Allison Transmission announces deployment of a front-engine, raised-floor urban bus built by local manufacturer COLCAR and already operating in one of the most populated cities in Argentina outside of Buenos Aires.
SANTA FÉ, Argentina – Allison Transmission, the world leader in automatic transmissions for medium- and heavy-duty vehicles and hybrid propulsion systems, has recently announced the successful deployment of a fully automatic urban bus prototype in Santa Fé. The Mercedes Benz 1725 manufactured by COLCAR (best known as the top seller of Mercedes Benz buses in Argentina), is a front-engine articulated bus with a raised floor and fitted with an Allison T270R – a Torqmatic® Series automatic transmission with retarder.
“We have been using an Argentine-made front-engine articulated bus for five years now, but it has a manual transmission,” explained COLCAR Service Manager Daniel Dobrilovich. “While vehicle performance is satisfactory with the manual, one major issue is excessive use of the rear wheel brakes and the problems that come from having to replace such an important component [every two and half months on average].”
Dobrilovich said it was for these very reasons that they decided to work on a front-engine articulated bus with an Allison automatic transmission – the Mercedes Benz bus with Metalpar chassis and air suspension has been transporting up to 200 passengers at a time with great success. According to the Service Manager, the automatic bus with raised floors “is working incredibly well with optimal performance so far. The automatic transmission offers significant advantages versus its manual rival, especially the ease with which these vehicles can be maneuvered and the limited required maintenance. People used to think that these vehicles consumed more fuel, but the reality is automatics consume the same amount as manuals,” he said.
One key advantage of the Allison-equipped bus is the absence of problems normally associated with a manual transmission such as clutch wear. Then there are the added benefits of an automatic such as a retarder, which means more precise stopping and extended brake life. Dobrilovich explained that “as drivers approach a stop, they only have to touch the brakes and the automatic gear box helps stop the vehicle. As a result, barely any maintenance is needed,” he said.
Roberto Larossa, Allison’s Area Manager for the Southern Cone, pointed out that the Allison-equipped buses provide a much smoother and quieter ride for both passengers and drivers because the engines are not overworked. This is why buses fitted with Allison automatic transmissions help maintain constant traffic flow; they can brake and accelerate quickly – something important in highly congested cities like Santa Fé. By removing the need for constant gear changes, Allison transmissions also help reduce driver distraction, allowing them to focus on traffic and keep both hands on the wheel.
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SOURCE Allison Transmission Holdings Inc.