Focusing on efficiency, ZF Passau GmbH is rolling out systems that trim fuel consumption. Its Efficiency Package improves driveline technology for vehicles such as wheel loaders and diesel lift trucks that must perform quickly with millimeter accuracy, while Ergopower L II focuses on dump trucks.
The Efficiency Package includes a number of elements such as Ecotraction and Ergopower, which together “provides double digit improvements in fuel economy, as much as 20%,” said Manfred Schwab, a Member of ZF’s Board of Directors.
The Ergopower transmission now has five instead of four gears. It’s enhanced by Ecotraction, which optimizes the engagement and disengagement of the powershift differentials. Automating the optional axle disconnect at the transmission helps improve fuel consumption. When transmission control identifies changes in conditions such as those from rough terrain to highways or other situations in which all-wheel-drive is not required, it automatically disengages the all-wheel-drive or, conversely, re-engages it for on-site operation.
Another element within the Efficiency Package is Ergolockup, which engages the torque converter lock-up clutch in low gears. It ensures that at low speeds, the converter lock-up clutch is applied by modulation via software. Beyond fuel savings, operating at slower engine speeds reduces noise.
Another version of Ergopower, Ergopower L II, is designed for dump trucks carrying up to 50-ton (45-t) payloads. This hydrodynamic powershift transmission changes gears without interrupting the tractive force. It has eight forward and four reverse gears, providing a wide overall transmission ratio with equal ratio steps that increases the percentage of time that vehicles are driven at low engine speeds. This feature improves fuel economy and decreases noise while also reducing engine wear.
The transmission is also easy to install. All oil lines are located within the transmission. The electronic transmission control sits atop the hydraulic control unit, drastically reducing wiring. Just one connector links the transmission to the vehicle.