Carl Hergart PACCAR39s director of advanced technology prvodes an overview of the company39s new 12speed AMT Photo Neil AbtAmerican Trucker

Carl Hergart, PACCAR's director of advanced technology, prvodes an overview of the company's new 12-speed AMT. (Photo: Neil Abt/American Trucker)

New 12-speed AMT unveiled by PACCAR

The new automated gearbox, built in conjunction with Eaton Corp. in Mexico, will be available initially for Kenworth and Peterbilt linehaul trucks this October.

PACCAR Inc. will be introducing a new 12-speed automated mechanical transmission (AMT) this October, which will be offered for its Kenworth and Peterbilt linehaul truck models initially.

The new 12-speed gearbox is the missing piece “for our customers to complete our integrated powertrain” that includes the MX-13 and MX-11 engines, as well as PACCAR front and rear axles, according to Landon Sproull, PACCAR’s vice president for powertrain. 

Sproull spoke during a press conference and ride-and-drive event at the PACCAR Technical Center that included executives from PACCAR's Kenworth and Peterbilt truck manufacturing divisions as well.

Those executives said the new AMT is designed for line-haul applications up to 110,000 lbs. gross vehicle weight. It is available for engine ratings up to 510 HP and 1,850 lb.-ft. of torque.

They said it the lightest heavy-duty transmission for on-highway commercial vehicles at 657 lbs., which will further spark the transition to automated transmissions, already accounting for about 70% of Peterbilt and Kenworth on-highway orders.

This new integrated powertrain will be “the new for normal for line-haul customers,” with orders projected to reach 90% by 2020, according to Mike Dozier, general manager of Kenworth Truck Co.

Kyle Quinn, general manager of Peterbilt Motors Co., said customers will benefit from the almost 400 lbs. of total powertrain weight savings, offering higher fuel economy along with greater reliability.

TL carrier Schneider is one fleet that recently highlighted the continued and growing popularity of AMTs in the over-the-road sector, noting that it passed the halfway mark in its fleet-wide implementation of automated transmissions.

PACCAR executives added that its new 12-speed gearbox is “built from the ground-up” as an automated, rather than a converted manual transmission as many competitors have done – designed in close conjunction with Eaton Corp. over a three-year development period.

It will be manufactured at a plant in Mexico, PACCAR noted.

A new column-mounted shifter provides gear selection and engine brake controls at the driver’s fingertips, which PACCAR’s experts said helps improve driver performance and satisfaction.

Another feature is a 750,000-mile lubricant change interval that PACCAR said it the longest available for line-haul applications.

The new AMT also comes with a five-year, 750,000-mile warranty. It has already been tested for about 2 million miles.

The ride-and-drive allowed journalists to test out features such as “urged to move” and “creep” modes, as well as easier driving in reverse.

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