Fuel Smarts

Meritor Launches "Most Efficient" Drive Axle Ever

February 27, 2017

By Jim Park

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Photo by Jim Park
Photo by Jim Park

NASHVILLE -- Meritor unveiled its new 14X HE high-efficiency linehaul tandem drive axle on Feb. 26 here at the Technology & Maintenance Council's Annual Meeting & Transportation Technology Exhibition.

"Built upon our trusted and valued 14X platform that is specified by a large majority of fleets, the new 14X HE is an evolutionary axle that takes efficiency to a whole new level," said Ken Hogan, vice president, Rear Drivetrain for Meritor. "Based on today's diesel prices, a fleet with 1,000 trucks equipped with the 14X HE could realize $1 million per year in fuel savings."

Meritor's engineering teams used cutting-edge technologies to improve axle efficiency up to 1.5 percent while also reducing weight by 30 pounds over the current 14X design.

The 14X HE comes standard with high-efficiency bearings, spiral bevel gearing with precision finished gears for reduced friction, and the Meritor Lube Management system.

The lube management system is an innovative passive system that uses the ring gear to flow oil through channels in the housing directing it to the wheel ends.

Meritor uses laser welding to manufacture components to reduce weight and drive efficiencies, Hogan said. The 14X HE's ring gear is laser-welded to the differential housing, offering a very robust joint that eliminates fasteners and reduces oil churning losses.

"The X14 HE the most fuel-efficient drive axle on the market and we have the data to back that up," said John Nelligan, vice president of sales and service, Meritor North America. "This axle is over 96.5% efficient. There's very little room for parasitic loss at that level."

The X14 HE targets linehaul customers with ratios down to 2.15 for aggressive downspeeding.


Photo by Jim Park
The X14 HE targets linehaul customers with ratios down to 2.15 for aggressive downspeeding.Photo by Jim Park

The axle, which targets linehaul customers seeking fuel efficiency, has superfast ratios down to 2.15 for aggressive downspeeding. It's available in ratings from 2.15 to 3.90.

"With fuel being the largest operating cost to fleets, the 14X HE rounds out more of our portfolio with a product focused on improved fuel economy to save fleets money and reinforce Meritor's leadership is in axle efficiency," Hogan said. "Meritor recognizes that fuel prices won't stay low forever and that customers are always looking for solutions to reduce their operating costs."

The ring gear picks oil up from the sump and throws it into these holes, which channel the oil to the wheel ends for lubrication and cooling. Photo by Jim Park
The ring gear picks oil up from the sump and throws it into these holes, which channel the oil to the wheel ends for lubrication and cooling. Photo by Jim Park

The 14X HE is one of 20 new global products that Meritor will introduce as part of its M2019 strategic plan.

Meritor is showcasing the 14X HE and other products in booth No. 1522 at TMC.

To learn more about the new Merior 14X HE drive axle for linehual applications, click here.

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