Since 1935, ZF Marine has offered some of the industry’s top performing marine transmissions. While the models have changed from the original lightweight versions to today’s full portfolio of transmissions, accessories, and options – that include electric and mechanical shift, trolling valves, auto-troll, two-speed arrangements for both inboard and outboard propulsion, 105-S FNR transmissions for ZEUS Pods monitoring kits, brackets, coolers, torsional couplings, Power Take-Off (PTO) and Power Take-In (PTI) technology – the product quality and customer support remain unchanged. Today, operators can turn to the transmission experts at ZF for new build projects, repowers, consultations and repairs of inboard commercial and recreational boats.
“ZF has been manufacturing world-class marine transmissions for so long and has developed such a strong reputation for quality, that customers turn to us again and again for their vessel propulsion needs,” said Keith Stanley, Senior Manager, Pleasure Craft, for ZF’s Industrial Technology Division – North America & Central America. “In my tenure with the company, I’ve seen vessels operate with ZF transmissions for more than 30,000 hours without issue.”
Though ZF products are highly rated and trusted, the reality of the marine transmission market is that there are several leading brands that offer products of similar price, form, fit and function. Savvy clients know this, yet continue to choose ZF.
“The products are trusted and proven, but our service and product portfolio are two other key factors that help us to stand out,” explained Stanley.
Two of those factors include the company’s global service network and +1-833-ZFWRENCH service hotline that allows customers to call anytime day or night with questions about their transmissions, repower projects, for consultations and troubleshooting, and to secure after-market parts. Another is the transmissions team, which includes David Friedenberg, principal engineer, who Stanley fondly calls “the Godfather of application engineering.”
“David is brilliant and an invaluable asset for our customers,” said Stanley. “This collective team, along with sales and engineering, go above and beyond to understand and explore customers’ applications to ensure they’re getting the exact model they need and to solve any challenges. Our relationships with clients is a priority.”
Another way that ZF stands apart from the competition is by way of innovation. ZF recently partnered with Mercury Marine to develop the world’s first 2-speed transmission with automatic shifting for the 600 hp Verado outboard. The technology is groundbreaking and the market is advancing quickly as a result. Additionally, commercially available hybrid-capable transmission models are available, including the ZF 3000, 5000, 9000, 11,000, 24,000 and 40,000 series, with more to come. Among other benefits, installing hybrid transmissions enables vessels to operate with reduced emissions.
The company is also working on an advanced line of “smart” transmissions that will provide predictive maintenance features, as well as remote monitoring.
“If a customer has a SIREN Marine monitoring system onboard, he can actually interface with a ZF transmission today,” said Stanley. “The Siren system is straightforward to install and offers a specific ZF software tile that allows operators to perform remote monitoring immediately, assuming transmission pressures and temperatures are broadcast on the network. There is some other really cool stuff in the pipeline, and we can’t wait to share it with our customers.”
Whether a client operates an inboard commercial vessel or recreational boat, the ZF team is committed to ensuring the right transmission is purchased and that its installation or any future support needed is easy.
“We’ve been doing this for almost 90 years. We have an incredible amount of experience in boat design and manufacturing. Inherent in ZF’s DNA, we are incredibly process driven which is one of our core strengths, but we embrace innovative technologies, too,” said Stanley. “A vessel owner just can’t go wrong with a ZF transmission.”