One million tonnes
TWO PIONEERING 62 TONNE SUPER B UNITS RUN BY Emmerson Transport have clocked-up their millionth tonne of freight.
Introduced in January 2012 as a way of streamlining costs by increasing capacity, the high-productivity units run a speci ed and restricted route from Pan Pac’s mill to the port of Napier, just 18km away.
After ve years of operation, the project has blown away expectations and exceeded targets, with signi cant savings across multiple areas – prompting a celebration last month, with Emmerson Transport (ETL) inviting parties involved in the project, plus industry representatives including the New Zealand Transport Agency and the Road Transport Forum....along with NZ Truck & Driver to le this exclusive report.
A joint initiative between ETL, Pan Pac, NZTA and many project partners and suppliers, the Super-B project was ultimately tasked with the single job of delivering packaged pulp bales from Pan Pac’s Whirinaki plant, to Napier’s Port, for global export to areas like Japan, China and Taiwan.
With a second Super-B unit approved and added just nine months after the rst, the operation was in full swing by the end of 2012, with two identical Kenworth T408s staged to alternate their arrivals between factory and port, while crossing paths multiple times per day – together achieving a total of 28-30 round trips over a 16-hour shift, ve-and-a-half days a week.
e two Super-Bs have resulted in a 33% reduction in both daily trips and total kilometres travelled, a 27% reduction in labour input, 12% reduction in capital input, 9% reduction in fuel use and a 4% reduction in RUCs, compared to the previous truck eet.
Tony Cli ord, GM of the Pulp Division at Pan Pac speaks highly of the initiative: “We’ve saved over one-million litres of diesel for every year in operation. e HPMV concept has halved our product cartage cost over the next equivalent option.”
Emmerson Transport MD Ian Emmerson, who even does the occasional night shift and lls any gaps in the driver schedule, adds: “We’ve taken 3500 movements o the road per 12-month period. ey’re doing 28-30 total rounds trips a day, from 6am to 10pm, over two shifts.
“And mechanically, it’s proven less than budgeted, partly due to the at ground we’re on. We did a clutch and preventative gearbox gearings at 550,000km, but we should have left it – it’s as good as any linehaul truck of the same age.
“ e older one is on 570,000km, and the younger one at 480,000km, and they’re achieving 140,000km per year, which is up from the 95-100,000km they were doing in the early years. We’ve budgeted to change engines and gearboxes at 750,000km.
“ ere are a lot of areas where this concept would work, and reduce costs, and bene t all operators and the economy. e NZTA is curious, but we’d like them to be a bit more open-minded about it happening, because you need to protect exporters.”
Pan Pac managing director Doug Ducker says: “Four years ago we looked at how to minimise operational costs, and this HPMV initiative was one of the elements. In the early days, we were moving 200,000t of pulp product per year.
“We peaked-out at six truck and trailer units, two shifts and 12 drivers – and it became cost-prohibitive. e HPMV development was a major step forward, fundamentally across just two routes, with the two trucks and four drivers. On top of that, we’re moving 50% more tonnage.”
Emmerson Transport invited many of those involved in the project to celebrate the Super-Bs’ one million-tonnes milestone