Green Nature trail
Truck boss Graham Wilkie wants a better environment for the next generation, writesGRAHAMSMITH
SOME people talk about helping the environment, while those like Graham Wilkie turn their words into action.
Wilkie runs Victorian specialist wholesale food distributor Nature’s Cargo and has set a goal of making the company carbon neutral within four years.
It’s not mere words for Wilkie, who is getting on with the job by updating his refrigerated distribution trucks and bodies to reduce his company’s carbon consumption while making a contribution to the company’s bottom line.
Nature’s Cargo has a long history of running Isuzu trucks, so adding five new F Series trucks to his fleet of 14 medium-duty trucks made sense once Wilkie had researched Isuzu’s commitment to cleaner, greener trucks.
There were many possible ways of meeting the new ADR 80/02 exhaust emission rules when they came into force earlier this year. Isuzu chose to comply locally by demonstrating compliance to the tougher Euro 4 limits, rather than the US EPA 04 standards, and it was this convinced Wilkie the new F Series Isuzu’s met his needs.
‘‘When I discovered how much more fuel-efficient the new Euro 4-rated Isuzu trucks were, and their minimal levels of exhaust emissions, I insisted on purchasing them,’’ Wilkie says.
Concern for the future motivated Wilkie to set some strict environmental guidelines for his company.
‘‘I’m really concerned about what we’re leaving for our kids. I figure that we’re running a suc- cessful company and we should all play our part where we can,’’ he says.
‘‘The trucks are an important component of meeting our environmental goals.’’
While the Isuzu FRR 600 and FSR 700 trucks Nature’s Cargo are important parts of Nature’s Cargo greening program, Wilkie is not stopping there.
The company is also equipping its trucks with new specially designed eutectic bodies replacing the traditional refrigerated bodies that use a diesel-powered blower unit to blow cool air onto the foodstuffs being transported.
Eutectic refrigeration employs liquid-filled plates that absorb and dissipate heat.
The new Nature’s Cargo bodies are plugged into mains power overnight to freeze the plates to minus-40C, and use them to provide reliable and constant refrigeration throughout the day without using any additional energy.
‘‘By eliminating the diesel motor required for traditional refrigeration, we estimate savings of between 10 to 15 litres of diesel a day for each vehicle, which is beneficial for the environment as well as making good business sense,’’ Wilkie says.
Wilkie also said the eutectic bodies are lighter and cheaper than a traditional refrigerated body.
Eliminating the diesel motor makes the truck more comfortable and quieter for the driver, and also less intrusive when making deliveries to places like hospitals and schools and universities.
While the new trucks and their innovative bodies move Nature’s Cargo further towards its goal of being 100 per cent carbon neutral, Wilkie says they are well into the research phase of the next project.
That could see solar panels fitted to the roof of the truck bodies, which would eliminate the need to use mains power to freeze the plates.
Nature of the beast: Nature’s Cargo has added five new Isuzu F Series trucks to their fleet.