At the recent Mid-America Trucking Show in Louisville, Kentucky, Allison Transmission unveiled a new and unique fully automatic transmission for tractor units.

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The highly innovative gearbox, set to debut in North America in late 2012, has been designed specifically to maximise productivity and fuel efficiency during both cruising and stop-start operation.

As the first powershifting, twin countershaft design for commercial vehicles, the transmission incorporates Allison’s proven torque converter technology to deliver uninterrupted power to the wheels.

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This functionality delivers productivity and fuel efficiency to stop-and-go portions of a route, while the 10-speed countershaft architecture offers superior fuel economy during cruising on highways.

Coupled with the smooth shifting and ease of operation benefits offered by a fully-automatic, this new technology provides OEMs and operators with a competitive and fuel efficient alternative to automated manual gearboxes.

“Initial in-vehicle tests have shown worthwhile gains in fuel economy, and we achieved increases in vehicle miles-per-workday,” Lou Gilbert, Allison Transmission’s Director of North American Market Development told Tachoblog.

“Our rigorous testing has also shown this new transmission offers better fuel economy than an automated manual in the targeted duty cycle markets for which it was developed.”

Continuing Allison’s commitment to offer excellent fuel efficiency, the new transmission will also incorporate a range of intelligent features including Load Based Shift Schedules (LBSS), Reduced Engine Load at Stop (RELS) and more. Tuned to the vehicle powertrain, these features deliver an optimum blend of performance and economy specific to application, customer need and duty cycle.

The new development also draws on Allison’s extensive experience to build durable transmissions that minimise whole life costs, including the torque converter that cushions and protects the entire drivetrain, as well as service features such as prognostics that allows operators to quickly monitor oil and filter life.

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At the Mid-America Truck Show, Allison demonstrated a Peterbilt tractor incorporating the new transmission for potential customers to drive and evaluate. “Once you combine exceptional fuel economy and miles-per-day with Allison quality, reliability and durability, you’ve got a transmission that will redefine tractor performance and operating efficiencies,” concludes Gilbert.