Nov

Testing times

2010-11-01 19:33
The test is on. From left: Peter Viljoen of Imperial Logistics, Gert van Rooyen of Serco, and Leonard Hyman, also of Imperial Logistics, in front of one of the test vehicles fitted with an ecoFridge unit.

While South Africa’s BioFuel industry has yet to make an impression on local fuel supplies, plans are afoot to establish a manufacturing plant in the Free State which will make diesel from disused tyres. In last month’s edition of FleetWatch, we ran a story telling of Woolworths running trials on the ecoFridge with the aim of operating cleaner and quieter trucks.

As has been explained in past issues of FleetWatch, the ecoFridge system works by releasing vaporised nitrogen into the load area from an under-slung tank with a capacity of up to 1 000 litres. Nitrogen used by the system has zero carbon emissions unlike diesel units which produce 2,63kg of carbon for every litre of fuel used.

Latest news is that Fast ‘˜n Fresh, which falls under the umbrella of Imperial Logistics Refrigeration Services, has now taken delivery of the three trailers and one rigid body truck to be used in the tests. All are all fitted with ecoFridges and have been supplied by Serco. The fridge deal was made directly with ecoFridge in the Ukraine who sent two technicians to South Africa to oversee the fitment of the fridges earlier this year. The installation of the fridges was done at Serco’s Cape Town factory.

Leonard Hyman, operations manager for Imperial Logistics Refrigeration Services, says the vehicles will be used for the distribution of perishable products to Woolworths stores in the greater Cape Town area as well as between Cape Town and Johannesburg.

“We plan to extend this to include the greater Durban area and other centres in Gauteng in the near future,’ he says, adding that if the new vehicles are successful in meeting their needs, they will order more. FleetWatch will stay in touch with Fast ‘˜n Fresh to report on the test results. Watch this space.

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