Wellingborough, UK: Kuehne+Nagel has put eight new Volvo FH Globetrotter liquified natural gas tractor units into operation on contracts with Whitbread and Costa.
The trucks are the first Volvos to enter service in Kuehne+Nagel’s UK fleet, following its participation in the Innovate UK-funded ‘Dedicated to Gas’ project. This evaluated the viability of Euro 6 gas heavy goods vehicles as an alternative to diesel and demonstrated their potential to save CO2 and reduce running costs.
Volvo Truck and Bus Centre East Anglia supplied the 6×2 pusher-axle tractors with 155kg LNG tanks and Volvo’s 12-speed I-Shift automated transmission, which helps to maximise fuel efficiency. The specification also includes I-See predictive cruise control system, which analyses the topography to optimise speed and gear changes.
The new trucks will pull temperature-controlled double-deck trailers on national trunking routes from the customer’s Wellingborough regional distribution centre to sites in Avonmouth, London and Manchester. Each vehicle is expected to cover 125,000 miles per year, with refuelling taking place on-site and operated by by Air Liquide.
Andrew Blake, national distribution manager, Kuehne+Nagel, says: “We’d previously run dual fuel trucks for seven years, but it was our involvement in the Dedicated to Gas trials which confirmed that LNG was the right approach to take. We’re projecting an initial 20% reduction in CO2 emissions on these routes using standard LNG, with the intention of moving quickly to bio-LNG to increase this reduction to at least 80 per cent in the near future.”
“From an engineering perspective we have absolute confidence in Volvo’s natural gas powertrain to deliver the performance we need in an intensive around-the-clock, 44-tonne application. We looked at the spark ignition options available in other vehicles, but we didn’t want any trade off in terms of performance or fuel efficiency.
“The arrival of the Volvo marque into our fleet has been really well received.