Buffaload Logistics has committed to fit Hultsteins’ on-board electric generator to all of their tractor units, eliminating diesel consumption and harmful emissions from their entire temperature-controlled trailer fleet.
Called Ecogen and manufactured in the UK, the lightweight hydraulically-driven system was fitted to a Scania 6x2 and put to work for a total of 230 hours over approximately 50,000km.
The results, say Buffaload, were little short of incredible, as not only did the system use no fridge diesel, but also, there was no additional consumption from the tractor unit.
“At first, we couldn’t believe the figures” said Ross Taylor, Buffaload’s CEO. “But sure enough, the Ecogen, connected to the tractor’s PTO, ran the fridge unit perfectly for around two-months and not a drop of diesel was burned.
“Effectively, we were saving an average of four litres every hour while the fridge was running.
“Put simply, the system gives us diesel-free and pollution-free refrigeration, while adding literally no cost to the operation - apart of course from the initial outlay.”
Any savings gained from using Ecogen will be ploughed back into other sustainable projects aligned to Buffaload’s carbon-neutral programme, it said.
Buffaload had been exploring the market for an electric generator capable of working with any 6x2 tractor unit while powering any TRU, and Hultsteins’ Ecogen was the only solution which ticked all the boxes.
“This is obviously an important factor” said Taylor. “While other electric generators only work with certain tractors and fridge models, EcoGen is universal, which means it fits easily to every existing 6x2 and powers all leading fridge marques. This gives operators unrestricted choice of equipment and makes retrofitting easy too.”
Once the Hultsteins’ Ecogen systems are all up and running, Buffaload Logistics will be making an annual carbon saving in the region of 400,000kgs.
Buffaload expects a return on investment of 21 months and given its simple design, based on several decades of proven technology, the Ecogen system is not expected to add any additional maintenance requirement.
Developed for truck or tractor units, Ecogen is a slim-fit hydraulic drive generator which connects to the engine’s PTO and simply plugs in to any refrigeration unit with mains electric operation.
Fuel consumption and emissions are virtually eliminated while generating a constant 400-volt, 3-phase electrical power to the same standard as the mains supply.