Buffaload Logistics use Ecogen to make big savings

Ecogen device on Buffaload's Scanias

Huntingdon-based Buffaload Logistics has invested £1.5m in Swedish family-owned manufacturer Hultsteins’ Ecogen electric generators following a successful 3-month trial.

Fitted to one of its Scania R450 6x2 tractor units, Ecogen uses the engines’ power take off (PTO) to generate electricity. When coupled up to its double deck Gray & Adams refrigerated and frozen trailers, the electricity generated by Ecogen keeps them cool instead of their diesel engine.

Since the trial 40 Ecogens have been ordered. Buffaload’s CEO, Ross Taylor, predicts that once the rollout is complete in March, the operator will be saving 400,000kg of carbon and 2,000-litres of fridge diesel per year. He said: “The [the Ecogens] so efficient, I think we’ll make the investment back after two years of use.”

Taylor added: “We investigated it thoroughly before we invested – in fact, I think it’s the most thorough trial we’ve ever done. We trialled Ecogen in different weather conditions and it’s hard to say whether our trailers used any fuel at all.”

To ensure that Ecogen continues to deliver savings, Buffaload has installed electric power points at all of its UK depots to power the trailers when loading and unloading for added fuel and carbon savings.

“This is not just about the obvious advantages of reduced running costs, but more to do with our contribution to a healthy UK environment, the air we breathe and global warming in general. Now is the time to make a difference and for our part, Hulsteins and Ecogen are already making an impact,” Taylor added.

Ecogen was developed by Cold Connect’s Stephen Maile before it was taken over by Hultsteins in 2019. Maile, now Hultsteins’ director of sales, said: “We changed the name over the door, but we continue to manufacture Ecogen to ensure Euro-6 emission standards are met for the cooling system as well as the truck.”   

Hultsteins sells Ecogens to operators for £13,500 and will install them onsite.

Appeal Finds Operator’s Repute was Tarnished, Not Lost

O-licence

A County Down operator has had its appeal against a finding by the Transport Regulation Unit that it had lost its good repute allowed, after the upper tribunal found it was “unduly harsh”.

Instead, the panel said that the repute of Gerald Hynds was tarnished, but it agreed with the decision to revoke the O-licence.

Hynds operated five HGVs out of Downpatrick, but during the renewal process in 2018 it became apparent that the material he had provided to show financial standing failed to demonstrate the required level of capital and reserves.

The operator had indicated on his renewal form that he had a £25,000 loan/overdraft agreement and a £20,000 average credit balance and a £20,000 average debit balance on the overdraft.

The Department for Infrastructure requested bank or building society statements covering the last three months along with proof of any overdraft facility.

Hynds sent a letter from his bank giving details of the overdraft facility and bank statements in the name of “Gerald and Margaret Hynds t/a Bargainland”.

Less than the required three months’ worth were provided and those that were indicated an average undrawn balance insufficient to support a licence for even one vehicle.

The Department requested more information and warned Hynds a failure to comply might result in regulatory action.

Despite more information being provided it was deemed inadequate and the O-licence was revoked on 12 April 2019.

Hynds appealed, but the tribunal found the Department had been correct not to accept the figures provided:

“To say in the circumstances of the case that Mr Hynds had both a credit and a debit balance of £20,000 was a nonsense,” it said in a written decision.

“The Department was entitled to conclude that the evidence did not show that he had sufficient financial standing.

“That decision, far from being “plainly wrong” was correct. The licence was correctly terminated.”

However, it also found that Hynds had not tried to deceive or conceal:

“A finding of loss of repute in this case would be perceived in the industry as unduly harsh, bearing in mind in particular the lack of dishonesty and any attempt to gain competitive advantage. 

“The panel find that his repute is tarnished but could be preserved by making a compliant, properly evidenced, fresh application for a licence.”