Number of commercial vehicles with fully automatic Allison transmissions continues to grow
SAO PAULO, Brazil – Use of fully automatic transmissions for commercial vehicles in South America is increasing, with nearly 45,000 Allison Transmission-equipped vehicles in service. Refuse trucks, concrete mixer trucks and buses – all vehicles with frequent stop-start operations – have discovered the advantages of Allison transmissions, over manual transmissions and automated manual transmissions (AMTs).
Allison Automatics enable increased productivity, along with reduced maintenance costs and downtime. In Brazil, refuse fleet owners like BA Meio Ambiente in Porto Alegre depend on 77 automatic trucks in their 81-vehicle fleet. Companies such as Andrade Guedes, Queiroz Galvão and Solví, operating in Brazil, Peru, Argentina and Bolivia have also embraced fully automatic transmission technology.
"We have verified that the productivity of an automatic truck is 15 to 20 percent superior to manual transmissions, even if you take into account variables like traffic, route grade and amount of collected refuse," said Luis Fernando Brandi Lopes, Vega’s equipment and maintenance manager. "Moreover, the vehicle returns earlier to the company resulting in less paid overtime."
In the city of Rio de Janeiro, all companies regulated by Comlurb, the refuse collection regulatory agency, have also adopted the technology. Allison Automatics meet a number of requirements, including lower maintenance costs and a quieter operation, providing more acoustic comfort for population during refuse collection.
"For refuse trucks, automatic transmissions are essential," said Silvio Gianchini of Limp AR Rosario in Argentina. "They promote faster collection, less downtime and increased driver safety."
Acceptance of automatic transmissions among concrete mixer truck fleets is equally strong. Companies such as Andrade Gutierrez, one of the largest infrastructure groups in Latin America, also choose Allison Automatics. "Compared to our concrete mixers with manual transmissions, our fully automatic concrete mixers consume 10.4 percent less oil, carry 8.6 percent more concrete and work 7 percent fewer hours to perform the same job," said Ermano Silva, responsible for equipment maintenance and management.
Over 30,000 automatic buses
Fully automatic transmissions are also becoming standard for all types of buses. There are over 30,000 units on the road in countries like Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Uruguay and Venezuela. Among cities, Buenos Aires, the capital of Argentina, is a leader with 100-percent of its transit buses equipped with fully automatic transmissions – of which 90 percent are Allison Automatics.
"Buses with manual transmission gave us many wear and tear problems," said Daniel Dobrilovich, COLCAR service manager. "The Mercedes-Benz fitted with Metalpar body and air suspension with capacity for up to 200 passengers is working well with excellent performance. People thought this type of vehicle would consume more fuel, but the automatic is consuming less than manual."
In Chile’s capital of Santiago, there has been an expansion and update of Transantiago, the city’s bus rapid transit (BRT) system, and its feeders – with over 2.5 thousend buses now circulating with an Allison transmission. Additionally, Venezuela has more than 15,000 units among its articulated buses and feeder vehicles. An increasing number of Allison transmissions can also be found in Montevideo, Uruguay with 800 units, and in Lima, Peru with over 400 fully automatic buses.