See video for more on the 14X tandem-drive axle.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. ArvinMeritor Inc. called its all-new Meritor 14X tandem-drive axle for linehaul tractors an “advanced evolutionary axle system built on the legacy of the RT145,” and said it was “created to maximize performance and ensure efficiency for North American truck operators.”

Unveiled at a news conference here at the Mid-America Trucking Show, the 14X will enter production in June with planned deliveries to all major North American OEMs.

“The 14X brings the rich heritage of its predecessor [the RT145] with a ‘tried-and-true’ design that will stand the test of time,” said Joe Plomin, vp– truck. “It’s an evolution of one of the most successful tandem drive axles in the commercial truck industry, with nearly two million RT145s manufactured since 1985.”

Plomin said the new axle boasts a more robust and efficient inter-axle differential, the fastest ratio and widest range of axle ratios available as well as several other design enhancements yet continues to be the lightest axle in its class.

The new axle has accrued more than six million miles of road-testing by motor carriers of various sizes, Plomin noted. “We’ve done our homework,” he said. “We’re ready, with the right product at the right time [given that gradual recovery is under way for trucking]. We know our fleet customers are laser-focused on fuel economy and reliability, and with this new axle, we’re providing them with technology they want and need.”

Plomin said the three key benefits of the 14x are:

  • More robust inter-axle differential. The inter-axle differential - now 20% larger - can accommodate the increased nominal torque, up to 2050 lbs.-ft., found in certain applications using today's high-torque rise diesel engines. The unit includes helical gear needle bearings for reduced heat and wear; upsized main differential side bearings for more capacity; and larger input shaft and rear side bearing for strength.
  • Premium Amboid design is now standard equipment for all end-users. The above-centerline design of the inter-axle driveline provides significant improvements: reduced operating pressures for increased driveline life, less driveline angularity, vibration and energy loss; improved ride quality; and overall longer component life.
  • Most complete range of ratios. The 14X offers the fastest ratio in the industry, 2.47:1 and all the way up to 7.17:1. The extensive range ensures coverage for nearly every application and specific engine manufacturers’ EPA 2010 recommendations.

Other significant features include:

  • Optional DualTrac track housing. Allows use of wide-base tires with the equivalent bearing life of axles equipped with dual tires - while still offering convertibility back to duals.
  • Newly designed axle breather. Prevents water and other contaminants from entering the carrier while keeping the lube in place. Based on numerous tests and benchmarking procedures, the new breather outperforms competitors in its ability to allow axles vital breathing capacity while keeping contaminants out.

“The Meritor brand stands for strength and dependability which transcends to the company’s commercial vehicle axles and brakes, products which carry some of the toughest loads imaginable on roadways all across North America,” said Plomin. “We continue that tradition with the newest addition to our axle family, the Meritor 14X. This next-generation linehaul axle is a distinctive design that sets an even higher standard for the future."

The X14 can be outfitted with Meritor foundation drum brakes or Meritor air discs depending on buyer preference. It is produced and assembled by the company at its plants in Asheville and Forrest City, NC.

Plomin noted the 14X is the “signature” member of the company’s new MPG Series—a group of products he said are optimized for improved total life-cycle costs, whether in terms of in higher productivity or increased fuel economy.

For more information on the MPG Series, go to the dedicated mini-web site.