Hanson Cement committed to Allison fully automatic transmissions in its new fleet of Hino trucks because of their ease of operation and the need to attract drivers
Hanson Cement added the new fleet of 20 Hino 500 Series concrete agitators, equipped with Allison Automatics, to its operations, mainly because of the safety and ease of operation the fully automatic trucks deliver.
According to National Procurement Manager for Hanson Cement, Neil McDermott, the severe shortage of skilled drivers has meant the company has had to look to a wider pool of drivers and many can only drive automatics.
“Availability of a factory-fitted Allison automatic was a vital point in choosing the spec for the Hinos because many drivers now can’t drive a manual car, let alone a manual truck,” said McDermott.
“Allison Automatics have been the standard in our larger heavy-duty agitator trucks for many years. In the past, not all of our smaller mini-agitators have been automatics because they have not always been available in the smaller end of the market,” said McDermott.
Safety is another reason why Hanson chose the Allison automatic equipped Hinos. An automatic allows drivers to concentrate on driving the truck without having to worry about selecting the correct gear or being distracted in dangerous situations.
“Concrete agitators have one of the highest accident rates of any truck type because of the inherent compromises with high center of gravity and a shifting cargo,” said McDermott. “Anything we can do to minimize the tasks a driver has to complete in the truck, such as changing gears, means they can concentrate on driving the truck.”
McDermott was impressed that the new Hinos come equipped with an Allison automatic as original equipment. Coming off the production line at Hino in Japan with an Allison was another attraction for Hanson.
“The fact that the Allison transmission is an integral part of the truck’s driveline and fitted as original equipment is a much better option than retro-fitted transmissions. This gives us greater peace of mind and better reliability, in our opinion,” said McDermott.
The Hanson Cement Hino mini-agitators are equipped with 2.6 meter agitator bowls which are around one third the size of the company’s large heavy-duty agitators, which normally are equipped with 7.5 meter bowls.
Across the rest of the fleet, the company has a range of larger concrete agitator trucks including Iveco Acco, Isuzu and a range of other brands. More than 95 percent of the national fleet are equipped with Allison automatic transmissions. The first 20 Hino FE concrete trucks are part of the company’s growing fleet of mini-agitators, which fills a niche demand for smaller concrete pours.
“Allison is the industry standard and they have established a very strong reputation for reliability and durability in what is a very tough industry on transmissions. Our first choice is always an Allison automatic,” said McDermott.