Heavy Duty Trucking Supplements

Eaton On-Highway Transmission News 2014

The Fleet Business Authority

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11 ON-HIGHWAY TRANSMISSION NEWS engine to convey rpm. They have a set of eyes (score one for the humans!), which, despite all the technological wizardry built into an automated transmission's electronic control unit, is impossible to replicate and gives these drivers the ability to better judge the profle of the road ahead. These drivers may represent a thinning segment of the professional driver population, but the good news is, they still have the option of selecting a manual transmission such as the proven 8LL, FR-Series or the new Fuller Advantage Series. As Doyle says, feet customers and owner-operators will always enjoy the luxury of choice Eaton provides. "Our reliability numbers are really good on the automated side and we're really proud of the work we've done from a quality standpoint," she said. "I think we have a good value proposition for both our manual and automated customers." general rule, the fuel economy variance between any given feet's best- and worst-performing drivers is as great as 30%. The simplest way to bring parity to the ranks — to shatter the bell curve — is to equip trucks with UltraShift PLUS or the Fuller Advantage Series automated transmission. In fact, Eaton often advises feets looking to test automated transmissions to put the frst units in the hands of their worst- performing drivers and watch as their fuel economy improves. The improvement is most pronounced in applications that require frequent shifting, such as city driving or regional haul applications. Luxury of Choice It is important to keep in mind that automation isn't for everyone. There are still many drivers who view shifting as an art form, and wouldn't have it any other way. A masterful shifter rarely needs to consult the tachometer, instead relying on the sound of the for linehaul and vocational use, and each offers maximum power capacity, superior acceleration and low-speed manueverability. With new Electric Clutch Actuation enabling intelligent shift selection, drivers can make better decisions when they're in a tough spot. Two Hands on the Wheel There are many advantages to running automated transmissions; the potential fuel mileage improvement is just one of them. Another is less training time required to teach progressive shifting, so those resources can be allocated toward teaching equally important skills such as defensive driving. With the help of automated shifting, new hires can become comfortable with the equipment more quickly and can immediately begin producing fuel economy that's on par with a feet's most seasoned drivers. Taking shifting out of the hands of the driver provides safety benefts as well. Drivers can focus on their surroundings and keep two hands on the steering wheel at all times. Driving an automated transmission-equipped truck also reduces wear and tear on a driver's knee and elbow joints. In stop-and-go traffc, not having to depress the clutch pedal hundreds of times can result in a fresher driver at the end of a shift. A Changing Driver Pool Of course, there remain many experienced drivers who are adept at shifting gears and relish the challenge. And some of these drivers may even be able to match the fuel economy performance of the UltraShift PLUS. These drivers, however, are becoming the minority and are becoming more diffcult to fnd all the time. They're being replaced with a younger generation of drivers who, in many cases, didn't grow up driving a manual transmission car, let alone double-clutching their way through as many as 18 gears. Some feets have discovered automation is the only way this new generation of driver can quickly equal the effciency of their more seasoned peers. "If you're talking about a 30-year-old, the likelihood they've driven a manual transmission passenger car goes down," says Molly Doyle, automation and vocational sales manager with Eaton. I t has been widely said that, as a $ 0 0 0 0 0 1 Miles Per Gallon Diesel Cost Per Gallon Annual Miles Annual Fuel Cost Fuel Savings Driver A Driver B 6 mpg $4.00 125,000 miles $83,333.33 8 mpg $4.00 125,000 miles $62,500.00 $20,833.00 $ 0 0 0 0 0 1 Miles Per Gallon Diesel Cost Per Gallon Annual Miles Annual Fuel Cost Fuel Savings Driving an automated transmission-equipped truck also reduces wear and tear on a driver's knee and elbow joints. In stop-and-go traffc, not having to depress the clutch pedal hundreds of times can result in a fresher driver at the end of a shift.

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