A tranny built to perform

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Sterling Truck will introduce a new, mid-range, Mitsubishi Fuso-based truck to the North American market. DaimlerChrysler owns Mitsubishi Fuso and Sterling parent Freightliner LLC.

The Freightliner Group unveiled new capabilities at its Test Engineering operation in the South Bend, Ind., area. The proving grounds now boast a 24,600-square-foot facility, which includes offices and state-of-the-art equipment for servicing test vehicles.

Great Dane Trailers announced that its newest manufacturing plant in Huntsville, Tenn. began production.

Wabash National announced that it has received ISO 14001 registration for its Lafayette, Ind. manufacturing operations.

ArvinMeritor has selected TSE brake chambers as the production standard for all its North American trailer brake products.

ConocoPhillips has introduced Conoco GLW, a specially formulated chlorine-free gear lubricant that offers improved gear protection for mining and construction equipment.

Rotary Lifts has introduced what it claims is the first line of lubricants formulated specifically for vehicle lifts.

Autocar announced an agreement whereby its LCOE Xpeditor truck line will be powered exclusively by Cummins ISL and ISM engines.

Alcoa Fastenings Systems announced that its Huck brand U-Spin fasteners are standard on proprietary Volvo air suspensions.

Midwest Utility will be the exclusive dealer of the Airgo tire inflation system to all Utility dealers in North America.

In addition to its 36-month, unlimited-mileage, bumper-to-bumper warranty, Mitsubishi Fuso has extended powertrain coverage to 5 years/175,000 miles on 2006 Class 4 and 5 FE and FG models, and 5 years/ 250,000 miles on 2006 Class 6 and 7 FK and FM models.

Eaton calls its new, automated transmission the UltraShift LHP, which stands for Linehaul High Performance. According to the company, the LHP was designed specifically for on-highway applications where superior low-end and high-end performance and thorough ratio coverage are required to handle varying terrain and load conditions. It’s a “2-pedal” affair, with completely automatic clutch and gear-change capability, and it can handle up to 1,750 lb-ft of torque and loads up to 110,000 pounds GCW.

The LHP features 13 speeds, plus a selectable, low starting gear of 12.2:1, which has been designated by an “L” in the model nomenclature. Closely gathered gearing at the low end is designed for low-speed control, while gathered gearing at the high end – the top two gears are overdrive – enables the engine to operate within a tighter rpm range, permitting an efficient use of available power. Plus, the LHP’s three reverse gears provide maneuvering flexibility during backup and trailer hookup.

Additional features of the LHP:
* Two torque capacities both are approved to 110,000 pounds GCW: 1650 lb-ft and a 1650 “M” (Multi-Torque) model with 1750 lb-ft capacity in the top two gears.
* Automatic starts utilize a standard 151/2-inch, twin plate, ceramic clutch.
* Electronic shift protection and totally automated operation reduce the potential for drivetrain abuse.
* Electronics, controls and XY shifter are the same as the Generation 3 AutoShift, reducing part proliferation.
* An “electronic snapshot” takes a data picture of the system when a fault occurs.
* A “wiggle test” mode checks system connections by simulating an operating environment with vibrations and jarring.
* A separate service port allows technicians to test the system without disturbing the current condition of the components and wiring.
* A driver-triggered data logger captures 10 seconds of system performance and records hard-to-replicate faults.

The LHP will fetch about a $3,300 premium over a standard 13-speed, but should improve driver productivity and reduce clutch and driveline maintenance. It’s currently in limited-quantity release, with an initial production quantity of 400 during the next six months. Full production is scheduled to begin in the fourth quarter of this year.


Severe-service HD grease stays put
Citgo’s new OverDrive HD grease allows extended grease intervals, especially for off-road applications, because it stays put in spring and shackle pins, fifth wheels, kingpins and U-joints, according to Mark Betner, heavy-duty motor oil manager of direct sales for Citgo.

In addition to superior adhesion, water resistance and stability, the severe-service grease provides corrosion protection that is suitable for conditions where highway spray is mixed with road salt. The grease also offers extreme-pressure protection, and – since it’s lithium-complex-based – it’s compatible with many other types of greases.


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