Ten HF5066 model trucks have been delivered to help ENAFOR, an Algerian oil drilling company, transport oil rigs to remote areas of the infamous Sahara desert. The first six of another 55 HF7566 truck order were delivered in September 2014. With such high demand for oil across the globe, ENAFOR, part of the Sonatrach Group, is pushing deeper into the desert to reach untapped oil. Transporting the disassembled drilling rigs through unforgiving desert is no easy feat and requires enormous logistical efforts.
ENAFOR’s operations are based in Hassi-Massaoud, a Saharan town about 625 miles south of Algiers. However, the company needs to drill at several remote desert locations. The drilling rig is delivered and set up, then taken down again six weeks later to be transported to the next site. And it’s not just the rigs that need transporting, but also mobile infrastructure for the general energy supply and accommodations for crews who stay in the desert for weeks at a time.
At the heart of the operation lies the MOL fleet, each truck equipped with an Allison 4700 fully automatic transmission and a Cummins QSX15 engine. As each truck needs to thrive in the brutal Saharan climate where temperatures can top 122F and operation occurs primarily on off-road terrain, it is no surprise MOL opted to equip each truck with an Allison transmission.
“MOL has used Allison transmissions for more than 40 years. As our customers are very satisfied with the fully automatic transmission, we equip each of our trucks with an Allison as standard,” explained Lieven Neuville, project engineer at MOL CY.
Each vehicle is packed with features that allow for maneuvering on the sandy, unforgiving terrain where ordinary trucks do not belong. A tough chassis, 6x6 wheel configuration and the ability to unload extremely heavy cargo without assistance makes the MOL trucks more than suitable for the gargantuan task the ENAFOR fleet faces. According to Neuville, the Allison 4700 transmission was chosen for two simple reasons: “High torque capacity and reliability,” he said.
Thanks to Allison’s torque multiplication and Continuous Power Technology™, the MOL trucks navigate across sunbaked desert routes even when weighed down by heavy loads. The renowned reliability and durability of Allison fully automatic transmissions meant that MOL had no concerns regarding failures and breakdowns, which could be disastrous in the Sahara.
In fact, MOL was adamant that Allison automatics be used in the trucks, working only with manufacturers that can provide local product support. Allison Transmission offers comprehensive local support for its transmissions used in trucking applications worldwide. “We select only those companies that can provide us with local support,” said Neuville. “Thanks to their support network, Allison is not only a supplier, but a strategic partner for MOL.”
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