ATS-E launches mobile “Carbon Cutter” service
ATS Euromaster has launched a pilot mobile service designed to help large truck fleets save on fuel costs and as a result reduce carbon emissions. The “Carbon Cutter” service uses technicians with purpose-built vans to visit customers’ sites across the UK to check, and if necessary adjust, the tyre pressures of every vehicle and trailer in the fleet. The technicians will also look for wheel alignment problems. They will also offer green valve caps as an indication of checked vehicles. Simon Tattersall, head of National Truck at ATS Euromaster, explains: “It’s no secret that correctly inflated and aligned tyres reduce rolling resistance on the road, yet in many cases we’re finding significant potential for fleets to further improve the accuracy of their pressures and alignment.
“This in turn helps to make significant fuel savings and reduce CO2 output as every litre of fuel an articulated truck burns creates approximately 2.63 kg of CO2 [according to the Department for Transport]. Over the last 12 months the cost of bulk diesel has risen by an average of 12.8 per cent, with current prices approaching the record levels of summer 2008. Operators have to be increasingly savvy to squeeze the maximum mileage out of every drop of fuel they purchase. This is where Carbon Cutter can have a major impact. We can help customers to drive significant financial, operational and environmental benefits for their business. And what’s more, we’ll prove it.”
Fleets signing up to Carbon Cutter receive a detailed report post-inspection, providing a breakdown of checks, identifying whether the tyres were at their recommended pressures and whether the wheel alignment was correct. It also highlights the number of vehicles inspected, the percentage of tyres over/underinflated, the pressure variance per asset, average pressure variance by location and the number of days since the previous Carbon Cutter inspection was carried out. Ongoing updates allow fleet managers to monitor individual vehicle performance and ultimately illustrate the fleet’s increasing efficiency over time.
Michelin research based on simulations of a three axle tractor and three axle trailer, operating at 44 tonnes GVW, covering 130,000 km a year at an average fuel consumption of 8mpg (fuel cost £1.00 per litre +VAT) has shown that a single 44 tonne articulated truck with tyres 10 per cent underinflated experiences a 1.5 per cent reduction in fuel efficiency. Over 12 months and 130,000 km this increases fuel costs by £344 and creates an extra 0.88 tonnes of unnecessary CO2. Similarly, a one degree misalignment on the steer axle increases the rolling resistance of a tyre by around 5 per cent, leading to a reduction in fuel efficiency of 3 per cent. Over the same period this would increase the amount of fuel used by £1,250 and contribute an additional 2.94 tonnes of CO2 being released into the atmosphere.
ATS-E is using a new fleet of Mercedes-Benz Vito vans to drive its Carbon Cutter service, each fitted with electric compressors which can inflate truck tyres at a faster rate than traditional technology, ensuring technicians can work swiftly on-site.
Carbon Cutter can also be utilised to support vehicle pre-delivery inspections. ATS-E can be booked to visit a supplying dealer to assess the type of tyre for any new commercial vehicle based on its anticipated usage. With this service, Michelin aims to ensure, for example, vehicles destined for long-haul distribution work are suitably equipped with low rolling resistance tyres. Tyre pressures and alignment can also be checked prior to new vehicles entering service – while pressure recommendation stickers can be placed on the vehicle to ensure the servicing agent inflates tyres to the correct pressure during servicing.