Joining a fleet of 220 trucks are 10 new 4x2 IVECO S-WAY AS440S46T/P NP CNG tractors. A further order that will double this quantity is currently being finalised.
These are the latest in IVECO’s line-up of natural gas-powered heavy trucks, employing the 12.9-litre Natural Power Cursor 13 engine at 460hp (454bhp) with 2,000Nm of torque between 1,100 and 1,600rpm. Putting that power to the ground is the 12-speed HI-TRONIX automated gearbox fitted with a ZF retarder.
Romac ordered the IVECO S-WAY NP to operate across a number of contracts, one running store replenishment for a national supermarket chain and the other on trunking functions between major regional delivery centres (RDCs) for a global e-commerce business. Currently, five of the gas trucks will be based out of Romac’s Middleton Headquarters near Manchester while the others work from its Wednesbury depot in the West Midlands.
Green credentials are becoming an increasingly prevalent benchmark for businesses looking for a logistics affiliate and while natural gas brings huge reductions to carbon footprints, it is beneficial commercially too. “Not only is there the important CO2 benefit, but there’s a cost advantage to gas fuelling, so we intend to get these running as efficiently as possible, utilising them on double shifts over a 24hr period,” commented Andy Newnes, Romac’s commercial director.
Running on radial work means that the vehicles can be refuelled in shift as they return to base for reloading or trailer swaps. Romac has partnered with CNG Fuels for this and will utilise its 100% renewable biomethane supplies from Warrington and Erdington. It is anticipated that the trucks will each cover around 160,000km per year, upon which a reduction in CO2 emissions of 125 tonnes per vehicle per year has been calculated.
The vehicles were supplied by South West Truck & Van in Avonmouth on a five-year IVECO capital operating lease. The 3XL repair and maintenance package covers everything on the vehicles except tyres.
“The introduction of the CNG trucks has been straightforward,” added Andy Newnes. “We carried out some simple driver training purely from a refuelling point of view, but everything else runs the same as a diesel unit which really has just allowed the drivers to jump in and go. Driver feedback has all been positive so far, as the refuelling is swift and naturally it’s physically much cleaner too; far more pleasant. This is our first foray into IVECO product, but with the support of SWTV, it’s been a strong first impression so far and we look forward to developing that relationship moving forward.”