SAZ LE60 buses equipped with Allison fully automatic transmissions have been operating in Almaty, Kazakhstan’s biggest city, since 2017. Having used these buses for several years, private fleets highlight their exceptional ease of operation, reliability and comfort on both city and suburban routes.
ALMATY, Kazakhstan, September 2022 – SAZ LE60 buses are widely operated by private bus fleets in Kazakhstan, including Samat-Trans, Olzhas Ltd. and BAS Trade, all based in Almaty. According to fleet representatives, SAMAUTO buses
provide multiple benefits including optimum size, a wealth of options and Allison Automatics ensuring ease of control and efficient operation.
The low-floor SAZ LE60 city bus is produced by Uzbekistan manufacturer Samarkand Automobile Factory (SamAuto). It comes with a four-cylinder 190-hp Isuzu 4HK1-TCC engine and an Allison Torqmatic® 2100 fully automatic transmission (T2100). With a length
of 8,066 millimeters and a width of 2,466 millimeters, the bus provides 26 seats and can transport 56 people at a time thanks to the transverse engine and transmission mounted in the rear overhang. Samat-Trans first purchased SAZ LE60 buses in 2020.
Today, it has 80 of them serving long suburban routes.
“We use these buses on extremely long routes in suburban Almaty,” said Zhandarbek Sabdinov, Head Engineer at Samat-Trans. “Each of them can cover up to 500 kilometers per day consuming approximately 80 liters of fuel, which is quite
a reasonable figure. It should also be noted that buses with Allison automatic transmissions are easy to operate.”
The Allison T2100 six-speed transmission is an efficient solution for medium-sized buses for city and suburban transportation. A special gear-shifting algorithm enables the bus engine to run in the optimal manner, reducing fuel consumption and improving
the fleet’s efficiency.
Allison Automatics deliver powerful and smooth acceleration as well as great maneuverability. Moreover, drivers do not need to pay attention to gear shifting, which means they can be even more focused on the road and keep both hands on the wheel.
Olzhas Ltd., which bought its first SAZ LE60 buses in 2017, also has extensive experience in its operation. Expanding its fleet every year, the company now has 44 such buses.
“We use buses in the city only,” said Zhanatbek Sarsmbaev, Procurement Engineer at Olzhas Ltd. “Routes like these have a lot of stops and buses with automatic transmissions perform excellently here. We would have to change the clutch
multiple times on a bus with a manual transmission working in these conditions.”
Allison transmissions are reliable and have a long service life. Allison Automatics eliminate the need to repair buses often due to clutch wear. The Allison T2100 fully automatic transmission’s only required maintenance consists of a routine change
of oil filter and transmission fluid each 80,000 - 120,000 kilometers.
BAS Trade (Almaty) fleet includes 30 SAZ LE60 buses with 20 purchased in 2020 and 10 more in 2022. They operate on one city and one intercity route. The city council has established that these routes must be served by buses equipped with an automatic
transmission and climate control.
“Despite the short period of operation, we can conclusively say that these buses are reliable and comfortable,” said Igor Zavgorodny, Chief Mechanic at BAS Trade. “The mileage of the buses we purchased in 2020 already exceeds 300,000
kilometers, and the only thing we had to do on the Allison transmissions is scheduled oil and filter changes. I should also note that our intercity route is very challenging with great elevation variation and 64 stops one way. This basically would
mean the ‘death’ of a clutch and having an automatic transmission is crucial.”
After several years in public transportation in Kazakhstan, the SAZ LE60 proved itself to be a great vehicle, so all three companies intend to continue purchasing these buses in the future. Moreover, city buses equipped with automatic transmissions are
becoming an industry standard, largely because of the city council requirements of safety and comfortability for passengers, as well as the companies’ desire to make fleet management as simple as possible.