This Peterbilt Megaload Is Equipped With An Allison Automatic Transmission


Last Fall, in Quebec's Lac-Saint-Jean region people came from as far away as New Brunswick and Nova Scotia to attend an unusual event. Peterbilt dealers JDH Peterbilt, of Saint-Felicien, and Transdiff Peterbilt, of Quebec City, were showing off a 136 t GCW Peterbilt logging tractor. The event was supported by representatives of Allison Transmission and their distributor, Detroit Diesel Allison Canada East (DDA CE).

JDH Peterbilt specializes in heavy load applications with the support of the factory. They are accredited by Peterbilt to modify the vehicles in order to adapt them to the particular needs of the local customers.

Logging operations require extra heavy duty components such as planetary differentials and high capacity suspensions. These components are adapted and installed by JDH Peterbilt.

The truck featured here is owned by Les Déblayages GR Inc., of Girardville, Quebec. It has been built for a heavy weight logging operation and, thanks to its 85 000 lb capacity planetary differentials, it is rated at over 300 000 lb. There are dozens of these impressive "megaload" loggers in the region. Meeting one of them on a logging road gives you a mixed feeling of concern as well as respect!

At the moment, the logging industry goes through a serious crisis and faces increasing competition. In order to survive, operators must find ways to increase productivity in all aspects including transportation. Given these circumstances, the solution presented by JDH Peterbilt generates a lot of interest - as shown by the 100-person crowd who met in Girardville in order to attend the event.

The concept truck presented by JDH Peterbilt is a first in North-America as it is the first one of this type ever built with an electronic Allison fully automatic transmission. Peterbilt is innovating by showing that the combination of the Allison transmission with an auxiliary transmission that can shift on the run, matched to a smaller engine can deliver similar performance and better fuel consumption than traditional rigs.

Spectators were able to see the concept truck (automatic / 500 hp) in real-world operating conditions and compare it to a more conventional vehicle using an 18-speed transmission and a 600 hp engine.

It was easy to appreciate the smoothness of the Allison transmission that facilitates the initial starts - particularly on hilly or slippery roads. Also, thanks to a better acceleration brought by the constant flow of torque to the wheels, the truck was able to keep up with the traditional rig despite its 100 hp deficit.

But, the most important part of the story, according to Richard Pelletier, president of Les Déblayages GR Inc., is this concept truck's significantly lower fuel consumption as well as the ease of operation that reduces driver fatigue and improves safety.

Click here for a video (13 Mb) of the demonstration


Source: Allison Transmission, Detroit Diesel Allison Canada Est,
Peterbilt Motor Company, JDH Peterbilt, Transdiff Peterbilt


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