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KW, Peterbilt Offer Bendix eTrac as New Tractor Option

April 21, 2013 By: Trucking News Staff Tags: Equipment, Technology

The Bendix eTrac automated air pressure transfer system for braking systems with automatic traction control is now commercially available as an option on 6×2 Class 8 tractors and trucks from both Kenworth and Peterbilt. The system helps drivers of 6×2 vehicles automatically overcome low-traction events.

The  eTrac system enables fleets to swap more of their traditional 6×4 tractors and trucks with lighter weight 6x2s. This could expand their freight-hauling capacities by about 500 pounds.

Created by Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems LLC, the eTrac air transfer system fully automates the traditional manual air pressure transfer process. Unlike a manual system, eTrac can respond in fractions of a second to a low-traction situation, offering real-time adjustment. When added to Bendix Smart ATC (automatic traction control), eTrac automatically engages and disengages the vehicle’s air bag pressure transfer system during low-traction events – without driver input. The system transfers pressure from the undriven axle to the driven axle without requiring manual input or driver action.

When the eTrac system engages, it automatically evacuates air bag pressure, dropping the nose of the trailer. The resulting extra forward weight on a 6×2 tractor helps compensate for the lack of a second drive axle to deliver traction control that is comparable to a 6×4 tractor in many situations.

And with 6x2s weighing roughly 500 pounds less than 6x4s, each 6×2 tractor with Bendix eTrac can haul more freight, increasing a fleet’s hauling capacity and reducing its total cost of ownership, while enhancing a fleet’s overall fuel efficiency.

The automated air transfer process of the Bendix eTrac system helps drivers direct more of their focus on driving and road conditions, as opposed to making manual adjustments to overcome low-traction events.

The Bendix eTrac system will be available on the Kenworth T660, T680, T800, and W900 in May 2013. And it will be available on all 6×2 Class 8 models from Peterbilt.

The Bendix eTrac automated air pressure transfer system provides protection against drivetrain damage by automatically disengaging after a low-traction event is complete or when the vehicle’s speed exceeds 25 mph. The system also allows for semiautomatic activation at speeds below 10 mph, or when a vehicle’s ATC mud/snow switch is enabled.