Arla Foods UK Powers Combination Trailer with Carrier Transicold’s Vector™ 1550 City Unit

09 July 2014

Arla Foods, the UK’s largest dairy cooperative, has increased the efficiency of one of its combination trailers since becoming the first-in-the-world to trial the latest innovation from Carrier Transicold. The technology has the potential to revolutionise the way temperature-controlled trailers are designed, cutting diesel fuel use and costs while reducing carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. Carrier Transicold, which operates in the UK as Carrier Transicold (UK) Ltd., helps improve global transport and shipping temperature control with a complete line of equipment for refrigerated trucks, trailers and containers, and is a part of UTC Building & Industrial Systems, a unit of United Technologies Corp. (NYSE: UTX).

Arla Foods’ tri-axle combination trailer — half refrigerated body, half milk-collection tanker — was modified by Carrier Transicold UK to power the milk-collection pump motors, eliminating the need for a tractor unit equipped with a power take-off (PTO), associated hydraulics and Suzi boom, thus reducing overall weight by 250 kg.

“Our 2020 sustainability strategy is to reduce our overall CO2 output by 34 per cent, with logistics responsible for delivering a third of this reduction,” said Peter Bradbury, general manager national fleet, Arla Foods UK. “We saw an opportunity to make the combination trailers even more efficient, using electricity generated by the Vector™ refrigeration unit to power the motors when loading and discharging raw milk.”

Carrier Transicold tested, modified and developed new wiring configurations and software to establish an ‘export power mode’ on the Vector™ 1550 City trailer refrigeration unit, allowing the driver to disable the temperature control system for a short period of time to allow power to be routed to the milk tanker pumps.

Since commencing a 12-month field trial in December 2013, the first proof-of-concept trailer has successfully reduced vehicle complexity and cut capital investment per tractor unit and trailer combination. The pumps are now powered by the Vector 1550 City unit’s 1.5-litre engine, versus the 11-litre truck engine used previously. This cuts diesel use per full load of milk from 3 litres to 1 litre, with the potential to save 1,460 litres per trailer per year.

The Vector unit’s smaller engine operates on less expensive red diesel, generating further savings. It also saves on maintenance and repair costs as a result of the removal of the PTO and associated hydraulics. With fewer moving parts to break or require service, repair and maintenance costs can be significantly reduced, which, in turn, reduces any potential impact on service schedules or reliability. In addition, the combination trailer can operate with any tractor in the fleet – even spot-hire vehicles.

“The technology behind the export power mode makes the real possibility of enabling Vector-equipped trailers to be even more efficient, versatile and indispensable in the future,” said Justin Grace, managing director, northern Europe, Carrier Transicold. “This could include powering moving decks, tail-lifts and even tyre pressure inflation systems.”

The Vector unit performs these functions using its patented E-Drive™ all-electric technology, which transforms engine power into electricity through a generator. This electricity powers the Vector refrigeration unit while on the road.

In addition, the Vector 1550 City unit operates below 60 decibels and complies with PIEK, Europe’s most stringent noise abatement standard, meeting the requirements of customers who need to make after-hours deliveries in and around residential neighbourhoods.

Arla Foods’ collaborative involvement in this new innovation earned the company a place on the 2014 Motor Transport Awards ‘Best Use of Technology’ short list.

For more information on Carrier Transicold and its products and services, visit Follow Carrier on Twitter: @CarrierGreen.