LOUISVILLE, K.Y..… Diversified industrial manufacturer Eaton Corporation today revealed details of positive customer evaluations of its new UltraShift PLUS automated transmissions.
“These initial reviews have been across-the-board positive,” said Staci Kroon, senior vice president and general manager for Eaton’s Commercial Vehicle Transmission business. “So much so, in fact, we see a very bright future for UltraShift PLUS in a broad range of commercial truck applications.”
Following is what three of those test fleets customers, each with a uniquely configured and different platform of UltraShift PLUS transmission, had to say:
UltraShift PLUS LAS – Linehaul Active Shifting
Sean Webb, director of maintenance for Pride Transport, has been in the forefront of a yearlong evaluation of an UltraShift PLUS LAS transmission, which has been configured for linehaul service. Based in Salt Lake City, Utah, Pride Transport is a refrigerated carrier providing coast-to-coast service throughout the U.S.
Webb, who has been with Pride Transport for 26 years, said that after driving the vehicle, he was impressed with the transmission performance. “The Hill Start Aid feature is especially impressive, as is the way the transmission backs up and allows for really smooth hook-ups,” said Webb. “It is a huge improvement over the older automated transmissions.”
Webb adds that he has not had one issue with the transmission since it debuted at Pride Transport, and the current driver “must like it because we have not heard from him regarding anything negative.”
Pride Transport currently runs about 300 power units and roughly 450 trailers. All future new truck purchases, adds Webb, “will definitely include the new transmission. In fact, I’d like to have them in all of my trucks right now if I could.”
UltraShift PLUS VMS – Vocational Multipurpose Series
Colin Pinkerton, professional engineer and equipment manager for Lafarge, Inc. conducted his evaluation with no less than 54 ready-mix trucks with UltraShift PLUS VMS transmissions. He also experienced three hands-on test drives at the Eaton Proving Grounds in Marshall, Mich.
“The curb and gutter work that we were able to accomplish in low-low hold mode was outstanding,” says Pinkerton, the 37-year trucking industry veteran. “Operating at less than one mile-per-hour, we were capable of pouring 55 to 65 feet per minute. That’s very important to us, as that type of performance really improves our overall efficiency and will definitely help us operate more profitably.”
Pinkerton is equally enthusiastic with the transmission’s ease of operation and enhanced safety features. “We like the fact that our drivers do not have to worry about shifting the UltraShift PLUS transmissions,” says Pinkerton. “Because they are now keeping both hands on the wheel and both eyes on the road, our drivers are much more attentive to driving the truck instead of constantly having to be concerned with shifting gears.”
UltraShift PLUS VCS – Vocational Construction Series
Chad McCormick, supervisor for T.J. Hunt Trucking, Chattanooga, Tenn., was one of the earliest fleets to test the new UltraShift PLUS transmissions. T.J. Hunt has been in business for 13 years and currently runs 19 dump trucks.
“About 95 percent of our business is hauling and dumping asphalt to assist in paving of interstates and local roads,” says McCormick. “The new transmission has exceeded the expectations of the three operators who have used it for more than a year-and-a-half now.”
During that period, his UltraShift PLUS VCS transmission has accumulated more than 60,000 miles. “We are all in agreement that the shifting decisions are perfect and the pulling power is right where we want it to be for our operations,” adds McCormick. “We also like the fact that clutch adjustments are a thing of the past with the new transmissions. It’s a great product.”
For more information on Eaton transmissions and other Roadranger products and services, visit www.roadranger.com , 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 2009 sales of $11.9 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