From Sahara to Siberia: Drillmec rigs with Allison transmissions already meet new ATEX standards

TORINO, Italy – The surprisingly delicate work of oil extraction requires durable, reliable and safe machinery and components. That is why Drillmec, leading global producer of drilling and workover rigs for on- and off-shore applications, has been choosing Allison fully automatic transmissions to power its equipment for the last 20 years.

“Compared to its competitors, Allison has been very versatile in manufacturing transmissions for heavy-duty applications,” said Stefano Angeli, vice president of sales at Drillmec. “Allison has always been a market leader and is present almost everywhere in the world, which alone makes it a great choice.”

Drillmec owns a wide fleet of Allison-equipped mobile rigs that work in challenging geographical extremes: from the intense Sahara Desert to the bitter Siberian tundra. Marshy English countryside and blazing African terrain alike are home, not just to these rigs, but also to an extensive Allison Authorized service network allowing for worldwide service and support. According to Angeli, this makes Allison Transmission a natural choice for Drillmec, which is linked mainly to markets outside Europe, accounting for about 80 percent of overall sales.

Ofira Italiana, Allison Authorized Distributor for Italy, has been working with Drillmec for 20 years and Angeli said the service is exceptional. “Ofira follows the entire sale’s process, from choosing the best transmission model to installation on the rig,” he said. “More than once, Ofira’s technicians have been onsite to supervise operations while Allison transmissions are fitted on our mobile rigs.”

Drillmec offers Allison-equipped mobile rigs in both Carrier and Trailer configurations. The first are self-propelled and mounted on a truck chassis, while the others need be trailed by another vehicle. These versatile rigs are perfect for workover operations, which involve reconditioning existing wells.

Drillmec equipment is typically fitted with Allison 5000 Series™ transmissions, while the MR4000 mobile rig (offering five speeds on-road and five during drilling) is fitted with an Allison 4500 OFS (Oil Field Series™) transmission with a TC541 torque converter, Power Take-Off provision, retarder and cab lever selector.  

“Allison transmissions are particularly suited for the oil and gas industry,” said Manlio Alvaro, EMEA marketing director for Allison. “Tough and technologically advanced, Allison offers models specially engineered for this demanding application, with optional anodizing, tailor-made software controls and dual modes for vehicle propulsion and pumping or winching.”

However, there are other reasons behind Drillmec’s choice of Allison Automatics. The oil and gas industry must adhere to numerous safety regulations, some of the most stringent being represented by the ATEX directive. This collection of European directives certifies equipment as safe in potentially explosive environments. Drillmec offers the Allison ATEX package for zones 1 and 2.

A mobile rig is only as reliable as its transmission, which is why Drillmec continues choosing Allison to help minimize downtime. Reporting non-productive time varying from a miniscule 1.3 to 2.5 percent, Drillmec attributes this outstanding performance to proven design, extensive field testing, efficient after-sales service and a global partner in industry-leading, fully automatic transmission technology – Allison Transmission.

Apr 12, 2016

About Allison Transmission

Allison Transmission (NYSE: ALSN) is the world’s largest manufacturer of fully automatic transmissions for medium- and heavy-duty commercial vehicles and is a leader in electric hybrid-propulsion systems for city buses. Allison transmissions are used in a variety of applications including refuse, construction, fire, distribution, bus, motorhomes, defense and energy. Founded in 1915, the company is headquartered in Indianapolis, Indiana, USA and employs approximately 2,700 people worldwide. With a market presence in more than 80 countries, Allison has regional headquarters in the Netherlands, China and Brazil with manufacturing facilities in the U.S., Hungary and India. Allison also has approximately 1,400 independent distributor and dealer locations worldwide. For more information, visit