Caterpillar introducing on-highway vocational transmission

Caterpillar is developing two heavy-duty, torque-converter-type automatic transmissions of its own design and manufacture to match with its on-road vocational truck engines, the company announced Thursday.

Production of the transmissions begins later this year, with availability in 2006.

The CX31 has six forward speeds and one reverse, while the CX35 has eight forward speeds and a reverse. Both have lockup torque converters and electronic controls.

The CX31 matches with C11 engines with up to 370 hp, C13 engines up to 430 hp, and C15 engines up to 500 hp and 1,650 lb. ft. of torque. The CX35 matches with C15 engines up to 625 hp and 2,050 lb. ft. of torque.

The transmissions are “based on proven technology from Caterpillar articulated trucks,” the company announced. The transmissions will be new models, however, extensively redesigned for the very different demands of on-highway vocational truck applications.

The CX31 offers three possible PTO locations with a rear option providing up to 200 hp. The CX35 provides four possible PTO locations, including two optional rear PTOs with up to 200 hp each.

Additional features include hydraulic braking retarders and either a transmission-mounted or remote-mounted oil filter.

“Customers and original equipment manufacturers have been asking Caterpillar to provide automatic transmissions that can be matched with the Cat on-highway engines they are already buying,” said Chris Schena, Caterpillar vice president. “When matched to a Cat engine, these new transmissions will deliver improved performance, fuel economy and reliability while giving North American vocational truck owners another choice in the marketplace.”

“When packaged with a Cat on-highway engine, these transmissions will give vocational truck customers the option for one source for a fully integrated power train, which means product support is greatly simplified,” said Gerry Shaheen, Caterpillar Group president.