The initial purchase price of a truck is one way for a trucking company to save money. But, according to Chad Carmichael, president and owner, A&C Trucking Co., to truly get the lowest cost of ownership, a company is better off focusing on long-term factors, such as fuel economy, maintenance, and more focused drivers. That’s what has led him to purchase Allison fully automatic transmissions.
A&C Trucking Co. operates 40 trucks for hauling construction materials to jobsites in and around central Indiana. Allison Automatics power 75 percent of its trucks and that number is growing.
“Fuel economy is essential to a trucking company. You can save a tremendous amount of money by gaining a half-mile per gallon,” says Carmichael. And, Allison’s FuelSense®, a unique set of software and electronic controls that significantly improve fuel economy, has made a tremendous difference for A&C Trucking.
IT MAKES SENSE
“Since implementing FuelSense in my Allison-equipped trucks, I’ve seen anywhere from $5,000 to $10,000 of fuel savings per truck—depending on duty-cycle—compared to other trucks in the fleet,” says Carmichael. FuelSense is the next generation in fuel-saving technology from Allison.
Some of the FuelSense features include:
- EcoCal: EcoCal works to lower engine speed. It provides lower shift points to get into lock up as soon as possible, providing better fuel economy and maintaining vehicle performance without shift cycling.
- Dynamic Shift Sensing: This feature automatically selects between the EcoCal or a higher speed shift schedule based on the vehicle’s weight and the grade on which it is operating. Dynamic Shift Sensing allows for superior performance while maximizing fuel savings.
- Acceleration Rate Management: Aggressive driving can cut into fuel economy and reduces fuel efficiency. This feature automatically controls the engine torque. The level of control is determined by the vehicle’s weight and grade on which it’s operating.
- Neutral at Stop: This feature automatically eliminates the load on the engine when the vehicle is stopped to reduce non-productive fuel consumption. Two levels are available, allowing the ability to customize FuelSense to specific fleet needs. The standard option allows for reduced load while stopped, with locked output to help prevent rollback. The premium option provides full Neutral at Stop capabilities. For vehicles with a high start-stop duty-cycle, the Neutral at Stop function provides the necessary technology for improvements in fuel economy.
In addition to FuelSense, the reduction of driver training is another factor that’s helped A&C Trucking’s bottom line. “Driver acceptance of the Allison Automatic has been phenomenal for us,” says Carmichael. “The drivers like them. They don’t have to shift. They don’t have to use a clutch. Drivers are more comfortable and better able to focus on what they’re doing on and off the road.” With the ease of operation of Allison Automatics, the transmissions have also expanded his driver pool.
Featured Image: The Allison fully automatic transmission is designed for efficiency in a variety of duty cycles, durability, and low maintenance.
Above: Chad Carmichael, president and owner of A&C Trucking Co., explains: “Driver acceptance of the Allison Automatic has been phenomenal for us.”
LESS TIME IN THE SHOP
Carmichael has discovered that the durability of Allison’s patented torque converter lowers his company’s total cost of ownership, as well. In addition to switching gears without mechanical wear, the Allison torque converter is able to multiply engine torque, delivering more power to the wheels. Multiplying engine torque allows drivers to get increased performance, faster acceleration, and greater operational flexibility.
Manual and automated manual transmissions (AMTs) don’t have a torque converter. They launch and switch gears using a mechanical clutch, prone to wear and failure. As that clutch wears, shifting becomes less precise until eventually the clutch burns out and needs traditional maintenance and replacement. Designed for durability and low maintenance, the Allison transmission experiences little wear and requires only periodic fluid and filter changes to maintain peak performance. The lack of a mechanical clutch and the overall design of an Allison transmission results in less time being spent on repairs and more time on the road.
Allison’s 5th Generation Electronic Controls, part of FuelSense, also help ensure that Allison-equipped trucks spend less time in the shop. The 5th Generation Electronic Controls also maximize transmission protection with advanced diagnostic and prognostic displays that anticipate maintenance needs while maintaining peak performance.
“One of the best surprises that we did not anticipate in reference to owning Allison Automatics was increased brake life,” says Carmichael. “Drivers can utilize their engine brakes with these transmissions. Not having to brake as often extends our brake service intervals by almost double.”
SERVICE AT THE READY
All of these combined features help maximize fuel savings, but there are more reasons to consider an Allison Transmission—over 1,400 reasons, in fact. When maintenance is required, Allison has over 1,400 Allison Authorized Distributors and Dealers worldwide that offer a comprehensive line of Allison Genuine Parts™.
“We want the trucks to be efficient and productive and have as much uptime as possible. We are satisfied with what Allison is providing for us and it is proving to be beneficial for A&C Trucking,” says Carmichael.
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
Find out more about FuelSense® and other Allison Transmission products, visit www.allisontransmission.com.
MODERN WORKTRUCK SOLUTIONS: MARCH 2016 ISSUE
Did you enjoy this article?
Subscribe to the FREE Digital Edition of Modern WorkTruck Solutions magazine.