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German Quarry Operator Chooses Volvo ADTs With Allison Transmissions

First published in the November 2019 issue of Quarry Management as Tough Torque

Albert Weil AG boosts productivity using Volvo A60H articulated dumptrucks with Allison Automatics

Since November 2017, two Volvo A60H articulated dumptrucks (ADTs) equipped with Allison’s 6630 ORS fully automatic transmission have been part of the fleet of machines and vehicles of Bauunternehmung Albert Weil AG. The dumpers are currently being used for excavation work in several clay pits in the Westerwald region of Germany. The decision to purchase the largest articulated dumpers available on the market was based on a combination of factors: product quality, performance and cost-effectiveness.

Even a full load is no big challenge for the Volvo A60H with Allison 6630 ORS fully automatic transmission, which can handle a maximum load capacity of 55 tonnes. The power is provided by a 470kW Volvo D16J engine coupled to the fully automatic Allison transmission with its six forward and two reverse gears. 

The Westerwald region is home to the largest contiguous clay deposits in Germany. Clay is so important here that is was also called the ‘white gold’ of the Westerwald. As the clay is not directly exposed at the surface, the top layers of soil must first be removed by tracked vehicles and hauled away in trucks. Around 3,500–4,500m3 of inert mass are produced in this way every day.

To transport these enormous masses of soil in a cost-effective way, Albert Weil AG decided, in November 2017, to add the two new Volvo A60H trucks equipped with Allison’s 6630 ORS fully automatic transmission to their fleet. The loading capacity of the Volvo A60H is 40 % higher than that of the A40 series, which has a considerable impact on productivity and significantly reduces the cost per tonne for dumper customers. 

The two large ADTs have been in daily use at Albert Weil AG for well over a year now, and Markus Bräunche, senior site manager responsible for heavy earthworks and removal, is pleased with their performance, productivity and cost-effectiveness. ‘It was the increased productivity that really impressed us as we evaluated the new 60-tonne Volvo articulated dumpers,’ he said. 

Klaus Rohletter, chief executive officer of the company, added: ‘Our company focuses on innovation in order to respond to the increasingly competitive market. Therefore, it is important that all construction machinery in our fleet is run with maximum operational readiness.’ 

The Allison 6630 ORS transmissions were specifically designed for the toughest applications in the construction industry. They are equipped with Continuous Power Technology which, thanks to the torque converter, provides more power to the wheels than other transmission technologies. An Allison fully automatic transmission increases power, whilst a manual or automated manual transmission (AMT) loses power with each gear change (see fig. 1).

When using an Allison Automatics there are no traction interruptions during gear shifts (see fig. 2) and the driver always has full control of the truck which, fully loaded, weighs almost 100 tonnes. Steep slopes and narrow hairpin bends can also be handled effortlessly, and most importantly, there is no rollback. 

Stephan Marker, market developer at Allison Transmission, said: ‘We hear again and again from drivers from various fleets that the Volvo A60H with Allison Automatics is as comfortable to shift and drive as a car. Drivers are also pleased to observe how low the fuel consumption is given its weight.’

By eliminating the need for a dry clutch, as would be required in a manual or AMT, maintenance costs associated with clutch wear are also removed. The Allison-patented torque converter experiences very little wear and Allison transmissions require only periodic fluid and filter changes to maintain peak performance.

The Allison 6630 ORS transmission in the Volvo A60H runs with TES-353 high-performance transmission oil, which allows service intervals of up to 4,000 operating hours or 48 months. 

‘It’s very important that the dumptrucks only stop for routine maintenance and inspections,’ said site manager Sebastian Eich. ‘With these trucks, we can achieve our targets. Normally, the Volvo trucks with Allison transmissions run for 4,000h before preventive maintenance is carried out. Fully automatic transmissions require less maintenance and offer longer service life than manual or automated transmissions.’

The Allison 6630 ORS fully automatic transmission is tailored to fit the modern high-power Volvo engines. It is an evolution in the Allison 6000-Series range of off-highway transmissions, offering further increased durability and performance. The 6630 ORS contains a new internal damper and updated torque converter turbine with improved vane geometry and anodized surface treatment for increased durability. Furthermore, a new heavy-duty retarder rotor is now an available option.

The Volvo A60H also benefits from modifications to the transmission’s low and reverse planetary gear assemblies. Increased oil-flow lubrication delivers extended product life in applications that demand high torque or prolonged reverse range operations. This means the new Allison 6630 ORS transmission supports low total cost of ownership and high profitability in Volvo’s articulated haulers. For more information visit: www.allisontransmission.com

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