RCV trials confirm extended service intervals on TES-295 fluid 21 May 2014
German refuse collection firm FES (Frankfurter Entsorgungs und Service) says it has standardised on vehicles with Allison fully automatic transmissions following successful tests with Mercedes-Benz Econic rear loaders using TES-295 transmission fluid (Castrol TranSynd).
FES worked with Allison to trial its Allison 3000 Series transmissions on eight Econics, all of which were equipped with OM 926 LA engines.
Over the seven years of the trials and 14,000 hours of operation per truck, FES found that the fully-synthetic TES-295 transmission fluid ran virtually free of wear and tear and with no oil changes required.
Uwe Klein, workshop manager at FES, explains that when the trucks were put into service, each was filled with 32 litres of TranSynd fluid prior to normal operation, collecting mainly residual waste, but also wastepaper and lightweight packaging, five days a week, nine hours a day.
Every six months, each vehicle underwent a thorough inspection, he says, checking the transmission and drivetrain for defects, measuring oil levels and taking fluid samples for analysis.
AAs per Allison's recommended service intervals, oil filters were replaced after 3,000 hours of operation, but analysis revealed that oil viscosity and composition remained constant.
No oil changes were needed over the trial period and only six litres of fresh TES-295 were required per vehicle for the filter changes.
Further, after completing the trials, two transmissions were disassembled and examined, and both were found to be in excellent operative condition.
One was removed from a vehicle in operation for 14,219 hours having covered 162,609 km; the other for 13,344 hours and 168,141km. The torque converter lock-up clutch showed only minimal wear, typical for the start-stop duty cycle of RCV applications, and Klein reports that this was the only component replaced during re-assembly.
Allison Transmissions, while pleased with the result (and noting that vehicles can run 12 times longer with its transmissions on TES-295, compared with mineral-oil based transmission fluids), concedes that this was only possible because all vehicles were subject to regular, extensive checks during the endurance test.
Allison Transmission recommends that RCV fleets have their TES-295 fluids changed after 240,000 km, 6,000 hours or 48 months, whichever occurs first.
"We are happy we took part in this test, because it has demonstrated that our fleet can rely on Allison transmissions in combination with TranSynd," comments Klein.
"We benefit from the extended service intervals – vehicles spend less time in the workshop and we save costs while protecting the environment," he adds.
Allison Transmission Europe BV
Castrol UK Ltd
Mercedes-Benz UK Ltd
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