With the success of the mDRIVE™ transmission in the Pinnacle models and now the introduction of the mDRIVE™ HD in the Granite and Titan I thought it would be a good time to briefly point out some of the features that differentiate them.
Hopefully everyone already knows there are several software choices within the mDRIVE family that can be chosen to tailor the transmission to fit best in the application the customer intends to use it. (See software quick review below). The software package, shifter and PTOs are all choices made during the order process of the truck, but what I want to talk about are the features the driver can use while out on the road or on the job site.
Let me start off with "idle mode." This feature is available with all software types and allows the truck to be driven at a constant slow speed simply by the driver taking his foot off the throttle and letting the idle speed of the engine drive. What you may not know is this can be done in the first six gears. So if the driver is in slow traffic or on a job site where he would like to smoothly move along at a constant speed, he can use the throttle to find the speed he desires and then take his foot off the throttle. The transmission will find the right gear for that speed and then maintain that speed using the engine idle. The driver can bump-up the speed by pressing the accelerator or slow it down by pressing the brake pedal. If the truck is equipped with a premium shifter the speed can also be adjusted by pressing the plus or minus button to upshift or downshift. This feature is available in reverse as well and is ideal for backing up trailers.
The premium shifter gives the driver the ability to control shifting in manual mode (M) and allows the driver to upshift or downshift via the "+" or "-" buttons. The premium shifter has a button labeled PERF, for performance. The PERF button raises the shift points and engine RPMs providing a more aggressive shift strategy to help ascend steep grades or for challenging terrain. Two other features available with the premium shifter are "rock free" and "power launch."
"Rock free" allows a stuck truck to rock front and back in order to free itself. The driver needs to stop the truck, engage diff locks, turn off traction control, press the PERF button, and select first gear (forward or reverse). The throttle pedal should then be slowly depress and released several times, pumping the throttle and rocking the truck until it rolls free. Should this fail to free the truck, the driver can then use "power launch" which allows him to raise the engine RPM prior to engaging first gear. The procedure is; engage diff locks, press the PERF button, press M or D , press and hold "-", depress the throttle pedal raising the RPM up to 1300or less and release the "-" button, safely launching the vehicle free.