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AIM Leasing Company

Eaton Procision transmissions have widespread use in the fleet.

“Good performance and good service – that's a combination that's tough to beat.“

LeRoy Casali, regional maintenance director, AIM Leasing Company

Background

AIM Leasing Company, headquartered in Girard, Ohio, was founded in 1962 and today boasts more than 100 locations in the U.S., Canada and Mexico. An additional 50,000 affiliated service and vendor locations comprise the vast landscape of this largest privately owned truck leasing company in North America.

A member of the NationaLease organization, AIM employs more than 1,000 people, while maintaining and operating some 8,000 vehicles.

All of those vehicles and people over the years have been so well managed, AIM has been on the receiving end of several noteworthy awards.

AIM has twice – in 2010 and 2013 – been named one of Commercial Carrier Journal's "Innovators of the Year" recipients. Transport Topics also recognized the company's accomplishments by ranking it one of the "Top 25 Logistics Companies in the U.S."

Customers, too, have recognized the excellence. In 2012 Firestone Building Products presented AIM with its prestigious "Supplier Excellence Award," an honor that was given to only three suppliers worldwide that year.

Eaton has been a longtime supplier of transmissions to the organization, and keenly aware of the size and success of AIM, offered to test the new Procision™ as an ideal solution to the company's medium-duty transmission needs.

Challenge

Following discussions with AIM's senior vice president, Terry Dimascio, two 2014 Freightliner M2 vehicles were outfitted with early prototypes of the new transmissions and delivered to AIM's Denver location.

From there LeRoy Casali, regional maintenance director for AIM, and Frank Macri, Denver service manager for AIM, took over the evaluation.

That's when Casali and Macri decided to put the two vehicles in their rental fleet, where users from a variety of vocations could operate the trucks through a host of applications.

That was perfectly okay with Eaton, because from inception the Procision transmissions were being targeted to meet and exceed the needs of the wide range of medium-duty markets – from pickup and delivery vehicles, school buses and tow trucks, to beverage vehicles and trucks for butchers, bakers and candlestick makers.

Solution

To best accomplish this wide range of coverage, Eaton employed a relatively new concept in the commercial truck industry – dual-clutch technology – that would allow for more efficient acceleration from a stopped position and also optimize shift points to efficiently get to the highest gear. Gear changes are made by swapping the engine torque between clutches with the next gear preselected.

The dual-clutch module is fully contained within the transmission, hydraulically controlled and oil cooled for extended life.

Eaton reports that initial testing has confirmed fuel efficiency improvements of eight to ten percent when compared to a similarly equipped vehicle with an automatic transmission with a torque converter.

The new Procision transmissions also benefitted from Eaton's 30-plus years of experience with automation in the heavy-duty side of trucking. The mediumduty Procision transmission features electronic shifting that uses grade, vehicle weight and throttle input to provide optimal fuel efficiency and smooth, continuous delivery of torque to a vehicle's wheels.

Result

Those performance characteristics, says Macri, are what he likes best. "I noticed it has faster pickup and go from a starting position than the automatic transmissions that we have," notes the 37-year trucking industry veteran. "This new transmission seems to engage quicker and pick up speed faster. "Simply based on the pickup that you get when you throttle up, empty or loaded, we will definitely be ordering Procision in the future."

Casali agrees, "I drove it, and yes, it was a smooth operating transmission," says the 27-year veteran. "I also talked with one of the guys at the construction company who drove it before we had to take it back. He really liked the smooth shifting and said it was more like his personal vehicle than a truck."

Meanwhile all of those rental customers aren't saying much of anything. "We don't get a lot of feedback from rental customers unless they are having a problem" says Casali. "So no news is good news."

If they ever do have a problem, Casali is confident that Eaton will respond in a big way.

"I'm really glad Eaton came to us to test the transmissions. We have been communicating the good results with our corporate offices in Ohio and they seem to be on board to buy this transmission in the future. Good performance and good service – that's a combination that's tough to beat."