My only complaints are that it always starts in 3rd gear unless you shift paddle it down to first and it is maybe a little jumpy at the bins to back up over the swing away auger. Shifting at peak torque doesn't provide the maximum acceleration as even the engine maybe making the maximum torque, with each up shift, the mechanical advantage of the transmission is reduced. As far as tight quarters manuvering, you can't go from drive to reverse in a split second, but I don't do that normally. The technicians we talked to about it wanted to catch the malfunction in the act. Truck had 660,000 miles on it and I some electronic issues with it.
I don't know about the lifespan, but I did drive for a company that had several. The 12 gears are nice when you need them, the transmission and engine brake work great together, barely needing the brakes for even the steepest grades. Bob Dill I have the 12 spd FreedomLine in our Kingsley. Being Volvo made, it is integrated with Volvo engines and other components as the truck is built from the ground up. After we bought our truck, Volvo came out with the Volvo-made I-Shift transmission, which is said to be even smoother and quicker than the Freedomline. Truck has 280,000 miles with no tranny problems.
Unlike other European transmissions, this is a constant-mesh, non-synchronized gearbox, though there are synchronizers on the range-change and splitter. Hit it at 10pm on the way down. The codes they pulled were interesting to them, but without a smoking gun, they were reluctant to attempt a fix. Around here it's inland truck parts and they can adjust driveline length in house. That happens when a sensor or wire goes bad. A little weird to get used to after shifting yourself for so long, it's nice to have no cluth for stopping and starting. It seems like electronics and the X-Y shift guide are the main problems guys are having around here.
One call does it all 877-776-4600 or 407-872-1901! The torque is continuously declining, however the power is nearly constant. Sooner or later, automation will not be a minority choice. This transmission takes automation technology to a new level with consummate skill. We also have a full line of replacement aftermarket parts. It is meant to reduce fuel consumption — something very important for drivers who travel several hundred miles each day. This transmission is the two pedal setup, brake,accelerator.
Downshifts were similarly unpredictable, and were not done gear by gear by gear, rather by appropriate skip-shifts. We just got back from a 2255 mile round trip with it. On one automatic run from a dead stop with the dash display reading fourth gear at the base of the hill — and the RoadRelay showing 100% engine load all the way — it shifted to fifth, skipped to 8th, and then went gear by gear all the way to 16th. Charlie and I drove north looking for a grade or two. Really pretty simple to work on once you get to know the tranny.
Our experts have over 100 years of combined experience in the industry. Otherwise, the transmission has been trouble free for close to three years now and 350,000 miles. After each shift is completed, the engine and transmission should be operating at or near the lowest rpm speeds recommended by the manufacturers of those parts. Progressive shifting is accomplished by changing gears upward as early as possible when accelerating. This means the clutch is depressed with each shift, wearing all releated parts with each shift. I have a Volvo with the freedom line and I feel it is the best automated transmission out there.
Link to Meritor site: Another trans that we will be getting with the next Columbia chassis will be the Eaton 10 speed Ultrashift. The second was due to a loose wire in in the connection plug. This has been somewhat been discussed before but I couldn't find the posts. With the addition of full automation and helical-cut gears, the FreedomLine will be available here late this year, likely in Freightliner, Kenworth and Peterbilt trucks first. Like others have said, it has a clutch,it is just air operated by computer. Writing down the codes and conditions for later reference did not help.
I can see where this is the downside to an Autoshift or full auto transmission. I would like to know what company or website to check with. Most shifts were done at around 1500 rpm. Remember that the transmission controller will perform a perfect shift every time- minimum clutch wear, better fuel economy. It was also created for both North American and European duty cycles. Have you driven the 6 Speed Allison Auto in one of these? Your local Freightliner dealer can give you the information you need and the parts.
It does take a little while to get used to driveing it, but once you get the hang of it you will never want to go back. When we sold the truck, the issue was disclosed to the buyer and he did something we were never willing to do. I would not order a truck with any other tranny!! No muss, no fuss, no jerky motions. In such a case, a skilled technician could put hours into diligently following every diagnostic procedure in the book and still not uncover the real issue. Our warehouses are stocked with genuine Rockwell transmissions, genuine Rockwell transmissions parts, bearings, seal kits, and gears. With the exhaust-brake set at position 2 of 3 the tranny kept downshifting to keep the coach at 45 mph. The thrust bearing problem without a Meritor is a rumor, but the problems the company I worked for had using the Meritor were real.