ZF’s new EcoLife Offroad automatic transmission for medium to heavy-duty off-road vehicles
ZF is a global leader in driveline and chassis technology as well as active and passive safety technology. The company acquired TRW Automotive on 15 May 2015, which was then integrated within the organisational structure as the Active & Passive Safety Technology Division.
The new 7-speed ZF EcoLife Offroad automatic transmission has been further developed and optimized for off-road applications in medium to heavy-duty special vehicles. It makes vehicle operation very cost-effective, handles up to 2,600 newton meters of torque, improves acceleration and changes gear depending on topography. It is the performance-enhanced successor generation of the
ZF Ecomat family which has been successfully used in this area for several decades worldwide.
ZF has developed a transmission system, the ZF EcoLife Offroad, designed for current and future requirements placed on off-road, multi-axle or all-wheel-drive special vehicles as well as heavy off-road vehicles. Tailored exactly to the particular vehicle, it relieves the driver from having to operate the clutch and gear lever – thus preventing any incorrect operation. ZF EcoLife Offroad measurably improves acceleration, shifts gear depending on topography and handles up to 2,600 newton meters of input torque which are transmitted without tractive force interruption during gear changes. With this transmission system, one is perfectly equipped for the new high-performance engine generation.
The high spread of ratios of 10 facilitates high speeds, while significantly improving the respective vehicle’s climbing ability and reducing fuel consumption at the same time.
The dry weight of the ZF EcoLife Offroad basic transmission – despite all the application-relevant reinforcements – is just 450 kilogrammes. It is also very compact, just approximately 900mm long, which saves valuable installation space. Another advantage is that the automatic transmission operates remarkably quietly thanks to the helical-cut planetary gearsets.
The ZF retarder, which is integrated directly into the transmission, proves its worth particularly on long downhill gradients. This hydrodynamic, wear-free continuous service brake effectively slows down the vehicle thanks to a maximum 1,900 newton meters of braking torque and relieves the strain on the service brakes, thus reducing wear by up to 90 percent.
Durable and Future-Proof
With EcoLife Offroad, the successful concept of the ZF EcoLife for city buses was further developed and adapted to the tough use in off-road vehicles. ZF EcoLife Offroad does not only use the advantages of the economical and efficient basic transmission, but is also equipped with reinforced components.
ZF EcoLife Offroad also comes with a dual cooling system which comprises an integrated transmission oil cooler and a separate oil cooler for retarder and torque converter operation.
An electronic control unit forms the brains of the ZF EcoLife Offroad. To minimize necessary wiring, this control unit is directly mounted onto the transmission. Programmed specifically to each particular vehicle, it communicates via a standardized CAN bus interface (CAN SAE J1939) with other vehicle components.
For further information please visit: www.zf.com/special-transmission.