Drivers that handle long combination vehicles that feature two or more trailers need precise control when dealing with whatever man and nature throw at them. Their trucks need tough engines and excellent fuel efficiency — especially when they are on long routes in America and Canada where there are limited major repair and refueling options.
LCV drivers need the highest performance powertrain packages in their trucks. With this in mind, several LCV fleet owners have turned to a specific package to aid them that combines the Cummins ISX15 Engine (475 hp/1,650 lb.-ft. torque with ADEPT SmartCoast and SmartTorque 2), Eaton 16-speed UltraShift Plus LSE Transmission and Meritor MT40-14X Tandem Axles (2.85 ratio).
The ISX15 offers higher fuel efficiency as compared to other standard 450 hp engines. It also offers the best control on the road when packaged with the more precise 16-speed LSE transmission. The Cummins SmartCoast feature saves fuel by going into an engine idling state on less than 4 percent downgrades until the speed increases to 3 mph over the programmed cruise speed. At that point, the transmission automatically switches and the engine restarts without any need for the driver to brake. Drivers that take downgrades at faster speeds can also set SmartCoast for automatic disengagement when the speed increases by up to 6 mph. The SmartTorque 2 feature automatically calculates torque as determined by the gross vehicle weight and the road grade via a transmission sensor. The engine and transmission combined with the MT40-14X Tandem Axles at the 2.85 ratio provide drivers with optimal performance up to 110,000 pounds. Total gross weight will not decrease fuel efficiency as long as it stays below that amount. Whether a driver has to carry a big haul at a total gross weight of 110,000 pounds across hundreds of miles while running at 55 mph or only the truck’s weight with no freight on the way back, the truck will run at optimal control and fuel levels.
There are few downsides to this package:
- Drivers usually need training on the differences between using this package and, for example, a standard manual 10-speed engine package.
- Drivers also have to learn to not tap their vehicle brakes when using the SmartCoast feature on downgrades.
This powertrain is a fantastic pick for LCVs. It can also be used for less-than-truckload (LTL) and full truckload (FTL) vehicles and runs.