Eqstra Flexi Fleet, a division of Eqstra Fleet Management and Logistics, has partnered with Pecsser & Carrier, Ice Cold Bodies, Hino South Africa and GEA to design a rigid refrigerated vehicle featuring new technology to power the refrigeration units.

This technology has been designed and engineered to meet the challenges of rough terrain, long distances and high ambient temperatures encountered in the SADC Region.

Unveiling the new technology Jacqui Carr, CEO of Eqstra Fleet Management and Logistics (EFML), said that it was part of the company’s strategy to keep ahead of current technology to offer customers the most sophisticated and up-to-date systems to ensure increased efficiencies and subsequent cost savings in the day to day operation of their extensive fleets.

“In 2017 we launched an articulated vehicle in the form of a truck-tractor and a tri-axle refrigerated trailer combination, known as ‘Bessie’” she said.  “The success of that project led us to explore the opportunities to produce a rigid vehicle with PTO driven auxiliary equipment.  In this case we have utilised a Carrier Eco unit, imported from France especially for EFML.   It is the first unit of its kind in South Africa.”

The Eco-Drive is a power module which is fitted to the side of the truck chassis.   It delivers 400 Volt, 3phase, 50Hz power which is constantly available.   A hydraulic pump is connected to the truck gearbox via a PTO (Power take off). The hydraulic system drives a generator located inside the power module delivering constant 3 phase power.

Benefits of the power module include significant fuel savings (2 to 4 litres per hour);  a 100% capacity from the idle speed of the truck engine due to the X-flow function; additional availability of electrical power for other 3 phase applications; quiet operation even at 100% capacity; low emissions as power is generated by the truck engine; limited maintenance requirements; and reduced weight with only 175 kg for the complete system.

Together with the Eco-drive unit, the truck utilises a Carrier Supra cooling unit which achieves superior pulldown and accurate temperature control at all set points.   This performance is supported by a large range of evaporators with electric fans providing constant airflow independent of engine speed.   New fans increase airflow by 15% for quick temperature recovery and improved air management.   The units feature a 7mm condenser and small compressor which improve efficiency as a result of lower fuel consumption per watt delivered.

To support the new technology, Ice Cold Bodies has designed an 8.5 meter body which can carry a payload of 12 580 tons.   Hino South Africa, in conjunction with Hino East Rand, has supplied the chassis and cab and GEA has sponsored a Dhollandia Tuck-away Tail Lift.

Clover will be testing the vehicle and the performance of the cooling unit in South African conditions.

“Bessie has proved to be immensely successful and we are confident this rigid truck configuration will meet the tough ambient conditions encountered in South Africa”, concluded Carr.

For more information, please contact Johnnie Marais, General Manager, Eqstra Flexi Fleet at telephone 011 458 7555