Heavy Duty Trucking Supplements

Eaton Vocational Transmission News 2014

The Fleet Business Authority

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8 VOCATIONAL TRANSMISSION NEWS Success Story the UltraShift PLUS, just by the throttle position during operations, you could easily see that the Eaton transmissions were "much more effcient." He adds that the UltraShift PLUS transmissions are also passing the tests of weight and winter. "I had concerns before we even got into the winter maintenance season as to how well the automated transmissions would perform under icy, heavy conditions. My concern was the transmission would downshift unexpectedly and cause the driver to lose control," Bartholomew says. "Well, the drivers are saying the trucks are holding to the ground correctly and the transmissions are shifting very well." On braking, Bartholomew says the UltraShift PLUS transmissions "aggressively downshift, and with the assistance of an engine retarder, walk you right down to a couple miles per hour." A torque-converter automatic, on the other hand, drivers must apply continuous brake pressure since the driveline doesn't beneft from the engine to slow the truck once the torque converter unlocks. "I'm hoping to see increased brake life, even better than the manuals," he says. Bartholomew believes those same drivers are safer operators due to the hands-free shifting feature of automated transmissions. He adds that driveline- related problems, which were especially troublesome in the winter, have been signifcantly reduced. Reverse speeds are also just where they need to be, he adds, and the Hill Start Aid feature is giving his drivers better control over their vehicles. "But what really impressed me the most is the customer support that Eaton has provided us. They have been very good in getting us whatever we need with training and dealing with any issues we might have," Bartholomew says, adding, "taking everything into account, UltraShift PLUS will defnitely be our transmission of choice in future new truck orders." In southwestern Michigan, which ranks among the top 25 most snowed upon regions in the continental United States, it is the Kalamazoo County Road Commission's responsibility to remove that snow, which averages 70 inches annually in the area, from more than 1,260 miles of road. Travis Bartholomew, general superintendent, has to make certain that the Kalamazoo County Road Commission has the best available equipment ready for the harsh winters, presenting the commission with its most daunting challenge. "At the end of the day, these trucks come in looking like ice balls," Bartholomew says. "I often think, 'how does that truck function under those conditions?'" Bartholomew, who started working with the Road Commission in 1995 as a maintenance worker and truck driver, adds that the weight of auxiliary equipment on the trucks also tests the mettle of his vehicles. "When the trucks are new, we have to install dump boxes, underbody scrapers, plow hitches, hydraulic systems and other equipment," he says. "The additional equipment is more than what a typical construction truck is designed to accommodate." Nonetheless, last year Bartholomew needed to add another weighty new component on his trucks: a side-mounted wing plow. At that point he knew it was time to try something new. "We needed to simplify things and provide some help for our drivers," he says. Solution Bartholomew was looking for a transmission that would deliver the most effciency, and started off by comparing the Eaton ® UltraShift PLUS automated transmission to a torque-converter automatic. "We did not see what we wanted with the torque-converter automatic," he says. So, changing up the specs from all manual transmissions, Bartholomew brought in Eaton UltraShift PLUS Vocational Construction Series (VCS) automated transmissions on an order of four new International 7600 trucks. The UltraShift PLUS VCS model features the highest torque capacity in the trucking industry, ranging from 1,050 lb.-ft. through 2,250 lb.-ft. In addition to exceptional startability and gear ratio coverage, each has important driveline safeguards such as auto gear selection, stall prevention, and engine overspeed and clutch abuse protection. Results Compared to the torque-converter automatics, Bartholomew says that on Simplifying Driver Demands with UltraShift ® PLUS See more success stories at www.Roadranger.com/SuccessStories the UltraShift PLUS transmissions are also Travis Bartholomew, general superintendent, Kalamazoo County Road Commission, has turned to automated transmissions to help ease driver stress while working in harsh conditions. "We often work in harsh conditions well beyond the level of service a typical construction truck is designed to operate. At the end of the day, these trucks come in looking like ice balls."

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