Five Mercedes-Benz OF 1721 buses featuring Allison automatic transmissions were delivered to the urban transportation company in Rio de Janeiro, the Auto Viação Tres Amigos. These are the first units produced by the German company in Brazil.
SAO PAULO, BRAZIL - Allison Transmission was present at the technical delivery of the first five automatic OF 1721 buses equipped with Allison 3000 Series™ transmissions manufactured by Mercedes-Benz for the Auto Viação Tres Amigos.
They are part of the first of ten units acquired by a group from Rio that owns Auto Viação Três Amigos, among others. The second set of five vehicles is for Auto Viação Santo Antonio and Expresso Garcia companies.
The Tres Amigos has a fleet of 172 conventional buses and 27 articulated for the Bus Rapid Transport (BRT).
The experience of the companies with two automatic prototypes built in 2010, already in partnership with Allison, was essential for the decision to purchase the new OF 1721. These prototypes have run over 1.1 million kilometers without any problems. The
ten units by Mercedes-Benz were the first in the series produced with front-engine and Allison automatic transmissions.
“These new automatic buses will be put into circulation on one of our main lines in terms of topography, distance and loading,” said Claudio Marcelo Ferreira, Managing Director of Três Amigos. “This is the line 355, from Madureira
to Tiradentes Square, 58 km long, where buses run an average of 250 km daily in two shifts. Therefore, it is one of the busiest routes in the city and one of the most suitable for the robustness of automatic transmissions.”
Among the advantages of Allison AutomaticsTM that the company lists is higher productivity. This is a result of faster acceleration and faster cruising, with less noise in the cabin as shifting takes place at lower engine speeds and smoother operation
due to the lack of bumps during shifting.
Drivers of the new vehicles are also receiving Allison-specific training for the most efficient bus operation in terms of performance and fuel consumption rates. This is important because the company control indicates that diesel costs account for over
30% of fleet operation costs.
“In terms of vehicle maintenance and uptime, Allison Automatics will also bring the company big savings. In our journeys, a bus with a manual transmission requires clutch system replacement after 60,000 to 70,000 kilometers, a fact that should
never occur with the new automatic vehicles of the fleet,” said Ferreira.
“We have very high expectations for these upcoming buses. In addition to automatic transmissions, they have air suspension, which also contributes to greater passenger comfort,” said Ferreira. “We will do our utmost to ensure that they are correctly operated and this
investment guarantees us a good differentiation from other transportation companies. There is a lot of competition.”
Caio Moraes/Rodolpho Siqueira
Press Consultoria Ltda.
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Juliana Abrahão de Barros Ranieri
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São Paulo, Brazil