Bendix’s eTrac Air Bag Transfer System for 6x2 suspensions is a new weight-saving option on certain Kenworth tractor models of Kenworth Class 8 trucks. It will be available in May on the KW’s T660, T680, T800 and W900.
The tandem drive axle on a 6x2 has no inter-axle driveline or rear differential. It thus has fewer gears and weighs several hundred pounds less, said Kevin Baney, Kenworth chief engineer. There are also fewer parasitic losses for improved fuel economy.
“The Bendix eTrac system links into the Bendix ABS braking system with automatic traction control (ATC) and electronic stability programming,” Baney said. “It automatically engages and disengages the vehicle’s airbag pressure transfer system, transferring pressure (and weight) from the non-drive to the drive axle when it recognizes wheel slip. This provides improved fuel efficiency in a lighter package combined with on-demand traction.”
The combination of a 6x2 tandem-axle configuration and wide-base tires may provide a significant fuel economy improvement, which will vary depending on use, road conditions and other factors, he said.
The Bendix eTrac system protects the drivetrain 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.
More information is available from Kenworth dealers or on Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems’ website, www.bendix.com.
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