The speed transmission system is among the least understood systems in vehicles. It is even more complex in trucks, making truck transmission systems so much more elusive. How do truck speed transmission systems work? This guide takes a look at the components of this system and its functioning.
Basic Construction of the Transmission System
The clutch and gearbox are the basic and most important components of the transmission system. They work as the gateway and interlocutor that go between the engine and the other parts in your truck. The job of the gearbox is to adapt the output created by the engine by making changes to the gear ratio. When you switch between small and large gears, it protects the engine from overworking. This will also keep the truck running while maintaining optimal efficiency.
On the other hand, the job of the clutch is similar to that in other vehicles. It will engage and disengage the gearbox to allow gear changes without any damage. Most trucks have a rear-wheel-drive system. The rear-wheel-drive transmission system is a traditional type of system. In its case, the power is transmitted down the rotating drive shaft before meeting the differential. The differential will then redirect the power to turn the axles.
Most trucks will have one of the 2 axle systems:
- A 4×2 configuration
- A 6×2 configuration
- A 6X4 configuration
The first number refers to how many wheels the truck has and the second one the number of wheels that receive power. The 6×4 configuration exists only in few large tractors. They will have both the rear axles getting power from the engine through the transmission system.
Types of Trucks & Their Transmissions
When it comes to studying speed transmission systems, there are 2 types of trucks. The first type of trucks is used for recreational purposes. They can either have manual or automatic transmissions and up to 6 gears.
Heavy or Large Trucks
Heavy or large trucks can have 3 different types of transmissions. This includes range type, splitter type, and range-splitter type of transmissions.
- Range Transmission: This transmission is similar to the one used in smaller trucks. It features a high-low gear split, which allows the system to reuse the same gear shift positions for gears in low and high modes.
- Splitter Transmission: This type of transmission also makes use of a high-low split. It does away with a high and low section. Instead, the gears are split into 2, with each position being used for 2 gears – a high and a low gear.
- Range-Splitter Transmission: This type of transmission in trucks is a mix of the range and splitter type of speed transmission systems. It allows for more gear positions and selections.
Automated & Planetary-Gear Automatic Transmissions
When it comes to the general term of automatic transmissions, you must know about the following 2 types of truck speed transmissions:
Automated Manual Transmission
An automated manual transmission is often mistaken to be an automatic transmission system. It is however internally similar to a manual transmission system. Some of its key features are as follows:
- It does away with the need for manual shifting by using computer-based series of servos.
- It shifts gears at the right RPM
- There is no risk of the gears grinding
- Advantages over the manual system include ease of use, better fuel economy, long transmission life, and better acceleration
Planetary-Gear Automatic System
These automatic transmission systems are less used in trucks and other heavy vehicles. They use a series of hydraulically controlled clutches for transferring power. These clutches have a high tendency to slippage and are not as reliable as the standard transmission for creating positive engagement. When it comes to trucks, they need engine back-pressure for safe descents down hills. There is no room for internal clutches to slip.
All types of vehicles and their speed transmission systems require regular inspection and maintenance to run smoothly. A full service may be required once a year. Regular maintenance and repair from a trusted and specialized truck repairs center can go a long way in keeping your truck running smoothly and saving you expensive repair and replacement costs.