UD Trucks Investing in Technology for a Greener Future

Greener Road

Johannesburg, South Africa. As one of the world’s leading truck manufacturers, UD Trucks is investing a great deal of resources in developing vehicles that offer better efficiency, fuel economy and environmental responsibility.

According to Johan Richards, CEO of UD Trucks Southern Africa, the fuel efficiency of a truck plays a major role in reducing the greenhouse effect around the world.

“It is thus becoming increasingly important for customers to carefully consider the fuel consumption statistics of a vehicle before purchasing a truck,” said Richards. “In addition, one also needs to look at aspects like driver training in order to ensure the most efficient operation of a vehicle, careful route planning and optimal load maximisation.”

In South Africa, road transport attributes approximately three-quarters of the local transport sector’s Greenhouse Gasses (GHG) emissions which include passenger, freight and public transport services. The transport sector has subsequently been identified by Government as a ‘business unusual’ growth sector, therefore policies and measures have been put in place to meet mandatory national targets for the reduction of GHG emissions from this sector.

As a result, all vehicles launched into the country after 1 January 2010, have to adhere to Euro II emission regulations.

Richards said that before the local transport can adhere to more stringent requirements, like Euro IV, South Africa oil refineries first need to upgrade their facilities in order to ensure the free availability of 50ppm fuel in all areas across the country.

“If the fuel supply isn’t standardised across the country, it is inevitable that engine failures will occur as a result,” said Richards. “The presence of sulphur in diesel fuel can lead to corrosion and wear of engine components, and this can have a significant effect on engine life. In short, as the sulphur level in fuel decreases, the relative life of an engine increases.”

He said that UD Trucks Southern Africa, in consultation with their engineers in Japan, have decided not to offer Euro IV or Euro V vehicles to the South Africa market until the correct fuel is freely available, even though the company has some of the most advanced truck technology available internationally.

“UD Trucks Southern Africa will continually invest in producing trucks that not only suit our customers’ requirements, but also don’t add to the already burdened environment,” said Richards. “We take great care to ensure that we provide a high quality product that is able to sustain our objective of the highest possible level of durability and ultimately giving customers as much up-time as possible.”

Engineered for a Greener Future

With the launch of the Quon extra heavy truck range in Japan in 2004, UD Trucks became the first company in the world to introduce the new Urea Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) system commercially – a system that, at the time, was ahead of international long-term diesel emission regulations.

Continuing this focus to engineer greener products for the future, the UD Trucks Corporation in Japan recently introduced a new Quon extra heavy commercial vehicle, and a new medium commercial vehicle in the eight-ton weight class under the Condor family name. This new and updated version of the highly successful Quon is equipped with an 11-liter engine, while the Condor is equipped with a newly developed common rail GH7 engine.

These new engines use sophisticated SCR technology, which, in addition to reducing emissions, also contributes to improved fuel economy and driving performance.

In addition, the new Condor series is also fitted with the UD Particulate Cleaning (UDPC) system. Along with SCR, these emission control technologies drastically reduce particulate matter (PM) and nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions. As a result, the new Condor models deliver better fuel economy combined with improved environmental performance that complies with the world’s most stringent emission regulations.

The Condor models also share the same full-air brakes, brake lining, axle parts and other components with the Quon series, in order to develop and manufacture brake and suspension systems that are dependable and durable.

In addition, these Condor models are fitted with the latest “Fuel Economy King” guidance system that uses voice messages and screen images to advise the driver on which driving techniques to utilise to ensure optimal fuel economy. A multifunction display incorporates a new function for monitoring the vehicle’s operational status via the Internet.

These standard equipment features support fuel efficient driving and peace of mind vehicle operation.

This new technology will be available in South Africa and some other countries in the sub-Sahara African region, from 2012 onwards.