Eaton Demonstrates Clutch-Engagement Advances for UltraShift Plus Models

November 5, 2015

Eaton Corp. demonstrated two new low-speed maneuverability features for its vocational and highway automated transmissions at its proving grounds near Marshall, Mich.

The features include “Blended Pedal” and “Urge to Move” clutch engagement, representatives said.  They allow precise movement of a truck to precisely place loads of aggregates or concrete, for example, and make a driver’s work easier.

The new features are available with UltraShift Plus and Advantage transmissions, said Evan Vijithakumara, product strategy manager. The features work thusly:

·         Blended Pedal – Gradual or quick clutch engagement depending on the accelerator’s position. Alternating a light foot with pedal release sends the clutch face partially against the flywheel, then disengages it. This is enabled when the transmission is in Low or Manual Modes, and in Reverse in some trucks. It is akin to a driver using the clutch pedal of a manual transmission to slip the clutch to move the truck very slowly and for very short distances, or to positively engage the clutch to get out of mud or soft ground.

·         Urge to Move – When the feature is enabled in Drive, Manual, Low or Reverse, the driver releases the brake pedal and the clutch smoothly engages at engine-idle speed, moving the truck forward or rearward and keeping it moving as long as the service brakes are off. The powertrain then is in “creep” mode, or the driver can push the accelerator to gain speed. As demonstrated later, urge to move can start heavy trucks on steep grades with little or no driveline vibration.

Blended Pedal and Urge to Move can be programmed into electronic controls of Vocational Construction Series 8LL, Vocational Multipurpose Series 9LL, and 18-speed Multipurpose Extreme Performance automated transmissions, Vijithakumara said. They’re also available in highway versions of the UltraShift Plus and Advantage series.

Programming is done with Eaton service software on a laptop, often at no charge. And the features can be applied to most new and some existing transmissions.

Construction Equipment’s Truck Editor Tom Berg drove dump and mixer trucks and a heavy-haul tractor at the on/off-road area of the grounds to experience how the features work and what they can do. They will be the subjects of a Field Test in the January issue of the magazine.