TOKYO, May 29, 2023 – Yume Concrete Co., Ltd. has been supporting reconstruction efforts in areas of northeastern Japan affected by the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake and resulting tsunami. The company makes active use of the
Hino Motors Ranger GK mixer, which features the Allison 3500 six-speed fully automatic transmission as standard.
Commencing operations one year after the devastating earthquake, Yume Concrete transports ready-mixed concrete to urban and mountainous areas across the region, supporting the reconstruction of roads, houses and commercial buildings in affected areas.
The vehicle has logged more than 36,000 kilometers since entering service in 2020. The company has hired many of its young drivers from the region in order to help boost local economies; they reportedly appreciate the mixers’ superior stability
and hill climbing performance.
"Since the GK mixer is based on the chassis of a medium-sized Ranger, it has a loading capacity of 5.0 cubic meters, equivalent to almost 1.7 tons more than a large mixer. This reduces the number of trips required for delivery, thereby boosting transportation
efficiency,” said Akira Ohmi, Plant Section Leader at Yume Concrete. “This not only shortens drivers’ working hours; it also reduces transportation costs, a welcome feature in these days of rising fuel costs.”
“We did wonder whether the automatic transmission could perform sufficiently well on steep hills, but we found the trucks can negotiate slopes with inclines of 10% or more as easily as much larger mixer trucks and can climb 5-6% inclines with just
60-70% application of the accelerator,” said Ohmi. “In addition, Allison’s powerful torque converter allows it to reverse up and stop on slopes with inclines of up to 20%, which are common at pile-driving job sites.”
The HINO GK mixer is equipped with a small-displacement A05 (5.123 liter) engine and the Allison 3500 transmission. The transmission’s patented torque converter amplifies torque so that when starting in first gear the truck delivers almost the same
power as a large mixer truck equipped with a manual transmission starting in second gear. Even when reversing, the available torque is comparable to that of a large mixer truck equipped with a manual transmission. In addition, when a vehicle equipped
with the Allison 3500 transmission uses the exhaust brake going downhill, the transmission automatically shifts down, making it possible to descend a 5-6% gradient without use of the foot brake, even when fully loaded. Even less experienced drivers
can easily negotiate downhill routes, a key benefit at construction sites where a variety of road surfaces are present.
“We have to work in poor weather conditions, for example on icy roads or in snowy conditions in the winter, but reassuringly, we have never faced any difficulties with our automatic transmission vehicles,” said Ohmi. “I manage our driver's
working shifts and have found that any driver can easily drive our mixers equipped with fully automatic transmissions regardless of their skill level.”
Inexperienced drivers often find it difficult to reverse, and it takes time to train them. However, with Allison-equipped vehicles, the training period can be shortened and the driver can begin work more quickly,” said Ohmi. “This is because
the driver can hold the steering wheel firmly with both hands and concentrate on the pressure they apply to the accelerator pedal without worrying about clutch work, even during steep reversing maneuvers.”
Allison-equipped vehicles, which maximize work and transportation efficiency with their superior driving performance, are helping to increase productivity at construction sites. We will continue to boost our customers' operational efficiency with our
superior products and technology.