Cutting fuel emission in terminal tractors

“There is no doubt that fuel prices are high, and will remain high, right now and in the future”, says Frank Oerlemans, Export Manager Terberg Benschop. “That is why our construction department is continuously focused on reducing the fuel consumption and the emissions of our yard and terminal tractors”. Cutting fuel consumption and at the same time, further mproving the environmental performance of the tractors, this is the exciting challenge for Terberg. Especially as the main principle in the design and production of RT and YT tractors is reliability.

It is considered essential that customers are provided with top quality machines in every aspect. In practice it means that products must meet the specific operation requirements of each individual client while, at the same, adhering to the ‘K.I.S.S. principle’: “Keep it safe and simple”. This is a construction platform that is essential to the company, both in terms of safety and driving comfort, and in performance and easy maintenance.

The goal is low operation costs, measured in the total life cycle of the vehicle. It has been a challenge improving tractor performance with less fuel consumption and less environmental load. The company Terberg Benschop, however, stays close to the day to day practice where performance and reliability are the key issues. (Terberg, however, never lose contact with the day to day practice where performance and reliability count most.)

Performance

The engine is an important tool in minimising fuel consumption and emissions. We use top quality diesel engines like Mercedes- Benz, Volvo, Cummins or Caterpillar all fulfilling the off road EU Stage IIIA/US Tier 3 regulations. In early 2008 Terberg delivered the first YT tractor, meeting on-road Euro 5 emission requirements with the new Cummins ISBe5 Euro5 engine.

This engine is equipped with the latest SCR technology which ensures the lowest possible fuel consumption (±5 per cent lower than Euro 3) while at the same time reducing the NOx emission with 60 per cent and the PM emission with 80 per cent. In a lot of countries this allows the operator to use this tractor indoors because of the low emission of particles (PM). The company is presently working hard to have engines available meeting the EU Stage IIIB/US Tier4i. This standard is compulsory in 2010/2011, but Terberg is striving to make these engines available earlier.

It is important to emphasise that there is no singular component that brings all of these advantages. Conversely, it is the overall design which is the main reason such environmentally friendly concepts in the market of yard and terminal tractor are on offer.

For instance Terberg products are equipped with spacious cooling capacity, therefore ensuring that the engine always runs at an ideal working temperature (ensuring longest possible engine life) and at the same time, the thermostatic controlled cooling fan is only fully running in heavy operating conditions. The thermostatic  controlled fan drive lowers the fuel consumption and thus automatically reduces the emission of air polluting exhaust gases, just one of the ways Terberg brings significant benefits to their customers.

“Other examples of our design that bring benefits to the end user are the wide range of choices of transmissions to suit the individual customer’s needs” states Mr Oerlemans. Terberg offers several Powershift or Automatic transmissions all available with integrated Lock-Up in the converter, such as the ZF 6WG211 or 6WG260 and the Allison 3000. The integrated Lock-Up has proven to give fuel reductions of 10 – 15 per cent compared to a transmission without this feature.

Another choice specifically tailored to the terminal tractor market is the ZF AS-Tronic Mid, an automated transmission ithout torque converter with 12 gears forward and  two gears in reverse. Terberg immediately introduced it in their YT-tractor and has realised fuel consumption reductions up to 15 per cent. Similarly Terberg is fully convinced that, from a fuel consumption standpoint, radial tyres are the best possible choice for a Terminal tractor. For example, the Michelin 280/75R22.5 and the all new 310/80 R 22.5 X-Terminal T tyres are very interesting solutions for customers which are specially tailored to the terminal tractor market.

Tests have shown that these tyres offer a very long and reliable life, as well as a 5-10 per cent reduction in fuel consumption compared to diagonal or solid rubber tyres. Other simple, yet effective measures to ensure lowest possible fuel consumption and emissions is the system to switch off the air conditioning when the door of the cab is opened and the system to shut the engine down after a certain, adjustable, amount of minutes running at idle speed.

Never forget that, while Terberg has produced their machines to the best of their ability, in the end it is the operator who decides how the real potential of these tractors comes to life. It is important to emphasise that there is no singular component that brings all of these advantages. Conversely, it is the overall design which is the main reason such environmentally friendly concepts in the market of yard and terminal tractor are on offer.

Terberg Benschop B.V., Benschop, The Netherlands
Edition: Edition 40

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