Arla Foods trials new trailer technology with Carrier Transicold10 July 2014

Arla Foods is trialling new technology from Carrier Transicold, which saves diesel and cuts carbon emissions by using power from the refrigeration unit to collect raw milk into the combination trailer.

A tri-axle combination trailer — half refrigerated body, half milk-collection tanker – has been modified by Carrier Transicold UK to power the milk-collection pump motors. This eliminates the need for a tractor unit equipped with a power take-off (PTO), associated hydraulics and Suzi boom, and reduces overall weight by 250kg.

Arla Foods is midway through the 12-month trial with the first proof-of-concept trailer.

Carrier Transicold developed new wiring configurations and software to establish an 'export power mode' on the Vector 1550 City refrigeration unit, allowing the driver to disable the temperature control system for a short period to allow power to be routed to the milk tanker pumps.

The pumps are now powered by the Vector unit's 1.5-litre engine – which uses cheaper red diesel – instead of the 11-litre truck engine used previously. This cuts diesel use per full load of milk from 3 litres to 1 litre, with the potential to save 1,460 litres per trailer per year.

With no PTO or hydraulics, there is also a saving on maintenance and repair costs as there are fewer moving parts. The combination trailer can operate with any tractor in the fleet, even spot-hire vehicles.

Arla is aiming to cut its overall CO2 output by 34% by 2020, with logistics delivering a third of the reduction. "We saw an opportunity to make the combination trailers even more efficient, using electricity generated by the Vector refrigeration unit to power the motors when loading and discharging raw milk," says Peter Bradbury, general manager national fleet, Arla Foods UK.

In future, Carrier Transicold believes the new technology could also be used to power moving decks, tail-lifts or tyre inflation systems.

Laura Cork

Related Companies
Carrier Transicold (UK) Ltd

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