Kenworth Truck Co. has added the Eaton UltraShift PLUS automated transmission as an option for its Class 8 trucks.
Kenworth also will add Bendix Wingman ACB – Active Cruise with Braking as an option for its T660, T700 and T800 Class 8 models.
“Fleets are increasingly interested in automated transmissions,” said Jason Skoog, Kenworth director of marketing planning and research. “The new electronic clutch actuation technology in the Eaton UltraShift PLUS will not only benefit our on-highway customers, but also those operating Kenworth T800 and W900 trucks in construction and other vocational applications.”
The transmission is available in 10- to 18-speed configurations with torque capabilities ranging from 1,450 to 2,050 lb-ft.
The UltraShift PLUS transmission’s electronic clutch actuation system allows for quick shifts and clutch engagement, regardless of engine RPM. The system automatically selects an appropriate start gear and adapts shift decisions based on the driving environment. It also provides better control of engine and transmission functions, providing smooth automated shifting and vehicle starts.
The UltraShift PLUS transmission offers some key features. The hill start aid holds the truck on an incline for three seconds to allow drivers time to move their foot from the brake to the throttle without rolling. Creep mode provides constant ground speed for low speed control. Auto neutral automatically shifts the transmission to neutral if the vehicle is in a non-neutral mode, at or near zero ground speed, and the parking brakes are set.
The Bendix Wingman ACB system helps drivers maintain a set following distance behind a vehicle aided by visual and audible “always-on” warnings, which are available whenever the truck is in motion. Upon engaging the cruise control, the system also then provides active interventions, including dethrottling, engaging the engine retarder, and applying the brakes to help maintain the set following distance. The system includes stationary object alerts that help drivers by providing warnings on metallic objects, such as stalled cars, in their lane of travel – which can be especially helpful in low visibility conditions such as night, fog or heavy rain, and snow.
Affected tractors are equipped with an automated Eaton UltraShift Plus or Eaton Advantage Transmission with right hand stalk shifter. In the affected trucks, the display on the instrument panel can indicate “N” when the shifter is set into “D” or “R,” causing the truck not to move.