MAN Truck & Bus South Africa’s (SA’s) Consistently Efficient Tour 2012 has delivered a 4.7 l/100 km diesel saving over the seven-city, 4 200 km event.
The tour featured three on-highway, long-haul derivatives from the MAN TGS EfficientLine range, available in South Africa only in the second quarter of next year, as well as a TGS 26.480 BLS, a long-haul Euro 5 truck using selective catalytic reduction technology and the urea-based additive, AdBlue, to reduce noxious exhaust emissions.
Each truck towed a trailer laden to the maximum legally permissible gross combination mass.
A standard MAN TGS WW 26.440 BLS 6 × 4 truck-tractor, towing a fully laden curtainsider superlink trailer, was used as a reference vehicle, indicating how much an EfficientLine truck can save in comparison.
In the end, notes MAN Truck & Bus SA deputy CEO Bruce Dickson, an EfficientLine truck can save a fleet operator covering 200 000 km a year, R103 714 over the 12-month period, at R11 a litre of diesel. (The truck costs 3% to 5% more than a standard TGS truck, however, at a roughly once-off cost of R50 000.)
Any fuel saving is important as fuel costs constitute around 42.2% of a fleet operator’s overall operating expenses, notes Dickson.
The TGS EfficientLine fuel saving is achieved through the fitment of an aerodynamic package to reduce drag; energy-saving tyres to reduce rolling resistance; improved management of auxiliary power demand from selected components through an air-pressure management unit which automatically cuts out the compressor when it is not in use; lightweight aluminium rims; as well as lighter front axles and suspension to reduce vehicle deadweight.
EfficientLine trucks are also electronically governed to a maximum speed of 85 km/h in order to reduce the exponential influence of speed and power required to overcome wind resistance.
“Further, the TGS EfficientLine’s reduced tare mass allows for increased payload capacity and, therefore, a more productive rig,” says Dickson.
He notes that the equivalent European EfficientLine tour demonstrated that for every litre of fuel saved, a corresponding 2.63 kg reduction in carbon dioxide emissions is achieved, with that number increased significantly in South Africa as diesel is not as clean here as in Europe.
The local EfficientLine tour convoy made pit stops in Bloemfontein, Cape Town, Port Elizabeth, Pinetown and Nelspruit, ending its run back in Centurion.
The convoy encountered high winds and snow en route, with the hardest leg that between Port Elizabeth and Pinetown, where the trucks had to make a steep climb into KwaZulu-Natal.
“It has been a really grueling, but really exciting challenge,” says Dickson.
MAN had several partners participating in the Consistently Efficient Tour 2012. Engen supplied and subsidised roughly a third of the 500 parts per million diesel and the lubricants required for all five tour trucks.
Aerotruck provided fibreglass aero-packages designed for the EfficientLine trucks and trailers.
Trailer manufacturer Afrit supplied three superlink curtainsider trailers and one triaxle reefer, while Alcoa provided a number of aluminium rims.
Goodyear provided the regional and long-haul energy-saving tyres for all the truck-tractors and their respective trailers.
Signage operation Graffiti supplied the necessary mobile branding.
An independent audit and verification of the fuel consumption was carried out by Fritz Hellberg, founder of Hellberg Transport Management.