service features are part of the new “Gen 3” electronics in all new UltraShift transmissions, including:
“Electronic Snapshot” takes a data picture of the system when the fault occurred to provide the technician with better data to make a more accurate diagnosis to fix the problem the first time.
“Wiggle Test” tests system connections by simulating an operating environment with vibrations and jarring. This allows the service technician to locate open or short connectors before removing expensive electronic components.
Service Port Separate test port allows the technician to test the system ground and power without disturbing the current condition of the components and wiring.
Driver-Triggered Data Logger allows the driver to capture system performance data around a specific event even when a fault code is not being set. This allows the service technician to view the driver’s complaint without having to be present in the vehicle during the event.
The UltraShift transmission incorporates an advanced shift-by-wire system, utilizing SAE-J1939 protocol to communicate with electronic engines, which allows precise control of engine and transmission functions, the company said.
The LEP is currently in its “LQR” phase (limited quantity release), with full-volume production scheduled for the first half of 2007. Roadranger Marketing is currently working with all of the North American truck makers to place the UltraShift LEP in their 2007 databooks for optimum availability.
For more information on the UltraShift LEP, UltraShift LST product extensions and other Roadranger products and services, visit www.roadranger.com.