Eaton Launches UltraShift® PLUS Transmissions

Date: September 9, 2009

KALAMAZOO, Mich. … Diversified industrial manufacturer Eaton Corporation has 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 delivers unique and superior value for its intended application.

“The many different models reflect our commitment to now offer the trucking industry the best possible automated transmission solution for a variety of applications,” said 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 transmissions will soon be available for limited quantity release in a wide variety of heavy duty truck vocations for all makes and models of heavy-duty trucks manufactured in North America.  Full production is expected to begin in 2010. 

A total of six new transmission platforms are now 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 also 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; and Automatic, Manual and Low mode selections; as well as a Creep feature for significantly improved maneuverability with continuous low-speed control.

Kroon added that research, development and testing has been going on for UltraShift PLUS in the past seven years, and has included more than 25 test fleets throughout North America, logging more than 2,500 months of testing.  “The feedback that we have been getting from these fleets has been invaluable,” she added.  “And now that we are ready for production, the favorable reviews and requests for orders tells us we are right where we want to be with these new transmissions.”

Supporting Kroon’s claim is Chad McCormick, supervisor, T.J. Hunt Trucking in Chattanooga, Tennessee.  “We are all in agreement here that the shifting decisions are perfect and the pulling power is right where we want it to be,” said McCormick.  “It has exceeded the expectations of the three operators who have used it over the past year and a half.  It’s a great product.”

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.

For more information on Eaton transmissions and other Roadranger products and services, visit , where the latest product information is available, as well as service, parts and training assistance, 24 hours a day. Experts are available in the Roadranger Call Center by dialing 1-800-826-HELP (4357) in the U.S. and Canada.  In Mexico, dial 01-800-826-4357.

Roadranger® is a marketing alliance of Dana Holding Corporation, Eaton Corporation and other trusted partners, providing a complete line of drivetrain components, systems, lubricants, safety products and service tools, including manual and automatic transmissions, hybrid power systems, clutches, driveshafts, steer and drive axles, brakes, tire pressure management systems and collision warning systems with adaptive cruise control.  Truck makers, dealers, owners and service providers are supported by the Roadranger support team – providing specification assistance, training, service, parts and warranty expertise throughout North America.

Eaton Corporation is a diversified power management company with 2008 sales of $15.4 billion. Eaton is a global technology leader in electrical components and systems for power quality, distribution and control; hydraulics components, systems and services for industrial and mobile equipment; aerospace fuel, hydraulics and pneumatic systems for commercial and military use; and truck and automotive drivetrain and powertrain systems for performance, fuel economy and safety. Eaton has approximately 70,000 employees and sells products to customers in more than 150 countries. For more information, visit .

Monica Metty
(269) 342-3341