Eaton and Cummins announce powertrain package for North American heavy duty truck market

Eaton and Cummins have unveiled a new powertrain package for the North American heavy duty truck market that is expected to deliver 3 to 6 percent fuel economy improvements, lower preventative maintenance costs and total lifecycle cost improvements.

The new product integrates the recently introduced Eaton Fuller Advantage Series automated transmission with new Cummins ISX15 SmartTorque2 ratings.

The product will be available in the fall of 2013 for linehaul, regional haul and less-than-truckload applications.

Speaking at a media at the annual Technology & Maintenance Council meeting, executives from both companies said this product announcement is the result of a long-standing collaboration between the two companies. The powertrain package promises to deliver a more fuel efficient, reliable and robust powertrain package, company officials said. 

Business relationship

"Cummins and Eaton have had an extensive technical and business relationship over the years in which we have collaborated on powertrain solutions for the North American on-highway markets that we serve," said Lori Thompson, Cummins vice president, Truck and Bus OEM Business. "This latest chapter in our partnership combines some of the best technologies from both companies and makes them smarter; delivering the level of fuel economy improvements that our customers have come to expect."

"The collaboration between the Eaton and Cummins teams has resulted in a superior powertrain package with which both fleet owners and professional drivers will be thrilled," said Tim Sinden, president North American Truck Operations, Eaton's Vehicle Group. "The level of integration between this transmission and engine is best in class in the North American heavy duty truck market." 

Powertrain package benefits

The Eaton Fuller Advantage Series automated transmission will be offered as a small ratio step Over-Drive model with new Cummins ISX15 SmartTorque2 ratings. The ISX15 415 ST2 has a torque of 1450/1650 ft-lbs. The ISX15 450 ST2 has a torque of 1550ft-lbs/1,750 ft-lbs.

Sinden said that through a combination of hardware and software enhancements the powertrain package benefits include:

- Integrated power, fuel and shifting strategies to provide 3 to 6 percent fuel economy improvement for linehaul and regional haul applications.

- Optimized engine and transmission communications and new control logic that enable further engine downspeeding in the overdrive position, and the effective use of direct drive technology in operational conditions required for a blend of perfect efficiency.

One of the main enhancements Eaton has made with its Fuller Advantage Series transmission is the elimination of the cooler, which helps to reduce the overall package weight and improve reliability.

Combined with the use of aluminum for the rear transmission housing, range cylinder, shift bar housing and the shift tower - along with a thin wall, cast iron main case design – the new transmission weighs 75 lbs less than Eaton's UltraShift PLUS LAS base model, he noted. A new precision lubrication system for precise and efficient transmission lubrication further enhances fuel economy by reducing churning losses. 

Fuel economy benefits

The new engine and transmission combination has been designed specifically to work smarter to maximize fuel economy benefits, Cummins' Thompson said. The company's new ISX15 SmartTorque2 ratings are the next generation of today's SmartTorque ratings and precisely manage the power needed for the load demand.

The Vehicle Acceleration Management is a patented Cummins electronic feature that manages vehicle acceleration for smoother shifting, she pointed out. This feature contributes to fuel economy benefits in stop and go duty cycles found in regional haul applications.

The powertrain package is currently undergoing field testing with various sized fleets, and initial testing and customer validation results are confirming the 3 to 6 percent fuel economy improvement.

The Eaton and Cummins powertrain package will be supported by Eaton's Roadranger team of sales and service professionals and Cummins extensive network.