Meritor FUELite Tandem Axle and Electronically Controlled Air Suspension Receive Technical Achievement Award

The Meritor FUELite Tandem Axle and Meritor WABCO Electronically Controlled Air Suspension have received the Technical Achievement Award for providing weight savings, increased fuel efficiency and improved traction control.

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Meritor announces that its FUELite Tandem Axle and Meritor WABCO Electronically Controlled Air Suspension (ECAS) has been recognized as a top technical achievement by the Truck Writers of North America (TWNA).

TWNA recognized these products for weight savings, increased fuel efficiency and improved traction control for rear-axle applications with the Technical Achievement Award at the annual Technology and Maintenance Council (TMC) meeting in Nashville, TN.

“The selection committee was impressed with the Meritor FUELite’s ability to save significant weight from a Class 8 tractor,” says James Menzies, Truck News and Truck West Executive Editor. “When coupled with Meritor WABCO ECAS, the 6x2 spec becomes viable for many North American truck buyers who could benefit from the weight savings of a 6x2, yet don’t have to worry about potential loss of traction.”

Meritor’s FUELite is the first product in its SoloDrive Axle Series that features 6x2 tandem rear axles. Based on the proven Meritor 160 series drive axle, the FUELite tandem axle is best suited for line-haul applications to maximize weight savings and increase fuel efficiency.

The Meritor FUELite tandem axle delivers nearly 400 lbs. in weight savings and approximately a 2% increase in fuel efficiency when compared to a traditional 6x4 configuration.

Features and benefits of the Meritor FUELite tandem axle include:

  • Meritor’s 160 DualTrac housing, which allows the option of running wide-based single tires or duals for enhanced efficiency and improved residual value.
  • A 2.50 to 4.10 ratio range available to match the appropriate application.
  • A 12.7-millimeter wall housing that is compatible with all current 40,000-pound tandem air suspensions.
  • All SoloDrive Series axles, which utilize the same rear-tag axle for simplified maintenance and designed to function optimally with Meritor brakes and options.

Meritor WABCO’s ECAS is designed to improve a vehicle's air suspension control system by electronically maintaining a set ride height between the axle and chassis when road and vehicle characteristics change. The pressure control of the air springs is adjusted only when there is a change in the load, so normal axle vibration during driving does not cause height adjustment or consume air. Reduced air consumption decreases the compressor duty cycle, resulting in improved fuel economy.

ECAS offers automatic load transfer, significantly reducing drive axle wheel spin and traction control events during periods of aggressive acceleration. This feature addresses lower tractive effort of 6x2 vehicles versus 6x4, providing considerable improvement in traction on low friction surfaces to improve performance. 

Meritor WABCO’s ECAS features include:

  • Intelligent Load Monitoring, which enables efficient transition to 6x2 drive configurations and improves ATC event traction and reduces drivetrain damage due to over-spin conditions.
  • Intelligent Level Control to provide optimum ride height to reduce driveline vibration and wear, lower vehicle profile for improved aerodynamics and reduce air consumption for increased fuel economy.
  • Improved lifting capabilities to help in instances when the trailer is challenged on certain road grades.

The Technical Achievement Award recognizes a product or service that exhibits technical innovation, has a wide applicability in the trucking industry, offers significant benefits and is widely available.

Jon Morrison, President and General Manager of Meritor WABCO, and Charlie Allen, Meritor, General Manager, North American Technical Service, received the award from TWNA award committee members. “We’re very proud to receive this award for FUELite and ECAS from the TWNA,” says Allen. “It’s testament to Meritor’s and Meritor WABCO’s continued development of lightweight, fuel efficient products.”