Liquefied Natural Gas, (LNG) is a greener fuel than diesel to run a truck on (quieter too) especially if the gas is reclaimed from animal and food waste. That’s what Arla Foods are attempting to do in reclaiming the bio methane from farms (which is a normal, damaging waste if vented) and using it to fuel their trucks.
It is in seven new Volvo FM LNG 6×2 tractor units that the fuel is to be fed and the business hopes that this will help tomeet its targets to reduce the CO2 emissions of its operation by 2030.
The UK’s biggest dairy cooperative currently views bio-LNG (liquified natural gas) as the best option to improve the sustainability of its commercial vehicle fleet and opted for Volvo having trialled its gas technology against another manufacturer.
Supplied by Volvo Truck and Bus Centre South & East, the new FMs come equipped with sleeper cabs. They will be used for back-to-base operations collecting and delivering milk from Arla’s farms and depot operations in Leeds and Burton-On-Trent to processing sites across the country.
Why go Gas?
Richard Wilson, Inbound Logistics Director at Arla Foods, says: “We have some ambitious sustainability targets to meet in the coming years, and reducing emissions from our logistics operations will be key to helping us meet these. We have trialled dual fuel vehicles which proved successful, but these new units are an even bigger step up for us. We are now turning cow poo from our farms, and food which would otherwise go to waste, into a source of renewable fuel.
“These new bio-LNG trucks will play a crucial part in our plans to hit our 2030 sustainability targets – which is a 63 per cent reduction of CO2 against our baseline from 2015 for our own fleet operations. Who knows what the future holds in terms of electric and hydrogen technology but for now and the medium term we believe trucks powered by bio-LNG are the best route for us to make a significant carbon reduction in the fleet.”
The Volvo LNG Methodology
The FM LNG benefits from Volvo’s unique o 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 a standard 460 hp diesel, with matching driveability, reliability and service intervals. The gas powertrain also provides engine braking just like a regular diesel tractor unit – and without needing a separate retarder which adds weight and complexity.
Paired with Arla’s eye-catching milk tanker trailers, the new FMs are expected to cover in the region of 200,000 km per year and have been backed with five-year Volvo Gold contracts to guarantee maximum uptime.
They will refuel at Gasrec’s flagship open-access site at Daventry International Rail Freight Terminal (DIRFT) and at the Gasrec built station at Reed Boardall’s depot, in Boroughbridge.
Visibility of the new FMs is boosted thanks to large windows, narrower and raised A-pillars, lowered door lines and excellent side mirrors, plus the sleeper cabs are fitted with an additional rear window, as well as a lower window on the passenger door.
A high front axle helps ground clearance when operating off road, and the exterior also benefits from a steel front bumper and brushed Alloy wheels.
The seven FM LNG trucks replace seven diesel tractor units in Arla’s commercial vehicle fleet.