The South West-based distribution and logistics business will initially operate seven LNG-powered Volvos from its Bristol site. The 6x2 pusher-axle tractor units have been specified with 155kg LNG tanks for maximum range, and benefit from 12-speed I-Shift automated gearboxes to help maximise fuel efficiency.
Key to securing the order was Volvo’s unique approach to natural gas engine technology, using small amounts of diesel to initiate ignition of the air-fuel mixture. This enables the Volvo G13C engine to deliver the same 454bhp and 2,300Nm of torque as its diesel-only counterpart, with matching driveability, reliability and service intervals. Plus Volvo’s gas powertrain provides engine braking just like a regular diesel – and without requiring a separate retarder which adds weight and complexity.
Andrew Chapple, head of fleet, property and procurement for Gregory Distribution, says: “We are continually looking for ways to improve environmental performance across every area of our business. We ran trials with 44-tonne gas trucks from two manufacturers, and we found the Volvo FH to be the best fit for our business.”
In addition to improving the sustainability of its fleet, Gregory Distribution is confident the transition to LNG will help to unlock further efficiency benefits for its operation. Chapple explains: “Initially we began exploring LNG as a way of reducing our carbon footprint, but the business case is also very strong. We’re deploying these trucks on high-mileage contracts covering between 150,000 to 250,000km per annum, and we’re confident they will help us to reduce total cost of ownership thanks to lower fuel costs.”
The new vehicles have been supplied on a five-year Volvo Financial Services contract hire deal which incorporates a Volvo Gold Contract repair and maintenance packages All scheduled servicing and maintenance will be carried out at Wales and West Truck and Bus in Avonmouth.