Tuesday, January 26, 2021

Sustainable refrigeration manufacturer prepares operators for diesel price-hike

Hultsteins, the British and Swedish hydraulic refrigeration & electric hybrid systems manufacturer, is advising temperature-controlled operators to seize the initiative and fit an Engine Drive PTO (power take off) to all new trucks and tractors specified for refrigerated transport.

Transport Consultant Graham Usher, whose company Eco Truck Fridge is a sales agency on the East side of the UK for Hultsteins, explains why:

“We are a little over 18 months away from HMRC’s withdrawal of the current rebate on red diesel for use in refrigerated transport. When this happens, the impact on fridge operators will be an overnight increase in diesel prices of around 100%.”

Currently, red diesel attracts duty at 11p per litre and this will increase to the current, white diesel level of 57.5p per litre in April 2022. This significant increase of 46.5p per litre will add many hundreds if not thousands of pounds extra cost, per year, per fridge, for all diesel fridge operators.

However, Mr Usher says that operators can mitigate these cost increases and further decrease their current spend on diesel fuel, but to do so, they must have an engine Drive PTO.

“Fitting an engine-drive PTO on all new vehicles will give you the option of retrofitting an electric generator,” he said.

“This does not replace the existing diesel refrigeration system, but instead, works in tandem with the fridge unit and generates electric at a constant 400V – even at idle speed.

“The generator transforms the diesel unit into a hybrid solution which will run any marque of diesel fridge on electric by utilising its built-in electric motor.”

According to Hultsteins, operators taking this course of action, will benefit from reduced fuel consumption, reduced carbon, lower noise and a significant reduction in NOx and particulate emissions.

Furthermore, the company says that the maintenance requirement of the host fridge system will also be reduced, which in turn will extend the life of the diesel fridge.

“Specifying an engine drive PTO will only increase the weekly cost over a 5-year period by a small amount,” said Mr Usher.

“Not fitting an engine drive PTO will certainly add thousands of pounds more to the operating costs per vehicle, per year.”

He goes on to caution that operators can pay a little more now for an engine drive PTO or a lot more later if they don’t have one, as without an engine drive PTO it is not possible to retro-fit an electric generator – regardless of who it is supplied by.

“My strong recommendation for anyone investing in new trucks or tractors for use with diesel refrigeration is to specify a factory-fitted PTO from their chosen truck provider, thereby making sure their investment is well and truly future-proofed.”

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