Bibby Distribution has boosted its investment in LPG technology with the addition of five converted dual-fuel MAN TGX tractor units for customer Ultraframe.

It has also introduced three 15.65m longer semi-trailers (LST) onto the conservatory roofing firm’s fleet, which Bibby said will slash road miles and carbon emissions due to their greater internal load capacity.

The new dual-fuel tractor units, which are expected to cover 200,000km a year, have already seen diesel usage drop by 20%, with projected carbon emission reductions of more than 10% over the next five years.

A dedicated LPG tank has been installed by Bibby at Ultraframe’s Lancashire site to enable easy refuelling for the new tractor units when returning to base.

Bibby now runs a total of 10 LPG tractor units, having already successfully introduced the fuel to five converted vehicles working on its Unipart contract in May last year. The company said at the initial introduction of LPG technology that it offered a “genuine long-term solution” to driving down fuel costs and lowering fleet emissions.

The new 15.65m LSTs joining the fleet will operate on trunking routes from the Ultraframe depot in Clitheroe to distribution centres in Glasgow, Avonmouth and Biggleswade.

They will form part of the 44 units Bibby is operating as part of the government's 10-year trial of LSTs.

The LSTs will feature a lower deck and smaller wheels, allowing for a taller trailer, which reaches the maximum legal height of 4.96m. With an increased capacity of 35%, the trailers can accommodate six stillages in the front of the trailer and seven in the rear.

They will be used to carry pre-fabricated roofs, roof components and non-standard freight, which includes 6m long stillages, 7m length beams that can weigh up to 120kg, and sheets of polycarbonate glazing.

Paul Greaves, logistics manager at Ultraframe, said: “Bibby Distribution has always understood the detailed nature of our business and our specific delivery profile. The new trailers have already delivered in terms of cost, efficiency and our green footprint.”

The introduction of the new trailers on a permanent basis follows the trial of a loaned LST, which was a shared resource borrowed from another part of Bibby Distribution’s fleet.

To ensure driver and operator compliance with the regulations of the trial, Bibby has provided an on-site driver trainer at the Clitheroe depot to ensure its team are expertly trained in operating the longer articulated combinations.