Potato Fleet Trials Vacu-Lug’s Latest Green Retreads
Bedfordshire-based H.E. Payne Transport Limited and its customer, potato merchant Greenvale AP, are trialling a new generation of energy-efficient Duramold retread tyres produced by Vacu-Lug. Unlike other ecologically aware tyres, these products are actually coloured green to reinforce their environmental credentials, the tyres are fitted to a truck and trailer in the Greenvale AP-liveried fleet operated by H. E. Payne Transport on the nationwide distribution of fresh potatoes.
A total of ten of the new tyres have been fitted to the H. E. Payne / Greenvale AP Euro 5 440hp 6×2 Volvo FH13 combination.
The tyres have been manufactured using a specially-formulated compound which replaces the traditional carbon black with a mix of silicas, resulting in a low-rolling resistance product which provides operational and environmental benefits. Independent trials conducted by TARCC (Tun Abdul Razak Research Centre, the UK-based research arm of the Malaysian Rubber Board) reportedly show the tyres to be more environmentally-efficient.
According to the research this is because the silica-based compound is harder and tougher than a standard tyre, meaning there is less deformation in the crown area, which significantly improves the tyres’ rolling resistance by up to 30 per cent. In addition the tread surface of the high-silica compound is harder and microscopically rougher than the carbon black-based compound and, as a result, increases surface grip. The products also produce less movement in the tread, which means there is less heat build-up, prolonging tyre life.
And as something of a performance bonus the silica-based compound is said to show much improved snow and ice behaviour and better wet skid properties, with abrasion remaining constant.
“Both ourselves and Greenvale AP are delighted with the green tyres and their performance,” comments H. E. Payne Transport Managing Director, Richard Payne. “We anticipate the combination of low-rolling resistance and the proven longevity of the Duramold product will further help reduce operating costs while simultaneously spreading a highly visible environmental message.”
Vacu-Lug fleet sales director Dave Alsop said: “H. E. Payne Transport awarded us the contract to manage its tyre fleet on a pence-per-kilometre basis, and as a part of our commitment to aim to reduce operating costs we have been trialing the green tyres. The TARCC results have been extremely encouraging and we are now looking forward to confirming the day-to-day operational benefits this exciting new product delivers through this cooperation with H. E. Payne Transport.”