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UD MK6 Auto Helps Melbourne Company Draw The Line On Manual Transmissions

Sunday, 22 March 2009 | Print

A Melbourne road marking company has found the perfect truck for its operation in UD's newly introduced MK6 Auto, helping reduce operator fatigue while keeping other road users safe during linemarking operations.

Image Linemarking was one of the first companies in Victoria to add the new MK6 Auto to its fleet purchasing the truck to carry electronic warning signs and flashing lights while towing a special crash attenuator trailer.

The Image Linemarking UD Mk6 Auto runs behind the company's specially equipped line marking trucks to ensure safety and to provide collision protection and while the task may seem a fairly easy one for even a medium-duty truck the company's owner Craig Riley says it still has a pretty heavy workload.

"If it was an easy job then we probably wouldn't have had the clutch problems we had with previous manual trucks in the past," said Craig.

"The truck usually works all night on major roads following the line marking truck at pretty slow speeds which place their own strains on any truck," he said.

"With the previous manuals we have had clutch problems were a headache and it was a tough night for the driver, the guys who work for us are line markers they aren't truck drivers so an automatic transmission makes it easier for them to concentrate on the job at hand and not have to worry about slipping the clutch all the time," he added.

"We tried an automated manual from another manufacturer but it did not work as well as I had hoped and when I heard UD was introducing an Allison equipped automatic I ordered one straight away," said Craig.

"As far as I am concerned the days of manuals are numbered, automatics are pretty bullet proof now and kids are not learning to drive manual cars when they get their licences these days so it is only a matter of time before automatics become the norm in trucks as well," he said.

Craig Riley says that the automatic UD MK6 is extremely economical particularly in comparison to the automated manual truck it replaced.

"That one wasn't very economical at all but the UD is a revelation, it really doesn't use much diesel at all," he added.

"Combine that with the fact that it is easier to drive and we have less wear and tear as a result and you have a far more cost efficient package over the life of the vehicle," he said.

"We use a automatics in our larger line marking trucks and it is the for the same reason, crawling along at virtually walking pace all night can be very arduous and tiring but an auto equipped ruck makes it much, much easier," he added.

"I would have no problem recommending the UD MK6 Auto to other people thinking about giving them a try, it has provided us with a big productivity gain and we will certainly be looking to add more UD automatics in the future," said Craig Riley.

UD addressed the growing demand for automatic transmissions by offering the Allison LCT 2500 five speed automatic as an option on the MK6 models when they were introduced to the Australian market mid way through 2008.

Standard features on the MK's Allison 2500 automatic include the availability of close and wide ratio gearing and a turbine-driven PTO provision with optional neutral lock-up.

Improved productivity through full power shifts increasing numbers of pick-ups a driver can make per day. The torque converter improves performance on off-road gradients by multiplying engine torque and transferring it to the drive wheels.

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