Fraikin re-opens its Bristol workshop

Fraikin has re-opened its Bristol depot in order to rely less on third party contractors.

It is hoped the dedicated workship will significantly increasing the percentage of maintenance performed in-house and help manage vehicle operating costs for customers. Keeping a closer connection with customers will also be a benefit of the re-opened site with should also speed up repairs and reduce downtime.

Darren Hall, Fraikin MD, said: “Though the standard of maintenance remained high after we closed the Bristol workshop in 2018, operating costs were consistently increasing. Re-opening the Bristol site is a great way of taking back control, allowing us to cost-effectively provide the level of service our customers expect moving forward.

Hall added: “It’s all about relationships, and when we have a vehicle coming into our own site every six weeks we can build a better understanding of the customer’s business and prioritise work accordingly. With access to our national parts supply chain, customers also benefit from faster repairs and reduced VOR times.”

In addition to the existing four members of staff at the Bristol rental facility – which remained open after the workshop closed – the new maintenance depot has initially created roles for four new technicians as well as a collection and delivery driver.  

Allison introduces new fuel economy transmissions

Allison Transmission has introduced two new versions of its xFE fully automatic transmission for use in medium-duty trucks.

The 3000 xFE and 3200 xFE models are designed for engines producing up to 370hp and 1695Nm of torque and with a gross vehicle weight of up to 28.5 tonnes.

The xFE (which stands for “extra fuel economy”) models are claimed to reduce CO2 emissions by up to 3.7% compared to the standard 3000 and 3200 Series transmissions. Greater gains are said to be made at speeds below 20mph, depending on the vehicle’s axle ratio, and above 45mph.

“Truck fleet operators everywhere are under legislative pressure to reduce emissions, and of course all fleets would like to reduce their fuel costs. These new xFE transmissions could be a critical tool in helping OEMs and fleets make a 15% CO2 emission reduction by 2025 and 30% by 2030, as required by EU CO2 emissions standards for heavy-duty vehicles. Doing much more with today’s efficient diesel technology is an affordable and environmentally-responsible stepping stone on the path towards electrification and other non-fossil fuel propulsion systems for which we also have suitable propulsion solutions,” said Sjoerd Vos, Allison Transmission director of EMEA marketing.

The xFE gearboxes improve fuel economy by enabling the engine to spend more time in higher ranges and at lower rpms. Allison say the 3000 xFE and 3200 xFE lock up in first gear rather than second, making the final overdrives deeper, improving the spread of gear ratios from 5.37 to 5.91. The 3000 xFE and 3200 xFE are available with or without a retarder and come with Allison’s FuelSense 2.0 package of smart controls which include Neutral at Stop, to reducing engine load when stationary, Acceleration Rate Management to mitigate aggressive driving by controlling engine torque and DynActive Shifting which alters gear shift points according to factors such as vehicle weight, road gradient, stop-start frequency, and throttle use.