Problem: Redbank Transport is a family-owned, 65-truck fleet that specializes in moving aggregates throughout the tri-state area of Ohio, Indiana and Kentucky. According to co-owner Dave Jackson, inclement weather can be especially difficult for driver and truck. “We do a lot of off-road work,” adds Jackson, “and a lot of the time we are trying to get into a place where it just rained all night. It can get quite soft.”
Solution: Jackson has been a longtime proponent of automated manual transmissions, and first experimented with the design in 2012 to help satisfy his maneuverability, fuel efficiency and driver comfort requirements. He is now running eight trucks with Eaton UltraShift PLUS VCS models, four sleeper-equipped trucks with UltraShift PLUS VHP models and two daycabs with UltraShift PLUS MHP models. The transmissions have a fully automated two-pedal design with no clutch pedal, an electronic clutch actuator for smooth engagement, and safety features including auto neutral and Intelligent Hill Start Aid, which prevents roll-back and roll-forward while launching on grades.
Result: “When we first looked into Eaton AMTs it was because we wanted to improve our fuel mileage,” says Jackson. “We like the results and we are now seeing about 5.67 miles per gallon, which is a big improvement.” As for maneuverability, Jackson says working with his Roadranger representative has helped with some fine-tuning of transmission software to the point where trucks are performing as he wants. 800/826-4357; www.roadranger.com.