The Optitronic robotised gearbox on the Renault Midlum: customers deliver the best testimonials!
To demonstrate the qualities of the Optitronic robotised gearbox on the Midlum, Renault Trucks decided to let those most concerned have their say - the customers! The manufacturer therefore had the idea of providing 19 of them, in France, Germany, the Netherlands and Belgium, with a 12 tonne 220 hp Midlum Optitronic to test for a full week. This meant enabling customers to use it for their rounds, under actual operating conditions, and deliver their judgement at the end of the trial period. All details concerning the vehicle (how the gearbox was used, consumption, etc.) were gathered by the Optifuel Infomax software. The results were unequivocal: consumption was down by 10% with journey speed unchanged and sometimes, even increased. As for the Optitronic robotised gearbox's performance in terms of driving comfort and safety, this was praised by all the French, Belgian, Dutch and German customers.
Between the summer and the end of 2010, Renault Trucks offered 19 of its French, Belgian, Dutch and German customers the opportunity of testing a 12 tonne 220 hp Midlum equipped with the Optitronic robotised gearbox and Optifuel Infomax software during a whole week. The aim of the exercise was to measure gains in consumption made possible by this robotised gearbox under actual operating conditions and obtain drivers' impressions. All data associated with the use of the vehicle (consumption, how the gearbox was used, etc.) was recorded and analysed by the Optifuel Infomax software. These tests were carried out over some 10,500 km with an average payload of 5.1 tonnes.
The first results obtained were graphically clear: the customers who chose to use the Optitronic robotised gearbox in automatic mode over 95% of the operating time saw their average consumption drop by 10% compared with their usual equivalent vehicle - meaning an average gain of just over 2 L/100 km. For one of the customers, the saving was even as high as 19%! These figures are all the more remarkable since, at the same time, the journey speed remained absolutely identical and on occasion, was even higher! But apart from these raw figures, it is the customers' response to the Optitronic gearbox which we should look at in closer detail.
Overall, customers had a very positive impression of the vehicle, stressing four major assets: safety, in that the driver does not have to worry about shifting gears, the qualities of the Optitronic gearbox, the vehicle's general dynamic handling and the engine's performance. As far as the robotised gearbox itself is concerned, 100% of the customers judged it to be "good" or "very good". All customers particularly appreciated its full automatic mode (67% classifying this as "very good"), its driving comfort (67% "very good") and its "safety" aspect (56% "very good"). Furthermore, the third quality singled out for praise, with 68% having a very favourable opinion of it, is the "manoeuvring" mode. This is a specific function which increases the precision of the vehicle's movement at a very low speed, linking the position of the clutch with the position of the accelerator pedal.
The results of these tests carried out by customers actually using these vehicles themselves under actual operating conditions, are of course greatly welcomed by Renault Trucks. They reinforce the manufacturer's determination to offer its customers reliable, high-performance tools such as the Optitronic robotised gearbox or the Optifuel Infomax fuel consumption measuring and analysis software, with the aim of continuing to further reduce its vehicles' fuel consumption.