Shorelink's sure thing

Sydney operator Veolia Transdev-Shorelink appears to be on a winner with Iveco and Allison

Shorelink's sure thing
Shorelink’s sure thing

February 13, 2012

Sydney operator Veolia Transdev - Shorelink Buses has made significant fuel consumption savings on three Iveco buses running with Allison transmissions since starting service 12 months ago.

Shorelink Buses General Manager Tony Ralph says the addition of the Ivecos early in 2011 fitted with Allison T375R fully automatic transmissions came after regular and exhaustive market analysis.

"We go through this exercise every few years, looking at all different types and brands of bus, analysing features, benefits, maintenance, fuel consumption and capacity, amongst other things," Ralph says.

"We also study the various body builders to ensure that we can source the best overall package, and the needs and wants of our mechanics who maintain the buses are considered as we research the ease of maintenance, service intervals, and cost of replacement parts for each variation."

Ralph says that while the Iveco buses equipped with Allison transmissions and Cummins engines emerged from the analysis as the best option, the company's drivers were apprehensive about the switch and were initially resistant to the change.

"The drivers offered some resistance, but since the three new Allison-equipped Iveco buses have joined the fleet, the drivers have commented that those buses are far more responsive and smoother shifting than the other buses in our fleet," he says.

"The biggest factor for Shorelink has been the 10 to 15 percent improvement in fuel consumption from the new buses, which are already recording regular fuel economy of around 42 litres per 100 km compared with an average of between 47 and 50 litres per 100 km from other newer buses in our fleet."

He says the Ivecos are making a difference across the fleet in terms of fuel costs.

"However, we will need at least a full 12 months to assess all the factors, including maintenance and repair cost," Ralph says.

Veolia Transdev - Shorelink Buses operates in one of the most challenging regions of Sydney, servicing the upper North Shore of Australia's largest city.

The area is marked by extremely hilly terrain with deep valleys and high traffic density.

Shorelink covers the area from the regional hub of Chatswood, north to the Hawkesbury River with additional routes taking upper north shore commuters into the Sydney CBD and to the Macquarie Shopping Centre and University precinct.

"Our regular routes are traditionally hard on engines and transmissions, with some tough climbs in what are some of the highest parts of Sydney, but the Allison-equipped Iveco buses are coping extremely well," says Ralph.

The Shorelink fleet at about 100 comprises mostly Scanias averaging ten years, while the oldest vehicle in the fleet is 23 years old.

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