LOUISVILLE, KY -- Dana has introduced the first aluminum driveshafts for the commercial truck market. The one-piece Spicer Diamond Series driveshaft weighs 40 percent less than traditional two-piece steel driveshafts, has fewer parts, and helps reduce in problems associated with noise, vibration and harshness.

In an announcement at the Mid-America Trucking Show, Dana officials said this is the first manufacturer to combine steel end fittings with a single-piece, high-strength aluminum tube, replacing the traditional all-steel, two-piece driveshaft.

The manufacturing process delivers a more robust driveshaft with significantly lower weight - up to 100 pounds when compared with traditional two-piece assembly systems. The new driveshafts also include the use of industry-proven Spicer Life Series and Spicer Compact Series universal joints.

Designed for heavy-duty commercial trucks using two-piece steel driveshafts of 7.5 to 10 feet, the Spicer Diamond Series driveshafts reduce installation costs through the elimination of the center bearing and by reducing part count from three joint connections to two. Environmental benefits result from the elimination of painting and the metal inert gas welding process.

The one-piece design - without the center bearing and one universal joint - improves vehicle efficiency by reducing component wear. The use of high-strength aluminum offers resistance to corrosion and improved appearance. No painting of the shaft is required, reducing OEM costs. It also delivers a high-tech aluminum look, noted Ralph Polehonki, vice president of global engineering at Dana.

Spicer Diamond Series driveshafts will be commercially available late in the fourth quarter of 2011.

More info: www.roadranger.com