The Next Stage of the Development of AMT for Eaton

the next stage of the development of AMT for Eaton

The introduction of the Endurant XD transmission marks the beginning of the next stage of the development of AMT for Eaton. This is looking like the biggest model change from the company in over twenty years. Even developments like the Ultrashift were still based on the Roadranger gearbox, with automation added. 

Endurant is a completely clean sheet design, both in terms of hardware and software perspective. Eaton here in Australia have been working with the 12 speed transmission here in Australia, where it is already being sold in the Kenworth range as the Paccar AMT. The XD is the next evolution from the current offering to a heavier transmission with more speeds to take its capabilities up into the heaviest tasks in Australia.

“Our AMT share at the moment, is around 30 per cent, when choosing between manual and AMT,” says Graeme Weston, Eaton Vehicle Group Australia Leader. “Is the Endurant going to make that step change and bring that figure up to 40 or 50 per cent? It will be interesting to see what happens. 

“I think when we get into more down-speeding and more of a focus on fuel economy, as we go to Euro 6, then AMT is going to be the only way that you can deliver that fuel economy. We have been thinking about this for a number of years. That’s why we have got the Cummins integrated powertrain. Plus, we have done all the work on down-speeding to focus on fuel economy.

“The fleets which have adopted the idea as part of their strategy, have been successful at it. It does take a different mindset from the driver. Unless the company embraces it, the benefits can be pretty limited.”

Endurant is a completely clean sheet AMT design

This process of transitioning across from a Roadranger culture to the Endurant XD culture may be difficult, but some operators have seen phenomenal reductions in fuel use. It’s not just bringing axle ratios down from 4.3:1 and using taller diffs to reduce rpm, there needs to be a change of attitude.

“I can remember one fleet which has grown recently and the fuel savings across the fleet they have managed to achieve, have almost fuelled their growth,” says Graeme. “If your fuel bill across a fleet is $100 million, it’s important to get things right.”

The development of all elements used on a truck is moving fast and there it’s no longer about standalone components, it’s about a whole integrated system. The joint venture between Cummins and Eaton is an example where the sophisticated control systems of the engine and transmission need to be developed together so that they are communicating all of the time to get the best results. These kinds of data sharing and communications are going on all over a truck and trailer combination all of the time. 

Building a truck or a combination is no longer simply a mix and match process, but all of the components involved need to be developed in concert with the rest of the truck to get the kind high efficiency and safe outcomes the modern trucking industry demands.

the next stage of the development of AMT for Eaton