American manufacturer and designer Allison Transmission has teamed up with European manufacturer Iveco to provide support for Australia’s future front-line heroes.
Through the partnership, 115 of Iveco’s Eurocargo Euro 5 and Euro 6 trucks that have been specially fitted with Allison’s 3000 series transmissions will soon be in service in Australia’s high-risk fire areas.
The vehicles have been tested with an automated manual transmissions (AMT) and a fully automatic transmission from Allison while the comparison looked at ways to reduce the speed of the vehicle in a controlled descent to minimise human intervention.
Allison says the fully automatic transmission was able to be customised with input and output functions of the transmission control module (TCM), with a combination of exhaust brake, lock up and retarder adjustments optimising support for drivers.
“For the trials, we’re starting with an Allison 3000 Series in Iveco’s Eurocargo ML150 Euro 5 and, together with our local channel partner, the transmission was reworked locally to perform similar to a 3500 by altering the calibration,” Allison Australia and New Zealand sales manager Robert Cavagnino says.
“Physical gear ratio changes from close to wide ratio provided a deeper first gear, further optimising the vehicle’s performance and meeting the request of better driver control.”
“Importantly, the vehicle allowed those drivers to creep smoothly down very steep descents and feel fully supported by the gearing and braking systems, while staying focused on the job. It’s about drivers of varying experience levels feeling confident in their vehicle.”
Following the success of the pilot model, a further 90 vehicles have been reworked locally to perform similar to a 3500, while a further 25 have already been ordered direct from Iveco’s factory.
Iveco’s Eurocargo Euro 6 also comes with the factory option in the Allison transmission with Power Take-Off (PTO) and Retarder.
“The move from an AMT to a fully automatic Allison transmission at the end of 2019 was the right one for this model,” IVECO product manager Emiliano Foieri says.
“The feedback from multiple fire agencies is that adding the Allison fully automatic 3500 transmission has provided confidence to drivers with limited truck driving experience, who’ll now get into a larger 15 tonne vehicle and confidently control it in some fairly challenging environments.
“Considering these vehicles need to be in service for a minimum of 20 years, we wanted a configuration suitable for volunteers – some of which haven’t been born yet. I truly believe that, with this truck and fully automatic transmission, we’ve achieved that.”
Foieri says Iveco’s work with Allison to get the right specifications was seamless and that the configuration has now become a standard inclusion for its off-road emergency vehicles following positive feedback from Australia and NZ emergency services agency.
Cavagnino says Allison is also honoured to partner with Iveco to provide Australia’s emergency services with a greater sense of control over the large vehicles they operate.
“By instilling more confidence in the emergency service personnel on challenging terrain, we make their whole job easier,” Cavagnino says.
“A lot of people who work for fire services are volunteers, and a fully automatic transmission protects from misuse of the drivetrain – giving greater service life of these important fire ground assets protecting the community in stressful times.”