Steer a course to efficiency with components from JOST UK
23 March 2016
With fuel costs increasing and fuel efficiency becoming prominent, improving the aerodynamics of commercial vehicles is becoming a priority.
Lightweight materials and streamline designs can make significant improvements to a vehicle’s performance, though the most advanced trailers will come with a price tag to match. A simpler solution for reducing weight and improving efficiency is to specify components from the JOST range, which can assist in reducing the cost of keeping a vehicle on the road.
The technological advances in trailer designs that have been made in recent years are truly remarkable. Body builders are working with specialist suppliers to develop press brake formed chassis components and curved aluminium panels which have been developed with the support of experts in aerodynamics. It’s a developmental battle which is showing no signs of slowing down, and the real winners are the operators who are benefitting from increased payloads and economy figures that they previously could only dream of.
Of course there is no such thing as a free lunch, so it’s understandable that operators who want to benefit from the very latest technologies have to pay a premium. Many businesses simply aren’t in a position to benefit from such technology, either because they aren’t in the market for a new trailer or because they won’t be able to generate the margins required to justify the upgrades. Fortunately JOST UK has a range of products which can reduce the weight and improve the efficiency of most trailer designs.
Mike Johnson, JOST UK Sales and Marketing Director, comments: “The work that the body builders are doing is fantastic, it’s important that we are seen as an industry to be taking responsibility for our environmental footprint. Our products have been developed using advanced materials and manufacturing techniques to deliver performance improvements to the end user.
“We are able to work with fleet operators to retro-fit many of our components to their existing vehicles to help generate immediate benefits; whether that’s through weight saving, improved performance or minimal maintenance costs”.
The most noticeable feature of the newest trailers is their sweeping, aerodynamic designs, with curved roofs and streamlined bodies. JOST offers a retro-fit solution that goes some way to bridging the gap. The SDR rood diffuser can be mounted to almost any covered trailer and is designed to reduce air turbulence at the rear of the vehicle. The SDR diffuser has delivered recorded savings of up to 1litre of fuel per every 100km, which equates to 1500litres saved per year (based on an annual distance of 150,000km, depending on factors such as driving speed, tyres, route profile, etc.).
Beyond aerodynamic improvements it’s also possible to reduce drag by installing a Tridec mechanical steering system which reduces the width of road used for larger commercial vehicles by steering the trailer’s axles in relation to the tractor’s steering. The resulting reduction in friction between the rear tyres and the road during turning directly improves the fuel consumption of the vehicle. Additionally, tyre wear is reduced which further reduces the maintenance burden.
Mike continues: “Weight is just as important an issue as aerodynamics for improving vehicle efficiency, which is why lightweight metals like aluminium are becoming more popular with body builders. Of course, weight saving is something that we have a particular expertise in thanks to Edbro.”
The weight saving capabilities of the hydraulic tipping cylinders from Edbro are well documented within the industry. Thanks to continued investment in R&D and manufacturing techniques, the Bolton based manufacturer is able to offer a comprehensive range of cylinders which are lighter, faster and stronger than many other like-for-like cylinders on the road. The CX14 / 15 range of rigid cylinders typify this philosophy.
“Across our entire range, we develop and supply products to the transport industry which will deliver a tangible performance advantage to end-users.
“Consequently leading manufacturers specify JOST products to assist in creating high performance, low weight vehicles to satisfy an industry which is always looking for the ‘competitive edge’”.
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