School bus equipped with an Allison transmission.

School Bus

It’s a big responsibility to ensure the safety of school children. That’s why Allison Transmission revolutionized school bus transportation decades ago when we introduced our fully automatic transmissions to school bus drivers and fleets who know the importance of safety on the road.

Today, nearly all large school buses in the U.S. are equipped with Allison transmissions (“Allison Automatics”). And thanks to superior reliability and improved safety, a growing number of school systems around the world rely on Allison.

Learn more about how the features of Allison fully automatic transmissions work together to provide millions of children around the world with safe and comfortable transportation.

School bus equipped with an Allison transmission
Fuel pump
Two children departing from stopped school bus.
Person operating on an Allison transmission.

Experience the benefits

Allison Automatics provide features that improve passenger safety while delivering great fuel efficiency together with proven reliability and durability.

Superior comfort and safety

When it comes to operating a school bus fleet, there’s nothing more important than safely delivering your most precious cargo to their destination, each and every day. We concentrate on supplying transmissions that provide safety and comfort to all school children who climb aboard a bus equipped with an Allison Automatic.

Without the distraction of manually changing gears, drivers are able to keep both hands on the wheel and focus on the traffic around them. While the smooth, seamless fully automatic shifting is safer, it’s also better for passenger comfort. With an Allison, there are no hesitations or jerks during gearshifts. The smooth acceleration and quiet operation ensure that passengers have an enjoyable, comfortable, relaxing ride.

Better fuel efficiency

Allison Automatics help school bus fleets save on fuel by operating more efficiently. Our transmissions automatically select among multiple shift schedules to enhance fuel savings or add more power, when needed, depending on passenger load and terrain.

Reliable, efficient operation

Allison’s Continuous Power Technology™ allows our fully automatic transmissions to simply and smoothly deliver uninterrupted engine power to the wheels, letting the driver focus on handling and maneuvering the bus. This is especially important in heavy traffic situations and narrow roadways, when maneuvering ease is critical.

Allison transmissions are known for performing reliably throughout the expected life of the school bus. This means keeping your Allison-equipped buses out of the shop, on the road and in service.

Lower costs, easier maintenance

Allison makes transmission care easy and less costly. Since Allison Automatics don’t have a starting clutch, you won’t have routine clutch damage or need replacements – a major cost and downtime concern with manual and automated manual transmissions (AMTs).

Routine oil and filter changes are the only regular maintenance required with an Allison Automatic. With Allison’s Prognostics feature, you can quickly monitor oil life, filter life and transmission health to take the guesswork and hassle out of scheduling routine vehicle maintenance. This saves time and money while providing maximum protection for the transmission.

And if ever needed, our global network of authorized service locations will provide the Allison authorized service you expect.

Gear selector technology

Work Smarter

Allison Automatics have both intelligence and strength. We offer a number of Smart Controls – electronic control packages that can help lower fuel consumption, reduce maintenance costs and improve safety. Features include: 

  • Adapting to conserve fuel by reducing the load on the engine when a vehicle is stopped 
  • Automatically selecting neutral when the parking brake is applied 
  • Choosing the optimum shift points based on load and terrain 
  • Improving safety by prohibiting the driver from shifting out of neutral into drive or reverse without first pressing a dash switch or applying the service brakes 
  • Enhancing braking by utilizing Allison’s ABS and EBS-compatible integral retarder 

Models + Ratings

To meet the needs of our customers, Allison offers several transmissions to provide you ultimate control over features and performance. When it comes to school buses, Allison transmissions are designed to provide better fuel utilization, superior safety and comfort for the precious cargo you transport.

See the grid below to compare our transmissions and find the model that best meets your needs. Information and specifications subject to change without notice or obligation. Please check with your vehicle salesperson to ensure offerings.

School Bus
Model Ratio Max Input Power - kW (HP) 1 Max Input Torque - Nm 1 Max GVW - kg  Max GCW - kg 
1000 Close Ratio 149 (200) 705  7500 7500
2100 Close Ratio 172 (230) 705  13150 13150
2500 Wide Ratio 149 (200) 705  15000 15000
3000 Close Ratio 224 (300) 1254 20415 20415

1Gross Ratings as defined by ISO1585 or SAEJ1995.

Specification Download

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10002100 2500 3000

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Customer Profiles

We’ve told you why we think Allison Automatics are premium – now you can hear it straight from the customer.

Read this customer profile for more information on how Allison Automatics are playing key roles in the success of school bus fleets everywhere.

The South Australian Department of Education and Child Development (DECD) operates a fleet of Allison-equipped Daewoo school buses across the region. Now the DECD specifies that all new school buses purchased by the department must be equipped with automatic transmissions to ensure better safety for students.
"Automatic buses have a lot fewer maintenance and repair worries, because there is no clutch to wear out. The gear changes are smoother and easier on the driveline, and there is virtually no need to touch them, save for a filter change about once every three years. As an importer, we made the decision some time ago that we would only import and sell automatic buses, and while we had the choice of several brands, we have always chosen Allison. Our experience with Allison, along with the availability of better service back-up and technical support, meant Allison really was the only choice as far as we were concerned.”"

–Ian Campbell, Managing Director of Asia Motors/Daewoo Bus Australia (Adelaide, Australia)