Food service provider Reynolds is now operating five Mercedes-Benz Actros tractor units fitted with Hultsteins Ecogen 2 refrigeration systems – and slashing diesel costs as a result.
The family firm, which began as a greengrocer in Hackney in 1945, runs a fleet of 220 vehicles, comprising 30 vans and 190 HGVs, along with 21 trailers, all of which are refrigerated.
Its efforts to improve sustainability have so far included investing in electric vehicles and a zero-carbon farm and it is now cutting emissions of its TRUs with the Ecogen 2 systems.
They can be retrofitted to tractor units with an engine power take-off and convert existing diesel TRUs to run on electricity.
It generates 400 volts and connects to the fridge motor via a five-pin plug. As well as adapting TRUs to emissions-free power, the Ecogen system also provides a highly cost-effective method for operators to adopt cleaner refrigeration systems.
Steve White, Reynolds’ head of national fleet, said: “We’ve got 17 frontline trunking HGVs, so we decided that, on renewal, we would fit the Ecogen system to five Mercedes-Benz Actros tractor units, which are on contract hire from NRG Riverside.
“Obviously, there was the removal of the red diesel subsidy on 1 April this year, so that was a big incentive for us from a fuel-saving perspective, but we also have a series of sustainability projects and a plan to reduce our overall carbon footprint, so I felt it was a good product to trial.”
White estimated that each Ecogen unit should save at least £5,000 a year in diesel costs and more than 1,900kg of CO2.