March 13, 2013
Meritor’s FUELite Tandem Axle and Meritor WABCO Electronically Controlled Air Suspension (ECAS) has been recognized as a top technical achievement by the Truck Writers of North America (TWNA).
TWNA recognized the 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 in Nashville, Tenn. this week.
“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 6×2 spec becomes viable for many North American truck buyers who could benefit from the weight savings of a 6×2, yet don’t have to worry about potential loss of traction.”
Meritor’s FUELite is the first product in its SoloDrive Axle Series that features 6×2 tandem rear axles. Based on the 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 percent increase in fuel efficiency when compared to a traditional 6×4 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 6×2 vehicles versus 6×4, 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.
Jon Morrison, president and general manager of Meritor WABCO, and Charlie Allen, Meritor, general manager, North American technical service, received the award from TWNA award committee members.
“We’re very proud to receive this award for FUELite and ECAS from the TWNA,” Allen says. “It’s testament to Meritor’s and Meritor WABCO’s continued development of lightweight, fuel efficient products.”