user-gravatar Headshot

Volvo’s I-Shift automated transmission

Volvo’s I-Shift automated transmission
Volvo Trucks North America will introduce in the second quarter of 2007 the Volvo I-Shift transmission – an automated mechanical transmission that offers two-pedal operation. Initially, the 12-speed I-Shift will be available only on Volvo trucks spec’d with Volvo’s new engines for 2007 – the D11, D13 and D16. The transmission will be available on all truck models – the VN and VT highway tractors and the VHD vocational truck.

“We believe customers will immediately recognize the advantages I-Shift offers for productivity, lower cost of operation, driver recruitment and retention, and safety,” says Scott Kress, senior vice president of sales and marketing. “The combination of I-Shift with Volvo’s new engine family gives our customers a complete vehicle and drivetrain solution. Customers can always get the perfect ratio at the right time for optimal engine and vehicle performance, which means a higher degree of productivity, fuel economy and reliability.”

Volvo will offer three I-Shift models, with the ability to handle all power and torque inputs from its new engine family, including the top 600 hp/2050 lb.-ft. rating. Although the I-Shift is new to North America, Volvo has sold about 80,000 in other markets since it was introduced in early 2002. In addition, Volvo has been building automated manual transmissions for other markets since 1987.

One of Volvo’s major goals with the introduction of I-Shift is improving fuel economy. Due to the integration of the transmission and Volvo engines, the I-Shift is programmed with its engine’s efficiency map for each engine rating. Using this information and various sensors, the transmission calculates vehicle speed, acceleration, torque demand, weight, rolling and air resistance, and road grade to continuously predict and select the most efficient utilization of the engine for the next 30 seconds, Volvo says.

The road grade sensor – which Volvo claims as an exclusive feature – helps determine which gear to start off in and when the transmission can skip-shift for better fuel economy. Another exclusive feature related to fuel economy is Eco-Roll, which is intended to improve fuel economy in the top gear when operating in rolling hills. Eco-Roll automatically disengages the engine when the vehicle is in top gear on a long, slight downgrade; by allowing the engine to idle in these situations, Eco-Roll can reduce parasitic losses by as much as 30 hp, Volvo says.

A fuel economy-related option is direct drive, which ties the output shaft directly into the input shaft when the I-Shift is operating in 12th gear. The result is less power loss due to friction, saving as much as 1.5 percent in fuel versus overdrive transmissions, Volvo says.

If the customer wants, the I-Shift can be spec’d with the ability to shift from fuel economy mode to performance mode and to improve acceleration by using a “kick-down switch” connected to the accelerator pedal. An Idle Governor driving mode allows drivers to creep in slow traffic without using the accelerator pedal.

The I-Shift will be available with a 5-year/750,000-mile parts and labor warranty for engines with 1,750 lb.-ft. of torque or less, and a 3-year/500,000-mile warranty for engines above 1750 lb.-ft. of torque.
Volvo Trucks North America

Supervisor’s guide to reasonable suspicion testing
J.J. Keller & Associates’ program A Supervisor’s Guide to Reasonable Suspicion Testing is designed to provide DOT-required training for supervisors on what to look for when determining reasonable suspicion of alcohol misuse and controlled-substance use. At the core of the program is a closed-captioned 20-minute video that J.J. Keller says clearly explains the concept of “reasonable suspicion” and uses a variety of dramatic vignettes to illustrate different scenarios supervisors could face (including “refusal to submit to testing”). The video can be used to train supervisors to observe drivers, document observations and approach drivers for testing. The program also includes a trainer guide with background information, training tips and answer keys to workbook tests and exercises.

Six workbooks are included, providing 40 pages of pre- and post-tests and learning-activity scenarios, plus a tear-out receipt page and six certificates to document training (along with the video, the workbooks help fulfill the required “60 + 60” hours of training). A “Trainer Tools” CD-ROM also is included and contains customizable transparency masters and quizzes (with answer keys), clip art, posters and a training log. The DVD format includes a special “Message for Management,” additional commentary and an interactive quiz with correct/incorrect remediation.
J.J. Keller & Associates

Heavy-duty brake shoes
Carlisle Motion Control Industries’ line of heavy-duty brake shoes feature induction-hardened cam and anchor ends designed to prevent mushrooming and improve long-term durability. Carlisle says the shoes have an E-coating, where paint is more uniformly and completely bonded to the steel for better resistance to environmental conditions; the shoes also are coined after welding to correct any distortion and deformation. The brake shoes are available through the company’s Altec Brake Systems division.
Carlisle Motion Control Industries

High-flow muffler
The Walker Mega-Flow NoiseBraker muffler, manufactured and marketed by Tenneco, is designed to provide a direct retrofit for Class 7 and 8 vehicles, capable of reducing backpressure and quieting the engine brake to legal limits. Featuring a straight-through, ultra-high flow design to reduce engine backpressure by as much as 60 percent, the NoiseBraker improves engine efficiency as compared to traditional heavy-duty muffler designs, the company says. Available for single- and dual-exhaust applications, the NoiseBraker is 2 to 4 decibels quieter than the industry’s best OE mufflers under engine brake-induced deceleration, according to Walker; the muffler uses fiberglass roving technology and dual concentric Helmhotz tuners to quiet engine brake noise without affecting brake performance. Engineered for durability and longer life, the NoiseBraker also features re-metallized welds designed to provide greater corrosion resistance.
Walker Heavy Duty

Hot parts cleaner
Oil Eater’s 45-gallon water-based parts washer, built with an industrial-grade HDPE resin tank, is designed to reduce the need and cost of disposal service, while offering long and trouble-free operation. The unit can be heated to 110 degrees F by a 1,000-watt heater that shortens heat-up time, the company says. Other key features include separate heater and pump switches with lighted on/off indicators, a filter system designed to prolong fluid life, a flexible spigot and flow-through brush, and a stainless-steel work shelf. Protection is provided with a ground fault interrupter. Oil Eater also offers a unit with the same features in a 25-gallon size.
Oil Eater

ASE truck test prep
Thomson Delmar Learning has released the fourth edition of its ASE Medium/Heavy Duty Truck Test Preparation Manual Series, which the company says covers all medium- and heavy-duty truck exam areas from T1 through T8. Individual ASE test preparation manuals are available for gasoline engines, diesel engines, drivetrain, brakes, suspension and steering, electrical and electronic systems, heating, ventilation, air conditioning and preventive maintenance. Each title features practice test questions similar to those typically seen on an ASE certification exam; coverage includes overviews of each task list topic, including descriptions of the actual repair procedure being discussed, plus ASE test-taking strategies and detailed explanations as to why a particular answer is correct or incorrect. All of the task lists are fully up-to-date, according to Thomson Delmar, and the integrated test preparation questions reflect the most recent ASE task changes. Each book in the series has been reviewed by master technicians, the company says.
Thomson Delmar Learning

Tougher dock door
The G-Flex Universal Door from Rite-Hite is designed for loading docks that currently have problems with damage. Made from an extruded vinyl material, the door has an interlocking modular design to allow for configuring different sectional door heights, according to the company; optional daylight translucent slats and 12-, 18- and 30-inch-high ventilation panels also can be integrated without compromising security. Available in 2- or 3-inch thicknesses and door sizes up to 10 feet, 2 inches wide and 12 feet high, the door panels incorporate an integral support system designed to provide it with an optimum combination of flexibility and rigidity, while allowing panels to withstand the more common bumps and forklift impacts at the loading dock.
Rite-Hite Aftermarket Corp.

Coolant/antifreeze line
Kost USA says its line of DefendAL high-performance coolants/antifreezes is designed to extend component lifecycles. According to the company, the DefendAL range – comprised of four products that are formulated specifically to OEM specifications and precise performance levels – is offered in concentrate as well as pre-mixed 50/50 with deionized water. The range consists of DefendAL Universal Coolant/Antifreeze, DefendAL Heavy Duty Pre-Charged Coolant/Antifreeze, DefendAL Heavy Duty Extended Life Coolant/Antifreeze, and DefendAL Global Extended Life Coolant/Antifreeze. Each product has been formulated with field-tested additive technology to protect coolant systems, according to Kost. The DefendAL range exceeds OEM specifications for existing engine designs and is positioned to meet specifications for 2007 heavy-duty diesel engines, the company says. The range also features Kost’s Bitter-Aid anti-consumption additive; three states – California, New Mexico and Oregon – have laws requiring a bitter agent in antifreeze to deter consumption.
Kost USA

Remove, install wheel studs
Tire Service Equipment Manufacturing Co. says its 1-PPK Pak Press, a portable wheel stud remover and installer, lets users remove and install studs without removing the hub. It reduces work time and damage to seals and bearings, the company says.

Tire Service Equipment also has announced that its 350b Back Buddy II now comes standard with its MKA2 and MKA3 inboard and outboard adapters. The Back Buddy is designed to help remove brake drums and hub assemblies easily and safely.
Tire Service Equipment Manufacturing Co.

Enhanced exhaust clamp
Donaldson Co. says its redesigned Stepped SealClamp exhaust clamp is lighter in weight, easier to install and provides reduced leakage on exhaust connections as compared to other designs. Available in stainless and aluminized steel, the Stepped SealClamp is a full 360-degree clamp designed for overlapping tube connections, including muffler inlets, outlets, slotted joints and flex tubing. The Stepped SealClamp’s shape features an inside sealing surface designed to match the stepped shape of an overlapped joint.
Donaldson Co.

Heat-ready epoxy
Master Bond has developed a medium-viscosity, two-component epoxy adhesive/sealant, coating and casting compound called EP30HT. Formulated to cure at room temperature or more rapidly at elevated temperatures, EP30HT features superior dimensional stability, superb optical clarity and high temperature resistance up to 400 degrees F, according to Master Bond. EP30HT is available for use in half-pint, pint, quart, gallon and five-gallon container kits; it also is available in syringe applicators.
Master Bond

Leaf spring stabilizer
Amtech says its RollGard stabilizer, designed for vehicles with rear leaf spring suspension, uses proprietary technology to counteract excessive suspension movement of the leaf springs, thereby reducing sway, bounce and other maladies that affect heavy vehicles. This not only makes for a more comfortable ride, but also a safer one, according to the company; quicker suspension recovery means improved control, which reduces the likelihood of an accident. Independent testing, Amtech says, concluded that RollGard not only enhances vehicle stability, but also shortens braking distances by preventing excessive “brake dive” when evaluated on rough surfaces.

LED back-up safety lamps
Truck-Lite has added two Signal-Stat LED back-up lamps to its line of LED safety lamps. Both the 4-inch round and 6-inch oval lamps have an extensive pattern of multiple diodes and can be retrofit to standard plug connections on most heavy-duty trucks and trailers, the company says; the 6-inch oval can be mounted horizontally or vertically. According to Truck-Lite, the lamps exceed legal requirements for better vision; are sealed in epoxy to be less susceptible to shock and vibration and to better resist corrosion and moisture; and draw less current, allowing more power for other vehicle requirements.

High-pressure hose
Parker Hannifin says its ParMax 761 Series hydraulic hose is made for extremely high-pressure applications. The long-lasting hose, which is designed to offer a constant working pressure of 8,000 psi, is compatible with the company’s Parkrimp 76 Series fittings. The hose is designed for use with petroleum-based hydraulic fluids and lubricating oils with a temperature range of -40 to +257 degrees F; water, water/oil emulsion and water/glycol hydraulic fluids up to +185 degrees; and air up to +158 degrees. The hose features an inner tube of oil-resistant synthetic rubber, and six spiral plies of high-tensile steel-wire reinforcement. The cover resists oil, weather and abrasion, Parker says, and a durable color layline creates easy, long-lasting identification.
Parker Hannifin

Dome lamp controller
Phillips Industries says its Permalogic dome lamp controller helps manage power to interior trailer dome lamps while significantly reducing lamp replacement costs. The controller is designed to eliminate any chance of accidentally leaving the lamps on by cutting off power when the brake pedal is depressed; power also can be interrupted at a pre-determined elapsed time or when there is an under/over battery voltage situation.
Phillips Industries

Back-up alarms for tough jobs
Superior Signals says its Safe-T-Alert 3200 series of rugged, compact back-up alarms are suited for emergency vehicles, construction equipment, fire and lift trucks, industrial and utility vehicles, and buses. The alarms measure 5 inches wide by 3 inches deep by 2.78 inches high, and are designed to provide an audible signal ranging from 97 to 107 decibels. The alarms are available in five styles, with voltages from 12 to 48, and all are protected from dust, moisture and vibration, according to the company.
Superior Signals

Rearview camera for Dodge Sprinter
Rostra Precision Controls now offers its RearSight camera system for the Dodge Sprinter Van. RearSight is designed to provide a 150-degree wide-angle view from the rear of the vehicle to help the driver avoid objects that are in the vehicle’s blind spots and identify items that are much closer to the ground than an ultrasonic product can detect. The system features a waterproof, CCD color-image camera that is installed on top of the van, above the rear doors, with either of the two shrouds included in the kit. Inside the cabin, the system uses a 3.5-inch TFT-LCD monitor that mounts to the headliner with a special mounting stem and bracket. The kit – designed for fast, easy installation in 30 minutes – comes with a hardware pack with universal applications for other cargo vans.
Rostra Precision Controls

Data bus compass module
Ametek Dixson has expanded its instrumentation and cluster product lines to include a data bus compass module – a highly accurate sender unit featuring a built-in two-axis magnetic sensor that converts data to a 360-degree value broadcast over an SAE J1587/J1708 vehicle data bus. The module can be integrated easily with NGI products or other displays. The unit contains a six-pin, self-locking, sealed Packard Metri-Pack connector in a compact, robust and environmentally sealed polymer package designed to withstand harsh conditions. A built-in calibration routine compensates for local magnetic field distortions and accepts a declination angle input to provide a true geographic north heading, according to Ametek Dixson. The compass can be mounted in several orientations to provide flexibility in vehicle applications.
Ametek Dixson

Fix your fan drives
Horton says its DriveMaster Bearing/Cartridge and Clutch Pack repair kits provide the precise parts necessary to repair its fan drives. The Bearing/Cartridge kit, a pared-down version of the existing Super Kit, includes a T55 Torx Plus Driver, O-ring lubricant, sheave bearings, bearing nut, O-ring seals, facing screws, face seal, retaining rings, air cartridge assembly and cage nut. The Clutch Pack, suited for repairs requiring only a clutch pack, includes a T55 Torx Plus Driver, O-ring lubricant, facing screws, air chamber seal, spring housing/piston and cage nut.

Heavy-duty diesel lift trucks
Cat Lift Trucks has introduced the P17500-P33000 series diesel pneumatic tire lift truck, which features six different capacities ranging from 17,500 to 33,000 pounds. The series features a turbocharged diesel engine equipped with a common rail fuel delivery system designed for even- and high-pressure fuel delivery to all six cylinders, allowing for swift acceleration, low noise and reliable performance. The P17500-P33000 series features a viscously mounted operator compartment that significantly reduces noise and vibration levels while adding to operator comfort, according to Cat Lift Trucks, and the hydraulic fingertip control features near-effortless lever motion and precise material handling capability to enhance productivity and reduce operator fatigue. No tools are needed for performance checks, the company says; a display panel is designed for pre-programmable maintenance intervals that notify the operator of impending service, and to provide a technician with quick access to the unit’s fault history folder.
Cat Lift Trucks