Eaton has announced the launch of its Fuller Advantage Series of heavy-duty 10-sp. transmissions.  In September, a manual model will enter production. And in the first quarter of next year, an automated version (which will feature Eaton’s UltraShift Plus technology) will become available as well.

According to Eaton, the Advantage transmissions will boast “a wealth of new design features” that will reduce component weight and increase efficiency to provide an improvement in vehicle fuel efficiency as well as lower preventive-maintenance costs.

During a news conference, Tim Sinden, president, North America Truck Business-- Eaton Vehicle Group, pointed out that recognition of ongoing trends in the linehaul market toward higher vehicle acquisition and operating costs as well as customer feedback informed the development of the Advantage Series.

“Using extensive customer input, Eaton is bringing to market the Fuller Advantage Series transmission line that delivers on customer needs and wants and enhances our position as the leader in commercial vehicle transmissions for the North American market,” said Jeff Walker, global product director– manual transmissions. “This initial [10-sp.] launch is designed for our linehaul and regional-haul customers.”

According to Walker, a new “precision lube system” for the transmission reduces the “oil churn energy losses” found in traditional transmissions by nearly 33%. He explained that with less heat being generated, the Advantage transmissions do not require an oil cooler and corresponding lines and fittings. The upshot of that is “less preventive maintenance is required while engine fans cycle less, further reducing horsepower demand.”

In addition, Walker related that “significant weight savings– up to 75 pounds with no sacrifice to strength– has also been achieved. Aluminum has replaced cast iron for the shift bar housing, auxiliary section cover and range cylinder.” However, he noted that exact weight savings will depend on the make of truck purchased as vendor-supplied cooler weight reductions vary by manufacturer.

“The new transmissions also help promote better overall vehicle fuel economy performance due to the efficiency improvements and weight savings,” Walker stated. He related that initial fleet and third-party test results show up to a 1.9% fuel economy improvement vs. Eaton’s own Fuller FR Series transmission.

“Fuller Advantage Series transmission customers also will see maintenance cost reductions,” he continued. “Contributing here is a new oil-level sight glass that allows for routine oil checks to be performed at a fraction of the time previously required. In addition, the precision lube system uses only 16 pints of oil, which is nearly half the amount used in similar transmissions.

“Of course, we haven’t forgotten about the professional driver,” Walker added. “They will benefit from a new, crisper shift feel that is similar to the 3-rail feel on our 13- and 18-sp.boxes that have been very well received by drivers for many years now.”

While Walker said Eaton can’t speculate on how OEMs will price the new transmissions, he told  FleetOwner that “a fair description [of the Advantage Series] would be that it is a premium product. We feel it will appeal especially to large fleets that value fuel and maintenance savings and that closely monitor their total operating costs. Plus [the transmissions’ positive impact on] fuel economy and maintenance costs will ensure a quick payback.”

Walker also noted that Eaton “expects to extend the Fuller Advantage to our 13- and 18-sp. transmission families, with a corresponding increase in applications.”

Other technical aspects of the new Fuller Advantage Series include:

  • GCW ratings up to 80,000 lbs without an oil cooler and expansion to 110,000 lbs GCWR via post-product introduction
  • Torque capacities from 950 to 1,850 lb/ft
  • Standard 8- and 6-bolt power take-off (PTO) openings.
  • Optional through-shaft PTO.
  • 10 forward speeds (direct and overdrive) and two reverse speeds

Eaton said that initial Advantage production will include 17 new manual specifications with ratios ranging from 15.42 to 17.53.

All Fuller Advantage Series transmissions will come with a standard five-year/750,000-mile warranty for linehaul applications.