Eaton: Fleets giving UltraShift Plus automated transmissions rave reviews

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Eaton Corp. released a list of OEM availabilities and engine approvals for lineup of UltraShift Plus automated transmissions, and said that positive reviews and high demand across a wide variety of commercial truck fleet operations are helping accelerate the approvals.

“We have been working diligently with all of the North American truck and engine makers for several years now to provide our customers with the best possible transmission choice in virtually any application,” said Staci Kroon, senior vice president and general manager for Eaton’s Commercial Vehicle Transmission business. “Similarly, we have been reaching out to fleets of all vocations – including linehaul, heavy haul, construction and more – to ensure they are getting the best possible transmission solution.”

Kroon said the UltraShift Plus family consists of thousands of possible transmission/engine configurations each tailored for a specific truck chassis engine match up and application. The UltraShift Plus transmission – currently available in products from Freightliner, International, Kenworth, Peterbilt and Western Star – has been approved and certified for Cummins 2010 model year ISX 1 and ISX 2 diesel engines. Model year 2010 International MaxxForce 11 and MaxxForce 13, Cummins ISX 3, Paccar MX and Detroit Diesel DD15 and DD13 will be certified in the coming months.

Kroon said that a total of six new transmission platforms now are available as part of the UltraShift Plus family. The new platform designations, which represent a wide range of new tailored transmission designs, are:
• Linehaul Active Shifting (LAS), available in both an overdrive and direct-drive;
• Multipurpose High Performance (MHP);
• Multipurpose Extreme Performance (MXP);
• Vocational Construction Series (VCS);
• Vocational Multipurpose Series (VMS); and
• Vocational Extreme Performance (VXP).

The new family of fully automated UltraShift Plus transmissions features new automated clutch technology and intelligent shift selection software that employs grade sensing, weight computation and driver throttle commands to make intelligent shift decisions for efficient, safe and profitable vehicle performance.

All UltraShift Plus transmissions are automated with the use of a new self-adjusting electronic clutch actuator for fast, smooth engagements. All of the new transmissions also share a Hill Start Aid feature to prevent rollbacks on grades; an oil level sight glass to check fluid levels; six- and eight-bolt PTO availability at no extra cost; and automatic, manual and low mode selections, as well as a creep feature for significantly improved maneuverability with continuous low-speed control.

Extended UltraShift Plus protection plans are available for all makes and models of the new transmissions in a variety of applications – including standard, linehaul and severe service – for warranty coverage up to five years or 750,000 miles.

“Now, for a small price, our customers have the option to safeguard themselves from expensive repairs and extend the fuel-saving, safety and performance features of UltraShift Plus for an additional one or two years,” said Richard Muth, programs manager for Eaton. “The plans are also fully transferable, which will easily enhance the resale value of the vehicle investment.”

Muth said the protection may be purchased through any truck dealer and included in the cost of financing a new truck or purchased online at Roadranger.com. Warranty service for all Roadranger products is available at any OEM dealer facility in North America, which includes more than 3,500 locations. Plans may be purchased during the first, second or third year of ownership. Plans also require the use of only genuine Eaton Fuller replacement parts and Roadranger brand or Roadranger-approved lubricants.

Initial customer evaluations of the UltraShift Plus “have been across-the-board positive,” Kroon said. “So much so, in fact, we see a very bright future for UltraShift Plus in a broad range of commercial truck applications.”