UltraShift PLUS

Nov. 1, 2009
Fuel efficiency improvements top long list of new features

EATON Corporation launched its next generation of automated transmissions known as UltraShift PLUS. The new family of fully automated transmissions features new automated clutch technology and intelligent shift selection software that employs grade sensing, weight computation, and driver throttle commands to make intelligent shift decisions for efficient, safe, and profitable vehicle performance.

According to Staci Kroon, senior vice-president and general manager for Eaton's Commercial Vehicle Transmission business, Eaton has worked with North American truck makers for the past several years to tailor each UltraShift PLUS model into an integrated powertrain configuration that maximizes performance.

“The many different models reflect our commitment to now offer the trucking industry the best possible automated transmission solution for a variety of applications,” says Kroon. “We have taken into account customer feedback, industry demands and field testing data, and designed these transmissions to offer our customers the perfect solution for use in virtually any vocation.”

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

The new UltraShift PLUS transmission is available for limited quantity release in a wide variety of heavy-duty vocations for all makes and models of heavy-duty trucks manufactured in North America. Full production will begin in 2010.

A total of six new transmission platforms are available as part of the UltraShift PLUS family. The new platform designations, which represent a wide range of new tailored transmission designs, are:

  • Linehaul Active Shifting (LAS) - available in both an overdrive and direct-drive

  • Multipurpose High Performance (MHP)

  • Multipurpose Extreme Performance (MXP)

  • Vocational Construction Series (VCS)

  • Vocational Multipurpose Series (VMS)

  • Vocational Extreme Performance (VXP)

All UltraShift PLUS launches and shifts are automated with the use of a new self-adjusting electronic clutch actuator (ECA) for fast, smooth engagements. All of the new transmissions share a Hill Start Aid feature to prevent rollbacks on grades; an oil level sight glass to easily check fluid levels; six- and eight-bolt PTO availability at no extra cost; Automatic, Manual, and Low mode selections; and a Creep feature for significantly improved maneuverability with continuous low-speed control.

Research, development, and testing have been underway for UltraShift PLUS over the past seven years and included more than 25 test fleets throughout North America, logging more than 2,500 months of testing.

Additional highlights of the new UltraShift PLUS transmissions include:

  • The ease-of-use of a fully automated transmission combined with the safe, assured control of a manual.

  • An installed weight advantage of up to 300 pounds when compared to conventional automatic transmissions.

  • Improved fuel economy in many applications when compared to torque converted automatic transmissions.

  • No additional cooling requirements over that of manual transmissions.

  • Excellent service and parts availability through the Roadranger Field Marketing organization and every North American truck dealership.

  • Common components between existing Eaton manual and current UltraShift platforms.