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Carraro DriveTech previews new transaxle concept incorporating Torotrak variable transmission technology

Innovative transaxle delivers significant improvements in fuel economy and emissions, together with better productivity and control for agricultural and off-highway applications

A highly innovative toroidal infinitely variable transmission (IVT) that claims to be the most efficient of its type has been unveiled at Agritechnica by Carraro DriveTech. The Italian company, a licensee of Torotrak and a leader in the development and production of agricultural and materials handling transmissions, claims the VaryT concept will provide important reductions in fuel consumption and CO2 emissions whilst also increasing productivity and driver comfort.

The VaryT range of transaxles (combining a stepless transmission and the vehicle axle in one unit) uses Torotrak’s full-toroidal traction drive to deliver significant benefits over other variable drive competitor offerings. Using Torotrak technology, the VaryT transmission ratio is continuously variable and independent of engine speed, to provide class leading productivity with optimised fuel economy. Crucially, it also allows full traction capability even at zero ground speed.

End users will also benefit from the flexible technology; control of the vehicle is simple and intuitive with seamless transition from forwards, through neutral to reverse. Lower noise levels, the elimination of launch or reversing clutches and the inclusion of features such as accurate cruise control, even at working speeds irrespective of external load conditions, reduce driver fatigue to allow longer continuous working time with improved levels of safety and productivity.

Carraro DriveTech, with over 70 years’ of transmission expertise has chosen Torotrak’s technology to address the growing demand for improvements in fuel economy, emissions and productivity in the agricultural vehicle market. "To be selected as the preferred variable drive solution by a world class organisation underlines the potential of our technology in this sector," says Torotrak’s CEO Dick Elsy.

Unveiling the concept, Carraro confirmed its intention to develop a family of VaryT transaxles over the next five years for use in a wide range of agricultural tractors and specialised vehicles, providing the benefits of toroidal transmission technology for applications from 40HP to over 160HP including lighter tractors, such as those used in orchards, through to more complex and specialised off-highway applications.

On the eve of the Agritechnica show, a paper on VaryT was presented by Carraro DriveTech at Landtechnik, the world’s most important event for agricultural engineers, supporting a theme of ‘innovation to meet future challenges’. "Torotrak’s technology provides the VaryT transaxle with significant efficiency and productivity differentiators for agricultural and off-highway applications," adds Elsy. "We are delighted that Carraro DriveTech previewed their VaryT transaxle family at the world’s largest event for agricultural machinery."

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