In addition to lower maintenance costs, improved fuel economy, comfort and safety, one company has experienced increased productivity of 20 to 25 percent
RECIFE, Brazil – Introduced in Brazil just a year ago and equipped with a fully automatic Allison 3000 Series™ transmission, the Mercedes-Benz Atego 1729 has demonstrated its many benefits for the refuse collection market – including increased productivity.
Upon its availability, two large companies began using the Atego 1729 for city sanitation: Elus Engenharia Limpeza Urbana e Sinalização, from Andrade Guedes Group; and the Vital Engenharia Ambiental, from Queiroz Galvão Group.
"Our entire truck fleet is Mercedes-Benz, therefore the fully automatic Atego choice was a natural call," said Charles Pereira Bezerra, maintenance supervisor for Elus Engenharia. "One of the reasons that led us to acquire 12 fully automatic trucks for our fleet is the better cost-benefit ratio. Another aspect that impacted the choice was the drivers’ usage convenience, comfort and safety."
Allison fully automatic transmissions are also the preferred choice of sanitation departments around the world because they make fleets more productive. With tight, demanding schedules, Allison Automatics are the most efficient transmissions. Superior acceleration enables trucks to collect more trash in the same amount of time, improving fleet productivity.
For Bezerra, the trucks with an Allison Automatic definitely stand out for their production, which is about 20 to 25 percent higher than trucks with manual transmissions. There has also been a significant reduction in downtime, which can be a frequent issue for trucks with a dry clutch system.
Refuse trucks require durability to not only haul massive loads, but also withstand a heavy start-stop duty-cycle without breaking down. This kind of work takes a toll on weaker transmissions. Allison Automatics are designed for severe applications. Instead of a starting clutch that is prone to wear, Allison transmissions use patented torque converter technology for unmatched reliability, more time on the road and lower repair costs.
Vital Engenharia Ambiental, a fleet of 60 refuse compactors, has been operating its two automatic trucks for about one year. "Regarding maintenance, we’ve only had routine expenses," said Laurence Felipe Correa Crepalde, the company’s mechanical engineer. "Also, when compared to a truck with a manual transmission, we have noticed they are more comfortable and safer because the driver’s attention is fully concentrated on traffic."
According to Crepalde, they run about 3,100 miles per month carrying a lot of weight. The Elus trucks, according to Bezerra, take 16 to 18 tons at the (6x2) tandem version with to rear axles (one tractive), and 11 to 12 tons at the single-rear axle version (4x2). Page 2 of 2
Improved fuel economy has also been a nice surprise for Bezerra. "The automatics are achieving about 2.0 km/l to 2.3 km/l, whereas the manual trucks on the same route use more fuel operating at approximately 1.9 km/l.
"By providing economy, technology, comfort and productivity, everything indicates that our company’s management will gradually switch our fleet of 75 manual trucks to fully automatic models," said Bezerra.