West Yorkshire-based Bedfords Transport has ordered a further 12 ECOSTRALIS 6x2 mid-lift tractor units from local Iveco dealer Northern Commercials. The order was placed after its first two ECOSTRALIS Active Space Super3 tractors, which entered service on 1 June 2011, “smashed” the four per cent fuel saving guarantee.
Measured against the 80-strong fleet’s 8.47 mpg average, the first two ultra-efficient ECOSTRALIS tractors delivered an average fuel economy of 9.6 mpg and 9.98 mpg respectively during June and July – equating to an average saving of 15.6 per cent against the fleet average.
Based on 140,000 km per year over three years, this enhanced fuel economy is projected to achieve savings in excess of £20,000 per vehicle, based on a bulk diesel price of £1.15 per litre.
Steve Hollingsworth, Fleet Engineer at Bedfords Transport, says: “Iveco guaranteed the ECOSTRALIS would deliver at least a four per cent improvement in fuel economy against our fleet average, once the initial 20,000 km running-in period was completed. In actual fact we’ve literally smashed that target from the very start.
“What makes this performance particularly impressive is that it’s been the holiday period, and we’ve had different drivers, including agency drivers behind the wheel. Now the initial 20,000 km running-in period is over, I’m confident the savings will increase further.”
The additional 12 new ECOSTRALIS’ are scheduled for delivery at a rate of four vehicles per month during September, October and November 2011. They will increase Iveco’s share of the company’s fleet to 60 per cent.
Hollingsworth adds: “Fuel efficiency and care for the environment are critical to our business – we want to be at the forefront of any new technologies which will save fuel and further green our fleet. This drove our desire to be the first ECOSTRALIS operator in the UK. In our opinion, it’s the most fuel efficient heavy truck on the market.”
The ECOSTRALIS AS440S46TX/P tractor units feature a new Cursor 10 engine with revised engine mapping to reduce fuel consumption whilst maintaining performance. These engines are capable of producing up to 460 hp and a maximum torque of 2,100 Nm between 1,050 and 1,550 rev/min, whilst meeting demanding EEV (Enhanced Environmentally friendly Vehicle) legislation – the strictest ecological standard in Europe.
ECOSTRALIS models also stand out for their high standard specification, which includes a Blue&Me on-board telematics system, an ECOSWITCH device that limits engine power output by adjusting it to the load of the vehicle and its route, plus a revised EuroTronic transmission incorporating an ECOfleet mode which constantly and automatically adjusts the gear changes to fine-tune fuel economy. All ECOSTRALIS vehicles use Michelin Energy SaverGreen tyres, an axle ratio optimised for fuel consumption on long distance applications and come with a comprehensive three year / 420,000 km warranty.
The two ECOSTRALIS’ have been operating on different types of haulage work, to provide the best comparison with the fleet’s typical profile. The first ECOSTRALIS, which has averaged 9.98 mpg, operates through the night and is typically always fully freighted. The second ECOSTRALIS, which averaged 9.6 mpg, is being used for mixed haulage work – including a significant amount of newspaper trunking, which often involves empty running on the return. This second vehicle was driven by an agency driver for several weeks during July.