It is rare these days to have such an impact on the operating cost of a vehicle and at the same time reduce the effects of running a vehicle on the environment.
But express parcel carrier Business Post and trailer builder Don-Bur Bodies and Trailers have done just that. Business Post’s new trailer design saves in excess of £6,500 in fuel and takes over 24 tonnes of CO2 emissions, thought to be a major contributor to global warming, out of the atmosphere for one vehicle in one year is no mean feat. And, importantly, in the process maintaining the same load space.
These exceptional results have been achieved through the development of a double deck trailer that slopes down at the front.
The Business Post double deck trailer has 0.88 metres of frontal area exposed above the towing unit’s air kit. In addition, there is an area of dead space inside the trailer above the swan neck (5th wheel area) which remains unused even when loaded (Business Post use a cage system to protect parcels and reduce handling). This allows the trailer to be designed to slope down at the front. In introducing the change account had to be taken of matching the trailer height and angle of slope to the towing vehicle.
The double deck also incorporates a 9.150m hydraulically powered lifting deck fitted above the main deck.
The new aerodynamic, environmentally friendly trailer has been vigorously tested against a standard front trailer using the same vehicle and the same operating route. The vehicle with sloping roof ran one trunk route covering a distance of 2749 kms using 837 litres of fuel equating to 9.28 mpg. The same vehicle then ran the same trunk route the following week covering 2804 kms using 1025 litres of fuel equating to a consumption of 7.73 mpg. An improvement of 1.55 mpg saving £129.72 in fuel over the week. Based on this data, the saving for this vehicle on this particular route over one year is £6,537.88
Said Kevin Webb, Business Post’s General Manager, Transport, ‘We have been so impressed with the results of the sloping trailer that we have already ordered another 8 of them to be in service by the end of 2004. And, as it was a critical part of the design criteria to be able to retro fit our existing double deck fleet, we are putting a programme together to convert all of our double deck fleet. Furthermore, on the basis of a trailer having a 10 year life it is possible for the trailer to pay back its own capital cost during this period in fuel saving alone’.
For more information please contact: Linda Thomas, PR Executive, Business Post on 0121 335 1190.
Note to editors:
Business Post Group operates through a network of nearly 140 locations across the UK. Of these approximately 30% are franchised and half are partners in the UK Pallets network. The Group and its associates employ over 4,000 people. A fleet of more than 3,000 vehicles is responsible for the movement of over 150,000 consignments every working day.
Express is the Group’s core UK business-to-business parcel service accounting for 66% of Group turnover with an estimated 7.5% market share.
International accounts for 11% of group turnover and is responsible for all shipments coming into and leaving the UK and Ireland. A high proportion of its activity derives from Business Post’s agreement with FedEx.
HomeServe, the Group’s UK business-to-consumer parcel service, provides high quality time-definite service to residential addresses. It accounts for 9% of Group turnover and last financial year increased its turnover by 129%.
UK Today is the Group’s same day UK nationwide courier service. Thy used dedicated vehicles and has access to the National Express coach network linking 1,200 locations each day. UK Today increased its turnover by 48%.
BXTech is the technical courier active in the computer, medical and utilities sectors. It was acquired as BXT in 2003.
Together UK Today and BXTech make up Group’s Courier division.
UK Pallets provides a nationwide express palletised goods delivery service through a partnership with 70 independent haulage businesses throughout the UK. It was acquired in July 2003.
UK Mail is the first company to offer an alternative postal delivery service. Following extensive negotiations with Royal Mail an agreement was reached in February and the service began in May.