INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — Allison Transmission says it has proof that its automatic transmission delivers better fuel mileage than both manual and automated transmissions.
The company has completed testing it says shows that a fully-automatic transmission, along with proper spec’s for the truck’s particular duty cycle, can provide optimum fuel economy.
“A truck’s duty cycle can be broken into four components: acceleration, cruise speeds, deceleration and idle. Of these, acceleration and cruising are the main factors impacting fuel consumption,” explained Lou Gilbert, director, North American marketing with Allison.
He said automatic transmissions excel during acceleration, because they offer smooth, full-power shifts with no interruption in engine power. Recent testing showed a pick-up and delivery fleet can average more than 600 up-shifts during an eight-hour driving shift.
“Any interruption in engine power during a shift creates powertrain inefficiencies, loss of vehicle energy, lower average speeds and, ultimately, less work is accomplished with the fuel consumed,” explained Steve Spurlin, executive director, 3000/4000-Series transmissions and application engineering, Allison Transmission.
Gilbert added “With full-power shifts, fleet managers will recognize higher average speeds versus manual or automated manual transmissions. Higher average speeds over a day mean the Allison Automatic accomplishes more work for the fuel utilized. So it is more fuel efficient.”
Allison recently commissioned third-party testing to prove its theory. It was conducted by the Transportation Research Centre in East Liberty, Ohio. Allison said the results showed the Allison-equipped truck produced lower RPM compared to an automated manual-equipped vehicle at low speeds, resulting in fuel savings. The two vehicles achieved similar RPM and fuel usage at higher cruise speeds, according to the study, which focused on medium-duty vehicles.
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