INDUSTRY NEWS: Laying its cards on the road
ON AUGUST 31, having spent 16 days on the road, five MAN truck-trailer combinations rolled into Centurion to complete the 4,200km MAN Consistently Efficient Tour 2012.
Following a send-off on August 15, the tour travelled through Bloemfontein, Cape Town, Port Elizabeth, Pinetown and Nelspruit, hosting gala events in each city to showcase the financial and environmental benefits of the new MAN TGS EfficientLine range of long-haul trucks.
Bruce Dickson, deputy CEO, MAN Truck & Bus SA, said: "The tour was essentially a ‘truck economy run’ with a clear objective to match or surpass the 3l fuel saving achieved by MAN during its European Tour last year. We also aimed to demonstrate to the transport industry and the general public that for every litre of diesel saved, a corresponding 2.63kg saving in CO² emissions is achieved."
The tour fielded three new TGS EfficientLine derivatives, a standard TGS reference truck and a Euro 5 TGS EfficientLine exhibition truck. Apart from the exhibition truck. All vehicles were loaded to their maximum legal permissible mass and were run on standard 500ppm diesel supplied by Engen.
Joined throughout by local transport efficiency expert, Fritz Hellberg, who acted as independent auditor of the fuel consumption figures, the tour’s primary mission was to compare the fuel consumption performance of the new 6x4 TGS 26.440 EfficientLine against that of the standard 6x4 TGS 26.440, to prove that truck-trailer combinations equipped with cost-effective streamlining accessories reduce both fuel consumption and emissions.
"The trucking industry in SA is under immense pressure to limit its fuel expenses, which now constitute more than 40% of fleet operating costs. There is the additional imperative of limiting fleet carbon emissions in order to secure haulage contracts with large organisations. The new TGS EfficientLine range is a viable and cost-effective solution, designed to address these challenges right now," Dickson said.
Speaking to a crowd of more than 100 people at the homecoming event, Dickson said: "The final figures for the test-versus-control TGS 26.440 trucks are better than expected. When comparing the TGS 26.440 EfficientLine test truck with the standard TGS 26.440 reference vehicle, the total fuel saved on the 4,200km round-trip was 198l, which equates to 4.7l /100km or a 7.8% improvement. Importantly, this means too, that 521kg of CO² were prevented from being released into the atmosphere by the test truck."
Hellberg said the TGS 26.440 reference vehicle achieved an overall fuel consumption figure of 60.8l /100km, while the TGS 26.440 and 26.480 EfficientLine vehicles achieved 56.1l /100km and 58.3l /100km respectively.
"Impressively, even with its higher power output, the TGS 26.480 EfficientLine achieved a 2.5l /100km diesel saving over the 26.440 reference vehicle," Dickson said.
Having succeeded in surpassing the benchmark set by the EfficientLine test truck in Europe last year, Dickson said that local operating conditions differ vastly to those in Europe, contributing to the marked difference in the final figures.
"The extreme changes in altitude that characterised the South African tour route, as well as strong winds and numerous unscheduled stops along the way due to road construction, all contributed to the impressive performance of the TGS EfficientLine against the standard MAN TGS. The long stretches of flat road down to the Western Cape allowed the aerokits and low rolling resistance tyres to fully come into effect and accentuate the difference in diesel consumption between the test and control TGS derivatives," he said.
All five vehicles were piloted by professional driver-trainers from MAN and a customer fleet.
Stressing the cost benefits of the new MAN TGS EfficientLine, Dickson said: "At current fuel prices, a long-haul fleet operator averaging 200,000km a year, would save approximately R96,500 per year, per vehicle, with such figures. In context, this would mean that for every 15 new TGS 26.440 EfficientLine vehicles bought, a customer could effectively get another truck free every year."
Apart from a fibreglass wind-management system from Aero Truck and low rolling-resistance tyres from Goodyear, the TGS EfficientLine package also includes a "smart" air compressor and new alternator, which help reduce power consumption by auxiliary components by as much as 80%.
"The data we have gathered from the tour comprehensively benchmark a broad spectrum of long-haul operating environments in this country and will serve as a valuable resource for this sector of the industry," Dickson said.
"We are confident that our transparency in conducting the tour prior to the official launch of the new EfficientLine range next year will inspire new truck buyers to take a closer look at how MAN and our new pearl-white beauties can assist them in lowering their total-cost-of-ownership."
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