Arla Foods in the UK has increased the efficiency of one of its combination trailers since becoming the first-in-the-world to trial the latest innovation from Carrier Transicold.
The technology has the potential to revolutionise the way temperature-controlled trailers are designed, cutting diesel fuel use and costs while reducing carbon dioxide emissions.
Arla Foods’ tri-axle combination trailer, half refrigerated body, half milk-collection tanker, was modified by Carrier Transicold UK to power the milk-collection pump motors, eliminating the need for a tractor unit equipped with a power take-off (PTO), associated hydraulics and Suzi boom, reducing the overall weight by 250 kg.
Carrier Transicold tested, modified and developed new wiring configurations and software to establish an ‘export power mode’ on the Vector 1550 City trailer refrigeration unit, allowing the driver to disable the temperature control system for a short period of time to allow power to be routed to the milk tanker pumps.
Since commencing a 12-month field trial in December 2013, the first proof-of-concept trailer has successfully reduced vehicle complexity and cut capital investment per tractor unit and trailer combination. A 1.5-litre engine powers the pumps rather than the 11-litre truck engine used previously, which has cut the diesel used per full load of milk from three litres to one litre, with the potential to save 1,460 litres per trailer per year.
The Vector unit’s smaller engine operates on less expensive red diesel, generating further savings. It also saves on maintenance and repair costs as a result of the removal of the PTO and associated hydraulics. With fewer moving parts to break or require service, repair and maintenance costs can be significantly reduced, which, in turn, reduces any potential impact on service schedules or reliability. In addition, the combination trailer can operate with any tractor in the fleet – even spot-hire vehicles.