The Spicer Transmission Division of Dana Corporation is recognized and receives a PACE Award from the judges for its innovation in developing and first introducing an electronically controlled truck transmission that automatically controls the shifting of the top two gears. Auto Mate 2, for Class 8 over-the-highway trucks, is not simply a one-off achievement, but is integral to the Spicer Division’s business strategy. It was introduced with the advantage of being compatible with most heavy duty truck engines.
Auto Mate 2 provides a cost-effective solution to the problem it addresses, by automatically controlling shifting of just the top two gears, on cue from the engine’s management control system. Fuel mileage is improved significantly, since shifts between the top two gears account for 90% of the actual shifting in over-the-highway trucks. The incremental costs of the installed product can be justified under normal criteria used in the industry by fuel savings alone.
In addition to enabling improved consumption economics, Auto Mate 2 reduces fatigue and provides enhanced driver ergonomics and comfort, as well as improved driver retention and an expanded driver applicant pool.
Early market presentation of Auto Mate 2 has expanded the Spicer Division’s engineering capabilities and scope, and it is expected that this innovation will influence truck transmission design and products well into the future.