MiX Telematics, a leading global provider of fleet and mobile asset management solutions, teamed up with local trailer manufacturer SERCO, and long-standing retail customer SPAR, to conduct a world-class experiment that would test the aerodynamic benefits of SERCO’s new eco-trailer.
“We’re excited to report that the new trailer brought about a 2.5% reduction in fuel consumption, which equates to a R22,700 saving per trailer per annum, based on 15,000 kilometres being travelled per month at current diesel costs,” says Gert Pretorius, Managing Director of MiX Telematics (Africa Fleet Solutions).
The new trailer is fitted with unique side skirts that re-direct the air past the running gear and the underside of the trailer. In addition, a roof taper and diffuser reduce back pressure and wind drag behind the trailer. “We’ve worked on incorporating aerodynamic accessories and design improvements over the past eighteen months, with the aim of optimising fuel efficiency and minimising environmental impact,” says Clinton Holcroft, Managing Director at SERCO.
“Without having the support from key players like MiX Telematics and SPAR, the test would not have been possible,” says Holcroft, adding,“It’s great to know there are industry leaders out there that are working towards the same ‘green’ goal especially considering the huge impact that road transport has on the environment.”
The test was conducted between 24 September and 12 October and involved two SPAR trucks, both equipped with a MiX Telematics fleet management system. The vehicles completed several identical runs of 300 kilometres each one truck pulled a standard 15 metre SERCO trailer, and the other the newly launched 15 metre eco-trailer from the manufacturer. Each truck was loaded with 24 tons of cargo. Both trucks undertook the same journey, from SPAR’s Distribution Centre in Durban to the Richards Bay off-ramp, and back.
Completing their journeys simultaneously, and under the same conditions helped to ensure accurate and consistent findings. For further accuracy, wheel alignment, tyre pressure and driving habits were closely controlled and monitored for the duration of the test. Fuel consumption was measured using three methods to obtain absolute accuracy fleet telematics, on-board diagnostics, and brim-to-brim measurements.
“Forward-thinking fleet operators like SPAR are aware that to stay on top of their costs, drive down fuel consumption, and lessen environmental impact, they need to take advantage of the technology and assets that are available to them today,” says Pretorius.
“Monitoring driver behaviour is one way SPAR is already doing this successfully in South Africa,” he says, adding,“and it’s also helped them to make notable advances in driver safety.”
“We use a fleet management solution from MiX Telematics to track and manage our fleet as well as the behaviour of our drivers,” says Charles Davidson, Group Transport Manager at SPAR Group Head Office,“We also have a number of SERCO trailers; so, electing to participate in the trial was an obvious decision for us. Considering the successful test results, we’ll certainly consider investing further in the new trailers.”
“MiX Telematics has been measuring carbon emissions for our customers for around four years now,” says Pretorius. “For each completed journey, our customers are able to view the carbon footprint in direct relation to the fuel consumed.”
Pretorius concludes: “The three players involved in this experiment operate in different domains, but we’re like-minded organisations conscious that more needs to be done on a regular basis to help the environment.”
“In terms of measurement criteria, and the expertise of all involved, we can also confidently say that this world-class test is a first on South African roads.”
About MiX Telematics
MiX Telematics (mixtelematics.com) is a leading global provider of fleet and mobile asset management solutions delivered as SaaS to customers in 112 countries. The company’s products and services provide enterprise fleets, small fleets and consumers with solutions for safety, efficiency and security. MiX Telematics was founded in 1996 and has offices in South Africa, the United Kingdom, the United States, Uganda, Brazil, Australia and the United Arab Emirates as well as a network of more than 130 fleet partners world-wide. MiX Telematics shares are publicly traded on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE: MIX) and on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE: MIXT).