LOUISVILLE, KY -- Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems later this year will introduce Bendix eTrac to automate air pressure transfer on 6x2 tractors and trucks, addressing potential concerns about traction.

This will address a trend of more fleet interest in spec'ing 6x2 configurations, where only one axle of the tandem is a live drive axle, for several hundred pounds of weight savings as well as fuel economy improvements, explained T.J. Thomas, Bendix director of marketing and customer solutions, Controls group.

For Bendix ABS-6 braking systems with automatic traction control. The eTrac transfer system fully automates what currently is a manual system of air pressure transfer. When added to Bendix Smart ATC (automatic traction control) and Bendix ABS-6 Advanced with ESP Electronic Stability Program (ESP), eTrac automatically engages and disengages - without driver input - the vehicle's airbag pressure transfer system during low-traction events. Pressure is transferred from the undriven axle to the driven axle without requiring manual input or driver action.

"By automating the air transfer process, the eTrac system will make it easier for fleets to take advantage of the more efficient suspensions typically found on 6x2 tractors," said Thomas. "Unlike a manual system, eTrac can respond in fractions of a second to a low-traction situation, offering real-time adjustment.

The Bendix eTrac system provides protection against drivetrain damage by automatically disengaging after a low-traction event or when the vehicle's resumed speed exceeds 25 mph. The system also allows for manual activation at speeds below 10 mph, or when a vehicle's ATC mud/snow switch is enabled.

One of the major OEMs will announce the system availability this year, noted Thomas.