Alllison Transmission has reported achieving much success in the Australian medium-duty truck market. The high uptake of the optional Allison fully automatic transmission in Hino’s medium-duty trucks sold in Australia exemplifies the changing truck market and the need to satisfy the demands of fleets operating largely in the increasingly busy urban areas.
According to Hino Australia’s manager of product strategy, Daniel Petrovski, the demand for Allison Automatics has been increasing and continues to grow. "Customers are voting with their feet and switching to full automatics because there is no penalty in fuel consumption or performance. In fact the automatic accelerates faster in traffic situations and delivers better travel times in heavy city traffic,” said Petrovski.
Global trends point towards two-pedal operation with Allison being the preferred choice. This has been led primarily by operators not being able to get drivers who can or want to drive a manual truck, particularly for use in metropolitan areas.
“We did forecasts a decade ago which predicted that around 80 percent of medium duty trucks would be automatics by 2019, and it looks like we will come close to meeting that figure. The trend is continuing to grow in this direction,” said Petrovski. “Across all of our models there has been a trend towards automatics. The Hino 500 Series in particular has a high demand for automatics and it was a conscious decision to choose Allison. Vocational applications prefer a true automatic and Allison is the best solution, particularly in the 350 horsepower and below rating,”
“We’ve worked closely with Hino to match the six-speed automatic to their new 500 Series standard cab models, as we did in previous models,” said Robert Cavagnino, manager, sales and marketing with Allison Transmission in Australia. “The performance is a great example of our close engineering collaboration.”
Fuso, Isuzu and UD also taking to Allison
Allison fully automatic transmissions have also found favour with buyers of medium-duty trucks from other Japanese truck brands, Fuso, Isuzu and UD, with high take-up rates where the Allison option is available.
“Allison Automatics have a proven track record and deliver smooth shifts with uninterrupted power, and that has a lot of appeal for truck buyers in this market. The only true automatic is Allison. Other manufacturers pretend their two-pedal gearboxes are equivalent, but in reality, it’s not true. The increasingly difficult task of sourcing skilled drivers has meant many distribution fleets operating in urban areas have experienced added costs and reduced productivity that come with having to change clutches and other driveline components in manual trucks.
The factory-fitted Allison Automatics in the new Hino 500 Series are filled with synthetic fluid, and Hino is quoting a service interval of up to 480,000km (300,000 miles) without even touching the transmission fluid — saving downtime, money and improving productivity.