IN THE BEGINNING of 2017, RL-Trans launched its Smart Bulk project, concentrating on eco-driving, traffic safety and sustainability. Each of the company’s 110 trucks was equipped with an on-board computer that gives real-time feedback to the drivers regarding their driving style.
“Earlier, we used to measure only fuel consumption. However, that is a blunt instrument, as it says nothing about how one should be driving in order to reduce the fuel consumption”, says Market Manager Andreas Lindedahl. The new system, however, tells the drivers exactly what they do wrong and what they do right. Idling, speeding and heavy use of the brakes is not encouraged, as these behaviors increases fuel consumption and wear on the trucks.
IN ORDER TO encourage the drivers to drive in a sustainable way, RL-Trans regularly publishes top lists of the drivers with the best performances. This creates a positive challenge for the staff.In addition, the drivers are individually trained hands-on in better driving.
“Ultimately, it is all about planning your drive carefully, and using the brakes as little as possible,” says Lindedahl.
The results from the eco-driving project has been better than anticipated, as fuel consumption has gone down by 7%. “This is a very good achievement, considering that the load weights have increased during the same time. As many as 76% of our drivers now outperform the original target.”
IN ADDITION TO the eco-driving initiative, RL-Trans has taken other sustainable steps as well. In autumn 2019, the company bought its first gas-powered trucks.
“The emissions of a gas truck are 20% lower than for a traditional diesel truck. Today, the trucks use LNG, but in the long run, we hope to be able to switch to biogas.”
The first two gas trucks will be in use for a year or so, during which RL-Trans will gather experiences. After that, the decision on new investments will be made. Gas trucks cannot yet be used on all routes, as there are not enough LNG gas stations for heavy vehicles. Still, Lindedahl is convinced they are the future.
“In addition to the lower CO2 emissions, gas trucks are also more silent. This is a great advantage when driving in city centres.”
Business sector: Bulk transport of granules, powders and liquids
Turnover: 30 MEUR
Major markets: Central and Northern Europe