Dawsongroup Tries Hultsteins Refrigeration

Dawsongroup truck and trailer has added ten new multi-temperature Volvo FL 245 18t rigids to its fleet, fitting them for the first time with Hultsteins Ecofridge Slimline hydraulic-drive fridge motors.

John Fletcher, MD, Dawsongroup, said the group has a track-record of innovation and early-adoption of new technologies. “If innovations appear reliable, we like to offer our customers the opportunity to trial them through our fleet. We do it routinely with truck and trailer safety and environmental options; did it with our very early introduction of Euro 6 vehicles; more recently, gas trucks; and are already looking to add electric trucks to the fleet. Now we feel there are sufficient provable benefits for temperature-controlled vehicles for us to fit Hultsteins Slimline hydraulic fridge motors to these new Volvos.

“Hultsteins has a long and successful history for making economical and clean fridge motors, and this introduction now gives UK operators the opportunity to trial them easily. We believe they can both save money and reduce emissions.”

This Dawsongroup introduction comes as the long-standing rebate on ‘red’ diesel for use in fridge engines is to be dropped for road transport operations at the start of April next year. Standard rigid fridge engines consume between 1.25 and 2.25 litres of diesel per hour on 18-tonne operations. It would expect the average diesel fridge engine, running 1,600 hours per annum and using 1.75 litres per hour, to consume around 2,800 litres of diesel in the course of a year.

Hultsteins Ecofridge Slimline range delivers fuel reductions of 80-90%, compared with a standard diesel fridge engine, offering a potential saving of approximately 2,520 litres of diesel per annum. With current red diesel prices at around £0.55p per litre, operators could save some £1,386 a year, per truck.


From April 22 next year, when red diesel is banned from use in fridges for mainstream haulage, the saving on just a single 18t temperature-controlled truck could increase to around £2,500 saving per truck, per annum. In addition, and of increasing importance, this would reduce carbon by 6.7 tonnes annually and slash both particulates and NOx emissions by over 95% per unit, compared with a standard diesel fridge engine.

Current diesel fridge engines do not have any particulate capture restrictions on their emissions, and research by the Low Carbon Vehicle Partnership shows a typical trailer fridge unit will emit approximately 200 times more fine diesel particulate matter and 400% more NOx per km driven in comparison to a Euro 6 engine.

“It looks to us as if every operator running temperature-controlled trailers and rigids could benefit by cutting both the immediate red diesel costs and then the even higher longer-term costs once it is phased out,” said Fletcher. “So, for our temperature-controlled fleet customers, this appears to offer a major opportunity. Right now, any fuel savings, especially when coupled with substantial reductions in carbon and harmful emissions, are to be welcomed. On top of this, promised extended fridge life and simple maintenance procedures mean we are not adding unnecessary layers of service work.

Graham Usher, MD , Eco Truck Refrigeration, Hultsteins UK sales Distributor, said: “We are pleased that a company of Dawsongroup’s stature in the industry has seen the benefits available to their customers through our hydraulic fridge motors. I am certain the Slimline units fitted to their Volvos will show the way forward for future orders. The units work directly off any engine’s PTO, and in doing so cut the need for red diesel, slashing costs and reducing emissions.”

The new Volvo 18-tonner bodies by Solomon Commercials have longitudinal and transverse multi-temperature sections within the body. Half the new fleet will have transverse compartments accessed by side doors and rear roller shutters, the others will have longitudinal bulkheads and be accessed only by rear roller shutter doors.


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