INDIANAPOLIS - Allison Transmission, Inc. conducted a special Ride & Drive event in conjunction with the National Ready Mixed Concrete Association (NRMCA) 2009 ConcreteWorks conference and expo held in Indianapolis, October 18-20.
NRMCA, based in Silver Spring, MD, represents the producers of ready mixed concrete and the companies that provide materials, equipment and support to the industry. It conducts education, training, promotion, research, engineering, safety, environmental, technological, lobbying and regulatory programs. Over 350 attended this year's ConcreteWorks event, which was actually five events rolled into one making it one of the largest gatherings of ready mixed concrete professionals in the country.
Allison was proud to welcome the many NRMCA attendees who participated in the special Ride & Drive event, held at our on-site Test Track. This one-of-a-kind facility includes a one-mile road course designed to test speed, handling and stop-and-go drivability of on-highway vehicles. It also has a separate course designed to test on-/off-highway vehicles. This course features a hill with a steep 25% grade as well as a driveline challenging pea gravel pit.
To kick off the event, Allison's NRMCA guests were treated to the world's first public demonstration of Allison's new 2nd Reverse. This feature offers a second "deep reverse" in addition to the standard reverse and will be available mid-year 2010 exclusively on all Allison 4700 and 4800 models.
According to Allison's Lou Gilbert, Director, North America Marketing, "2nd Reverse will provide greater control and engine braking during operation on steep grades and enable more maneuverability with very consistent creep speeds when operating in confined spaces."
After the 2nd Reverse demonstration, everyone had the opportunity to drive and compare different kinds of trucks - from box trucks to day cabs, dump trucks to long haul rigs - equipped with Allison fully automatic transmissions, manual transmissions and automated manual transmissions.
Many NRMCA guests also had the opportunity to take a guided tour of Allison's Indianapolis manufacturing plant. According to NRMCA Senior Vice President of Operations and Compliance Gary Mullings, "Allison's Ride & Drive, along with the impressive manufacturing facility tour, were first class. We can't thank Allison Transmission enough for, what was for many, a once in lifetime experience." Mullings added, "The professional staff at Allision, while being extremely knowledgeable, made us all feel right at home."
While this was just one of many events held during the busy ConcreteWorks conference and expo, the feedback has been extremely positive. In an e-mail, John Richardson, president of John Richardson & Company, said, "I have had the fortune to talk with several of the participants as well as some drivers... and the feedback is just plain excellent. Probably one of the best [Ride & Drive events] this group has participated in over the many years we have been doing this. For me personally, it was also a great education."