Industry quartet present new semitrailer combination

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A ‘highly efficient’ new semitrailer combination has been presented by four industry heavyweights.

Mercedes-Benz Trucks, Schmitz Cargobull, Vion Food Group and Betterflow all worked together on the project.

The aim of the project was the enable Vion to reduce its fuel consumption and CO2 emissions.

As a result, a team was established to try and help cut emissions by 8%.

The base vehicle used in the new semitrailer combination is a Mercedes-Benz Actros 1848 LS 4×2.

Furthermore, the truck comes with MirrorCam, concave cab side deflectors and predictive cruise control.

In addition, efficiency improvements have also been made in aerodynamics by technology from Betterflow and Schmitz Cargobull.

The two companies put the vehicle through large-scale field tests during 2020, covering more than four million kilometres.

Importantly, Betterflow engineers retrofitted underfloor panelling and a trailer bullhead front spoiler to the design.

The central component was a rear wing system (RearFLOW) that automatically opens at 60km/h and closes at lower speeds.

“Our components are a climate protection measure, which are also economically beneficial,” explained Betterflow’s managing director, Dirk Sieprath. 

“They can be used problem-free with immediate effect all over Europe, because the RearFLOW system has type approval. 

“It can even be retrofitted as an independent technological unit,” he added.

Meanwhile Joachim Schlereth, from Mercedes-Benz, thought the Actros was the perfect vehicle for the job. 

“The camera’s image tracks the vehicle’s movement when turning or changing lanes, thus enabling better all-round visibility,” he said. 

“What’s more, MirrorCam has an especially compact and aerodynamic design to keep the fuel consumption down by as much as 1.5 percent.”

Sven Janssen, head of logistics at Vion, was confident of making efficiency improvements. 

“If the truck covered an average of 100,000 annual kilometres, we could save half a million litres of diesel and 1500 tonnes of CO2.”

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