Volvo Trucks has put a new spin on an old powertrain management strategy. By locking out top gear on its I-Shift overdrive transmission, drivers can pull loads efficiently in 11th gear (direct drive) and still get the performance they want.
When running empty, sensors in the transmission and the suspension sense the lower weight and unlock 12th gear, which is overdrive. The truck can cruise home at a very low engine speed and a higher road speed.
Check out this "Focus On" video report, which explains how Adaptive Gearing works and features excerpts from an interview with Gene Brice, co-owner of Idaho Milk Transport.