UltraShift PLUS® Gives Heavy-Haul Fleet Safer Operations and Cost Savings
“If you are ahead of the curve with technology, like the UltraShift PLUS transmissions that can reduce the workload for the driver, you are going to be better prepared to meet customer requirements.”
Owner, Paul’s Hauling Ltd.,Canada
Paul’s Hauling Ltd. is one of Canada’s foremost transportation service providers. The company was established in 1957 shortly after Paul Albrechtsen emigrated from Denmark to Canada. By 1959 the company was operating eight trucks, hauling crude oil and salt water for the petroleum industry. In 1961 operations moved from Brandon, Manitoba, to Winnipeg.
Since then, the company has built a new headquarters and expanded to other areas of the country. Today, Paul’s Hauling is comprised of a group of transportation and logistics companies acquired by its owner, with branches in Ontario, Manitoba and Saskatchewan. Paul Albrechtsen continues to oversee operations of the Paul’s Hauling group of companies.
His son, John Erik Albrechtsen, is manager of perations, and he certainly knows trucking. He’s been around trucks since the age of 12, and since 1980 he’s been involved in just about all aspects of the company.
Paul’s Hauling was using 18-speed manual transmissions to deliver 12 loads of jet fuel per day to Winnipeg’s airport. “Every two hours, around the clock, they go by our doorstep with loads averaging more than 135,000 pounds,” said John Erik.
Those runs require a lot of shifting and the payloads are extremely heavy, and the company felt that its drivers, who are the lifeblood of any trucking company, would be more productive by eliminating the shifting. That, in turn, would allow them to “better concentrate on the external environment around them, like cars that might create a situation requiring their attention,” said John Erik. “You are naturally a better driver when you focus on the road and not on the equipment.”
Hiring drivers and training them are additional challenges that most fleets need to address and can often be a costly, time-consuming process. Paul’s Hauling wanted to address this issue, as well.
Representatives of Eaton approached the company to see if they would be interested in testing a pre-production model of the new UltraShift PLUS® automated transmissions that require no shifting. John Eric agreed, and working with his Roadranger field representatives, he had two units retrofitted with UltraShift PLUS MXP (Multipurpose Extreme Performance) transmissions.
One of six new UltraShift PLUS models, the MXP has an overall ratio of 20:1 and features 18 forward speeds and four reverse speeds. The transmission essentially has no weight restrictions.
The MXP transmissions are a part of the new Performance platform of UltraShift PLUS. All are built with applicationspecific features and represent a wide range of new customized transmission designs. The MXP has been designed to operate in vehicles that normally carry extremely heavy loads in virtually any on-highway driving environment.
All Performance Series of UltraShift PLUS transmissions feature the highest torque capacity in the trucking industry – ranging from 1,450 lb-ft through 2,250 lb-ft and best-inclass low speed maneuverability, world class start-ability and ratio coverage. Each has also been manufactured with important driveline protection features such as stall prevention, engine over-speed protection, clutch abuse protection, and auto gear selection.
All of Eaton’s newest generation of automated transmissions feature 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.
The company liked what they saw in the test units and subsequently took delivery of two new International tractors outfitted with the new automated transmissions.
“The feedback we received from the drivers was highly favorable,” added John Erik. “One commented that he would never go back to a manual transmission. I, of course, really like the fact that our drivers no longer have to focus on progressive shifting.”
He adds that Eaton’s newest lineup of automated transmissions also allows the company to hire less experienced drivers. “They can still operate the trucks efficiently and effectively, which is important to us,” said John Eric. “Anybody can move goods from point A to point B. But the company that can do that best is the company that is going to get the business. So if you are ahead of the curve with technology, like the UltraShift PLUS transmissions that can reduce the workload for the driver, you are going to be better prepared to meet customer requirements.”
“We want to provide our clients with the highest quality transportation service available. And we see suppliers like Eaton, in part, certainly helping to achieve that objective.” UltraShift