Transmission testing

The ZF EcoLife transmission is an improvement on the manufacturer’s previous models

Transmission testing
A ZF EcoLife trasmission

Testing in Australian has shown significant efficiency gains with the ZF EcoLife bus transmission, the company has announced.

The ZF EcoLife transmission supersedes the legendary ZF Ecomat series of transmissions, operating in over 8,000 busses in the Australia market.

The ZF EcoLife design has seen vastly improved fuel economy for operators, with passenger comfort another major advantage of the transmission.

A recent trial in Victoria with a major fleet gauged the fuel efficiency of various ZF EcoLife equipped busses, against competitors transmissions fitted into identical chassis.

"The buses were all running on identical or comparable services, and were constantly monitored by telemetry," says ZF Services Australia Managing Director Chris Adcock.

"We’ve been working on improvements in fuel efficiency, which is ultimately the engine manufacturers concern, but we can contribute to increased performance through proactive support, which we offer as a transmission manufacturer."

Adcock says the company has been trialling the latest optimisations to the transmission control software.

"With a fair degree of accuracy the results showed that ZF EcoLife compared against our competitors was more efficient in litres per 100kms giving the operators a sizable fuel saving."

Primarily the ZF EcoLife transmission has been designed for the stresses undertaken by modern city buses and coaches, with the system capable of transmitting up to 2,000Nm of torque, while operating smoothly at oil sump temperatures of up to 120C.

The transmissions are mated to the ZF TopoDyn Life transmission control system, which continuously monitors load relative to the gradient on which the bus is travelling using intelligent Topography software.

These intelligent shift strategies work in tandem with the six available gears to keep engine speeds at an optimum, and with low-noise helical gearing, EcoLife provides a quieter environment for those inside and outside the bus.

Maximising the use of the integrated hydrodynamic primary retarder, service brakes run at cooler temperatures, which lends itself to safer operation and reduced brake wear. Another advantage of ZF EcoLife transmissions is that they are designed to be compatible with future hybrid technologies.

Two separate oil cooling systems, EcoLife is already the number one choice for Euro 6 applications.

ZF EcoLife transmissions are supported throughout Australia and New Zealand by ZF Services Australia with service, sales and distribution facilities in Sydney and Perth, while further supported by an extensive nationwide dealer network.

Full scheduled servicing, health checks and complete maintenance programs are also available through ZF Services Australia.

Subscribe to our newsletter

Sign up to receive the ABC e-newsletter, digital magazine and other offers we choose to share with you straight to your inbox

You can also follow our updates by liking us on Facebook