Meritor, Inc. has added two axle ratios, which it said are optimized for increased fuel efficiency, to its 14X rear-drive axle portfolio.

Meritor’s 14X tandem drive axles with a 2.79 ratio will be available for production in June and a 2.85 ratio will be out later this summer.

The manufacturer said that, when used in combination with the Cummins/Eaton SmartAdvantage powertrain, these ratios will improve fuel efficiency for linehaul applications via “downspeeding,” a process that maintains vehicle speed at lower engine rpms.

“With these new axle ratios, drivers will experience a fuel-economy ‘sweet spot’ at road speeds of 62 to 65 mph,” said Ken Hogan, general manager, Axles, North America. “We’ve optimized this engine-transmission-axle combination to deliver uncompromising performance and efficiency.”

According to Hogan, to maximize fuel economy and vehicle performance, fleets should consider the entire drivetrain. He said that means looking at engine parameters, transmission and rear-axle gearing, and tire sizes.

He suggested that fleets consult their OEMs, local engine distributors or Meritor representative to review exact vehicle and application needs.

“The new axle ratios specifically target the needs of fuel efficiency-minded customers and are another example of how we are continually creating and updating our offerings to better serve the industry,” Hogan noted

The 14X axles with the 2.79 and 2.85 ratios will be supported by DriveForce and OnTrac, Meritor's organization of 110 dedicated support professionals.