This is good news for the natural gas-powered truck initiative. If a haulage company buys the same truck again at the end of a 30-month contract, then it must have worked well.

No small haulier can afford to be a charity or so altruistic that they are prepared to operate trucks that are not up to the job.

So the champagne corks must have been popping in Iveco’s Basildon HQ when the order came in from Preston-based H Parkinson Haulage (HPH) for seven 460hp IVECO Stralis NP AS440S46T/P CNG 4×2 tractor units.  These trucks replace seven of the lower-powered Stralis NP 400 4x2s that had been in operation with the company for some 30 months, with each truck having covered 550,000 kilometres in that time.

Iveco Stralis 460 NP Lineup
the Stralis 460 NP replace outgoing Stralis 400 NP Tractor Units

From Guinea Pig to Success

It is one of the first UK operators to cover more than half a million kilometres in individual gas trucks and the experience has been positive, encouraging the replacement of the 400hp CNG-fuelled 8.7-litre CURSOR 9 models with the higher output 12.9-litre CURSOR 13. The CURSOR 13 NP, engineered by FPT Industrial, is the most powerful pure gas engine on the market, producing 460-horsepower and 2,000Nm of torque between 1,100 and 1,600rpm and it features the longest oil change intervals in the industry, at 90,000km.

The Stralis Duty Cycle & Refuelling

The new Compressed Natural Gas (CNG)-powered Stralis trucks will continue where the old ones left off by servicing the four daily trips between a Regional Distribution Centre (RDC) in Chorley, Lancashire and a client’s production plant in Barrow-in Furness transporting toilet roll.

The trucks work 24-hours a day on a multi-driver shift pattern pulling a total payload of 8-tonnes on 15.6 metre curtain sided Longer Semi Trailers (LSTs). The combination of Stralis NPs and LSTs have worked well with the trailers offering the added flexibility of being able to accommodate a maximum of 60 pallets when required.

Drivers refuel at the CNG Fuels’ Leyland gas station half a mile from the Chorley RDC, thus reducing the need to refuel during the 160-mile round trip.

Bio-Methane – The Greenest Gas

This has ensured each truck has been 100% powered by renewable bio-methane during its 30-month life which has further reduced its environmental impact and contributed towards the circular economy. HPH was an early adopter of gas power within its 95-truck fleet in 2018 and has been well looked after by supplying dealer Walton Summit Truck Centre in Preston.

“We have been very well supported by both IVECO and Walton Summit during the last 30 months. Our gas trial has been a true partner approach and Walton Summit’s gas knowledge, advice, support and service around the clock has been invaluable. Being one of the first operators to adopt gas power has proven a positive experience and we are confident our Stralis NPs have had a neutral impact on the environment,” explained Steve Sugden, Director of HPH.

“TCO costs have also been very favourable. The cost of gas versus diesel has been significantly lower during the past 30 months and it will be interesting to see how the higher power Stralis NP 460s perform on the Chorley Barrow-in-Furness route,” he added.

Foot in the Door with Gas Trucks

It has always been part of Iveco’s plan to get their gas trucks into a fleet, then introduce the diesel variants when the company has seen that the trucks are well made, reliable and accepted by the drivers.  Iveco’s heavy trucks have never had the best reputation in the UK and it takes a long time for any company to overcome this.

So, a further success for Iveco is the Stralis NP gas replacement programme coinciding with HPH taking delivery of four diesel Stralis AS440S46TX/P 460hp steering mid-lift 6x2s. These are the first non-gas IVECO trucks to enter service on the HPH fleet and will be used on the same contract as the gas trucks.

Gareth Lumsdaine, IVECO UK’s Business Line Director (Truck) commented: “We are delighted that HPH is replacing its Stralis NP 400s with NP 460s, it shows confidence in gas power and the service and support provided by the IVECO brand. HPH was an early pioneer of gas and has demonstrated how CNG is a viable option for truck operators, particularly when running the high mileages covered by the Stralis NPs over the past 30 months.”

IVECO Natural Power trucks are quiet running, producing less than 71dB on the PIEK Quiet Truck Test and when fuelled by 100% bio-methane emit 95% less CO2 than their EURO 6 diesel counterparts and do so without the need for particulate filter regeneration and AdBlue.