Hultsteins, the British and Swedish hydraulic refrigeration and electric hybrid systems manufacturer, is advising temperature-controlled operators to seize the initiative and fit an engine drive PTO (power take off) to all new trucks and tractors specified for refrigerated transport so they can be prepared for the fuel price increase scheduled for next year.
Head of sales for the UK and Ireland, Graham Usher, explains why: “We are just 10 months away from HMRC’s withdrawal of the current rebate on red diesel for use in refrigerated transport. When this happens, the impact on fridge operators will be an overnight increase in diesel prices for their fridge units of around 100%.”
Currently, red diesel attracts duty at 11.14p per litre and this will increase to the current, white diesel level of 57.95p per litre in April 2022. This significant increase of 46.81p per litre will add many hundreds if not thousands of pounds extra cost, per year, per fridge, for all diesel fridge operators. However, operators can mitigate these cost increases and further decrease their current spend on diesel fuel, but to do so they must have an engine drive PTO, says Usher.
“Fitting an engine-drive PTO on all new vehicles will give operators the option to retrofit an electric generator.” Says Usher. “This does not replace the existing diesel refrigeration system but, instead, works in tandem with the fridge unit and generates electric at a constant 400V – even at idle speed. The generator transforms the diesel unit into a hybrid solution which will run any marque of diesel fridge on electric by utilising its built-in electric motor.”
According to Hultsteins, operators taking this course of action will benefit from reduced fuel consumption, reduced carbon, lower noise and a significant reduction in NOx and particulate emissions will drop by over 95%. Furthermore, the company says that the maintenance requirement of the host fridge system will also be reduced, which in turn will extend the life of the diesel fridge.
“Specifying an engine drive PTO will only increase the weekly cost over a five-year period by a small amount.” Adds Usher. “Not fitting an engine drive PTO will certainly add thousands of pounds more to the operating costs per vehicle, per year. Operators can pay a little more now or a lot more later if they don’t have a PTO. Without an engine drive PTO, it is not possible to retrofit an electric generator – regardless of who it is supplied by. “I would urge anyone investing in new trucks or tractors, for use with diesel refrigeration, to specify a factory-fitted PTO from their chosen truck provider, thereby making sure their investment is well and truly future-proofed.”
Graham Usher also points to Hultsteins’ range of rigid vehicle hydraulic-drive fridge units. Ecofridge is widely used throughout the Nordic countries and fast becoming popular in the UK. “These tried and tested hydraulic fridge systems reduce fuel & carbon by around 80 to 90% and slash harmful emissions by 95%. Reliability is improved whilst maintenance costs are reduced. Ecofridge offers significant advantages for every fridge operator whose aim is to greatly cut costs and carbon, regardless of fuel price changes.