Iveco is preparing what it believes could be the ultimate fuel-saving heavy truck combination for press evaluation, after pairing its ECOSTRALIS 6x2 mid-lift tractor unit with Montracon’s new FST (fuel-saving trailer).
The tri-axle box van semi-trailer is claimed by Montracon to return fuel savings of up to 8 per cent compared with traditional box vans. It is now a permanent addition to Iveco’s Dunstable-based press fleet and will be available for media appraisal and road test in the UK and Ireland throughout 2012, in conjunction with the ECOSTRALIS AS440S46TX/P.
Nigel Emms, Press and Public Relations Director of Iveco, says: “With diesel prices at record levels and an additional 3.02p in fuel duty being added by the Chancellor on 1 August 2012, fleets need to be increasingly innovative if they are to keep fuel bills in check.
“We’re confident that pairing our ultra-fuel-efficient ECOSTRALIS with this sleek new aerodynamic trailer will demonstrate a further way for fleets to save at the pumps,” he adds.
Iveco ECOSTRALIS specification
The ECOSTRALIS features a re-mapped version of the EEV-rated FPT Cursor 10 engine, designed to reduce fuel consumption whilst maintaining performance. The 10.3 litre engine is capable of producing up to 460 hp and a maximum torque of 2,100 Nm between 1,050 and 1,550 rev/min.
Additional fuel-saving features include an ECOSWITCH device that uses the vehicle weight information from the ECAS / EBS systems to limit engine torque according to the truck’s gross vehicle weight – ensuring overall performance is maintained in line with that of a fully laden vehicle. This allows fuel consumption to be minimised during acceleration without affecting overall speed capability.
ECOSTRALIS models also feature a EuroTronic transmission with a unique ECOfleet mode. This automatically adjusts to the loading of the vehicle to help fine-tune fuel economy. Michelin X Energy SaverGreen low rolling resistance tyres, a higher gearing and an 85 km/h speed limiter further optimise fuel performance.
Trials involving the first two customer ECOSTRALIS tractor units delivered in the UK in 2011 to Bedfords Transport highlighted a 15.6 per cent improvement in fuel economy when measured against the fleet average. Bedfords Transport ordered a further 12 identical tractor units on this back of this positive fuel performance.
Montracon FST specification
The fuel-saving properties incorporated into the FST have been achieved by Montracon without any change to overall height (4.2m), capacity or load placing flexibility.
Montracon claim that the key to the design is a curved roof, trailer sides that taper 40mm at the back plus the application of a line of vortex generators at the rear edges of the roof and sides. This combination serves to divert the attached air flow from the trailer roof/sides into the immediate trailer wake, which reduces the partial vacuum or base pressure drag (suction) that develops progressively in this location with vehicle speed, to the benefit of fuel economy.
Matched to the curved roof is a gently sloping trailer bed (front to rear), an aerodynamic front bulkhead and aerodynamic side skirts that channel air flow along the trailer sides – away from the underside.