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The new Endurant 12speed AMT Photo Sean KilcarrAmerican Trucker
<p>The new Endurant 12-speed AMT. (<em>Photo: Sean Kilcarr/American Trucker</em>)</p>

New 12-speed AMT for heavy trucks

New 12-speed automated manual transmission (AMT) goes into production October 16 and will be initially mated to the new 2017 Cummins X15 family of heavy-duty engines.

ATLANTA. The Eaton Cummins Automated Transmission Technologies joint venture, formed between Eaton Corp. and engine maker Cummins just last April, introduced its first product here at the inaugural North American Commercial Vehicle (NACV) show: a 12-speed AMT dubbed the “Endurant.”

Scott Davis, general manager of the joint venture, noted that the Endurant is “a purpose-built, clean sheet design” linehaul AMT and incorporates over 400 hours of direct customer input.

“That customer input was deliberate; we wanted to get it into the process before we even began designing the product,” he explained to American Trucker. “We wanted to translate the needs of the fleet manager, truck driver, and technician into its architecture; we literally did not have a design ready when we sought this customer input.”

Davis added that development of the Endurant was already well underway long before the joint venture formation with Cummins, but by adding in Cummins engine knowledge, the Endurant’s integration within a complete powertrain went much smoother.

“Mechanical efficiencies only get you to a certain level; its shift maps and the fuel maps that represent the next level,” he said. “That and making sure there are no contradictions in fault codes between the transmission and engine.”

Features of the new Endurant AMT include:

  • A “wet weight” of 675 lbs., making it one of the lightest AMTs on the market;
  • The ability to handle loads of 110,000 lbs. and engine power up to 510 hp and 1,850 ft.-lbs. of torque
  • An internal electrical system routing that minimizes exposure and corrosion to wires and connectors for improved reliability;
  • A new smart prognostics feature provides clutch replacement notification to better plan maintenance scheduling;
  • A transmission fluid pressure sensor notifies drivers of low oil levels to provide “burn-up” warranty coverage;
  • A “B10” life of 1.2 million miles;
  • Predictive shifting using look-ahead technology to execute shift decisions that improve fuel efficiency and provide additional driver comfort;
  • A standard 8-bolt PTO opening that Eaton Cummins said helps “enhance resales value” the company said;
  • A 750,000-mile lube change interval for linehaul applications, which helps reduce downtime and maintenance costs;
  • A maintenance-free 430mm self-adjust clutch that requires no grease;
  • Only 16 pints of oil are needed for the Endurant, or about half the amount of competitive models, the company noted;
  • A replaceable input shaft sleeve allows for affordable and quick repair without a full teardown;
  • The standard Endurant transmission warranty is five years/750,000 miles for linehaul commercial vehicles, and three years/350,000 miles for the clutch. One-year and two-year extended protection plans are also available, the company said.

Gerard DeVito, chief technology officer for the joint venture and vice president-technology for the Eaton Vehicle Group, added that the clutch actuator on the Endurant AMT can be replaced without “dropping” the transmission out the chassis to do so; a potential savings of $5,000 in terms of maintenance cost and vehicle downtime, he said.

“It is important to note that Endurant is not an automated variant that has been adapted from a manual transmission,” he stressed. “Endurant was designed, engineered and created from a clean sheet to be an automated transmission, not simply an update to an AMT, allowing us to optimize the transmission’s weight, dimensions and features.”

He added that the Kenworth T680 and Peterbilt Model 579 will be the first truck units that can be equipped with the Endurant once it is in full production this October.

Eaton Cummins’ Davis added that AMTs are now becoming the transmission of choice in the heavy-duty truck market, at least according to truck order data.

“Six years ago only 10% to 15% of trucks we’re spec’d with an AMT; today that is 70% and we expect that to go higher,” he said.

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