Biffa, a sustainable waste management business, details how £200,000 per year is set to be saved on truck transmission servicing costs with the help of Allison Transmission.
Transmission service intervals are typically based on fleet operators’ longstanding habits, historic predictive maintenance schedules, or standard recommendations from truck OEMs or bodybuilders.
When Allison Transmission examined the schedules for Biffa’s 1,150 Allison-equipped Dennis Eagle Elite and Mercedes-Benz Econic trucks in the UK, it found that service intervals could safely be extended without diminishing the performance, efficiency, or durability of the fully automatic transmission units.
Biffa previously followed a recommendation to renew the transmission fluid and filters on its Dennis Eagle trucks – which run municipal services such as refuse collection – every 12 months, 600 hours, or 9,300 miles (whichever came first). Now, those intervals are extended to 36 months, 3,000 hours, or 74,565 miles.
This is with the continued use of Allison TES 295 approved lubricants – or with Allison’s latest TES 668 transmission fluid, available in the UK in 2021 – that are fully synthetic based, engineered and tested to deliver superior performance.
In addition to making significant savings on annual oil and filter costs, the revised service intervals are saving Biffa 3,600 hours in labour and vehicle downtime annually. Oil consumption and disposal has also been reduced by 33,500 litres each year, making a positive contribution to Biffa’s ‘Resourceful, Responsible’ 10-year sustainability strategy.
“Like many fleets, our service intervals are somewhat defined by how we’ve always done it, with the aim of ensuring our vehicles are well maintained and deliver efficient, long service,” said Steve Lea, Fleet Commercial Manager at Biffa Municipal.
“We were aware there may have been some over-servicing, but after hearing the recommendations of the UK team at Allison, we were very surprised by the £200,000 annual savings to be gained from adopting different practices. We have gone from servicing some double-shifted RCVs twice per year to just three times in their 10-year life.”
Nathan Wilson, Account and Market Development Manager at Allison Transmission, adds: “Biffa’s big savings show what’s possible by reviewing transmission service schedules. Conversations between Allison and Biffa have also resulted in Biffa activating Allison’s prognostics capabilities on more of its trucks to further help with monitoring and maximising transmission fluid and filter life.
“We encourage fleet operators to have a direct dialogue with us about the frequency of replacing transmission fluid and filters – and indeed anything else related to the health, performance, and efficiency of their Allison transmissions. Our doors are open to provide advice and help fleet operators to make significant savings.”
To optimise transmission service schedules, truck operators are advised to use Allison TES 295 approved fluids. In addition to extending drain-intervals, TES 295 is claimed to offer thermal and viscosity advantages over conventional petroleum-based fluids and other synthetic fluids, for optimal transmission performance and protection.
Allison recommends fleets undertake fluid analysis as the primary method for determining fluid change intervals and has also developed a ‘Fluid + Filter Calculator’ to help fleets work out their fluid change information.
Allison launches TES 668
Allison has recently announced a new formulation of its high-performing transmission fluid, which improves the existing TES 295 fluid and will be introduced during 2021. TES 668 is a modern formulation with many advantages compared to mineral-based, non-synthetic fluids. This next-generation transmission fluid is specified for all Allison 1000 Series, 2000 Series, 3000 Series, and 4000 Series automatic transmissions.