National distribution and warehousing specialists, Romac Logistics, has become one of the very first operators in the UK to press the new IVECO S-WAY Natural Power into service. Joining a fleet of 220 trucks are 10 new 4×2 IVECO S-WAY AS440S46T/P NP CNG tractors. A further order that will double this is currently being finalised.
These are the latest in IVECO’s line-up of natural gas-powered heavy trucks, employing the 12.9-litre Natural Power Cursor 13 engine at 460hp with 2,000Nm of torque between 1,100 and 1,600rpm. Putting that power to the ground is the 12-speed HI-TRONIX automated gearbox, with a ZF retarder providing plenty of low-maintenance stopping power without having to rely on the service brakes.
Romac ordered the IVECO S-WAY NP to operate across a number of contracts, one running store replenishment for a national supermarket chain and the other on trunking functions between major Regional Delivery Centres (RDCs) for a global e-commerce business. Currently, five of the gas trucks will be based out of Romac’s Middleton Headquarters near Manchester while the others work from its Wednesbury depot in the west midlands.
Got to be Going Green
Green credentials are becoming an increasingly prevalent benchmark for businesses looking for a logistics affiliate and while natural gas brings huge reductions to carbon footprints, it is beneficial commercially too. In support of the mission to rapidly decarbonise the UK’s transport sector, fuel duty on alternative fuels such as Compressed or Liquified Natural Gas are locked at 50% that of diesel until 2032.
“Not only is there the important CO2 benefit, but there’s a cost advantage to gas fuelling so we intend to get these running as efficiently as possible, utilising them on double shifts over a 24hr period,” commented Andy Newnes, Romac’s Commercial Director.
“CNG is something that we wanted to tap into as part of our sustainability agenda and that seems to resonate as a number of interested parties have approached us since we began shouting about the gas trucks.”
Return to Base Refuelling
Running on radial work means that the vehicles can be refuelled in shift as they return to base for reloading or trailer swaps. Romac has partnered with CNG Fuels for this and will utilise its 100% renewable biomethane supplies from Warrington and Erdington. It is anticipated that the trucks will each cover around 160,000kms per year, upon which a reduction in CO2 emissions of 125 tonnes per vehicle per year has been calculated.
“CNG Fuels is delighted to be working with Romac Logistics and supporting them with their rollout of Bio-CNG trucks”, added Peter Eaton, Sales & Business Director at CNG Fuels.
“These vehicles will be running on our 100% renewable and sustainable biomethane fuel, helping Romac and their clients achieve more than an 85% reduction in GHG emissions. Our network of Bio-CNG Stations is rapidly developing across the UK, allowing companies like Romac to make the switch to renewable fuels nationwide.”
Supplied by South West Truck & Van in Avonmouth on a 5-year IVECO Capital Operating Lease, the trucks will utilise innovative IVECO ON connectivity features to support a favourable Total Cost of Ownership (TCO). Covering all but tyres, the smart 3XL Repair & Maintenance package means that Romac can adjust its maintenance planning according to the trucks’ usages and can be forewarned of any impending requirements via a direct connection to the IVECO Control Room. Another benefit of this is that a driver can initiate any software updates if and when needed via the infotainment system.
CNG Trucks – Piece of Cake
“The introduction of the CNG trucks has been straightforward,” added Andy Newnes. “We carried out some simple driver training purely from a refuelling point of view, but everything else runs the same as a diesel unit which really has just allowed the drivers to jump in and go. Driver feedback has all been positive so far, as the refuelling is swift and naturally it’s physically much cleaner too. Far more pleasant. This is our first foray into IVECO product, but with the support of SWTV, it’s been a strong first impression so far and we look forward to developing that relationship moving forward.”
Commenting on the delivery, IVECO UK’s Heavy Business-line Director, Gareth Lumsdaine said, “I’m very pleased to see that the introduction of the new IVECO S-WAY Natural Power to the UK market is already making such a positive impact. We at IVECO are very proud to lead on the road to decarbonising transport and it’s terrific to witness our latest offerings drawing new operators into the fold.”