Graham Usher

Hydraulic refrigeration firm Hultsteins said it was focusing on two products for customers needing a solution to their red diesel-powered TRUs when the Treasury introduces the fuel ban next month.

The company said operators may not have calculated just how much the change in the law will cost them when it starts on 1 April, or even how to avoid the problems it will pose.

The Cold Chain Federation said hauliers were facing an imminent increase in fuel costs and that the government had reneged on a promise to support a transition away from using diesel for transport refrigeration.

Hultsteins said it was offering customers two solutions: EcoFridge, which uses a hydraulic pump to draw energy from the rigid truck engine to drive the fridge; and Ecogen, an electric generator, which works in tandem with the fridge trailer unit to generate a constant 400V.

It added that a small amount of diesel is required from the tractor unit to power the generator, but even with this, the diesel consumption to the fridge unit will be reduced by more than 90%.

As an example, Hultsteins said a typical fridge unit operating for 56 hours a week and using three litres per hour would generate an annual fuel bill of around £9,000. However, by fitting Ecogen, the fuel cost would be reduced by 90%, meaning a payback for the equipment within two years.

“Also, Ecogen is ideal for urban and night-time use because the TRU’s diesel engine will not be running and in turn, the greatly reduced engine use means less maintenance, which extends the life of the fridge unit,” said Graham Usher, Hultsteins MD (pictured).