POINTE-CLAIRE, Que. — FPInnovations, a division of the Forest Engineering Research Institute of Canada, and Groupe Charette have received an environmental award for researching the benefits of multi-use trailers.
Together, FPInnovations and Groupe Charette achieved a 25% fuel consumption savings per tonne transported by utilizing multi-use trailers and reducing empty backhauls.
They took top prize in the transport category at the Energia 2007 gala, organized by the Association Quebecoise Pour la Maitrise de l’Energie.
The project measured the impact of backhaul trips on fuel consumption. FPInnovations evaluated energy intensity by comparing two multi-purpose semi-trailers with two conventional trailers.
Fuel can represent over 25% of operating costs for commercial truckers. As a result, it is vital to come up with solutions to counter the effects of rising transportation costs, said Daniel Guimier, vice-president of the Eastern Region of FPInnovations, Feric Division. A project such as this one shows that it is possible to adapt a lower-cost technology and generate substantial energy savings.”
The results of implementing such a system are by no means insignificant, FPInnovations concluded. For example, using multi-purpose semi-trailers instead of conventional semi-trailers to deliver an annual production of 450,000 tonnes and backhaul 300,000 tonnes of wood residues would result in fuel consumption savings of roughly 1.9 million litres per year. This also translates into 5000 fewer tonnes of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.
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