PORT HEDLAND, Australia – ALE, an international heavy-lift transport and logistics specialist, is using specially modified Kenworth C 509 heavy-duty prime movers, which have been re-geared with Allison 4700 model fully-automatic transmissions. Often hauling in combination with two prime movers means these machines take on a Gross Combination Mass (GCM) of 500 tons.
According to Paul Kelly, ALE Heavy Lift Australia’s general manager, the company chose to re-gear its heavy-duty Kenworths with Allison automatic transmissions to ensure the rigs could cope with heavy loads and extraordinary demands.
“Allison automatics offer two major advantages for our heavy haulage contracts, providing us with the required performance as well as helping to manage risk,” said Kelly. “There is a lot of risk in moving such big loads over vast distances on public roads, and Allison automatics make rigs more driver friendly, enabling drivers to concentrate on steering rather than changing gears, and importantly, synchronizing between prime movers when running in combination.”
The company purchased four specially modified Kenworths to handle large-scale infrastructure hauling contracts, transporting loads of large pre-fabricated structural steel plant modules and equipment to sites such as the BHP Billiton Jimblebar Iron Ore project, a new mine in the Pilbara region of Western Australia. This particular project is scheduled to take between nine months and a year, moving multiple loads from Port Hedland to the mine site near Mount Newman, 500 kilometers inland.
“Finding enough qualified drivers is a difficult task, so we need to make the set-up as user-friendly as possible, and the Allison does this by taking the guess work out of changing gears.
The automatic always chooses the right gear, and that means the drivers do not have to coordinate shifts,” Kelly added.
Each trip by ALE convoys from Port Hedland to Newman takes three nights. The loads are moved at speeds of just 25km/h on specially designed and built hydraulic trailers with up to 112 axles.
“In terms of performance, the Allison torque converter multiplies the engine’s torque, which really helps when you are starting off with a 350-ton load onboard. It means the driver doesn’t have to ride the clutch and ensures smooth take-off and gear changes. We operate at slow speeds and require high gradeability over long distances in high heat. The Allison handles the task brilliantly,” concluded Kelly.
ALE purchased the Kenworth C509s powered by 600-hp Cummins ISX engines with Sisu hub-reduction axles. ALE then sent the Kenworths to Allison distributor, Heavy Automatics, to have the Allison 4700 models fitted, replacing the standard manual transmissions.
About ALE Heavy Lift From its base in Brisbane, ALE Heavy Lift Australia offers lifting, transporting, installation, ballasting and jacking solutions and forms part of a global company.
ALE started in the UK in 1983 expanding operations into Europe, the Middle East, Southeast Asia and the Americas. Prior to establishing its own operation down under, it carried out a number of projects in Australia from its South-east Asian base before the company decided to set up a fully-fledged operation based in the Queensland capital of Brisbane. The company recognized that there was potential for a permanent presence in Australia, largely on the back of resource sector growth, and is targeting the booming resource sector in Western Australia and Queensland.
ALE also has a strong reputation and presence in the oil industry, particularly in the Middle East and is committed to investing in technology, systems and equipment with a dedicated research and development team in place. The ALE R&D team was responsible for developing its record-breaking 5000-ton capacity cranes.
About Allison Transmission
Allison Transmission is the world’s largest manufacturer of fully-automatic transmissions for medium- and heavy-duty commercial vehicles, medium- and heavy-tactical U.S. military vehicles and hybrid-propulsion systems for transit buses. Allison transmissions are used in a variety of applications including on-highway trucks (distribution, refuse, construction, fire and emergency), buses (primarily school and transit), motor homes, off-highway vehicles and equipment (primarily energy and mining) and military vehicles (wheeled and tracked). Founded in 1915, the Allison business is headquartered in Indianapolis, Indiana, U.S.A. and employs approximately 2,800 people. Allison has manufacturing facilities and customization centers located in China, The Netherlands, Brazil, India and Hungary, with a global presence, serving customers in North America, Europe, Asia, Australia, South America and Africa. Allison also has approximately 1,400 independent distributor and dealer locations worldwide. More information about Allison is available at www.allisontransmission.com.
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ALE is using specially modified Kenworth C 509 heavy-duty prime movers, which have been re-geared with Allison 4700 model fully-automatic transmissions. Often hauling in combination with two prime movers means these machines take on a Gross Combination Mass (GCM) of 500 tons.
“We operate at slow speeds and require high gradeability over long distances in high heat. The Allison handles the task brilliantly,” said ALE Heavy Lift Australia general manager, Paul Kelly.
ALE sends the Kenworths to Heavy Automatics, an Allison dealer/distributor, to have the Allison 4700 models fitted, replacing the standard manual transmissions.
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