Eaton and Navistar develop new, fuel friendly UltraShift PLUS transmissions

The new UltraShift PLUS LSE (Linehaul Small-Step Efficiency) will be released initially with Navistar's proprietary MaxxForce 13L SCR engines on the International branded vehicles and followed shortly thereafter with Cummins ISX15 engines.


Diversified industrial manufacturer Eaton has launched a new family of UltraShift PLUS transmissions designed exclusively for Navistar to maximize fuel efficiency in linehaul applications. To be co-released by the two companies, the new 16-speed direct drive automated mechanical transmissions are designed with a small 17 percent step between gears to optimize time in a diesel engine's most efficient RPM zone and help reduce fuel consumption.

The new UltraShift PLUS LSE (Linehaul Small-Step Efficiency) will be released initially with Navistar's proprietary MaxxForce 13L SCR engines on the International branded vehicles and followed shortly thereafter with Cummins ISX15 engines.

Fleets involved with testing the new transmissions have reported fuel economy improvements from two to four percent. Production is scheduled to take place in April of this year.

"The direct drive design also boosts the efficiency of the transmission gear train, to further promote excellent fuel consumption," said Shane Groner, North America product planning manager for Eaton's Commercial Vehicle Transmission Division. "All of the other features and benefits of the UltraShift PLUS are included in this newest addition to our lineup."

"Fuel economy has been the cornerstone of the International ProStar, and with the collaboration with Eaton on the 16-speed direct drive automated transmission, we're able to deliver even more tangible fuel economy benefits to our customers," says Steve Gilligan, VP, Product Marketing, Navistar.

The new UltraShift PLUS LSE transmission has 16 forward gears and two reverse gears, and an overall ratio of 14.40. The standard warranty is 5-year/750,000 miles for the transmission and 3-year/350,000 miles for the clutch.

All UltraShift PLUS transmissions use an electronic clutch actuator to provide faster shifting and smoother engagement. The clutch is fully engaged at idle, giving the driver ultimate control in challenging situations, like parking lots, loading docks and other tight spaces.

Additional UltraShift PLUS features include:

  • Fully automated two-pedal design (no clutch pedal).
  • Safety features include auto neutral and Intelligent Hill Start Aid, which prevents roll-back and roll-forward while launching on grades using foundation wheel brakes.
  • Automatic, Manual and Low modes offer driver full control.
  • Crepe Mode allows the vehicle to be driven at a constant speed (optional).

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