Allison offers sweet performance in first automatic sugarcane truck
23rd November 2018

Latest project with MAN helps VW Constellation keep pace with sugarcane harvesters in challenging terrain

Enabling precise manoeuvrability to creep in soft soil and navigate tight spaces, an Allison 3000 Series™ fully automatic transmission is standard on the new Volkswagen Constellation 31.280 sugarcane truck.

Ideal for off-road operations, the Allison 3500-equipped Constellation has a total gross weight (TGW) of 30.5 tonnes, allowing for greater productivity. It also has a rear axle with a transverse and longitudinal lock to better distribute power to the wheels in difficult terrain.

Caio Milani, commercial consultant at MAN Latin America, highlights customer demand for a better performing harvesting truck for sugarcane fields. “Internal research has shown us that for a severe off-road application with a large amount of shifting, with lots of stop-and-go and carrying a large cargo, the Allison automatic transmission would be better suited than an automated manual transmission (AMT),” Milani said.

“Despite having a slightly higher initial cost, in the medium-term, the automatic transmission fully justifies its purchase compared to the automated (AMT), which may have higher maintenance costs in that activity.”

In addition to sturdiness, low maintenance and less downtime, Allison Automatics are ideal in sugarcane harvesting because the trucks have to ride side-by-side at a constant speed ranging from 3 mph to 6 mph. This is difficult to accomplish using a manual transmission without causing major problems with the clutch system.

The Allison 3500 in the Constellation also comes with a standard Power Take-Off (PTO) to run power auxiliary equipment such as water pumps and hydraulic tools in a variety of vocational applications.

Another feature of the Allison-equipped VW Constellation is outstanding startability and rollback protection on steep grades. Allison’s partnership with MAN includes adaptations for trash compactors, fire-fighting engines and concrete mixers for the construction industry.

The Constellation 31.280 is equipped with a 280-hp engine with EGR technology that does not require urea injection to reduce NOx emissions.  The six-speed Allison 3500 transmission delivers wheel torque similar to that of a larger truck with a manual transmission.

Image – © MAN Latin America. MAN Latin America’s VW Constellation 31.280 is the only truck in its segment to offer the Allison 3500 fully automatic transmission as standard.

Image – © Allison Transmission. The Allison 3500 fully automatic transmission comes standard on the new VW Constellation 31.280 sugarcane truck.

About Allison Transmission

Allison Transmission (NYSE: ALSN) is the world’s largest manufacturer of fully automatic transmissions for medium- and heavy-duty commercial vehicles and is a leader in electric hybrid-propulsion systems for city buses. Allison transmissions are used in a variety of applications including refuse, construction, fire, distribution, bus, motorhomes, defense and energy. Founded in 1915, the company is headquartered in Indianapolis, Indiana, USA and employs approximately 2,700 people worldwide. With a market presence in more than 80 countries, Allison has regional headquarters in the Netherlands, China and Brazil with manufacturing facilities in the U.S., Hungary and India. Allison also has approximately 1,400 independent distributor and dealer locations worldwide. For more information, visit