MIAMI —Daimler Trucks North America on Wednesday formally introduced Detroit axles — billed as a complete line of axles covering every trucking segment.
A key component of the Detroit family of powertrain-related components — announced last October by DTNA — the launch marks the first time Detroit Diesel Corp. has offered axles.
With the new Detroit brand, company executives said they plan to rapidly expand the product offering to encompass additional powertrain components while leveraging the company’s engineering and manufacturing expertise. Speaking with trucking industry journalists here, DTNA executives also said a Detroit-brand transmission is in the works, but they declined to discuss specifics ahead of a product announcement expected at the Mid-America Trucking Show in March.
The new Detroit brand of axles embraces Daimler Trucks’ strategy of uniform production standards and processes, as well as engineering and manufacturing processes that draw upon Daimler’s global resources.
Detroit axles are now available to order for Freightliner Trucks, Western Star, Thomas Built Bus and Freightliner Custom Chassis vehicles.
“Detroit has a long history of innovation, and our axles will grow our product offering while continuing to provide the performance, efficiency and support customers demand,” said David Hames, general manager, marketing and strategy, Daimler Trucks North America. “From our global engineering resources to our state-of-the-art manufacturing facility, Detroit Axles enable our customers to demand it all from Detroit.”
Produced at the same facility as Detroit’s engines, Detroit axles include a wide range of configuration options and compatibility with all braking systems offered by Daimler Trucks.
Available with ratings from 6,000 to 20,000 pounds – including a unique 12,500 lb. rating — and featuring a weight optimized I-beam, Detroit’s steer axles are up to 40 pounds lighter than competitors, resulting in more payload capacity and greater productivity, the company said.
“Our steer axles have a variety of weight ratings to fit any application, making it easy for customers to spec the perfect fit,” said Brad Williamson, manager, engine and component marketing, Daimler Trucks North America.
Detroit’s steer axles have an innovative needle-bearing design that reduces wear and tightens tolerances, resulting in better performance and less maintenance, while friction and thrust bearings reduce chatter and enhance steerability, according to the company. The I-beam design is coupled with an advanced steering layout, resulting in a sharper wheel cut of up to 55 degrees for enhanced maneuverability.
Tandem rear axles
By eliminating the pinion head bearing, Detroit’s tandem axles feature more space for a larger and stronger differential. Together with the Topoid off-set design with above-center rear axle pinion position, Detroit’s tandem axles improve driveline angles, reducing vibrations, and increasing durability.
Additional benefits of Detroit’s tandem axles include an oil deflector which ensures full lubrication of the power divider at very low speeds, eliminating the need for an expensive oil pump; an input seal located inside the bearing cage and separated from the threaded ring for improved sealing, reducing degradation and oil leaks; and a larger power divider for improved stability and reliability. Optional driver-controlled or automatic differential locks further enhance grip and traction.
Detroit tandem axles are available from 34,000 to 46,000 pounds, including an intermediate track 40,000 pound alternative for easy switching between wide-based single and dual tires.
Single rear axles
Available with weight ratings from 13,000 to 23,000 pounds, Detroit’s proprietary single rear axles have precision-machined gear sets, resulting in enhanced efficiency, higher torque applications, and quieter operations. With fewer parts and a larger differential, Detroit’s rear drive axles are designed to offer greater stability on the road and improved durability.
“We have the right solution for every application,” said Williamson. “Detroit axles are engineered tough and built to withstand the harshest of conditions.”
With more than 600 locations in the United States and Canada, Detroit axles are backed by Detroit’s dealer network and factory-trained technicians.
A comprehensive warranty program and the Detroit Carrier Exchange Program — which enables dealers to exchange carriers or upgrade axles on trucks post-build —further extends value and performance, the company said.
For more information, go to www.DetroitDiesel.com.
Kevin Jones of The Trucker staff can be reached for comment at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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