1. #1
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    Default Allison gets some competition?

    Apparently CAT is entering the medium & hvy truck automatic transmission business. Likely a very good/profitable idea, every DOD truck and virtually every other gov't purchased chassis has an automatic. Will be interesting to see how they are priced compared to the overpriced Allisons (as is most anything CAT yellow). Some competition should be good.

    http://www.cat.com/cda/components/fu...5&languageId=7

    Caterpillar Introduces Automatic Transmissions for RV Industry
    Release Number: MPCD04PR05

    Caterpillar earlier announced a new line of planetary automatic transmissions designed for heavy-duty vocational on-highway applications. Caterpillar is now announcing that the CX31 and new CX28 automatic transmissions can be utilized in recreational vehicle applications.

    "For decades Caterpillar has been building planetary transmissions for its construction equipment. We are now leveraging this expertise and applying it specifically to the transmission needs of RV manufacturers and their end user customers," said Chris Schena, Vice President, Motion and Power Control Division.

    "We surveyed OEMs and their customers to find out what they wanted and needed in an automatic transmission—their answers included improved performance, more power take-off options, and a single source of service," said Larry Riekert, On-Highway Manager, Caterpillar OEM Solutions Group. "These transmissions are designed to deliver all of these features, giving North American RV and motorcoach owners a new choice in automatic transmissions."

    The new CX28 has six forward speeds with horsepower up to 400 and torque up to 1,250 lb-ft (1695 N×m). It matches up with the Cat® C7 and C9 diesel engines.

    The CX31 has six forward speeds and one reverse speed with horsepower up to 600 (477 kW) and torque up to 1,850 lb-ft (2508 N×m), with a weight comparable to currently available alternatives equipped with power take-offs (PTO). The CX31 matches up with the C13 and C15 diesel engines.

    Caterpillar will begin production in 2006 and OEM availability will be announced at a later date.

    Power take-off options are a major advantage when specifying a Cat Automatic Transmission. These transmissions have three power take-off locations: two on the torque converter housing and a new high-output drive at the rear of the transmission. This drive can be fitted with a live yoke, a direct drive pump or a clutched adapter. The resulting narrow profile provides excellent packaging flexibility.

    Cat transmissions have an electronic control module (ECM) and will use industry standard J1939 communication protocol.

    Cat parts and service support for the transmissions will be available through the Genuine Network of authorized Caterpillar®dealers.

    For 80 years, Caterpillar Inc. has been building the world's infrastructure and, in partnership with its worldwide dealer network, is driving positive and sustainable change on every continent. With 2004 sales and revenues of $30.25 billion, Caterpillar Inc. is a technology leader and the world's leading manufacturer of construction and mining equipment, diesel and natural gas engines and industrial gas turbines.

    # # #

    Note to Editors: Caterpillar rolls-out products and services in each of its territories at different time intervals. Although every effort is made to ensure that product information is released only after Caterpillar has received confirmation from our dealer network, our plants, and our marketing subsidiaries that products and services are available in the relevant region, editors are kindly requested to verify with their local dealer for product availability and specifications.

    ***

    Caterpillar To Offer On-Highway Automatic Transmissions
    PEORIA, Ill -- Caterpillar Inc. (NYSE: CAT) is building on the legacy of its off-road equipment by developing a complete line of fully automatic, planetary transmissions designed specifically for vocational applications.

    Caterpillar plans to begin production of these transmissions later this year, with availability in 2006. The new vocational on-highway transmissions are based on existing transmissions that have proven themselves in Caterpillar articulated trucks.

    "Customers and original equipment manufacturers have been asking Caterpillar to provide automatic transmissions that can be matched with the Cat on-highway engines they are already buying," said Caterpillar Vice President Chris Schena. "When matched with a Cat engine, these new transmissions will deliver improved performance, fuel economy and reliability while giving North American vocational truck owners another choice in the marketplace."

    The 6-speed CX31 transmission will be compatible with Caterpillar C11, C13 and C15 engines. The 8-speed super-heavy-duty CX35 transmission will match up with higher horsepower C15 ratings for on-highway vocational trucks.

    "When packaged with a Cat on-highway engine, these transmissions will give vocational truck customers the option for one source for a fully integrated power train, which means product support is greatly simplified," said Caterpillar Group President Gerry Shaheen. "This means these customers will be able to utilize Caterpillar's 'best in class' dealer network for service solutions and product support."

    Warranty and extended service coverage for the transmissions will be matched to the engine.

    For 80 years, Caterpillar Inc. has been building the world's infrastructure and, in partnership with Cat dealers, is driving positive and sustainable change on every continent. With 2004 sales and revenues of $30.25 billion, Caterpillar is the world's leading manufacturer of construction and mining equipment, diesel and natural gas engines and industrial gas turbines. More information is available at http://www.cat.com

    For More Information Contact:

    Jim Dugan
    Caterpillar Corporate Public Affairs
    309-675-5813
    dugan_jim@cat.com


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    The spec for our new pumper (which should be going out to bid by the middle of april) is written with a C-13 Cat and the new tranny- which Cat is offering as a package deal with substantial discounts........
    "Loyalty Above all Else. Except Honor."

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    Default trans

    Hopefully they did not follow the idea that Eaton tried to use when they built a so called automatic. The best part of the whole idea is that you apparently can't use the CAT trans with any other engine so it becomes a sales matter of if you want the trans you have to buy the CAT engine which still isn't a bad deal. I will be waiting to see the end results as soon as they have enough in the field to provide a data base of reliability.

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    Like the Cat is going to be "underpriced".The term "Cat" and low $ are NOT compatible.And understand I LIKE CAT ,but I've never fixed anything on 'em that's cheap. T.C.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rescue101
    Like the Cat is going to be "underpriced".The term "Cat" and low $ are NOT compatible.And understand I LIKE CAT ,but I've never fixed anything on 'em that's cheap. T.C.
    If you do preventive maintenance on a Cat, you never have to "fix" anything on a Cat!
    "Loyalty Above all Else. Except Honor."

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    Default

    In our spec pricing, CAT isn't the most expensive though. I think it falls with Detroit being the most expensive, then CAT, and then Cummins. If CAT can put together a combo tranny/motor package that provides a substantial savings as a combination over any motor and Allison combo, I'll bet there will be a lot of takers...

    Personally, whether or not you buy the thing - as long as it is a good product, holds up, and isn't priced too high - it'll be good for everyone. Perhaps Allison will have someone out there to keep their pricing honest?
    Competition breeds development and better pricing. I'm glad they're entering the market.

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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by lvwrench
    Hopefully they did not follow the idea that Eaton tried to use when they built a so called automatic. The best part of the whole idea is that you apparently can't use the CAT trans with any other engine so it becomes a sales matter of if you want the trans you have to buy the CAT engine which still isn't a bad deal. I will be waiting to see the end results as soon as they have enough in the field to provide a data base of reliability.
    You refering to the Fuller Ultrashift? A very nice piece of equipment (but entirely different than an Allison) is a manual transmission with computer operated clutch. And less than 1/2 the price of an Allison for most of the functionality/same result.

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    Red face

    Buff,don't get out much,eh? I don't care if it's blue-green,yellow or red,if it's a machine sooner or later it's gonna break. Maintainence is great but it only lengthens the periods between failure.And don't blink 'cause what's the newest and bestest today is tomorrows junk. You buy it,I'll drive it T.C.

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    Default neiowa

    neiowa: It may ahve been a Fuller. It was some time back and all I can remeber is that when i drove the rig I got sick and a back strain from the automated stick shift up and down. Could be things have been improved.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rescue101
    Buff,don't get out much,eh? I don't care if it's blue-green,yellow or red,if it's a machine sooner or later it's gonna break. Maintainence is great but it only lengthens the periods between failure.And don't blink 'cause what's the newest and bestest today is tomorrows junk. You buy it,I'll drive it T.C.
    Sorry 101, but I have to disagree with you on this one for two reasons. Prior to becoming a career FF, I worked in the Fleet Maintenance Dept of a large 48 state trucking company (48 State LTL Carrier) that operated a mixed fleet consisting of approximately 1800 Tractors- mostly Freightliners, KW's and Volvos. The driveline mixture was also varied- 60 Series DD's, C-15 Cats, the big block Cummins, and a few bulldogs as well. Our Preventive maintenance program was top of the line- we were featured in several trade magazines several times for our PM program, which rivaled one of the big overnight delivery company's PM program- (HINT HINT HOW MANY TIMES DO YOU SEE BROWN ON A HOOK?) In fact, one year our company and their company exchanged mechanics for a week to view one another's PM programs. The company I worked for had the lowest recorded lost-time breakdowns average in the industry 4 years in a row. We operated drivelines for 400,000 miles in between in-frame overhauls. Simply stated- you take care of it, invest time and money into it, and chances are, it wont break down.

    The second reason- I own a 1998 Toyota 4-Runner which now has 168,000 miles on it. It burns precisely- (drum roll please).....................NO OIL WHATSOEVER. How many times has baby let me down? (drum roll please).................NONE!

    Preventive Maintenance is something everyone should invest in. Spend a little now, or you will spend a LOT later! .
    "Loyalty Above all Else. Except Honor."

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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by lvwrench
    neiowa: It may ahve been a Fuller. It was some time back and all I can remeber is that when i drove the rig I got sick and a back strain from the automated stick shift up and down. Could be things have been improved.
    I don't know how that works. Perhaps need to read the operators manual?

    The Ultrashift (10spd no clutch pedal at all) has only been out about 2yr. The Fuller Autoshift (10 or 18spd) has been out for several years and has a clutch pedal you only use when starting out.

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    FWD,It's America! Disagree if you will but: I too,have over 40 yrs in the transportation & construction fields. I AGREE PM will stave off breakdowns but I DISAGREE it eliminates them. As far as Brown on the hook;Well we tow for Brown and it's not as uncommon a happening as you'd make it out to be.I suspect this too varies by location but we tow a few every month. And on the Cat issue,true they do not break often but when they do your wallet will flatten.Absolute truth.The better the PM program the more miles/hours between problems.But machines DO FAIL despite our best efforts.But it's made for a nice discussion and I value your input.Take care bud,T.C.

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    Default CAT Automatic Transmission

    Going to be interesting to see how it works and it's reliability compared to the Allison. I know a few years ago Sunstrand made a version of an automatic that Freightliner and KW used for the refuse hauling business and it was a nightmare as to dramatic upshift and downshifts that just about gave you whiplash and it was taken off the market.

    Cat's been building theirs for a number of years in the loaders etc. so I'm sure it would work in a fire truck and going to be interesting to see how it works as Allison has the only game in town even though I think ZF from Germany had tried to enter the North American market by wanting to buy Allison from GM but the US gov't said no because of fearing it would create a monopoly..Go figure as if the gov't isn't a monopoly!~

    I wonder how many of the OEM's are offering it yet?

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    When I worked on transit buses, we specced a ZF instead of Allison one time. They gave us the trannies cheap. Unfortunately, they didn't shift as nicely, or last as long as an Allison, and they cost $25,000 (Yes, 25K) to rebuild. I'll never stray again.

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    I just got done with the weeklong Allison class and what is so great is how bone, stone simple they are. All the shifting is handled by the computer, the transmission just carries it out. If a competitor can't make one that works it is just because his calibration is wrong. I would like to see some competition to be sure

    Birken

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    Anyone have any info on the CAT automatic. If Fire Service use?

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    Quote Originally Posted by neiowa View Post
    Anyone have any info on the CAT automatic. If Fire Service use?
    Allison, in anticipation of CAT's move, went to many of their OEM's and signed them to agreements to use Allison exclusively. That is now the subject of a lawsuit, but I forget who the plaintiff is. It's not Caterpillar. There appear to be some similarities (and some differences) to the circumstances that led up to the consent decree that Waterous and Hale had to agree to and which opened up the truck builder/pump market. It will be very interesting to see where it all goes. I have been told by a KME salesman that they are offering CAT's transmission. Others who might be are Seagrave, Pierce and E One. Don't hold me to those ones, I'm not 100% certain, also, there may be others.

    Stay safe out there, everyone goes home!

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    I drive a Ultrashift at work and it is nothing like an Allison. It shifts 10 gears just like I would with a clutch and stick, so you get the sensation of shifting but you are not doing it. IMO its great on the open road but if U have a big hill with a sharp grade it cant shift fast enough to make the shifts and it also misses downshifts (skipping 2 or 3 gears to get to a lower gear). In a fire engine it would be horrible.
    Forrest Gregg
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    www.holtvilleslapoutfd.org

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    Quote Originally Posted by HSFDChief600 View Post
    I drive a Ultrashift at work and it is nothing like an Allison. It shifts 10 gears just like I would with a clutch and stick, so you get the sensation of shifting but you are not doing it. IMO its great on the open road but if U have a big hill with a sharp grade it cant shift fast enough to make the shifts and it also misses downshifts (skipping 2 or 3 gears to get to a lower gear). In a fire engine it would be horrible.
    Unlike the Ultrashift and the other automated manuals, CAT's transmissions are 6-speed, fully automatic transmissions. We had a McSutphen in our station for a couple of days a few years ago. The one we had was a 10-speed overdrive with a clutch pedal. It worked well, except, as you say, on steep hills, where it did become gearbound. We had one driver who couldn't deal with it because you had to use the clutch pedal to start out. I don't know that "horrible" would be my description, but I agree that it wouldn't do particularly well in hill country. Flatland, maybe.

    Stay safe out there, everyone goes home!

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    Default Here is one

    Quote Originally Posted by neiowa View Post
    Anyone have any info on the CAT automatic. If Fire Service use?
    This comes from a spec in which a bid was recently awarded:

    "The transmission shall be a Catepillar CX-31 automatic with electronic controls".

    It is mated to a Caterpillar C13 430HP engine.

    It is one of the larger manufacturers. I could tell you, but....

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    Quote Originally Posted by BirkenVogt View Post
    I just got done with the weeklong Allison class and what is so great is how bone, stone simple they are. All the shifting is handled by the computer, the transmission just carries it out. If a competitor can't make one that works it is just because his calibration is wrong. I would like to see some competition to be sure

    Birken
    I think I'll stick with the Allison's for the time being until a widespread fire service track record has been established.

    We seldom encounter tranny problems with our Allison's, and when we do it usually fixed through programming.

    I like the idea of a free market at work to spur price competition and technological improvements.

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    Before making transmission... they should address the problem with their new 07' emission motor problems. Sounds like a cool idea on their part though.
    "I don't wanna hear about it... I wanna see results!!!":-P

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