Allison Transmission, premier global provider of commercial duty automatic transmissions and hybrid propulsion systems, has been equipping 20 new vehicles of the SAMAT Group with Allison's fully automatic transmissions in 2009. Allison transmissions have been found compliant with the strict security factors required in the business of transporting hazardous materials. Driving comfort, and "light maintenance" have been additional Allison benefits which have motivated Samat's choice.
Paris, France. - Samat Group, European leader in transport and logistics of dangerous materials, continues its successful truck investment plan including Allison's fully automatic transmissions. With a fleet of 2600 vehicles, Samat has been exploring and assessing automatic transmissions on two of their trucks that have been circulating for a year and a half at their facilities in Lacq (near the city of Pau) in the southwestern region of France. In addition, since June 2008, Samat's Belgian subsidiary has purchased eight new Iveco Eurocargo (19tons and 280CV) equipped with automatic Allison transmissions.
Samat's group purchase Manager, Christophe DAUZAT, announces: "We intend to buy five additional vehicles of this type equipped with Allison automatic transmissions. We operate about 100 trucks in total. Our distribution activity requires our vehicles to be fully operational in cities and their surrounding environments. Therefore, we need equipment which performs, i.e. fully automatic transmissions. In dense traffic, the Allison torque converter feature of the transmission is unequalled. The vehicle never stalls , and the driver can keep two hands on the steering wheel."
The transport firm appreciates the smoothness of Allison automatic transmissions. "There is nothing better in city traffic. The engine gears up in a linear way, without stalling, and you can sneak easily into congested traffic. When manoeuvres at low speed are necessary, the Allison performs perfectly, too. Our drivers are very satisfied," underlines Eric Loqueneux, marketing director of Samat.
Driver training for smart driving
Allison technology enables the truck to be optimised for low fuel consumption while providing strong performance and productivity. Nevertheless, Samat has taken the option to train their drivers so that they can fully appreciate the benefits of the Allison automatic transmission. "This is what we did in Belgium, indicates Mr. Dauzat. For example, Allison has a “kick down” function. When you push down the accelerator pedal completely, you get additional power instantly. Obviously, this function can be very useful at a crossing, in a difficult or an emergency situation, but it also acts on fuel consumption. This is why we advise our drivers to make use of it under special circumstances only."
Each Samat facility has its own instructor who is familiar with automatic transmissions and has extensive expertise in the field of transporting liquids and dangerous materials. Bart Beke is a trainer and driving expert at Samat in Belgium. He has accompanied dozens of drivers during their first routes with Allison equipped trucks. He relates: “All drivers are very satisfied. Driving is very comfortable and smooth with an Allison automatic transmission. By knowing precisely how this automatic transmission works, one can reduce fuel consumption.“
Less Oil Changes
Like many other transport professionals, Christophe Dauzat, purchasing director, admits that he had to overcome some preconceived ideas about automatic transmissions and related operational costs. "To this point, at the beginning of our acquisition project, Allison has been very cooperative and an excellent advisor. Our specifications have been very detailed and precise, and Allison has discussed point by point and gone through all technical or operational requirements. He admits that he has had to change his mind. “Allison has demonstrated the benefits of its fully automatic transmissions, lower weight, reduced maintenance, improved manoeuvrability and affordable operating cost. Intervals between oil changes are very distant and can be extended up to 500 000 km with use of TranSynd fluid. This adds flexibility to our operations. And as there is no starting clutch on an Allison, obviously, this means reduced downtime for maintenance and protection of the driveline, i.e. better availability of the vehicles. Finally, there are two more advantages linked to the Allison automatic transmission: first we can specify an integrated Allison hydraulic retarder to protect and reduce the wear of the brakes. Second, the quiet operation of an Allison transmission due to its helical gearing is an additional incentive in favour of its purchase.”
Safety – an absolute priority at Samat
Little by little, Samat plans to test the use of Allison transmissions in other transport activities, especially when the vehicles are programmed to circulate also in urban areas, and because of both operational considerations and safety reasons. "Safety is our primary concern," underlines Eric Loqueneux, Marketing Director at Samat. "Our QHSE (Quality Hygiene, Safety, Environment) policies motivate the choice of our material. Another objective is the comfort and protection of our driving personnel. With an Allison transmission, our drivers are a lot more relaxed. They can better concentrate on the traffic and the risks linked to our profession."
About Samat Group SAMAT Group is a European leader in the transport and logistics of dangerous materials. Its main activities are in the specialized transport sector of technically sensitive products in a highly competitive market, and in strictly regulated conditions. The group employs approximately 2600 collaborators and operates 30 facilities implanted in 12 European countries. Its fleet is composed of 1800 tractors, 2200 trailers and 800 trucks being driven more than 240 million km each year and transporting about 50,000 tons per day.
Allison Transmission, Inc. (Allison) is the premier global provider of commercial duty automatic transmissions and hybrid propulsion systems. Allison products are specified by over 250 of the world’s leading vehicle manufacturers and are used in many market sectors including bus, refuse, fire, construction, distribution, military and specialty applications. Founded in 1915, the Allison business is headquartered in Indianapolis, Indiana, U.S.A. and employs approximately 2,900 people. Regional headquarters with dedicated support staff are located in China, The Netherlands, Brazil, India and Japan. With a global presence in 80 countries, Allison has over 1,500 distributor and dealer locations.
More information about Allison is available at www.allisontransmission.com