Allison Transmission – Tachoblog’s number one manufacturer of automatic gearboxes – will be used by Hertz Australia in all of their rental trucks.
Following a successful trial of a number of Allison Transmission equipped UD Trucks, Australian Trucks and 4WD Rentals (the Hertz Truck Rentals franchisee for South Australia, NSW and Victoria) has decided to gradually replace all of the manual trucks in its fleet with fully automatic equipped trucks.
The company has more than 1200 commercial vehicles in its rental fleet including eight current UD MK6 Automatics.
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According to Peter Gould, CEO of Australian Truck and 4WD Rentals, successful trials of a number of Allison Transmission equipped UD Automatics over the past seven years have shown that fully automatic trucks are the preferred option for the company’s future truck purchases.
“We purchased our first UD PK Automatic in 2004, and it performed well in our fleet for almost seven years with lower maintenance and repair costs. When we sold it in March, its resale value was brilliant,” Peter Gould told Tachoblog.
“That truck covered almost a quarter of a million kilometres and provided us with a strong income stream including four years on permanent lease with Freight Victoria.
“Its retained value when sold was 38 percent of the original purchase price, such is the demand for automatic medium duty trucks,” he said.
Since buying the original UD automatic, the Hertz franchise has added a further eight MK6 Auto models which have proven to be more cost effective to maintain as well as having strong appeal with rental customers.
“The automatic UDs have saved us money when it comes to operating costs, particularly related to brakes and clutches,” Gould added. “On average we keep our medium duty trucks on fleet for approximately five years.
“In a manual truck, we would budget on changing at least two clutches in that time at an average of $2000 each in replacement costs.”
“The Allison Transmission automatic trucks are also easier on their brakes. This means we save money on the number of brake re-lines we have to do across the life of the vehicle, not to mention the reduced down time,” he added.
“The fact that the Allison Transmission is available with a full five years of extended coverage in the UDs is another factor that added to the automatic’s appeal, because we know that for all or most of the time the truck is on our rental fleet, we are covered against any failure.”
Gould says that while they cannot charge more for the automatic trucks, this offering helps maintain Hertz’ market leadership, and positions the company as the first place to call when hiring a truck.
“When renters try the Allison Transmission automatics and realise how easy they are to drive and operate, they often keep the rental truck longer because they can be more productive,” Gould added.
“The performance of the Allison Transmission equipped UDs has meant that we are now looking to eventually make our entire truck fleet automatic, replacing the manuals as they come up for replacement,” he said.