Within months of becoming an option on Van Hool TX coaches, Richmond’s Coaches orders vehicles with Allison fully automatic transmissions, for smoother journeys and driver ease
ROYSTON, UK – Richmond's Coaches of Hertfordshire has celebrated its 70th anniversary by acquiring three new Van Hool coaches, the first TX models fitted with Allison T 525 fully automatic transmissions to be delivered in the UK.
While displaying an Allison-equipped TX17 Altano coach at Busworld Kortrijk 2015, European bus and coach manufacturer, Van Hool, announced it was releasing Allison transmissions in its entire range of TX coaches. Soon after, Richmond’s ordered two 53-seat TX16 Astrons and one 61-seat TX18 Altano, becoming the first UK fleet to take delivery of an Allison-equipped Van Hool TX coach this April.
Matched to the DAF MX13 12.9-liter Euro 6 engine – producing 375 kW (510 hp) of power and 2500 N•m of torque – the Van Hool coach configuration features FuelSense®, Allison’s latest fuel-saving technology, in its most comprehensive configuration – FuelSense® Max. Designed for easy and efficient operation, with up to six forward speeds and one reverse, the Allison Torqmatic® Series range of transmissions features advanced 5th Generation Electronic Controls for optimized operation and prognostic capabilities. An integral output retarder is also available.
According to Richmond’s managing director, Andrew Richmond, the coaches will do a wide variety of work, including continental journeys. Each coach will cover an average of 60,000 kilometers (37,280 miles) annually.
"When it comes to transmissions, our preferred solution is a push-button automatic, and Allison, of course, has the answer," he said. “Allison gearboxes deliver a smooth ride for passengers and are easy for drivers to use. It has been a long time since Richmond’s last experienced an Allison gearbox in a coach – back to the days of the Volvo B58 and a B10M!”
More recently, however, the company has experienced Allison-equipped buses in the six Optare Solos it runs. Three recently-acquired buses are 30-seat, 9.2-meter, Euro 6 models that operate on behalf of the Hertfordshire County Council on tendered routes.
Richmond’s Coaches is a family-owned business, founded in 1946 by Andrew Richmond’s grandfather. With a 30-strong fleet, the business keeps a close eye on diesel consumption, employing a Merridale bulk tank fuel monitoring system and an onboard package from MiX Telematics.
"We are always seeking greater fuel efficiency,” said Richmond. “So, we are looking forward to the new coaches delivering a further improvement."
Van Hool also builds coaches equipped with the Allison B 500™ fully automatic transmission for iconic American brand Greyhound Lines, Inc., the largest North American provider of intercity bus transportation, serving more than 3,800 destinations across the continent.