Fundamentals of Truck and Off-Highway Powertrain Systems
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Fundamentals of Truck and Off-Highway Powertrain Systems

Fundamentals of Truck and Off-Highway Powertrain Systems

A 2-Day Class

This course covers a wide range of transmission technologies specifically adapted to or developed for truck and off-highway vehicles.  Concepts associated with hightorque / highinertia vehicles and those unique to power distribution systems are examined.  Building on an assumed base knowledge of common automotive-level transmission technologies, the course extends those technologies, where applicable, to truck and on-highway use.  Then the focus moves to transmission and power distribution systems unique to off-highway applications such as powershift transmissions, skid-steer and articulated vehicles along with how dual-clutch and automated manual transmissions apply to non-highway vehicles. 


Learning Objectives 

By completing this course, you will be able to identify, recognize or articulate: 

  • Development, operational aspects and design principles of heavy truck and off-highway transmission systems, their major components and sub-systems 
  • Operational parameters and inter-relationships of each of the sub-systems 
  • Basic design synthesis and analysis techniques for each of the major components and sub-systems 
  • Function and operation of all major components and sub-systems 
  • Limitations, technological trends, and potential new products under consideration 


Who Should Attend 

The intended audience for this course is powertrain engineers, component suppliers, vehicle platform powertrain development specialists, engineers involved in the application or design of transmissions, or other technical personnel who need to understand the operational theories and functional principles of truck and off-highway vehicle transmission systems. 



A general basic understanding of modern transmission technologies, such as those common in manual and automatic passenger vehicle transmissions is required. 



  • Basic definition and operation of common transmissions 
  • Manual  
  • Automatic  
  • Powershift  
  • Determine vehicle requirements 
  • Performance calculations 
  • Torque requirements 
  • Grade-ability 
  • Acceleration 
  • Factors affecting vehicle performance 
  • How to account for those factors 
  • Transmission specification 
  • Mating transmission and drive axle 
  • Selecting appropriate gear ratios 
  • Transmission controls 
  • Effect of transmission on fuel economy and operating costs 
  • Automatic transmissions (currently, all USMC vehicles have automatic, not manual transmissions) 
  • Tracked vehicles 
  • Cross drive transmissions 
  • How transmission functions 
  • Power-shift transmissions 
  • Brake steering, an integral function of tracked vehicles but different from cross drive transmissions