Green light for Euro 5
Local companies are being quick off the mark for a cleaner future, writesGRAHAMSMITH
THE road-transport industry was once considered one of the villains of the environment. It was widely regarded as being among the worst polluters. But community-minded operators, including the CRT Group, are going beyond the call of duty to show they are safety conscious and environmentally aware by buying cleaner, safer trucks than the law demands.
Every decision the CRT Group makes is aligned with its core value of safety, chief executive Cameron Dunn says.
‘‘Before we make any business decision, we ask, ‘Is it safe as well as sustainable?’ ’’ Dunn says.
The drive to be responsible, in terms of the environment and safety, is behind the group’s move to Euro 5-compliant Volvo trucks for its fleet.
‘‘In the trucks we buy we look for the ones that meet our needs to create a safe and sustainable environment,’’ Dunn says. ‘‘The Volvos tick all of these boxes.’’ But it’s not only the CRT Group that is taking on the challenges of being safe and environmentally aware.
OTHER companies in the road-transport industry are heading down the same road and also buying Euro 5 trucks. To even get a look-in on some contracts with major customers, transport and logistics companies are having to buy trucks that comply with Euro 5 emission limits, which are the equivalent of limits that don’t come into play here until 2011.
Others are just as keen to adopt a more environmentally friendly stance.
Customers including Woolworths, which wants to back up its fresh, green corporate image by having more environmentally friendly trucks delivering its produce, are specifying Euro 5 emission limits as a key requirement for the trucks they buy.
Woolies has bought Euro 5-compliant Volvos, Mercedes-Benzes and DAFs for its fleet, and is now buying only the cleaner trucks.
Other fleets, such as Toll, are also spending up on Euro 5 trucks in a growing trend.
Meeting Euro 5 is relatively easy for truckmakers employing Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) technology to clean up tailpipe emissions.
Truckmakers such as Volvo, MercedesBenz, DAF and Iveco already use SCR to meet the Euro 4 emission limits (ADR 80/02).
It’s mostly a matter of injecting more of the urea additive, such as AdBlue or Nonox, into the exhaust gas stream to achieve the stricter limits.
Though it seems simple it’s not quite that easy and significant costs are involved. A Euro 5 truck is many thousands of dollars more expensive than a Euro 4 equivalent, and they use more urea additive, so fleet operators pay a substantial price in stepping up to the tougher limits earlier than the law demands.
The CRT Group is part of the national transport and logistics company QR. With a fleet of 70 trucks operating on the east coast and in the west, CRT believes the higher price of the Euro 5 trucks is worth paying.
‘‘I want the CRT Group to be safe and environmentally responsible,’’ Dunn says.
‘‘That sends a clear message to the public and customers that CRT is a trustworthy and ethical company to deal with.
‘‘There’s no point just talking about being environmentally friendly unless you’re pre- pared to follow through with actions that back up your claims.’’
Though the Euro 5 Volvo FM 480s meet the CRT Group’s need to be green, they also align with the company’s vision to be world-class in safety.
All are being equipped with Volvo’s I-Shift automated shift transmission that, Dunn says, lets the driver concentrate on the road ahead rather than focusing on changing gears.
Dunn is also equipping the CRT Volvos with the Lane Change Support system. This alerts the driver to vehicles in the blind spot on the passenger side of the truck when making a left turn or changing lanes.
Thinking green: CRT Group chief executive Geoff Dunn with one of the company’s Euro 5-compliant Volvos.