Allison transmissions conquer Australia’s rugged Pilbara for trucks hire fleet

Remote area hire company, Karratha Machinery Hire, chose Allison Automatics for all of its medium-duty truck hire fleet because of their ability to cope with low-traction conditions, high temperatures and variable driver skills.

KARRATHA – WA – Australia– Karratha Machinery Hire, based in the remote Pilbara region on Western Australia’s north west coastline, operates a fleet of 23 Hino trucks on its hire fleet in the epicenter of Australia’s valuable iron ore mining and gas extraction industry.

The Karratha Machinery Hire truck fleet includes tipper trucks, water trucks and service trucks, which are in demand on mine and construction sites across the wild outback tropical region that is the Pilbara. Allison Transmission is well represented in many of the vehicles in their fleet.

Steve Griffiths, General Manager of Karratha Machinery Hire, said the region is particularly tough on trucks with extreme heat, high rainfall across the summer ‘wet season,’ rough gravel roads and long distances.

“All our Hino medium-duty trucks are equipped with Allisons because it is the only transmission that will live out here on a hire fleet,” said Griffiths. “A hire truck gets rough treatment from a wide variety of drivers who don’t have ownership of the vehicle, so they are much harder on the machinery. If the truck is a manual, the clutch and transmission get a very tough treatment. With Allison Automatics we don’t have to worry about replacing clutches or damage to the gearbox. The Allison is favoured by our customers because they are safer and easier to drive,” he said. “We get long periods of consistently high temperature over 100 F (38 C) in the Pilbara, which creates its own problems for all machinery, but the Allisons have never let us down.”

While Karratha is the base for the hire company, the trucks often have to travel hundreds of miles to mine sites in remote areas, often traversing difficult unsealed roads.

“We have a combination of extremely harsh conditions and very tight deadlines that mean the trucks are always on the move. The Allison equipped trucks work particularly well in low traction operations on worksites because of the multiplier factor from the torque converter and with high rainfall during the wet season this is often severely tested up here,” said Griffiths. “Automatics are really the only one we to go for our operations, and the Allison Automatics are by far the best performing and most reliable automatics in our experience.”

Karratha Machinery Hire has been operating in the Pilbara and across Western Australia for more than 20 years and, along with trucks, hires a range of excavators, earthmovers, bulldozers and graders.

Dec 09, 2019


Allison Transmission (NYSE: ALSN) is a leading designer and manufacturer of vehicle propulsion solutions for commercial and defense vehicles, the largest global manufacturer of medium- and heavy-duty fully automatic transmissions, and a leader in electrified propulsion systems that Improve the Way the World Works. Allison products are used in a wide variety of applications, including on-highway trucks (distribution, refuse, construction, fire and emergency), buses (school, transit and coach), motorhomes, off-highway vehicles and equipment (energy, mining and construction applications) and defense vehicles (tactical wheeled and tracked). Founded in 1915, the company is headquartered in Indianapolis, Indiana, USA. With a presence in more than 150 countries, Allison has regional headquarters in the Netherlands, China and Brazil, manufacturing facilities in the USA, Hungary and India, as well as global engineering resources, including electrification engineering centers in Indianapolis, Indiana, Auburn Hills, Michigan and London in the United Kingdom. Allison also has more than 1,400 independent distributor and dealer locations worldwide. For more information, visit