Switching to vehicles capable of transporting heavier payloads means fewer truck movements, which helps to cut carbon dioxide emissions and increase road safety. Södra's unveiling of two 74-tonne timber rigs was timed to coincide with its AGM.
The vehicles are part of a research project run by Skogforsk, the Forestry Research Institute of Sweden, where Södra is one of the stakeholders. Södra has been granted an exemption by the Swedish Transport Administration to operate HGVs with a gross weight of 74 tonnes. They are neither wider nor longer than the regular 60-tonne HGVs, but they have more axles and this means they can transport heavier payloads.
"Switching to this type of HGV would decrease Södra's road transport by about one third," explained Södra's Director of Forestry Håkan Larsson.
"Fuel consumption will be reduced by 13 percent. Södra's HGVs run on pure biodiesel made from rapeseed, which reduces carbon dioxide emissions even further. In addition to lower fuel consumption and reduced emissions, less transport by road means increased road safety."
Södra is one of the stakeholders in Skogforsk's ETT (En Trave Till = One More Stack) project for larger and heavier timber truckloads. The project is carrying out trials using several vehicles in practical operations and is evaluating the impact on the environment (fuel consumption and emissions), road safety, costs, etc.
Two main types of longer and/or heavier vehicle are being studied:
- ETT (En Trave Till = One More Stack) vehicles, with a length of 30m (max. 32m) and max. weight of 90 tonnes
- ST (Större Travar = Bigger Stacks) vehicles with a normal length (max. 25.25m) and max. weight of 74 tonnes
The unveiling signals the start of Södra's practical contribution to the project. Two 74-tonne rigs will now start operating - one round timber rig and one wood chip rig.
The Skogforsk project has shown that if today's approximately 2,000 conventional 60-tonne timber rigs were replaced by 30% ETT vehicles and 70% ST vehicles, the number of vehicles could be reduced to around 1,300. This would in turn reduce total fuel consumption by 45 million litres of diesel per year. Fewer heavy vehicle movements on the roads will also improve road safety.
During the summer the Swedish Transport Agency and the Swedish Transport Administration will be implementing the Swedish Government's instructions to prepare for HGVs of up to 74 tonnes gross weight permanently running on parts of the public road network. The aim of the project is to collect knowledge and practical experience of heavier vehicles in the forestry industry.
The advantages of the heavier rigs are:
- Lower emissions per transported tonne. 100% biodiesel also contributes to this
- Fewer truck movements on the roads will give improved road safety
- Lower transportation costs
- Fewer truck movements on forest roads will reduce the risk of road wear
Both of Södra's vehicles will be run on 100% RME (from rapeseed oil). As the rig has more axles, the axle pressure will be lower than for a conventional 60-tonne rig.
The round timber rig consists of a Volvo truck with a five-axle trailer. This will be the first rig with a conventional trailer and 4+6 bunks capable of transporting timber in three-metre lengths. The vehicle will be based in Lenhovda and will replace a conventional 60-tonne rig. The vehicle's operating area covers southern Götaland. Four drivers have been trained.
The wood chip rig will be based in Nybro, and will transport wood chips, bark, sawdust, sawn wood products, pulp, etc. The rig consists of a Scania truck with dolly and trailer. It has the same number of axles as the round timber rig. The vehicle will mainly be used to transport material from the Långasjö Sawmill, as well as from other Södra facilities. Three drivers have been trained.