Automatic Insights:
Summer 2015

Allison continues centennial celebration in May, as customers drive TC10® into winner’s circle

Allison Transmission revved up more excitement for its centennial and TC10® during the month of May. With the company’s roots in motorsports, Allison hosted a month-long celebration for dealers, customers and a variety of business partners at both its headquarters and a suite at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. 

Allison traces its corporate lineage back to the founding of the Indianapolis Speedway Team Co. on Sep. 14, 1915. As a co-founder of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and part owner of several racing teams, James A. Allison, a prominent entrepreneur, innovator and businessman, established a precision machine shop and experimental firm on Main Street in Speedway, Ind. called the Allison Experimental Co. to support his racing endeavors.

While reflecting on its 100-year heritage, Allison also continues to focus on helping fleets be more productive and profitable today. Leading up to the “Greatest Spectacle in Racing,” guests were invited to test drive TC10-equipped tractors, comparing their performance to trucks with automated manual transmissions (AMTs). Like the racing teams at the Speedway, acceleration is a livelihood for these fleet professionals – faster deliveries may mean more productivity. The TC10 performed and exceeded expectations.

Russell Handley of Halsey Food Service was impressed with his experience. “There’s no comparison,” Handley shared after driving a Volvo I-Shift equipped tractor and a TC10.  “We deliver to restaurants, and everybody in the restaurant business wants their stuff now. My guys are fighting time to get there. It’s a constant battle. The TC10 would be tremendous in the city from the acceleration aspect.”

Handley believed that the TC10 would allow his drivers to pick up the pace while easing the physical strain of constant shifting between stops. “We have a lot of stops, and they have to unload too; it’s very physical,” he continued.

Following the ride and drive, guests cheered on the Allison-sponsored CFH Racing No. 20 IndyCar driven by Luca Filippi for the Angie’s List Grand Prix of Indianapolis race on May 9 and driven by Ed Carpenter for the 99th running of the Indianapolis 500 on May 24. In addition to the car sponsorship, Allison branding was prominently featured on suites along the straightaway of the famed 2.5 mile racing oval. The Indianapolis 500 will celebrate its own 100th anniversary in 2016.

Watch IndyCar driver race Indy 500 princess in TC10®-equipped tractor

 It didn’t seem fair - IndyCar driver and two-time Indy 500 pole sitter Ed Carpenter facing off against 500 Festival Princess Maqenzi Hovious on a truck course. Unfortunately for Carpenter, his tractor was equipped with a manual transmission, while Hovious enjoyed the advantage of an Allison Automatic. Carpenter didn’t stand a chance with the manual, as experience and skill took a back seat to the start-up torque, seamless shifting and Continuous Power Technology™ of the Allison transmission.

In the video, Hovious quickly takes the lead from the start driving the Allison Automatic and easily cruises in to first place, while Carpenter battles frustration up until the very end. Watch half way through the video, when Carpenter reveals his true feelings about the manual he is driving.

Milk haulers may find solution to transporting milk with TC10®

 Americans drink millions of gallons of milk every year, and it takes a massive transportation effort to make the milk available to the consumer.

Excitement surrounding the TC10® was high when the members of the International Milk Haulers Association (IMHA) finished their test drives at the Allison test track on May 5.

As milk haulers, drivers carry varying weights in their tanks throughout the day and need to minimize the amount of milk sloshing that occurs while hauling loads. Many drivers also face congested urban and suburban driving, dealing with greater duty cycles and more intense delivery schedules than long-haul operators.  Driver availability is also a concern for the industry. The struggle to find drivers for the mostly manual transmission operations is a growing problem for business owners, making an Allison Automatic like the TC10 a natural solution.

Driver recruitment, reliability and fuel economy ranked as top factors for IMHA members in their purchasing decision. After spending time at the Allison test track, many members were enthusiastic about what the TC10 offers.

Richard Nessler, owner of Inline Industries of Alberta, Canada, was surprised by the smooth ride of the Allison Automatic. “I had to remind myself that I was driving a truck, it was so smooth,” he said after driving the TC10 along with an Eaton UltraShift model. After spending 22 years hauling milk, Nessler now runs a repair facility and felt many of his customers could easily benefit from the TC10.

Scott Werme, plant manager at Agri-Mark in New England, couldn’t believe the difference between driving the Allison and the AMT. “I can’t see why any of our drivers wouldn’t want to drive these, we have a fair amount of city driving, and this was so smooth,” he said after driving at the test track.

In addition to learning about Allison’s product line, IMHA representatives were able to educate Allison on the milk hauling industry and provided their input about the problems they face in an industry made up of mostly manuals and AMTs.

To wrap up the day, IndyCar driver, Ed Carpenter, stopped by the test track for autographs. The members of IMHA visited Allison as a finale to their 2015 national convention, held in Indianapolis. The IMHA, based out of Madison, Wis., serves primarily North American milk haulers with a few international members who made the trip to Allison from Europe.

Allison launches xFE models and continues momentum in fuel economy improvements

 Building on the momentum of improved fuel savings offered with the introduction of FuelSense® last year, Allison Transmission launched a new series of bus models, referred to as xFE or Extra Fuel Economy, that improve fuel economy up to 7 percent coupled with FuelSense features.

In the constant effort to offer customers the best in fuel economy, Allison stands out from the crowd with the release of xFE. The xFE models offer fuel economy increases by using optimized gear ratios combined with a FuelSense Max calibration. These new xFE models have been designed to deliver significantly more torque converter lock up operation and spend more time in higher ranges at lower engine speeds, producing exceptional fuel savings.

“The release of xFE builds on Allison’s commitment to provide fleet owners with greater fuel economy, allowing them to have more sustainable operations without sacrificing drivability or performance,” said Larry Love, executive director of global marketing for Allison.

Customer fleet testing has spanned four continents and included the cities of St. Louis, Seoul, Beijing and Rio de Janeiro among others, delivering up to 7 percent fuel economy improvements compared to baseline models, allowing drivers to stretch fuel dollars further.

The B 3400 xFE™ is currently in production in Indianapolis and offered in North America. In early 2016, Allison will offer three models outside of North America including the T 3280 xFE™, T 3325 xFE™ and T 3375 xFE™.