The Transmission Express

Published in the June 2013 Issue June 2013 Ryan Harris

How does this compare to a normal weekend for you? Diesel Tech’s Technical Editor, Nate King, runs a small transport fleet of Dodge one-ton Cummins pickups. His trucks travel the U.S. hauling loads in the neighborhood of 15,000 pounds.

One Thursday afternoon, Nate got a call from one of his drivers with a load that had traveled from Utah to Georgia. The driver had made it to just outside of Atlanta when the 47RE transmission in his 2007 Dodge blew up. It probably doesn’t help that this truck pushes 550 horsepower and packs possibly the weakest transmission design of the post-Industrial Age. Proof of that lies in the fact that this is not the first transmission to go out on this truck... or the second... or the fifth.

Anyway, Nate gets off the phone with his stranded driver and calls his friends at Ultimate Transmission in Boise, Idaho. The conversation went something like this:

“I need a transmission.”

“Okay, what kind?”

“One that will last. Whatever you need to do to it, it just has to last. I’m tired of these other transmissions I’ve picked up elsewhere.”

“Okay, we can handle that. When do you need it?”

“Tonight. I’ll be there in six hours. It’s a blizzard—otherwise I’d be there in four.”

Nate pulled up to Ultimate Transmission’s shop about six hours later in his 2011 Ram. The guys at UT had the transmission ready to go, and in just a few short minutes, Nate was on his way back to Utah with the transmission in the bed.

Once back to Utah early the next morning, Nate picked up a Nissan Altima rental car, dropped the freshly-built transmission in the trunk (which went halfway through the trunk floor and rested on the spare tire). He then drove the loaded Altima straight through to Atlanta and delivered the transmission to the shop that had towed the ‘07 Dodge in.

Nate’s driver waited while the transmission was installed while Nate turned in his rental car and hopped a flight back to Utah.

Salt Lake City to Boise, Salt Lake City to Atlanta, and then back to Salt Lake City in just a 56 hour period. All in a day’s work at Diesel Tech’s Transmission Delivery Service.

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