Custom Shift Control Solutions

Posted on Tuesday, September 15, 2015 in UEA Blog

Although not a glamorous product, shift controls are one of many component parts used by the operator for a wide variety of construction and off-road equipment. The transmissions used on equipment are typically shifted either manually or electrically. UEA can supply controls for both. When the operator control is reasonably close to the transmission, it is often more convenient, and less expensive, to use a transmission with a manual control on the side of the transmission, which is rotated by the use of a push-pull style control cable from the shift control. The UEA cable control shift assembly incorporates several features, which are improvements upon other similar controls currently on the market. These include a urethane 'spring' for loading of the shift lever, a long-wearing, but easily replaceable gate pattern for the shift lever, and a long-life LED bulb for position indication lighting.

For applications where the transmission is not as easily accessible with a cable control, or the shift control must pass through a point of continuous rotation, such as on a mobile crane, the equipment manufacturer is often required to incorporate an electrified transmission. These transmissions use electric solenoid valves to shift the transmission using an established 'logic' or combination of solenoids actuated at any one time to select a specific gear. This shift logic is supplied by the UEA shift control through a custom rotary switch. Wires or jacketed cables carry the shift logic signal from the shift control to the solenoids on the transmission and may pass through an electric slip ring assembly if 3600 continuous rotation is required on the equipment.

Over the more than 40 years that UEA has manufactured electric shift controls, the concept of a rugged, functional, easy-to-use control has continued with updates and options added. The original housings were aluminum sand castings and are now molded from a tough nylon material. It also has molded-in color and improved wear characteristics as opposed to the current stainless steel shift lever. This new combination has proven to be virtually indestructible in a variety of applications. Over the years we've also added options for back lighting of the gear indicator decal, as well as a single point high-lighting of the specific gear selected. Selection can also be made whether to have the gate and lever on the right or left side of the housing to allow mounting and operation of the control from almost any place in the control cab.

The 'heart' of the electric shift control is the rotary switch, which can be customized to meet the shift logic required to operate transmissions from a variety of manufacturers. If UEA has not built a control for a specific transmission, we welcome the opportunity to build one for new applications.

Brent Jensen
Engineering Manager