Did you know…that ZF, of Friedrichshafen, Germany, was born into the gear/transmission business out of the need for smoother power transmission systems for its parent company’s Zeppelin airships?
Yes, there really was a Count von Zeppelin, and he’d been making the airships since 1900. By 1915, excessive transmission vibration made it clear that the bevel gears of the day were inadequate for the job.
ZF was founded to develop new methods of producing precision gearing, and has since become a well-known supplier of transmissions, steering gears and other subsystems for virtually all types of vehicles, from cars to tanks to F1 racers – and, of course, the airships it now builds with Zeppelin GmbH.
In North America, ZF Meritor, a joint venture between ZF and ArvinMeritor, supplies transmissions for medium and heavy-duty trucks and buses.