UK-based Armstrong Logistics has taken delivery of five new Volvo FH LNG (liquified natural gas) trucks as part of the business’s strategy to reduce its carbon emissions and improve the long-term sustainability of its operation.
The 6×2 tractor units join five conventional diesel Volvo FH 500 Globetrotter XL trucks that the company added to its 95-strong fleet towards the end of last year.
The new trucks have been specified with 155 kg LNG tanks for maximum range, and benefit from 12-speed I-Shift automated gearboxes to increase fuel efficiency further.
Marcus Fischer, finance & commercial director at Armstrong Logistics, says: “As a business, we have embarked on a number of projects to reduce our carbon footprint and these new LNG-powered trucks play an important part in that.
“We did our research from articles in the press, spoke to key contacts in our sector and then held informal talks with three manufacturers, before deciding to go with Volvo.”
Armstrong Logistics worked closely with Volvo dealer Truck and Bus Wales and West, as well as Gasrec – a major fuel provider for gas-powered commercial vehicles – to ensure the infrastructure and support was in place to make the move financially viable.
“The big focus has been on unlocking both financial and CO2 emissions savings by switching to a cleaner and lower cost fuel,” adds Fischer. “We were really helped along the way thanks to the clear data given by the team at Wales and West, which we were able to plug into our whole life cost calculator and confidently predict the benefit these trucks would bring.”
The FH LNGs each benefit from Volvo’s unique approach to gas engine technology, using small amounts of diesel to initiate ignition of the air-fuel mixture. This enables the Volvo G13C engine to deliver the same 460 hp and 2,300 Nm of torque as its diesel-only counterpart, with matching driveability, reliability and service intervals. Plus, Volvo’s gas powertrain provides engine braking just like a regular diesel – and without requiring a separate retarder which adds weight and complexity.
Expected to cover 200,000km per year, the trucks will be used on longer set runs – delivering a variety of goods from the business’s three consolidated logistics centres in Hinckley, Lutterworth and Doncaster. They will refuel at Gasrec’s flagship site at Daventry International Rail Freight Terminal (DIRFT).
LNG has huge potential as a substitute for diesel in trucks. There’s a good supply globally and the CO2 emissions are considerably lower in comparison. The possibility to run on bio-LNG also means a potential CO2 reduction of up to 100 per cent, opening up long-term possibilities to move into renewable fuels – making businesses less dependent on fossil energy sources.
“This is the first time we’ve dipped our toe into this technology,” says Fischer. “If it works as well as we hope it will, if the drivers like the new trucks, and if the figures stack up for us then we would definitely consider adding more of these vehicles in the future.”
Supplied on contract hire through Volvo Financial Services, the vehicles will be looked after across the Volvo dealer network, with servicing and maintenance to be predominantly carried out by Truck and Bus Wales and West’s Pontypridd depot.