Truck Repair 2012 Cascadia Transmission/Clutch Problem

Hi all,

My father bought a Freightliner Cascadia 2012 about a month and a half ago, after driving company trucks for about a year. Mileage somewhere in the 400,000's. About 3 weeks ago, he started having problems with the tranny. It's an Eaton Fuller Ultrashift, if I remember correctly; there's no clutch pedal, just a lever on the side of the steering wheel, automatic. Whenever he would slowly reverse, the truck would start rocking, and the CA light came on in place of the gear indicator, and an alarm would sound, until the truck just stops. We've taken it to one mechanic twice, they couldn't find the problem. They said it could have been driver abuse, but my dad's boss tried it and said he had the same problem, though the mechanics can't reproduce it, apparently. Finally, we dropped 4k for a new clutch, thinking that the current one was just worn out. Didn't fix the problem. At this point, I really hope it is just my dad getting used to the tranny, because I'm just out of ideas, and so I'm asking for y'all's help with this.

Thanks everyone.
CA stands for clutch abuse. Is he trying to back under a trailer, or slide tandems when this happens?
It happens usually when he is slowly reversing with a trailer, and less often without. It doesn't seem to happen when reversing at speed however.
If he is slipping ( running barely enough revs to engage the clutch ) over a period of say 1 minute it may kick out. This is to prevent clutch damage from over heating.

Running an auto shift takes practice, and it will teach you throttle control. My guess is he is still adjusting. My advice would be to practice in an open area.

I do not think there is a mechanical problem unless there is a sensor over reacting to clutch heat. Check with Eaton on that.


curmudgeon extraordinare
Our army trucks would be nightmares for hooking up to pintle hooks on trailers.

Luckily though, we had a two speed transfer case and I learned early on, it was worth it to shift into low range when getting into those situations. Especially with low speed maneuvering. Forward or reverse.

Otherwise, it seemed to work best to ride the brakes a bit heavier than you would with a manual tranny.


You had to be really careful to doing this. Brake stalling the tranny tended to create lots of heat and other issues with controllers. But with practice, the one got hooked up faster and with less effort otherwise
He doesn't want to admit it, but I sure hope all he needs is more practise. We've already put in a lot of dough for the truck, I can't wait until we make it back. Thanks for the answers everyone.


curmudgeon extraordinare
I drove a hemtt wrecker. It used a Detroit 8V92 diesel and an Allison 4 speed transmission.

Slight different than any ultrashift type of transmission.
Another thought based off Mndriver. Is he riding the brakes as he backs. Could be he is binding it as well that way.

Really I would find a lot and practice.
Could you use a HEMTT for a line haul?


curmudgeon extraordinare
Could you use a HEMTT for a line haul?
The army does.

Don't think it would be practical for our needs.

It's gutless when it comes to pulling a load at speed on the road.

But it's got great gearing for pulling a pound or two at low speeds
Ok. I have to said it’s not your father error. I have one with same transmission and same problem. I have to stop driving because this problem. I put 6 clutch in two years to my truck. And the problem go out for couple days or a week and then back on. But this problem start with the first clutch replacement. (Unneeded) my inputshaft go bad and I decided to rebuild transmission completely just to have like new. Before that I was driving that truck for 2 years without problem and before I was driving for 2 more years for a company with the same truck year (2011) and same smart shift transmission and never burn a clutch in 4 years totally driving this automatic transmission. Then it’s not my error. It’s something on the power train burning clutch. If you found the problem please let me know.
Which one. Peterbilt 389 classic like the one I driving right know. It’s having same problem and I just get it. It’s seems to be a Jakes solenoid sticking. Plus it’s very very uncomfortable. Just a make.