Big switch to Al­li­son

Motor Equipment News - - PANEL & PAINT -

PFD Food Ser­vices, Aus­tralia’s largest pri­vate­ly­owned food dis­tri­bu­tion com­pany, has de­cided to switch its en­tire fleet of dis­tri­bu­tion trucks from man­ual and au­to­mated man­ual (AMT) gear­boxes to Al­li­son fully au­to­matic trans­mis­sions.

Ac­cord­ing to Steve Wright, na­tional fleet man­ager for PFD, the move to Al­li­son Au­to­mat­ics came af­ter he drove an Al­li­son-equipped truck at a cus­tomer drive event at the Aus­tralian Au­to­mo­tive Re­search Cen­tre’s An­gle­sea Prov­ing Ground, the largest pri­vately owned and in­de­pen­dently op­er­ated au­to­mo­tive test­ing fa­cil­ity in Aus­tralia.

“I have to say I came away im­pressed with the new gen­er­a­tion of Al­li­son trans­mis­sions and re­al­ized they were a much bet­ter op­tion for our oper­a­tions than man­u­als or AMTs,” said Wright.

Wright’s hands-on ex­pe­ri­ence con­vinced him that Al­li­son fully au­to­matic-equipped ve­hi­cles were eas­ier to op­er­ate and re­quired less train­ing, a huge ad­van­tage given the in­creas­ing de­mand for driv­ers.

“It is be­com­ing in­creas­ingly dif­fi­cult to re­cruit skilled driv­ers,” said Wright. “So by pro­vid­ing Al­li­son Au­to­mat­ics we do re­cruit with a truck that is eas­ier to drive and re­quires less train­ing is im­por­tant.”

PFD op­er­ates a fleet of more than 650 trucks, mostly Isuzu, which han­dles dis­tri­bu­tion to more than 40,000 out­lets across the coun­try. PFD has re­cently or­dered 20 new Isuzu FVD 1000s equipped with

Al­li­son 3000 Se­ries fully au­to­matic trans­mis­sions, some of which have al­ready en­tered ser­vice.

Wright ad­mits that his opin­ion of au­to­matic trucks was col­ored by ex­pe­ri­ences with older au­to­mat­ics op­er­at­ing more than a decade ago.

Since driv­ing the lat­est Al­li­son-equipped trucks, his opin­ion has changed. He be­lieves the lat­est gen­er­a­tion of Al­li­son Au­to­mat­ics per­forms bet­ter than man­u­als and AMTs.

“I be­lieve au­to­mat­ics are the way of the fu­ture in dis­tri­bu­tion work, not only be­cause of the ease of use, but also be­cause of the ef­fi­ciency and safety ad­van­tages they de­liver,” said Wright. “They are sim­ply a smarter choice.”

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