TOKYO, June 21, 2022 – Allison Transmission, the largest global manufacturer of medium- and heavy-duty fully automatic transmissions for commercial vehicles, is pleased to announce that Yamamasa Bussan, a concrete manufacturer in
Okinawa Prefecture, is using numerous Ranger GK concrete mixers from Hino Motors, equipped with Allison 3500 six-speed fully automatic transmissions, in order to increase efficiency and to improve uphill driving.
Hino's Ranger GK concrete mixers are medium-sized concrete mixers with a gross vehicle weight of 20 tons. They have compact bodies, low chassis, and a drum capacity of 8.9 m3. These concrete mixers can carry roughly the same or even more than large concrete
mixers. Because Hino Ranger GK concrete mixers can transport more concrete, they offer improved productivity.
Yamamasa Bussan is gradually replacing its fleet vehicles which were purchased roughly two decades ago. Recently, they replaced 12 concrete mixers -- 1/3 of its 36 vehicles -- with Hino Ranger GKs featuring Allison 3500 transmissions. Concrete mixers
carry heavy loads of fresh concrete, so before purchasing the vehicles, Yamamasa Bussan wanted to ensure that concrete mixers with automatic transmissions can perform well on uphill roads with up to a 10% gradient. The downsized A05 engine (5.123
liters) offers even more powerful drive thanks to its torque converter. It has the same drive torque of a large vehicle when advancing or reversing from a stopped position, and provides powerful, smooth driving performance.
In Yamamasa Bussan's manufacturing plant, the concrete loading area is slightly elevated and requires concrete mixers to back into position. When delivering concrete to a site with loose ground, the driven pile method is used to pour concrete directly
into hollow piles, which requires parking in place while backing up a slope of approximately 20%. This same process when driving with a manual transmission can be difficult as several fine adjustments are required. However, Allison 3500's patented
torque converter amplifies engine torque 2.35 times when moving from a stop. This enables vehicles to drive up slopes without problem and makes it easy for drivers to make small adjustments to the accelerator as they park, even if they aren't experienced
"In the past, a large dump truck equipped with a manual to deliver ready-mixed concrete aggregate was working in the plant, and as a result of shifting into gear without operating the clutch, the synchronizer inside the transmission was damaged. The vehicle
was parked for a long time in the field, interfering with other mixer trucks' operations,” said Hiroya Yamashiro, Senior Managing Director, Yamamasa Bussan. “Such trouble can be avoided by using vehicles with a fully automatic transmission.
While transporting fresh concrete on a steep incline in a manual transmission concrete mixer, shifting mistakes produced large shift shocks, causing the fresh concrete to pour out onto the road. For us, safety is the highest priority, so we wanted
to prevent accidents by using automatic transmission vehicles with minimal shift shock,” said Yamashiro. “Experienced drivers are growing older, and we are in the midst of a driver shortage. At the same time, the number of drivers with
automatic transmission-only licenses is rising. Including concrete mixers with Allison automatic transmissions in our fleets has therefore also assisted with our recruitment activities. We plan to continue to purchase automatic transmission vehicles
that can maximize operation efficiency, ensuring the safety and security of our many drivers."
Because fresh concrete begins to harden overtime, Japan Industrial Standards (JIS) require delivery within 90 minutes after it leaves the plant. They carefully check road traffic congestion and construction schedules in advance, and head to the construction
site with the highest priority on maintaining the quality of fresh concrete. Vehicles with Allison fully automatic transmissions, which offer exceptional levels of operability and driving performance while maximizing work and transport efficiency,
contribute to greater productivity at construction sites. Allison will continue to use its superb products and technical strengths to help customers further improve their operational efficiency.