New Meritor axle solutions target 6x4, 6x2 markets

Feb. 17, 2015

Meritor is launching of the FUELite+ 6x2 rear axle and the addition of a 2.28 super-fast ratio to its 14X 6x4 rear-drive tandem axle. Both products are designed to achieve better overall vehicle efficiency through lightweight, more efficient designs and faster axle ratios suited for downspeeding.

These products are being showcased at the Technology & Maintenance Council (TMC) 2015 Annual Meeting & Transportation Technology Exhibition from February 16 through 19 in Nashville TN.

FUELite+, one of three new products Meritor is launching at TMC, will be available to North America OEMs in March. The new axle offers fast ratios of 2.31 and 2.47 to the growing 6x2 market in North America. Additional ratio options will be available soon.

Manufactured with the latest technology, such as laser-welding to reduce weight and improve durability of components, FUELite+ delivers all the benefits of Meritor’s proven FUELite products. FUELite+ has the same suspension fit as the current FUELite platform and is compatible with T-type and industry-standard yokes. Features and benefits include:

  • Meritor’s DualTrac housing, which offers the option of running wide-based single or dual tires for enhanced efficiency and improved residual value;
  • Higher gross combination weight ratings up to 140,000 pounds;
  • Between 15 and 20 pounds of additional weight savings over the current FUELite;
  • Standard driver-controlled differential lock maximizes traction in unfavorable driving conditions.

FUELite+ also offers an application of automatic differential lock capability at higher speeds, which is a unique enabler for traction enhancement in the 6x2 segment. Integrating this automated feature into the OEMs’ electronic architecture will deliver ultimate traction control under adverse conditions and address improper activation and deactivation.

Meritor also will offer the super-fast 2.28 ratio on the 14X platform in August 2015. The faster axle ratios built into FUELite+ and the new 14X 2.28 ratio can be integrated with Meritor’s recently launched RPL35 and RPL35SD drivelines to handle the high torques resulting from downspeeding.

“With FUELite+ and the new super-fast ratio for our 14X portfolio, truck operators can achieve that fuel-economy ‘sweet spot’ through downspeeding,” said Karl Mayer, director, Product Strategy for Meritor. “While the 14X was designed to handle higher torques, Meritor fortified the already strong design by enlarging the pinion system to handle the extreme torque levels associated with downspeeding.”

Downspeeding employs direct-drive transmissions and fast axle gear ratios to maintain vehicle speed at lower engine rpms to enhance vehicle efficiency and improve mileage. “These Meritor products offer the industry comprehensive downspeeding solutions that enhance performance and efficiency for the 6x2 and 6x4 markets,” Mayer said. “By adding versatile new products and strengthening Meritor’s current offerings, our industry-leading solutions are helping OEMs better serve North America’s established 6x4 market and the trend toward 6x2-equipped vehicles.”