Lighter tipping gear helps offset Euro 6 weight gains
Edbro CX14 front-end tipping gear from JOST helps truck fleet operators G.Webb maintain payloads
THE latest Euro 6 European emission standard, brought in for commercial diesel vehicles at the beginning of 2014, is universally seen as a good thing for the industry’s commitment to a greener environment, but there is no escaping the fact the new engines and exhaust systems will result in weight gains on new vehicles.
As G.Webb have discovered, these weight gains can be offset by specifying lightweight components elsewhere. For example, by specifying Edbro CX14 tipping gear they have minimized the weight gains and kept their newest vehicles below 12 tonnes.
The European emission standards define the acceptable limits for exhaust emissions of all new vehicles sold in EU member states. The standards, which began in 1992 with the Euro 1, monitor a number of exhaust emissions, including nitrogen oxide (NOx) and particulate matter (PM), and have become more stringent as the standards have progressed.
The standards for trucks and large goods vehicles are different to smaller vehicles, output being measured in g/kWh rather that g/km, but the percentage improvements in emissions have been just as steep.
Up until the end of 2013, commercial vehicles built in the UK needed to conform to Euro 5 standards, meaning that NOx emissions had to be below 2.0g/kWh and PM emissions below 0.02g/kWh. However, the start of 2014 saw the introduction of Euro 6 which reduces NOx levels by 75% and PM by 99% compared with the old standard.
To achieve these new levels, vehicles built in 2014 and onwards will need to be specified with upgraded engines and exhaust systems which are currently estimated to add approximately 250kg to the overall weight.
While these standards are to be welcomed in terms of providing a cleaner environment, it is acknowledged within the haulage industry that the increased weight will impact on payload and profitability. However, not all fleet operators are accepting the reduced payload as inevitable; seeing the Euro 6 weight gains as an opportunity to slim down their vehicles in other respects to offset the weight. G.Webb are just one company who believe that it is possible to enjoy cleaner emissions without compromising payload.
Neil McMurdo, general manager of G.Webb, explained: ‘We run a fleet of 32-tonne 8x4 vehicles which operate in harsh environments, carrying contaminated soils and wastes, river silt, fertilizer and coal, among other things. When we specify a new vehicle our first concern is reliability and our second is that it will operate as efficiently as possible in terms of payload and aerodynamics.
‘Prior to the Euro 6 standards being introduced we wanted to shed the weight on our vehicles so we could keep them under 12 tonnes when the new engines and exhaust systems were specified. Traditionally, we have specified under-floor tipping gear for the added stability benefits; however, to reduce weight we decided to investigate the possibility of a front-end tipping cylinder.
‘Before making the decision we spoke to a few other companies in the industry and they told us that Edbro CX14 cylinders from JOST would offer maximum weight saving and reliability.’
Since its launch in 2010, the CX14 has been the lightest like-for-like 8x4 tipping gear on the market. In June 2013, a second-generation model was launched which was 28kg lighter, giving it a total 86kg saving compared with the previous industry benchmark, the CX15. It is estimated that the weight saving will generate up to £10,000 in extra payload over the life of the average vehicle.
This weight saving is possible because the cylinder is designed in the UK, specifically for the UK market. This means that, unlike other manufacturers who use heavy sub-frames to protect the cylinder from conditions that will not be encountered on UK road-going vehicles, the cylinder is designed to conform specifically to UK legislation. Despite this, it still offers safety factors in excess of 50% on buckling and has a safe-lift capacity of 25 tonnes to the top.
Mr McMurdo continued: ‘We specified Edbro because we believed it would be the best and so far it is living up to expectation. This was the first time that we have moved away from under-floor tipping gear and I have been very pleased with the results.
‘We specified the CX14 cylinder on two new vehicles and managed to keep the weight below 11,750kg, compared with our usual weight which hovers close to 12 tonnes. We currently have two MAN vehicles being built which will be the first to conform to Euro 6, and we have chosen to specify CX14 cylinders again. It’s expected that these will come in shy of 12 tonnes, meaning that we won’t suffer from reduced payload at all.’