Leasing and rental company Axis Intermodal is looking to invest in more than 100 aerodynamic trailers to help its customers reduce their fuel bills.
Axis is branding the Teardrop™ trailer from manufacturer Don-Bur as 'Air Cutter' and is looking to increase the exposure of the aerodynamic trailer through the leasing and rental markets.
David Potter, MD of Axis Intermodal's UK truck and trailer division, says the company, which he believes is the first rental firm to buy aerodynamic trailers, is keen to improve fuel efficiency for its customers.
"The Air Cutter trailer is designed to be the most useful for the general fleet market, yet is shaped to maximise the air resistance and give our customers real fuel efficiency," he explains.
Reaction to Air Cutter is very positive, he says. "Our customer base extends from the 10- to 15-truck operators to the big logistics businesses. The bigger companies like to see a rental/leasing company taking an interest in aerodynamic trailers," he adds. "We are looking to focus on the 10- to 15-truck operators to try and give operators who wouldn't normally have access to this type of equipment a chance to use it."
The first Axis customer to use Air Cutter is north-west haulier Lea Transport. "It has taken on three of the trailers for its distribution operation with a food retailer, and the client is really excited by this move," he adds. "A fourth is with a carpet distributor."
Potter says Axis, which has a 2,000-strong fleet of trucks and trailers, is in discussion to order 100 aerodynamic trailers from Don-Bur to be delivered between April and June 2011 as additions to the fleet.
Operators are keen to find ways to reduce their fuel bill, he says, although hiring Air Cutter will see a slight increase in rates. "If you achieve 2% to 3% fuel efficiency it more than pays for the extra cost, and if you achieve 10% to 15% fuel efficiency the trailer actually pays for itself and it, in effect, becomes free," he says.
Initial marketing of Air Cutter uses Don-Bur's quoted fuel savings of 11%. "The first trailer has only just gone out on the road, we want to be able to substantiate the saving with figures from our own trailers," he says.