Meritor’s FUELite tandem drive axle and Meritor WABCO’s Electronically Controlled Air Suspension (ECAS) were recognized as top technical achievements by the Truck Writers of North America (TWNA).
TWNA recognized these products for weight savings, increased fuel efficiency and improved traction control for rear-axle applications with the Technical Achievement Award at the annual Technology and Maintenance Council (TMC) meeting held March 12-15 in Nashville TN.
“The selection committee was impressed with the Meritor FUELite’s ability to save significant weight from a Class 8 tractor,” said James Menzies, Truck News and Truck West executive editor. “When coupled with Meritor WABCO ECAS, the 6x2 spec becomes viable for many North American truck buyers who could benefit from the weight savings of a 6x2, yet don’t have to worry about potential loss of traction.”
FUELite is the first product in Meritor’s SoloDrive Axle Series that features 6x2 tandem rear axles. Based on the proven Meritor 160 series drive axle, the FUELite tandem axle is best suited for line-haul applications to maximize weight savings and increase fuel efficiency.
The Meritor FUELite tandem axle delivers nearly 400 pounds in weight savings and approximately a 2% increase in fuel efficiency when compared to a traditional 6x4 configuration.
Meritor WABCO’s ECAS is designed to improve a vehicle's air suspension control system by electronically maintaining a set ride height between the axle and chassis when road and vehicle characteristics change. The pressure control of the air springs is adjusted only when there is a change in the load, so normal axle vibration during driving does not cause height adjustment or consume air. Reduced air consumption decreases the compressor duty cycle, resulting in improved fuel economy.
ECAS offers automatic load transfer, significantly reducing drive axle wheel spin and traction control events during periods of aggressive acceleration. This feature addresses lower tractive effort of 6x2 vehicles versus 6x4, providing considerable improvement in traction on low friction surfaces to improve performance.
The Technical Achievement Award recognizes a product or service that exhibits technical innovation, has a wide applicability in the trucking industry, offers significant benefits and is widely available.
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