Gregory Distribution puts seven Volvo LNG trucks on trial

Logistics business is trialling seven Volvo FH LNG tractor units to see whether gas could replace diesel in its 1,000-strong fleet.

Gregory Distribution has put seven Volvo FH Globetrotter LNG tractor units into service as part of a major trial of whether liquified natural gas (LNG) could replace diesel in its fleet of some 1,000 vehicles.

The South West-based distribution and logistics business will operate the Volvos from its Bristol site. The 6×2 pusher-axle tractor units have been specified with 155kg LNG tanks for maximum range and have 12-speed I-Shift automated gearboxes to help maximise fuel efficiency.

Volvo’s approach to natural gas engine technology uses small amounts of diesel to initiate ignition of the air-fuel mixture. This enables the Volvo G13C engine to deliver the same 460hp 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.

Andrew Chapple, head of fleet, property and procurement for Gregory Distribution, said: “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.

“Put simply, an LNG-powered Volvo delivers the same power, performance and torque as a diesel; plus it’s a brand which is known to us and offers excellent dealer support nationwide. Driver acceptance is also crucial, and this was another area where the FH Globetrotter scored highly.

“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 vehicles have been supplied on a five-year Volvo Financial Services contract hire deal, which incorporates a Volvo Gold Contract repair and maintenance package, supported by a 100% uptime promise. All scheduled servicing and maintenance will be carried out at Wales and West Truck and Bus in Avonmouth.

Dan Parton
Dan Parton
Dan Parton is a former editor of Truck & Driver, the UK’s biggest selling truck magazine. He is now writes for The Van Expert and The Truck Expert.

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