To clean the nearly 9,000 streets, bridges and squares of this Hanseatic city, Stadtreinigung Hamburg (SRH) operates 35 large Mercedes-Benz Atego road sweepers equipped with Allison 3500 transmissions. In addition, there are about 210 Allison-equipped Mercedes Atego and Econic refuse trucks collecting nearly 1.2 million tons of waste annually – including a natural gas Econic and two new 2630 L Econic Euro6 models.
Fuel economy plays a major role at SRH, requiring that the company emphasizes driver training significantly – about 12 years of training. Four driving instructors teach operators in economical, forward-looking driving tactics. The specific characteristics of driving with an Allison automatic transmission are part of the training program, which could allow SRH to sustainably save 7 to 8 percent of fuel.
Furthermore, two Econic Euro6 models equipped early on with the new Allison FuelSense® fuel-efficiency package were delivered in March. According to Bülent Akgöl, head of Special Truck Marketing and Product Management at Mercedes-Benz, fuel consumption figures for these new models are expected to be reduced by up to 4 percent against previous Euro5 models.
“From field trials, we expect that our new Euro6 engines with a faster, flatter torque curve and combined with the latest Allison FuelSense technology will deliver significant savings for our customers,” said Akgöl.
Increased availability of vehicles with fully automatic transmissions
While the refuse trucks complete only one shift each day, 50 percent of the large road sweepers are handling two shifts to meet the tight tour schedules, making vehicle availability indispensable.
According to Thomas Maas, head of Technical Service at SRH, maintenance requirements for Allison transmissions are very low. “The only regular services are routine oil and filter replacements; we strictly follow Daimler’s recommended change intervals,” he said.
Moreover, time-consuming and costly clutch replacements are completely eliminated with Allison fully automatic transmissions. “A refuse truck needs two to three new clutches during its service life of about 10 years. Calculated across 210 vehicles, this means a total of about 420 to 630 clutch replacements within 10 years – which we can save with Allison fully automatic transmissions,” Maas explained.
Instead of a traditional dry clutch, Allison transmissions use a torque converter, which protects the entire driveline from torque shock and vibrations. Additionally, it increases engine torque at a wear-free launch, which significantly improves the performance and maneuverability of the vehicle during permanent stop-and-go-operation on city routes and in congested traffic.
“The smooth, jerk-free vehicle start with the Allison transmission particularly benefits the employees on the footboard – the so called loaders. And the drivers are completely satisfied with the Allison fully automatic transmissions because vehicles are so comfortable to drive,” Maas said.