Australian transport operators are increasingly trending toward automatic transmissions for trucks working in the distribution sector, underlined by yet another leading food distribution company switching to Allison fully automatic transmissions in an effort to improve driver recruitment, reduce vehicle downtime and increase efficiency
SYDNEY – As it continues to update and increase the efficiency of its trucks, Bidvest is adding 40 new Allison-equipped Hino trucks to its 400-vehicle fleet throughout 2016. All of Bidvest’s trucks, up to an eight-pallet capacity, are now specified with Allison Automatics to ensure ease of operation, thereby aiding driver recruitment.
Harris Tran, Bidvest’s category manager for services, said Allison Automatics were the best fit because they’re easier to drive and reduce the need to recruit highly trained drivers, unlike vehicles equipped with manual transmissions.
“The lack of highly-skilled drivers is particularly evident in regional areas where smaller populations mean there are just fewer people to choose from,” said Tran. “For that reason, automatic trucks have been very important for us in recruiting enough staff to do the job.”
In its latest fleet renewal, Bidvest is adding another 20 of the recently launched 500 Series Hino FE 1426 Auto models. These use a J07E engine producing 260 hp (191 kW) and 794 N•m matched to Allison 2500 fully automatic transmissions.
“We have a company directive to specify only automatic transmissions in medium-duty trucks from now on,” he said. “Initially, the idea was to help be able to recruit drivers from a wider spectrum of driver ability; however other efficiencies have been realized as a result.”
Bidvest’s drivers spend a good proportion of their lives in the trucks, making it critical to supply them with something comfortable and easy to operate. This is just another reason to invest in automatics, which they’ve done for all vehicles up to an eight-pallet capacity because, according to Tran, they're easier to drive and more efficient than manuals.
“In addition to being easier to operate, they are also safer in our opinion, because drivers can concentrate on maneuvering and not on changing gears,” he said. “Our trucks spend six to 14 hours a day on the road and most operate in urban environment with dense, start-stop traffic and frequent off-loads. In this environment, Allison Automatics are far more efficient and far less fatiguing for our drivers,” said Tran.
Established in 1995 to provide a one-stop distribution supply chain, Bidvest has more than 2,500 employees working in 55 branches across Australia. Specializing in wholesale foodservice, meat, fresh food and logistics, Bidvest has developed over 50 business units across multiple divisions.
This press release contains forward-looking statements. All statements other than statements of historical fact contained in this press release are forward-looking statements, including all statements regarding future financial results. In some cases, you can identify forward-looking statements by terminology such as "may," "will," "should," "expect," "plans," "project," "anticipate," "believe," "estimate," "predict," "intend," "forecast," "could," "potential," "continue" or the negative of these terms or other similar terms or phrases. Forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance and involve known and unknown risks. Factors which may cause the actual results to differ materially from those anticipated at the time the forward-looking statements are made include, but are not limited to: risks related to our substantial indebtedness; uncertainty in the global regulatory and business environments in which we operate; our participation in markets that are competitive; the highly cyclical industries in which certain of our end users operate; the failure of markets outside North America to increase adoption of fully-automatic transmissions; the concentration of our net sales in our top five customers and the loss of any one of these; future reductions or changes in government subsidies for hybrid vehicles and other external factors impacting demand; U.S. defense spending; general economic and industry conditions; the discovery of defects in our products, resulting in delays in new model launches, recall campaigns and/or increased warranty costs and reduction in future sales or damage to our brand and reputation; our ability to prepare for, respond to and successfully achieve our objectives relating to technological and market developments and changing customer needs; risks associated with our international operations; labor strikes, work stoppages or similar labor disputes, which could significantly disrupt our operations or those of our principal customers; our intention to pay dividends and repurchase shares of our common stock; and other risks and uncertainties associated with our business described in our Annual Report on Form 10-K, Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q and Current Reports on Form 8-K. Although we believe the expectations reflected in such forward-looking statements are based upon reasonable assumptions, we can give no assurance that the expectations will be attained or that any deviation will not be material. All information is as of the date of this press release, and we undertake no obligation to update any forward-looking statement to conform the statement to actual results or changes in expectations.
SOURCE Allison Transmission Holdings Inc.