LOUISVILLE, KY. Meritor, Inc. introduced the first member of its SoloDrive Series axle family, which features 6x2 tandem rear axles, here at the Mid-America Trucking Show (MATS) last night. Dubbed the FUELite, the new axle is designed to deliver nearly 400 lbs. in weight savings and approximately a 2% increase in fuel efficiency when compared to a traditional 6x4 configuration.   

The FUELite, based on the Meritor 160 series drive axle, is designed for linehaul applications to maximize weight savings and increase fuel efficiency. It features:

  • Meritor’s 160 DualTrac housing that allows the option of running wide-based single tires or duals for enhanced efficiency and improved residual value
  • A 2.50 to 4.10 ratio range
  • A 12.7-millimeter wall housing that is compatible with all current 40,000-lb. tandem air suspensions
  • The same rear-tag axle for all SoloDrive Series axles for simplified maintenance

The warranty on the new axle for linehaul applications is five years or 750,000 mi. with parts and labor included. Meritor Advantage Plans offer extended coverage up to seven years in linehaul applications.

“We engineered the FUELite axle to accommodate all 40,000-lb. linehaul suspensions, delivering an optimum solution that is lightweight yet heavy on performance,” said Charlie Allen, general manager, Rear Drive Axles, Meritor. “The Meritor SoloDrive Series is designed to provide lightweight axle solutions with greater efficiency by providing one driving axle in a tandem configuration. We’re confident that the FUELite will deliver these results to our customers.”

Meritor also announced the launch of two advanced technologies now available to the public: an enhanced second-generation Meritor Mobile application and a new web portal called the Meritor BullPen.

Meritor Mobile, a sales and service information application for the Apple iPad, has been enhanced in its second generation to offer users “real-time” updates, the capability to customize content by selecting from seven applicable Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) brands, and the ability to email content stored within the application.

It provides a detailed portfolio of Meritor’s sales, maintenance and technical information in an intuitive and easy-to-use format. Users will now also have the ability to download the full version, which stores videos locally, or a smaller remote version, which only requires a fraction of the device storage capacity.

BullPen is a web portal designed to enable dealers, fleets and service garages to access Meritor’s product information and training in one central location. Users will have access to more than 1,000 documents including product presentations, sales literature, product videos and photos, service bulletins, parts books, web-based training, Meritor on the Move (MOTM), a Meritor Mobile application link for easy downloading, Meritor and industry news and more.

“Meritor’s BullPen and Meritor Mobile offer our customers two innovative technology solutions to easily access Meritor product and training information,” said Matthew Stevenson, general manager, North American Field Operations and Marketing, for the company. “These tools serve as an extension to our field sales and service organization, Meritor DriveForce, and help deliver high quality customer support.”

The company also rolled out its newly branded field sales and service organization, Meritor DriveForce, comprised of more than 110 experts trained to support customer needs before, during and after the sale. According to Meritor, the team’s extensive knowledge, combined with advanced electronic tools, enables it to deliver superior product sales and service support to more than 6,000 dealer and distributor locations, supporting more than 25,000 customers throughout North America.

All these announcements were made during a press conference hosted by Joe Plomin, vice president Truck America for Meritor and featuring presentations by chairman and CEO, Chip McClure, and Tim Bowes, who assumed the role of president of Commercial Truck last August, as well as other Meritor executives.  Together they also reviewed Meritor’s global manufacturing, engineering and supply chain presence and evolving product portfolio. The company does business in 19 countries around the world.

“We are a vastly improved company today,” observed Bowes, “[in terms of our products, plants, processes and people.]”