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Eaton set to tackle Allison in vocational market

In a surprise move, transmission manufacturer Eaton is set to take on Allison Transmissions in the lucrative vocational market. Although details are still to be confirmed, ATN understands Eaton is currently testing Kenworth and Mack models fitted with a 9-speed automated manual transmission. As part of the transmission's appeal to operators, the 9-speed is fitted with a rear PTO to drive the agitator barrel, reducing noise in the truck cabin.

Gary Worrall| October 12, 2011

In a surprise move, transmission manufacturer Eaton is set to take on Allison Transmissions in the lucrative vocational market.

Although details are still to be confirmed, ATN understands Eaton is currently testing Kenworth and Mack models fitted with a 9-speed automated manual transmission.

As part of the transmission’s appeal to operators, the 9-speed is fitted with a rear PTO to drive the agitator barrel, reducing noise in the truck cabin.

Currently, Allison is the transmission of choice among operators of cement agitators, however Eaton appears keen to secure a slice of the lucrative market.

While the rumoured entry to the market is aiming only at agitators, if it is successful then economics would dictate other key Allison applications, including waste compactors.

It is believed prototypes are under construction at both Mack and Kenworth, with Eaton engineering staff working alongside factory personnel to ensure the transmissions operate correctly.

Despite being fitted with an electronic actuator for the clutch, the transmission is believed to have no weight penalty, by eliminating the in-cab clutch pedal and all connections.

Also specific to the application will be shift programming, aimed at providing smooth and efficient operation.

The technology involved is understood to be similar to the current Ultrashift transmission, which retains the non-synchro 18-speed Road Ranger, fitted with an electronically-controlled clutch.

 

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