Eaton shows off new and coming products

Eaton Corp. showed off some new hardware that’s available now, and some technology that’s just over the horizon, at a press event Thursday, June 22 in Kalamazoo, Mich., and at the company’s Marshall, Mich., test track.

  • The Fuller UltraShift LEP (linehaul efficient performance) transmission is a 13-speed gearbox with five low-range gears and eight high-range gears. It offers narrow 17-20 percent gear splits, starting with the transition between fifth and sixth gears (at the range shift). The two-pedal unit uses the UltraShift DM system to engage the clutch without driver involvement. The LEP transmission’s microprocessor is programmed individually for each engine to keep rpm as close as possible to the engine maker’s recommended rpm for fuel economy under all cruise conditions. Eaton says the result, when comparing the unit to a standard 10-speed automated transmission, likely would be a 2 percent fuel reduction, for a fuel cost savings of as much as $1,226 per year.
  • The company also introduced the Dana S170 drive axle with a 2.53:1 axle ratio, designed for fleets running direct-drive transmissions and desiring optimum cruise rpm. (Dana is one of Eaton’s partners in the Roadranger joint marketing initiative.) The new design incorporates a 450-mm driven (or ring) gear with an extra-wide face width, allowing a full gross combination weight rating of 100,000 pounds. It also was announced that Dana DST40 axles will offer 2.64 and 2.93 ratios.
  • Fleet Resource Manager is a subscription-based fleet optimization tool that can be tailored to fit the unique needs of any fleet. It allows fleets to generate Web-based productivity reports on demand, including stop and activity reports, electronic driver logs and fuel tax reports. It can diagnose a vehicle problem before it gets to the repair shop, and can be integrated with a Vorad unit to manage fleet safety.
  • New LMS hubs allow the use of wide-base tires and offset wheels. This lets a fleet use wide-base single tires to improve fuel economy without the need to equip vehicles with wide-track axles. Earlier hubs could not withstand the extra stress of running with offset wheels.
  • The Dana Lube Director — a simple insert that is installed in a drive axle — will be introduced by 2007. It shunts lube away from the gearing to reduce churning-related losses 20 percent, improving fuel economy and reducing lube temperature, thereby increasing film strength.
  • Well before 2010, Eaton will have the HD (Heavy Duty) Hybrid Power System on the road. It’s a combination of an Ultrashift transmission and 44 kilowatt (65-hp) hybrid electric powertrain system. It can save 5 to 7 percent of on-road fuel by using regenerative braking to feed energy back into the drivetrain when accelerating and climbing hills. It also can handle hotel loads, like air conditioning and heat for the cab. It generates the power as you drive or during short bursts of efficient engine operation under load at a moderate engine rpm to recharge its batteries; thus, it eliminates the inefficiencies of normal idling, and it also allows the use of an electrically powered, hermetically sealed clutchless A/C compressor.
  • Eaton even has entered the emissions-control fray with a proposed aftertreatment system that will enable a diesel engine to meet 2010 emissions standards without using a selective catalytic reduction system that requires an external tank of urea. It combines a fuel doser, fuel reformer, lean NOx trap, diesel particulate filter and selective catalytic reduction unit. Instead of an external source of urea, the unit will generate its own ammonia in the fuel reformer during brief periods of lean NOx trap regeneration.
  • Editors also were treated to a glimpse of a fully independent front suspension system with struts that combine air and coil springs, soon to be produced by Dana. The unit offers a considerably smoother ride than conventional beam-type front axles.