Warburtons, a large British baking company, has introduced six dual fuel Mercedes-Benz Axor tractor-trailer units into its UK distribution fleet. Equipped with Luxfer carbon composite alternative fuel cylinders, the trucks have engines converted to run on both compressed natural gas (CNG) and diesel by the Hardstaff Group at their facility in Nottingham, England.
The cylinders were manufactured by our Luxfer Riverside facility in the USA.
The new trucks are now traveling across the country, distributing bread among Warburtons’ 14 bakeries and 13 satellite sites. Operating on a double shift seven days per week, each vehicle will average 100,000 miles (164,934 kilometers) per year.
Warburtons has been a committed user of natural gas-powered trucks for a decade. Twenty out of its fleet of 100 trucks already run on CNG supplied from the company’s own storage and filling facilities.
Warburtons Group Transport Manager Mark Sutcliffe said: “We’re committed to [natural] gas for environmental reasons. It’s a clean fuel that helps us to reduce our emissions and so meet our own carbon management and corporate social responsibility targets. But the trucks also had to make financial sense for our business, and a dependable warranty is a key part of that equation.” Warburtons’ corporate responsibility plan, revealed in 2010, includes a variety of ambitious environmental targets and changes to its supply chain, including a 20 percent cut in CO2 emissions by 2020.
Hardstaff’s conversion of the Axor’s straight-six, 400-horsepower engine automatically feeds CNG into the cylinders on demand at a constantly variable ratio. The Warburtons vehicles are achieving an average 60 per cent ‘substitution rate’—the volume of diesel replaced by CNG. This translates into a sizeable reduction in emissions of carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides and particulates. There is no noticeable difference in power delivery or in the driving experience and, should a vehicle run out of CNG before its tanks can be topped up, it will run equally well on pure diesel.
Hardstaff Dual Fuel conversions—which include use of Luxfer cylinders—are available on selected Mercedes-Benz Axor and Actros models.
This story includes information from press releases by Mercedes-Benz and NGV Global News.