February 26, 2017 11:30 PM, EST

Meritor Launches New Tandem Drive Axle

Meritor John Sommers II for Transport Topics

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — In a downtown bar here on Broadway, Meritor Inc. dropped a curtain and literally unveiled its new 14X HE tandem drive axle for linehaul applications.

During a Feb. 26 event for customers, staff and press, Meritor described the axle, a modification of its 14X from 2011, as a “premium” axle that now is available as an option on highway tractors made by Freightliner, International, Kenworth, Peterbilt and Volvo.

“Based on today’s diesel prices, a fleet with 1,000 trucks equipped with the 14X HE could realize $1 million per year in fuel savings,” Ken Hogan, Meritor vice president for rear drivetrains, said in a company statement.

The HE stands for “high efficiency.” It is available in a range of ratios from 2.15 to 3.9-to-1. Eric Lewandowski, product manager for drive axles, said the lower ratios are for direct-drive transmissions, and the ratios above 3.0 are for overdrive transmissions.

The axle is manufactured in Asheville, North Carolina.

Lewandowski said 14X HE will not replace the 14X; the 14X will remain as an axle for vocational applications.

A brochure said the new axle weighs 30 pounds less than the traditional 14X model and that 14X HE is 1.5% more efficient than its predecessor.

The company also said this is one of the 20 products management is trying to roll out by 2019.