Concept vehicle with Mercedes-Benz Econic chassis and an Allison automatic eases cleaning in Düsseldorf

Featuring an Allison fully-automatic transmission, a Mercedes-Benz Econic suction and flushing vehicle has been helping to keep Düsseldorf’s gullies clean.

DÜSSELDORF, Germany – A joint effort between the city of Düsseldorf and specialist vehicle manufacturer, Assmann GmbH, has led to the development of a concept suction and flushing vehicle that keeps the city’s 47,000 gullies clean from waste materials. Featuring an Allison 3000 Series fully-automatic transmission, the truck relieves the strain of operating a manual gearbox on busy, traffic-filled streets, enabling the drivers to easily clear drains and gullies of discarded objects ranging from construction materials to keys and jewellery.

Using the Mercedes-Benz Econic as the chassis, the suction and flushing vehicle features two pumps. A liquid-ring pump (VacuStar WR 3100 from CVS Engineering) is used for the suction of solids which accumulate in gully buckets. The vacuum pump has a rating of 94 kW and a maximum intake volume of 3100 m³/h. A high-pressure pump (P45-75/80 from Speck Pumpen GmbH) is used to inject water into the gully for cleaning or maceration of solids. It has a maximum pressure of 80 bar and a rating of 75 l/min. The bodywork also comes with two tanks, one which holds 3,000 litres of water and another with a 6 m³ capacity for debris.

The transmission features Allison’s Continuous Power Technology™ which ensures superior vehicle manoeuvrability and control when inching through congested streets and narrow roads.  Allison’s patented torque converter and uninterrupted power shifts deliver unrivalled startability, and advanced 5th generation electronic controls implement the best shift strategies for optimum fuel economy – important since the vehicles are in continuous use.

“With regard to our ageing employees, we need vehicles which are comfortable to board, offer increased crew safety within city traffic while working in front of the vehicle and are equipped with technical tools which facilitate the physically demanding work,” says Achim Tölle, fleet manager of Düsseldorf’s municipal drainage company.

The organisation decided some time ago, that all newly purchased vehicles should be equipped with fully-automatic transmissions, which makes the Econic a great choice, as it is exclusively equipped with an Allison 3000 Series automatic. In addition the Econic offers a low, comfortable entry, as well as a panoramic window.

An additional driver advantage is offered by the “intelligent” jib-arm with both hydraulic and telescopic capabilities. Once the driver places the arm over a gully via a joystick, a magnet automatically raises the cast-iron drainage grate, and then repositions it exactly after cleaning.

“This automatic system saves time and nerves. Our operators do not have to walk to or lift the drainage grate – just to push a button from the truck,” Tölle explains. That removes a significant burden for employees, who no longer have to pry open and lift cast-iron drainage grates with their bare hands.

The municipal drainage company in Düsseldorf also operates five Mercedes-Benz Varios equipped with Allison 1000 Series fully-automatic transmissions. Two of those vehicles are brick-layers, and a third is equipped with a crane for sewer repairs. The fourth Vario features traffic signs for safeguarding, and the last one is equipped with tools for repairing sewage pumps.

Econic suction and flushing vehicle

Chassis Mercedes-Benz Econic 2633 L/NLA
Engine Mercedes-Benz
Engine rating 240 kW / 326 HP
Transmission Allison 3000 Series fully-automatic transmission - model 3200
Exhaust emission standard Euro 5
Gross vehicle weight 26,000 kg
Wheelbase 3450 mm + 1350 mm
Bodywork Assmann GmbH

About the municipal drainage company of Düsseldorf

The municipal drainage company of Düsseldorf is responsible for design, operation and maintenance of the sewage facilities (channels, sewage collection, sewage storage, sewage treatment and sewage treatment plant) as well as flood prevention within the city. It employs 454 employees.

In Düsseldorf 80 percent of the affiliated areas with combined sewer systems and 20 percent with separate sewer systems get dewatered, with a combined total length of 1,550 kilometers – the distance between Düsseldorf and Rome. The municipal drainage company also controls construction, like new pump stations and sewer with storage capacity and overflow. The useable storage volume comprises 268,000 m³. In both sewage treatment plants in Düsseldorf Hamm and Meerbusch Ilverich, about 70 million m³ of dirt and rain water are cleansed every year.

… By the way: If valuables fall into gullies, citizens can call the municipal drainage company to save them. During routine gully cleanings, everything gets sucked away.

About Allison Transmission

Allison Transmission is the world’s largest manufacturer of fully automatic transmissions for medium- and heavy-duty commercial vehicles, medium- and heavy-tactical U.S. military vehicles and hybrid-propulsion systems for transit buses. Allison transmissions are used in a variety of applications including on-highway trucks (distribution, refuse, construction, fire and emergency), buses (primarily school and transit), motor homes, off-highway vehicles and equipment (primarily energy and mining) and military vehicles (wheeled and tracked). Founded in 1915, the Allison business is headquartered in Indianapolis, Indiana, U.S.A. and employs approximately 2,800 people. Allison has manufacturing facilities and customization centers located in China, The Netherlands, Brazil, India and Hungary, with a global presence, serving customers in North America, Europe, Asia, Australia, South America and Africa. Allison also has approximately 1,400 independent distributor and dealer locations worldwide. More information about Allison is available at

This press release may contain forward-looking statements. All statements other than statements of historical fact contained in this press release are forward-looking statements. In some cases, you can identify forward-looking statements by terminology such as "may," "will," "should," "expect," "plans," "project," "anticipate," "believe," "estimate," "predict," “intend,” “forecast,” “could,” "potential," "continue" or the negative of these terms or other similar terms or phrases. Forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance and involve known and unknown risks. Factors which may cause the actual results to differ materially from those anticipated at the time the forward-looking statements are made include, but are not limited to: risks related to our substantial indebtedness; our participation in markets that are competitive; general economic and industry conditions; our ability to prepare for, respond to and successfully achieve our objectives relating to technological and market developments and changing customer needs; the failure of markets outside North America to increase adoption of fully-automatic transmissions; the discovery of defects in our products, resulting in delays in new model launches, recall campaigns and/or increased warranty costs and reduction in future sales or damage to our brand and reputation; the concentration of our net sales in our top five customers and the loss of any one of these; risks associated with our international operations; brand and reputational risks; our intention to pay dividends; and labor strikes, work stoppages or similar labor disputes, which could significantly disrupt our operations or those of our principal customers. Although we believe the expectations reflected in such forward-looking statements are based upon reasonable assumptions, we can give no assurance that the expectations will be attained or that any deviation will not be material. All information is as of the date of this press release, and we undertake no obligation to update any forward-looking statement to conform the statement to actual results or changes in expectations.

Press Enquiries

Roland Moore-Colyer, Propel Technology, Bloxham Mill, Barford Road, Bloxham, Banbury, Oxfordshire, UK, OX15 4FF. +44 (0)1295 722863 / +44 (0) 7547 242674.

Miranda Jansen, Allison Transmission Europe B.V. Marketing Communications, Baanhoek 188, 3361GN Sliedrecht - The Netherlands, Tel: +31 78-6422 174.


About Us

Propel Technology provides PR and marketing for engineering, energy and science sector companies, specialising in raising awareness of complex technologies and initiatives. We produce and deliver intelligent communications across traditional, digital and social channels to allow companies to focus on what they do best.

Documents & Links