Germany’s largest municipal waste disposal company equips over 620 vehicles with Allison fully automatic transmissions

Using fully automatic transmissions has saved Berliner Stadtreinigung’s fleet approximately 1,500 clutch replacements and significantly reduced operating costs; fleet includes 120 Allison-equipped Mercedes-Benz Econic CNG refuse vehicles.

Berlin, GERMANY – Berliner Stadtreinigung (BSR) is the largest municipal waste disposal company in Germany. It services an area of 892 km² (larger than Munich, Frankfurt and Stuttgart combined), which has more than 3.45 million inhabitants and approximately 10 million tourists per year.

BSR operates about 1,100 vehicles to manage waste disposal, street cleaning and winter road maintenance services. More than half of these – 626 to be exact – are equipped with Allison 1000 and 3000 Series automatic transmissions. A further 120 of the fleet are Mercedes-Benz Econic CNG waste collection vehicles, with dramatically reduced CO2emissions. Fully automatic transmissions are a “must-have“ in many vocations at BSR, primarily due to benefits of Allison’s torque converter and powershifting technology.

“Fully automatic transmissions offer numerous advantages in the heavy stop-and-go traffic of Berlin. They are a big relief for our drivers, and in the long run the initial investment saves significant cost. The torque converter, which replaces the traditional dry clutch used in manual or automated manual gearboxes, is a component not subject to wear. It doesn’t have to be replaced for the vehicle’s whole life,” explains Kai Groth, Product Manager at Berliner Stadtreinigung. “Using fully automatic transmissions has saved us approximately 1,500 clutch replacements over the last 10 years,” Groth continued.

With nearly 180,000 hours of vehicle repair annually, no longer replacing clutches means a significant reduction in BSR’s operating costs, but also ensures a productive and efficient duty cycle with minimum vehicle downtime.

“Our drivers are very satisfied with Allison’s fully automatic transmissions – a lot of them do not want to drive with other transmission types,” added Groth.

The capital champion invests in a “green” fleet

Over the last few years, BSR has invested enormously in its fleet. From 2006 till 2010, they replaced about 870 vehicles with new ones that reduce exhaust gases, fine dust and noise emissions.

For BSR, operating an environmentally friendly fleet with low emissions and minimizing the impact on the inhabitants of Berlin is vital. That’s why Berliner Stadtreinigung is already using some hybrid propulsion systems for refuse collection, and testing vehicles with full electric drive and fuel cells. As mentioned, 120 Mercedes-Benz Econic CNG refuse collection vehicles are in service with BSR, all equipped with Allison 3000 Series fully automatic transmissions. To ensure a CO2-neutral operation, in the future these vehicles will be fueled with bio-methane at BSR’s own plant in Berlin Ruhleben.

Overview CNG fleet of the BSR

Vehicle Type Body Year Purchased Number
Mercedes-Benz Econic Haller M21X2C 2002 46
Mercedes-Benz Econic Haller M21X2C 2009 16
Mercedes-Benz Econic Faun Rotopress 2010 1
Mercedes-Benz Econic Haller M21X2C 2010 28
Mercedes-Benz Econic Haller M21X2C 2011 29
Total 120

With the growing use of refuse collection vehicles powered by CNG engines, BSR wants to dramatically reduce overall emissions. Using CNG reduces benzene pollution by about 95 percent, and noise emissions are cut by half compared to a diesel vehicle. Allison transmissions also contribute to this objective, as they implement precise control of the shift points while keeping engine speed more constant and making efficient use of fuel. Performance of CNG-equipped vehicles is significantly improved with an automatic transmission due to engine torque multiplication through the torque converter during launch. Helical gears in the transmission further contribute to overall noise reduction with the CNG powertrain.

Results of the initial cooperation between BSR and the region of Berlin to reduce CO2emissions have proven that the investment in fleet modernization is worthwhile. According to BSR, up until the end of 2010, a reduction of 130,000 tons of CO2has been achieved. This represents about 9,000 tons more than what was originally agreed upon by the two parties. “We are confident that by sharpening the ecological profile of our fleet, we will be able to achieve further CO2reduction and meet the goals of the second agreement we signed,” Groth concluded.

Overview: Vehicles of the BSR with Allison fully automatic transmissions

Vehicle Type Transmissions Series Number
Refuse collection vehicle 3000 306
Big street cleaner 3500 16
Sweeper vehicles 1000 304
Total 626

The Berliner Stadtreinigung (BSR)

As the largest municipal waste company in Germany, BSR offers waste collection services to about 1.9 million households in Berlin with more than 400,000 bins. BSR collected over 1.2 million tons of municipal waste in 2010. Around 332,000 tons of waste collected was for recycling and the remaining 944,000 tons was for disposal.

During 2010, BSR cleaned an estimated 1.38 million kilometers of roadway and pavement while collecting approximately 4.6 million waste bins. They collected 65,000 tons of sweepings and about 102,400m³ of leaves. The BSR has approximately 5,300 employees. The fleet contains an estimated 1,100 motorized vehicles, 700 trailers and other special equipment.

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 over 1,500 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; 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 

Claire Dumbreck, Propel Technology, Bloxham Mill, Barford Road, Bloxham, Banbury, Oxfordshire, UK, OX15 4FF. +44 (0)1295 724130 / +44 (0) 7768 773857.

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