City Buses with Allison Automatic Transmissions Impress Public Transport Company in Porto Alegre

In their first experience with Allison automatic transmissions, executives from Viação Teresópolis Cavalhada are impressed by the low fuel consumption and minimal maintenance

SÃO PAULO, August 2022 – Operating for almost 64 years in public transport in the city of Porto Alegre, Rio Grande do Sul, Viação Teresópolis Cavalhada Ltda (VTC) had its first experience with Allison fully automatic transmissions by purchasing two front-engine Mercedes-Benz OF 1721 L buses for their first evaluation and were very pleased. Currently, the company has a fleet of 100 buses that runs approximately 8.1 million kilometers per year through the main neighborhoods in the south area.

“The automatic buses have been with us since 2019, but as a result of the pandemic, they ended up being idle for a long time and only started operating last year,” said Marcelo Andreidis Scheffel, Maintenance Manager of the company. “Our fleet travels through extremely rough routes, where the powertrain of these vehicles works under intense demand. The urban lines with the most rugged terrain in the metropolitan area of Porto Alegre are in the south, where we operate. Buses equipped with Allison transmissions have similar fuel consumption and, many times, much better than our models with manual transmissions.”

Another point that caught the company's attention was the practicality and ease of operation. Four drivers received the assignment of driving the two buses, two drivers for each; they now report a smoother drive with less stress and that gear changes are always more efficient, even on the steepest climbs. They also felt the reduction in physical wear and tear due to the absence of having to step on the clutch pedal hundreds of times while manually shifting gears.

“We enjoy the low maintenance of the vehicles,” said Scheffel. “Through the shift selector readouts, we can check whether the lubricating fluid needs changing, and often we see that the buses have to run for a very long time to even get to this point.” The transmission’s electronic control oversees operational inaccuracies by displaying a fault code on the shift selector’s digital display. This display also enables the reading of the transmission fluid level and the most appropriate time for its replacement.

The VTC points out that, buses equipped with manual transmissions after 50,000 to 80,000 kilometers require some downtime to replace the clutch system, whereas buses with Allison Automatics do not. Scheffel also calls attention to the fact that these two Mercedes-Benz OF 1721 L equipped with automatic transmissions do not feature a retarder, and even so, there is minimal wear of the brake system linings, much lower than the manual models.

29 Aug, 2022