Eaton Corp. has rolled out a complete lineup of automated manual transmissions that provides broad coverage for vocational Class 8 trucks as well as linehaulers.

Dubbed UltraShift Plus, the two-pedal transmissions include a new automated manual for over-the-road rigs, but most significantly the lineup boasts six distinct units that taken together will cover nearly every on/off-road and vocational Class 8 application in North America, according to Eaton.

Eaton described the units as fully automated transmissions and said each includes automated clutch technology coupled with “intelligent shift selection” software that takes into account grade sensing, weight computation, and driver throttle commands to ensure “shift decisions for efficient, safe and profitable vehicle performance.”

According to Staci Kroon, senior vp & gm of Eaton's Commercial Vehicle Transmission business, Eaton has been researching and developing the product family over the past seven years “to tailor each UltraShift Plus model into an integrated powertrain configuration” for its intended application.

She noted that by combining the six platforms with different ratio sets and custom shift calibrations in the software, Eaton can provide “hundreds of individual configurations designed specifically for the application and powertrain — providing optimum performance, driving ease and fuel economy.”

Kroon told Fleet Owner that about the only Class 8 vocation not covered by the offerings is refuse trucks, which are typically equipped with torque-converted automatic transmissions due to their extreme stop-and-go duty cycles.

The UltraShift Plus is slated to enter full production next year, but will soon be available for limited release in a variety of heavy-duty trucks.

The six platform designations within the UltraShift Plus family are linehaul active shifting in either overdrive or direct drive; multipurpose high performance; multipurpose extreme performance; vocational construction series; vocational multipurpose series; and vocational extreme performance.

According to Eaton, key features of all six transmissions are “launches and shifts that are automated with the use of a new self-adjusting electronic clutch actuator for fast, smooth engagements;” a unique “hill start aid” that prevents rollbacks on grades; and a “creep” feature for “significantly improved maneuverability with continuous low-speed control.”
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