Monday 26th Sep 2016 - Logistics Manager

Sixy trucks

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There are just a few months to go before the new Euro 6 legislation comes into force. So it is no surprise that  vehicle emissions are at the forefront of truck buyers’ minds in the run up to the Commercial Vehicle Show.

Commercial vehicle buyers face a testing year ahead as they prepare for the arrival of Euro 6 at the beginning of next year – the most comprehensive EU standard to date on the reduction of emissions from commercial vehicles.

Compared with Euro 5, particle emissions are to be reduced by 66 per cent and nitrogen oxide emissions (NOx) by some 80 per cent over the existing exhaust-gas standard. And industry estimates are that Euro 6 trucks will cost on average £10,000-£11,000 more than a Euro 5 vehicle.

Most manufacturers will adopt a combination of technologies to meet the regulations. These include selective catalytic reduction (SCR), exhaust gas recirculation (EGR), and a diesel particulate filter.

“With all the uncertainties involving a new Euro emission criteria, we have found that many customers are forward-buying to ensure Euro-5 vehicles,” says Ulf Magnusson, managing director, Volvo Trucks – UK & Ireland.

“The business case for a Euro 6 is different from country to country due to very different incentives. The price of diesel fuel also varies between countries.”

And Tim Slater, managing director of transport UK & Ireland at DHL Supply Chain, says: “Euro 6 is predicted to have a noticeable impact on fleets’ weight, capital and maintenance costs. While reliability and available utilisation should be stable, fuel performance is still relatively unknown. The combined SCR/EGR technology on one single vehicle is not yet proven and neither are fuel improvements guaranteed over Euro 5. If fuel improvements are only marginal and quality not proven, there will be no rationale for funding the higher capital and maintenance costs, while incurring potential lower payload.”

Many of the manufacturers have been predicting that buyers will opt to extend the use of Euro 5 trucks for as long as possible. MAN, for example, will be able to offer Euro 5 vehicles on a second hand basis from its rental fleet, even after Euro 6 arrives.

And sister company Scania has just added 165 new trucks to its rental fleet – mostly G and R series tractor units, with both EGR and SCR variants available.

While some manufacturers are combining EGR and SCR technologies for Euro 6, Iveco is focusing on SCR. It reckons it is the only manufacturer to meet the Euro 6 limits without the use of exhaust gas recirculation. By using an engine with high efficiency selective catalytic reduction, Iveco argues that customers will benefit from weight reduction, lower fuel consumption and increased durability thanks to a less complex, yet highly efficient, technology.

Volvo’s Ulf Magnusson says: “We believe that our SCR solutions for Euro 4 and Euro 5 have been very good steps so far. And on our Euro 6 460 hp D13, which we have released, we continue with SCR now combined with a diesel particulate filter to meet Euro 6.”

“The legislation has managed to reduce the NOx from the trucks according to decided test methods and driving cycles. Large reductions of NOx have been achieved. However, it has been clear that there have been weaknesses to the test cycles in regards to how well they reflect real life driving. But we believe that with Euro 6 this is no longer the case.”

Tim Slater points out that the current set of Euro Regulations (1-6) have concentrated on NOx and particulates, and have made significant reductions in both. “The next step is to target a reduction in CO2 emissions. The engine technology improvements by the manufacturers over the past 20 years have improved fuel economy by more than 20 per cent. A legislative focus on CO2 reduction could further improve these savings. There needs to be a fair and accurate way of measuring and benchmarking CO2 output for commercial vehicles, taking into account size, payload, operation and location.”

Alternative fuels are increasingly coming under scrutiny, notably as a result of a government supported trial. For example, a Howard Tenens’ led consortium was awarded a total of £1.26 million from the ‘Low Carbon Truck Demonstration Trial’. Tenens partnered with John Lewis Partnership and Lenham Storage in the bid and will be supported by CMS Supa Trak and Emissions Analytics for data and emissions verification.

The funding will enable gas refuelling infrastructure to be installed at Swindon and a total of 34 commercial heavy goods vehicles to be converted to dual fuel (gas/diesel). 12 of the vehicles will be operated by Howard Tenens and the remainder by partners John Lewis and Lenham Storage.

A proportion of the funding is earmarked for monitoring and verifying the performance of the vehicles. This is important because one of the criteria for the funding was that vehicles should deliver a minimum 15 per cent reduction in CO2 emissions. Sophisticated on-board emissions and monitoring equipment are being used to record fuel consumption and emissions as well as a telematics system which will monitor the diesel and gas usage on the dual fuel vehicles.”

Tim Slater believes dual fuel vehicles on liquefied natural gas offer a promising alternative to diesel on the heavy, high mileage end of the fleet. “Fuel savings of over 20 per cent and CO2 savings of at least 10 per cent are possible on fossil gas, with bio-methane offering the opportunity to dramatically reduce CO2.”

However, he says: “Electric vehicles are still very much a niche vehicle for DHL Supply Chain, owing to the limited payload and range. However, where they are in use, the vehicles are performing reliably and delivering CO2 savings. Currently-available hybrids are not commercially viable over the typical vehicle life, despite the respectable fuel consumption and CO2 savings of 15-20 per cent we saw within trials over two variants.”

Ulf Magnusson, believes there is good potential for alternative fuels such as methane: “But the availability of the fuels is the limiting factor for many years to come. Electricity has a large potential for e.g. buses and light vehicles. Instead the largest potential for reducing our dependency on fossil fuel and reducing our climate impact will come from a higher energy efficiency. Hybrid powered trucks will be important as well as our solutions like I-See and I-Torque.”

There is also a lot of work going on involving both longer trailers and double-deckers. Slater says: “Double deck trailers are key in the optimisation of certain logistical networks and enable reduced costs, congestion and CO2. They are commonly identified as the primary solution for trunking fleets as well as out of town retail park deliveries, enabling logistics to minimise its impact on the total cost of goods to end users.

There are limitations to the use of longer semi-trailers in yards that are designed and optimised for shorter vehicle combinations and in busy urban environments, but the benefits of up to four additional pallets without any overall height issues is commonly agreed on. The carriage of those four additional pallets is also without considerable impact on fuel performance, unlike with a double deck trailer.

What’s on show at the CV Show

The Commercial vehicle show takes place at the National Exhibition Centre from 9th to 11th April.

FH range on show at Volvo
Highlight of the Volvo stand will be the new Euro 6 FH which was launched in September last year. Volvo has now received more than 1,000 orders for the truck, which, it says, can offer operators fuel savings of up to 10 per cent, if all the various driveline options are taken. In addition to representatives from FH range, the stand will also feature an example from the FM series. Interactive and static displays on the stand will include a Euro-6 compliant D13K engine, a walk-through FH cab and a full size FH simulator where drivers can pit their skill against a variety of virtual road and terrain set-ups.

Mercedes to unveil new Atego
Mercedes will unveil 2013 Atego which uses a newly developed Euro 6 engines to comply with next year’s strict legislation. The Atego is a ‘lightweight, short-radius distribution truck’ for the 6.5-tonne to 16-tonne segment, and will be available with seven different variants of the new Euro 6 engine. There are four different versions of a 5.1-litre, four-cylinder BlueTec6 engine, with power outputs ranging from 154bhp to 228bhp; there are also three newly designed versions of a 7.7-litre, six-cylinder engine, delivering 235bhp to 295bhp. Mercedes says the new engines are more fuel-efficient and benefit from longer service intervals. Both engines come with the Mercedes PowerShift automatic transmission. The new Atego will come with Stability Control Assist as standard, as well as a two-stage engine brake and disc brakes on all axles when it goes on sale in May 2013.

First showing for MAN’s Euro 6 chassis
MAN will show Euro 6 chassis for the first time in the UK, in the shape of an MAN TGL 7.150 4×2 C cab, MAN TGM 18.250 4×2 LX cab and MAN TGX 26.400 6×2 XL cab. The company will also focus on sales of current Euro 5 vehicles, as operators look to delay moving onto the next phase of Euro legislation with its perceived complexities. Euro 5 tractor units will form part of the company’s display.

Citroën shows electric van
Citroën will display its all-new Berlingo Electrique van which builds upon Citroën’s experience of electric LCVs in the UK, gained with the first generation Berlingo Electrique launched in 1998. There will also be the new Dispatch L1H1 HDi 125 six-seat crew van and stop & start equipped Relay vans.

44-pallet trailer
A 44-pallet lifting-deck trailer supplied to frozen  distribution business Reed Boardall will be one of the highlights of the Gray & Adams stand. The 44-pallet trailer is a recent addition to the Gray & Adams range. There will also be an 18-tonne Mercedes-Benz Axor rigid with Dolphin body in the livery of Chiltern Cold Storage. This features leading-edge body cappings that follow the 3D curvature of the roof, and a vortex generator to smooth the airflow around the back of the vehicle.

Environmental initiative
Brit European will unveil its new environmental initiatives for the distribution and delivery of heavy commercial vehicles, vans, construction/agricultural equipment and cars. 2013 will see the implementation of a fleet of dual-fuel Mercedes-Benz Actros tractor units and drawbars which offer CO2 savings more than 15 per cent against standard technology, using both diesel and natural gas as fuel. Government funding through the Technology Strategy Board assisted Brit European to get its initiatives to reality.

Cheetah returns
Cartwright, the trailer and rigid bodywork manufacturer, is making a return to the CV Show. Cartwright manufactures products ranging from 3.5t home delivery to LST double and single deck specialist trailers and bodywork, refrigerated and temperature controlled, Cheetah fuel saving designs, home delivery and blue light sit among other offerings. It also has a rental fleet of more than 5,000 trailers, from urban to double deck trailers available for rental on a long or short-term basis.

DAF unveils Euro 6 line up
DAF will be unveiling its new model line up of Euro 6 trucks on the first day of the show. It is giving world premieres to its new LF and CF model ranges plus the UK debut of the flagship XF model. It will also have a display of Paccar engines which meet Euro 6 emission levels.

Iveco puts spotlight on International Truck of the Year
A trio of International Truck of the Year-winning Stralis tractor units will be the focus of Iveco’s display. There will also be a static display example of FPT Industrial’s Euro 6 engine.
“This is a hugely important year for the truck market and we’re expecting a lot of interest in our new Stralis range. Only one manufacturer has the prestige of showcasing the International Truck of the Year 2013 on its stand, and we’ll have three examples on display, plus a further two outside. We’re preparing for a very busy exhibition,” says Iveco’s Nigel Emms.
A Euro 6 example of the long-haul Stralis Hi-Way 4×2 tractor unit will make its public debut at the NEC. It will be joined by a pair of EEV-rated Stralis’, including a 6×2 Stralis Hi-Way powered by a 500 hp engine, and a 460 hp 6×2 Stralis Hi-Road, the preferred model for distribution and fleet operations as well as medium to long-haul domestic missions.
Iveco’s medium range of vehicles will be represented by a low-height Eurocargo 120EL18/P, built specifically for multi-drop urban distribution. Joining the truck range will be two 3.5 tonne Dailys – one panel van and a chassis cab model. Both vehicles use Iveco’s new stop/start engine technology, which shuts off the engine when the vehicle stops with the transmission in neutral and restarts automatically when a gear is selected.

Ford highlights latest Transits
Ford is promising its widest and most high-tech line-up of commercial vehicles ever. Among the 15 vehicles on display will be the new Transit Custom, along with the new Transit Connect. And there will be more detail on the new Transit Courier to come at the show. “Following the award recognition of the new Transit Custom at the IAA CV Show in Hannover, Ford is continuing the product story by introducing its most exciting range of commercial vehicles ever at this year’s CV Show here in Britain,” says Mark Ovenden, Ford Britain managing director. Production versions of the new Transit Custom Sport Van and ECOnetic models will also be on display, alongside new Ford Fiesta Van and Ranger models.

Demountable on show from Isuzu
Isuzu will be showing a selection of vehicles covering 3.5, 7.5 and 11.00 tonnes. A Forward N75.190 rigid for HSS Hire will be specified with the Easyshift transmission system. A second 7.5 tonne rigid on display, another Forward N75.190, will be a demountable-bodied vehicle that is scheduled to join the Argos nationwide home delivery fleet. Representing Isuzu’s Grafter range is a 3.5 tonne N35.150 4×2 rigid in the colours of leading plant and tool hire company GAP Group. Completing the line-up is an 11 tonne Isuzu Forward F110.210 in the livery of Dorset recycling company Avon Material Supplies.
Isuzu Motors has acquired its UK distributor Isuzu Truck (UK) for an undisclosed sum. Chief executive Nikki King, who is 65, will be staying on as managing director until August this year to ensure the handover is effected smoothly and it is planned she will have some involvement in a non-executive capacity post retirement. Isuzu’s Masayuki Murata will become Chairman of the company and will divide his time between the UK and Belgium where he retains his role as Chairman of Isuzu Europe. Previously Murata was CEO of Isuzu Australia where Isuzu has had market leadership for well over 20 years.