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ZF launches new transmission system for heavy trucks

German powertrain specialist ZF introduced its new automatic transmission system for heavy trucks. With a completely new basic transmission and a modular concept, TraXon meets the demand of the commercial vehicle market for a versatile solution for a broad range of applications.
The innovative transmission offers more torque, without compromises with regard to the power-to-weight ratio; it has a higher gear spread while the noise quality was improved; and, depending on the application, it can not only be driven by a dry clutch but also by a hybrid module, dual-clutch module, or a torque converter clutch. Furthermore, it can be combined with an engine-dependent PTO. For the new transmission, ZF developed the revolutionary PreVision GPSshifting strategy which works in an anticipatory and especially fuel-saving way thanks to GPS connection and an interface to navigation data.
It is this space-saving design in combination with the newly designed gearsets that turns the TraXon into a benchmark in terms of the power-to-weight ratio. The new ZF transmission can transmit torques considerably above 3,000 newton metres and is therefore also attractive for markets where trucks with a gross vehicle weight of 60 tonnes are used. TraXon can be obtained with 12 or 16 speeds – both are available as Direct Drive or Overdrive versions – the latter with a particularly long ratio of the highest speed. All versions of the TraXon basic transmission have a very high transmission spacing, enabling the driver to manoeuvre the truck in a balanced and comfortable way without the transmission becoming more prone to wear, e.g. due to excessive load on the clutch.
ZF development engineers managed to considerably reduce the noise development of the TraXon compared to the AS Tronic by an average of 6 dB by introducing a new gearing design, innovations for the transmission housing, and by integrating an anti-rattling damper.
Furthermore, the transmission concept allows for two additional reverse gears. ZF offers the TraXon with a total of four reverse gears as additional option. These enable longer, quicker reversing for special applications, such as trucks which are used at highway construction sites. In terms of efficiency, the TraXon basic transmission with transmission efficiency of about 99.7 percent (Direct Drive) is extremely well positioned compared to the competitors.
Modular design with several variablesOne essential advantage of TraXon is its modular transmission design. This makes it possible to combine the basic transmission with three starting or shift modules, respectively, which make the transmission more economical in practice, give manufacturers and fleet operators the best possible flexibility for every application, and increase the comfort for the driver. In addition to the single and twin plate dry clutch for applications with particularly high torque requirements, ZF will offer the TraXon Hybrid, a hybrid module for the TraXon – for the first time for heavy commercial vehicles. An electric motor with 120 kW power and a separating clutch enable all hybrid functions – such as recuperation, electric driving, boosting, and the start-stop function. For special transports, the electric motor can also be used for the power supply of additional units – e.g. for cooling. Also electric consumers in the driver’s cab can keep running with the TraXon Hybrid even when the combustion engine is shut down.
Versatile functions thanks to control softwareZF engineers have developed a standard software platform for the transmission control unit that can be used in all TraXon variants. It draws back on a number of sensors to determine the pitch, direction of rotation, or speeds, thereby enabling innovative transmission functions such as the anticipatory shifting strategy, rolling function, and more comfort when manoeuvring or starting.
The anticipatory GPS-based driving strategy PreVision GPS will prove to be an absolutely trailblazing innovation. ZF gives truck manufacturers the opportunity to link up the transmission with GPS data and digital map material. With the corresponding integration in the vehicle, PreVision GPS prevents gearshifts that may be unnecessary within the context of the terrain.

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