Saving fuel with Allison automatics

Northern Sydney-based bus operator Veolia Transdev – Shorelink Buses (VTSB) has reported a marked reduction in fuel usage since adding three new Cummins-powered Iveco buses fitted with Allison T375R automatic transmissions to its fleet.

The three buses – a Euro 4 unit delivered in late 2010 and two Euro 5 versions that arrived in February 2011 – have each covered around 150,000 km working double shifts seven days a week, with only scheduled maintenance taking them off the road. Over that period the company estimates the trio has reduced its overall fuel usage by around 6000 litres.

According to Tony Ralph, general manager of VTSB, the purchase of the new Iveco buses equipped with Allison transmissions came after an exhaustive market analysis.

“We go through the exercise every few years of looking at all the brands of buses, analysing features, benefits, maintenance, fuel consumption and capacity, amongst other things,” Tony said. “We also study the various body builders to ensure we can source the best overall package, and consider the needs and wants of our mechanics as we research the ease of maintenance, service intervals and cost of replacement parts for each variant.”

He added that while the Iveco buses equipped with Allison transmissions and Cummins engines emerged from the analysis as the best option, the company’s drivers were initially apprehensive about the change.

“Early in the piece there was some resistance from the drivers, but they’ve since commented that the Cummins powered, Allison-equipped Ivecos are far more responsive and smoother shifting than other buses in our fleet.

“The biggest factor for Shorelink has been the 10-15 percent improvement in fuel economy from the new units, which are recording average fuel consumption of around 42 litres per 100 km compared with an average of between 47 and 50 litres per 100 km from other newer buses in our fleet,” Tony Ralph concluded.



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