R/€ = 15.39Change: 0.16
R/$ = 13.75Change: 0.03
Au 1138.00 $/ozChange: 1.55
Pt 910.00 $/ozChange: 4.00
Note: Search is limited to the most recent 250 articles. Set date range to access earlier articles.
Where? With... When?

And must exclude these words...
Close Main Search
Close Main Login
My Profile News Alerts Newsletters Logout Close Main Profile
Agriculture   Automotive   Chemicals   Competition Policy   Construction   Defence   Economy   Electricity   Energy   Environment   ICT   Metals   Mining   Science and Technology   Services   Trade   Transport & Logistics   Water  
What's On Press Office Tenders Suppliers Directory Research Jobs Announcements Letters About Us
RSS Feed
Article   Comments   Other News   Research   Magazine  
Feb 01, 2013

Aerodynamic trailer developed to reduce fuel costs, carbon footprint

Africa|Aluminium|Design|Efficiency|Environment|Freightwing|PROJECT|Road|Safety|Serco|Spar South Africa|System|transport|Africa|United States|Aerodynamic Trailer Attachment Developer|Manufacturing|Perishable Products|Products|Retail|Solutions|Steel|Trailer Body Manufacturer|Charles Davidson|Clinton Holcroft|Infrastructure|Operations|South Africa|Aero
© Reuse this

Truck and trailer body manufacturer Serco has collaborated with retail group Spar South Africa to develop a prototype of a new concept trailer, designed to help reduce fuel costs as well as carbon dioxide emissions, while simultaneously being highly practical to load.

Decisions about which features will become standard on future Spar trailer designs will be made this year.

The initial concept designs and research on the available technology and accessories for the Serco Green trailer started in May 2011. The concept was refined in early 2012 and production of the new prototype started in September last year, says Serco MD Clinton Holcroft.

Spar national transport manager Charles Davidson says the project, which Spar is very excited about, was born out of Spar’s com- panywide initiative to reduce its carbon footprint. “We approached Serco to come up with a green concept trailer, but one which would be practical and not have an adverse impact on our usual loading operations,” he says.

The key issue for Serco was to optimise the aerodynamic efficiency of the 15-m-long and 4.3-m-high trailer without compromising the interior loading volume, which can handle 30 t of perishable products using pallets and insulated lugs.

This was achieved by focusing on the three major sources of aerodynamic drag in the typical tractor-trailer application – the tractor-trailer gap, the trailer side and the trailer wake.

One of the improvements to the trailer is the tapered rear end of the roof to help maintain the airflow of the trailer body and to effectively reduce the trailer’s wake, which subsequently contributes to reduced drag and improved fuel economy.

Serco also installed a side aerodynamic kit from US-based aerodynamic trailer attachment developer Freightwing. These design changes significantly reduce wind drag and, in turn, improve the fuel consumption of the truck-trailer combination, says Holcroft.

The trailer is also fitted with an electronic braking system for improved road safety and electronically controlled air suspension, which reduces the overall height of the truck and trailer and enables the trailer to adjust to a normal dock height for loading and unloading.

The trailer also uses disc-braked axles for improved vehicle safety, single tyres with aluminium rims and high tensile steel in the chassis to reduce the truck’s weight and rolling resistance. Holcroft says the trailer weight was, as a result, reduced by just over 500 kg.

Further, the tractor is fitted with aero- dynamic truck fairings, provided by truck fairing specialist Aerotruck. This was fitted to improve airflow, notes Holcroft.

The trailer also features underbody side skirts, manufactured from a flexible and durable polypropylene plastic, which improves the trailer’s aerodynamics by reducing wind drag, particularly in the presence of crosswinds. This further results in improved fuel consumption.

Holcroft says the first trailer fitted with side skirts was delivered in October last year and the second trailer, fitted with side skirts and the roof taper, was delivered in November.

One of the main challenges in designing the green trailer was to ensure that the new features could be developed without significantly increasing the cost of the trailer, while ensuring a favourable return on investment for Spar, says Holcroft.

To do this, Serco’s design team, with more than 30 years’ experience, was employed to develop suitable solutions to meet Spar’s requirements.

Holcroft credits Spar – which has a fleet of more than 400 vehicles – for innovatively pushing the envelope and incorporating bold green features to reduce its carbon footprint through streamlining its vehicles.

“We have enjoyed working with Spar – a company prepared to actively work towards protecting the environment – as we are conscious about using green concepts in the manufacturing of our truck bodies and trailers,” he says.

Meanwhile, Serco recently acquired a 13.4 ha piece of land in Boksburg, Johan-nesburg, which will be used as a platform for further growth in the Gauteng region.

“We are drawing up plans for a new factory on the acquired land, which will further improve capacity and efficiencies. “This is a significant milestone for us and we are looking forward to this exciting project, which will take place over the next 12 months and lift our infrastructure to a new level,” concludes Holcroft.

Edited by: Chanel de Bruyn
Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor Online
© Reuse this Comment Guidelines (150 word limit)
Other Materials-Handling News
US-based heavy machinery and mining equipment manufacturer Caterpillar will retrench more than 10 000 employees by the end of 2016 as part of a significant restructuring and cost reduction plan, designed to lower operating costs by about $1.5-billion a year, once...
8 T ICE RINK LIFT The 8 t Ice Rink lift will carry the Rink’s Zamboni up 9.5 m
South African hoist and lift and company Wesant is increasing the capacity of its manufacturing facilities by upgrading and increasing its capital machinery, streamlining its production line, says Wesant founder Digby Wareing and the Wesant engineering team. The...
With a relatively buoyant outlook, and a number of economies in Africa clocking some of the fastest economic growth in the world, investment in Africa’s infrastructure is significant and growing, says BAUMA CONEXPO AFRICA CEO Elaine Crewe.
Latest News
In the boom times when the price of gold was soaring, Ebenezer Sam-Onuawonto had a dream job and a dollar salary many times the national average in this mining town in southwestern Ghana. When the price fell, he lost his job as human resources chief at a mining...
Property developer Balwin Properties aims to raise between R713-million and R1.6-billion ahead of its listing on the real estate holding and development sector of the JSE on October 15. It would use the funds to settle existing debt facilities and fund future...
The information and communications technology (ICT) in education leg of Operation Phakisa has been launched to transform the basic education sector and leverage ICTs to strengthen teaching, learning and administration of the education system. The Operation Phakisa...
Recent Research Reports
Liquid Fuels 2015: A review of South Africa's liquid fuels sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Liquid Fuels 2015 Report examines these issues in the context of South Africa’s business environment; oil and gas exploration; fuel pricing; the development of the country’s biofuels industry; the logistics of transporting liquid fuels; and...
Road and Rail 2015: A review of South Africa's road and rail sectors (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Road and Rail 2015 report examines South Africa’s road and rail transport system, with particular focus on the size and state of the country’s road and rail infrastructure and network, the funding and maintenance of these respective networks, and...
Defence 2015: A review of South Africa's defence sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Coal 2015 report examines South Africa’s coal industry with regards to the business environment, the key participants in the sector, local demand, export sales and coal logistics, projects being undertaken by the large and smaller participants in the...
Real Economy Year Book 2015 (PDF Report)
There are very few beacons of hope on South Africa’s economic horizon. Economic growth is weak, unemployment is rising, electricity supply is insufficient to meet demand and/or spur growth, with poor prospects for many of the commodities mined and exported. However,...
Real Economy Insight: Automotive 2015 (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Real Economy Year Book comprises separate reports under the banner Real Economy Insight and investigates key developments in the automotive, construction, electricity, road and rail, steel, water, gold, iron-ore and platinum sectors.
Real Economy Insight: Water 2015 (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Real Economy Year Book has been divided into individual reports under the banner Real Economy Insight and investigates key developments in the automotive, construction, electricity, road and rail, steel, water, coal, gold, iron-ore and platinum sectors.
This Week's Magazine
Energy analyst and EE Publishers MD Chris Yelland warned recently against excessive optimism regarding timescales for the proposed construction of new nuclear power plants (NPPs) in South Africa. He was speaking at a Nuclear Roundtable in Johannesburg. “I think we...
Malawi’s Lilongwe Water Board (LWB) is inviting eligible bidders to prequalify for the board’s efficiency improvement works, which will be implemented as part of the E24-million Lilongwe Water Resources Efficiency Programme.   LWB CEO Alfonso Chikuni explains that...
CROATIA, AN EU MEMBER BUT NOT A TDCA MEMBER On July 1, 2013, Croatia officially became the twenty-eighth member of the European Union (EU). Despite Croatia’s accession into the EU, it is yet to become party to the Trade, Development and Cooperation Agreement (TDCA)...
The Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) has announced that its new Inundu airborne electronics testing, evaluation and training pod had made its first test flight on September 10. The successful flight was undertaken from Lanseria International...
The Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA) – which disbursed a record R13-billion during 2015, from R12.7-billion in the prior year – remained optimistic that it could ramp-up loan disbursements to R25-billion a year by 2018 as it sought to give greater emphasis...
Alert Close
Embed Code Close
Research Reports Close
Research Reports are a product of the
Research Channel Africa. Reports can be bought individually or you can gain full access to all reports as part of a Research Channel Africa subscription.
Find Out More Buy Report
Engineering News
Completely Re-Engineered
Experience it now. Click here
*website to launch in a few weeks
Subscribe Now for $96 Close
Subscribe Now for $96