Posted: 03/24/10 03:13 PM
New Meritor 14X Drive Axle Offers North American Truck Operators Distinct Efficiency, Long-Life Improvements
Next-generation axle sets new standard for linehaul market
LOUISVILLE, Ky., March 24 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- ArvinMeritor, Inc. (NYSE:ARM) today unveiled an all-new Meritor 14X tandem drive axle. The new drivetrain component is an advanced evolutionary axle system built on the legacy of the RT145, one of the industry's most successful tandem axles. With an extensive engineering pedigree, the new axle was created to maximize performance and ensure efficiency for North American truck operators.
The new axle -- unveiled at a major press event and product exhibition here at the annual Mid-America Trucking Show, will enter manufacturing production in June 2010 with planned deliveries to all major North American OEMs.
"The 14X brings the rich heritage of its predecessor with a 'tried and true' design that will stand the test of time," said Joe Plomin, vice president - Truck, ArvinMeritor. "It's an evolution of one of the most successful tandem drive axles in the commercial truck industry, with nearly two million RT145s manufactured since 1985. New developments include a more robust and efficient inter-axle differential, the fastest ratio and widest range of axle ratios, and several other design enhancements while continuing to be the lightest axle in its class."
Many motor carriers of various sizes have road-tested the new axle accumulating more than six million miles of operation, with exceptional performance. One customer, Tim Tipps, vice president - Maintenance, Big G Express of Shelbyville, Tenn., said, "when we were looking to lower our engine RPMs at cruise speed with direct transmissions, Meritor had the solution with the 14X equipped with the 2.47:1 ratio that brought our engine RPMs into the economy range we needed. Durability has been excellent and the extra boost in MPG has saved us money in this tough economy."
ArvinMeritor executives noted the gradual trucking industry recovery and cited the timing as "ideal" as the timing for a major new drivetrain component introduction.
"We've done our homework," said Plomin. "We're ready, with the right product at the right time. We know our fleet customers are laser-focused on fuel economy and reliability, and with this new axle, we're providing them with technology they want and need."
The new 14X axle features three primary benefits:
-- More robust inter-axle differential - the strength was added to the
right critical component. The inter-axle differential (now 20 percent
larger) can accommodate the increased nominal torque, up to 2050 ft.
lbs. in certain applications, of today's high-torque rise diesel
engines. The unit includes helical gear needle bearings for reduced
heat and wear; upsized main differential side bearings for more
capacity; and larger input shaft and rear side bearing for strength.
-- Premium Amboid design now standard equipment for all end-users - the
above-centerline design of the inter-axle driveline provides
significant improvements: reduced operating pressures for increased
driveline life, less driveline angularity, vibration and energy loss;
improved ride quality; and overall longer component life.
-- Most complete range of ratios - the 14X offers the fastest ratio in
the industry, 2.47:1 and all the way up to 7.17:1. The extensive range
ensures coverage for nearly every application and specific engine
manufacturers' EPA 2010 recommendations.
Other new key features include:
-- Optional DualTrac(TM) track housing - the new, optional intermediate
track housing is designed to optimize the use of wide-based tires.
This feature allows that the use of wide-based, super-single tires
with the equivalent bearing life of axles equipped with dual tire
configurations, while still offering convertibility back to
-- Newly-designed axle breather - this new feature helps prevent water
and other contaminants from entering the carrier while keeping the
lube in place. Based on numerous tests and benchmarking procedures by
ArvinMeritor's engineering team, the new breather outperforms
competitors in its ability to allow axles vital breathing capacity
while keeping contaminants out.
The axle can be outfitted with Meritor foundation drum brakes or Meritor air discs depending on the fleet's preference.
"The Meritor brand stands for strength and dependability which transcends to the company's commercial vehicle axles (and brakes), products which carry some of the toughest loads imaginable on roadways all across North America," said Plomin. "We continue that tradition with the newest addition to our axle family - the Meritor 14X. This next-generation linehaul axle is a distinctive design that sets an even higher standard for the future," said Plomin.
The axle is produced and assembled by the company's manufacturing facilities in Asheville, N.C., and Forrest City, N.C.
Source: ArvinMeritor, Inc.