Sep

Innovating to go green

2010-09-25 20:56
The new birth plywood floor fitted inside this Serco manufactured dry freight truck body saves up to 50% of the weight compared to the current steel jack design. Lower tare weight means lower fuel consumption which means lower CO2 emissions.

Serco, manufacturers of truck bodies and trailers, continues to make impressive advancements to reduce the weight of its products so as  to reduce CO2 emissions as well as making responsible decisions relating to their carbon footprint.

Managing director of Serco, Clinton Holcroft, says they are looking at various initiatives to be cleaner, leaner and greener. “We can make a difference by innovations in our design technology where I believe we are already ahead of our competitors. The official policy is that Serco cares for the environment and will go the extra mile to reduce its carbon footprint.’

The company recently completed the delivery of 26 dry freight truck bodies and 14 semi-trailers for Unitrans Freight with the vehicles being used to transport goods for Pick ‘˜n Pay’s Longmeadow distribution centre in Johannesburg. The bodies are 8.85m long and have two-ton Slider tail lifts with the Wisa wire birch ply floor which is hard wearing and ultra lightweight. The bodies are also fitted with Serco’s new profiled galvanised steel sidewall scuff plates.

Holcroft says the new ply floor saves up to 50% of the weight compared to the current steel jack design. The birch plywood is coated with a durable, multilayer wire-mesh overlay of phenolic resin and a smooth phenolic film overlaid reverse with sealed edges. Being much lighter than the norm, the bodies offer the potential for significant savings in fuel consumption and thus lower CO2 emissions.

Unitrans Operations Manager for the Pick ‘˜n Pay contract, Frikkie Dreyer, says he’s happy with Serco’s delivery and quality of workmanship. In its attempt to innovate even further to reduce weight, Serco uses high grade aluminium flooring on its refrigerated vehicles which Holcroft says is the key to weight saving over the current aluminium reefer floorings available. The aluminium floor sheeting is bonded onto the floor using a vacuum process to ensure a strong and even adhesion to the composite floor construction.

Apart from the weight saving achieved, the floor surface is designed for low noise emission, particularly when running forklifts and pallet jacks. “Our customers demand new solutions to reduce costs and improve payload. This pressure creates innovation and is a challenge we relish,’ says Holcroft, adding that while making these advancements in the interests of its customers, Serco is at the same time aware of the need to reduce its carbon footprint. “We accept that responsibility with pride and determination,’ he says.

Let’s have more of this kind of thinking out there.

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