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Allison says test results prove automatic transmissions equal better fuel mileage

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. -- Allison Transmission says it has proof its automatic transmissions result in improved fuel-ef...

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — Allison Transmission says it has proof its automatic transmissions result in improved fuel-efficiency.

The company recently completed testing which showed its fully-automatic transmissions combined with a truck spec’d for the application it’s working in can go a long way towards reducing fuel expenses.

“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 of North American marketing with Allison.

He said the automatic provides much smoother, full-power shifts during acceleration in an efficient manner compared to mechanical and automated mechanical transmissions which interrupt engine power each time a shift is made. In pickup and delivery applications, there can be over 600 upshifts over an eight-hour shift, Gilbert points out, so maintaining full engine power during shifting is key to improving fuel mileage.

“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,” added Steve Spurlin, executive director, 3000/4000-Series transmissions and application engineering, Allison Transmission.

In recent third-party testing comparing equally spec’d medium-duty trucks, one with an Allison and one with an automated mechanical transmission, the company says its Allison fully-automatic transmission produced better fuel mileage.

“Allison fully-automatic transmission internal gear ratios produce lower engine RPM in many areas below 40 mph, resulting in less fuel used and better MPG. And, with most medium-duty truck applications, this is where much of the operational time is spent,” explained Gilbert.

For more information about the fuel economy and efficiency of Allison Automatics, visit

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