Campeys of Selby in North Yorkshire wanted to go down the gas route in its quest to drive down CO2 emissions and the company’s young boss, Harry Campey told PowerTorque’s European Correspondent, Will Shiers the tale.
Harry initially toyed with the idea of investing in LNG, but having run a Scania demonstrator for a short period, wasn’t overly impressed. While the trucks were perfectly good, Campey was put off by the comparatively poor refuelling infrastructure, and also the overly complicated filling process.
In comparison, CNG is more readily available, and both easier and cleaner to refuel than diesel. So, having decided that CNG was the way to go, it purchased an ex-demonstrator Stralis 4×2. While it worked well, five-axle semis are limited to 40 tonnes GCM in the UK, which prevented it from hauling some backloads.
Realising it needed 6×2 CNG prime movers (six-axle semis can run at 44 tonnes GCM) it knocked on Scania’s door, but there was no answer. Not only did it not have a suitable truck, but it had no intention of offering one either.
However, Iveco was happy to oblige. Although not available off the line, it was able to supply specially converted 6×2 CNG-powered S-Way prime movers. They leave the factory as 4x2s, then have mini mid-lift axles added, together with carbon composite tanks.
Campey told me that the trucks, which are powered by biomethane, have settled into the fleet well. The only real drawback has been with their maximum range, which is considerably less than initially anticipated at maximum weight. Running empty or light, 650km is achievable, but at 44 tonnes this will drop to 400km. While the UK CNG filling infrastructure is expanding, it’s still patchy in places, which can prove a headache for the transport planners.
Although driver acceptance has been high, only drivers who actually wanted to make the switch from diesel to CNG were chosen.
“We had to make sure that the drivers were comfortable and competent, and to be fair, the drivers that we have in them now are great and are doing a really good job,” says Harry.
In 2021 the haulier briefly ran a previous generation DAF XF demonstrator, which Campey described as ‘fine’. But while perfectly acceptable, it wasn’t good enough to persuade him to add any to the fleet. Then, along came a New Generation DAF demonstrator.
“It is a massive leap forwards,” says Harry. “DAF has taken advantage of new cab size regulations, and they look fantastic too, both inside and out.”
A handful were ordered, quickly followed by several more. It currently has 10 of them on the fleet, but this will increase to 30 by the end of the year.
Harry reckons they have been a huge hit with drivers, who appreciate the additional living space. He told me of five drivers who have come out of Scania S500s, and who wouldn’t want to return to the Swedish trucks.
“It really is a fantastic vehicle, and leaps DAF forwards in terms of the truck hierarchy,” says Harry.