A PERFECT TRANSMISSION FOR CONSTRUCTION AND AGRICULTURE
JEAN-FRANÇOIS CODÈRE LA PRESSE
A continuously variable transmission specially designed for construction and agricultural vehicles, efficient enough for the vehicles to be equipped with smaller, and thus more economical, engines.
CVTCORP, in Sainte-Julie, was founded in 2001, initially to design variable speed generators. When the market turned out to be too complicated due to its very long, technical and complex sales cycles, CVTCORP shifted its attention to agricultural and construction vehicles in 2012. The company currently has about 50 employees. “Some very, very large manufacturers have already decided to make ours the default transmission for their products in 2020, and it’s already being installed by a few others,” explains Daniel Girard, the company’s President and Co-founder.
• Continuously variable transmissions do not require any gear changes, which makes vehicles easier to use.
• Because it’s more efficient, the transmission designed by CVTCORP allows equipment manufacturers to offer similar power with an engine that is 25% to 30% smaller. It also costs less and burns less fuel, so it pollutes less.
• “The cost savings on the engine practically offsets the entire cost of the transmission,” notes Mr. Girard. “Yes, our transmission does cost a little more than a regular transmission, but the savings on the engine covers the whole price, not just the difference.”
• Skyjack, a lift truck manufacturer, was the first to install this transmission in its products in 2018.
• The company signed a major licensing agreement with Italian manufacturer Bonfiglioli. CVTCORP remains the exclusive supplier for certain parts, the electronic controls and the software, but Bonfiglioli will assemble the transmissions for certain products.
• Discussions are under way with other manufacturers to use the Bonfiglioli approach with other product categories.
After its long-time focus on research, CVTCORP is now stepping up and making changes to develop its manufacturing side. It already has 1,000 firm orders for 2020 and another 20 employees, roughly, will be hired over the next two years.
Although its first customers are in the construction vehicle industry, there is also strong interest in the agricultural vehicle sector. Discussions to this effect were recently kicked off. In the longer term, CVTCORP’s transmission is also ideal for developing the electrification of agricultural vehicles.