Transmission fluids are 'set it,' not 'forget it'

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Updated Dec 27, 2021

Barely two decades ago, market penetration for automated transmissions – then a budding and often unreliable spec – were under 20%. Now, they're the industry standard with nearly 90% of tractors rolling down the assembly line coming without a clutch pedal. 

The number of pedals on the floor isn't the only change tied to the evolution of the gearbox. Transmission fluid for many fleets is a lifetime fluid. With drain/change intervals set at hundreds of thousands of miles, many motor carriers trade trucks before ever having to address it. But in this week's 10-44, hosts Jason Cannon and Matt Cole, look at how the maintenance needs of transmissions have changed thanks to fluid intervals that have increased, in some cases, by 50% when compared to manuals. 

Chevron Lubricants Technical Specialist Penney Do said going as far as 750,000 miles before changing transmission fluid is largely enabled by optimized and standardized shifting, but just because a fleet doesn't have to perform a daily check on its transmission fluid doesn't mean it should check out on it completely before reaching the interval benchmark. 

CCJ's 10-44 is a weekly video feature covering the latest in trucking news and trends, equipment and technology. Subscribe to our YouTube channel here