And they’re off.
MAN Truck & Bus South Africa (SA) on Wednesday started its Consistently Efficient Tour 2012, emulating the European event held by its parent company last year.
The seven-city, 4 200 km tour will end on August 31, and will attempt to showcase how the German manufacturer’s TGS EfficientLine range can save fleet operators fuel and, therefore, costs. This is especially important as fuel costs constitute around 40% of a fleet operator’s overall operating expenses, explains MAN Truck & Bus SA deputy CEO Bruce Dickson.
He notes that the South African tour will attempt to outperform the European event.
MAN’s 2011 truck tour traversed ten European countries, travelling 11 500 km, using the manufacturer’s new EfficientLine range of extra-heavy trucks.
The tour proved that a fuel saving of 3 l/100km per EfficientLine truck is possible via 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 minimise the exponential influence of speed and power required to overcome wind resistance, adds Dickson.
He also notes that the European tour demonstrated that for every litre of fuel saved, a corresponding 2.63 kg reduction in carbon dioxide emissions is achieved.
“Our mission is to match and, perhaps, improve on this, even if conditions in South Africa are more arduous,” says Dickson.
At a saving of 2 l/100 km, the operator can, at current diesel prices, save around R40 000 a year per vehicle travelling 200 000 km a year.
A 3 l/100 km fuel-saving would offer a R60 000 yearly saving per truck, and could be expressed as “one free truck for every 35 bought”, says Dickson.
“Furthermore, the TGS EfficientLine’s reduced tare-mass allows for increased payload capacity and, therefore, a more productive rig.”
The local MAN tour will feature 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 will tow a trailer laden to the maximum legally permissible gross combination mass – with maximum South African payload roughly 12 t more than that in Europe.
A standard MAN TGS WW 26.440 BLS 6x4 truck-tractor, towing a fully laden curtainsider superlink trailer, will be used as a reference vehicle, indicating how much an EfficientLine truck can save in comparison.
The convoy will make pit stops in Bloemfontein, Cape Town, Port Elizabeth, Pinetown and Nelspruit, ending its run back in Centurion.
“The road freight industry in South Africa today faces numerous challenges. The rising cost of diesel and competition from new rail and energy pipeline infrastructure are exerting growing pressure on enterprise profitability, making it imperative for truck fleet operators to reduce their operating expenses,” notes Dickson.
“Furthermore, as international supply chains reduce their carbon footprints, so too must local truck fleet operators if they hope to remain competitive.”
MAN has several partners participating in the Consistently Efficient Tour 2012. Engen will be supplying and subsidising roughly a third of the 500 parts per million diesel and the lubricants required for all five tour trucks.
Aerotruck has provided fibreglass aeropackages 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 will be carried out by Fritz Hellberg, founder of Hellberg Transport Management.
Dickson says the price of the EfficientLine range has not yet been finalised, but estimates that it could be roughly 3% more expensive than a standard MAN TGS truck.