October 24 - ALE has debuted the latest addition to its transportation fleet.
HLPFI was present to see the official introduction of the first two units of the new vehicle, which is branded Trojan 8870.
The specialist heavy lift and haulage contractor says that the Trojan truck, which has been designed by the company's engineers and is being produced at the company's operational hub at Hixon, in the UK, signals a major breakthrough in capability, fuel efficiency and reliability.
The company said that the development of the new prime mover vehicle was part of a truck replacement process conceived some time ago, and the new vehicles are based on a concept initially developed in 2012.
Gary Butler, ALE project manager and designer of the Trojan truck concept said: "We wanted to replace our current fleet of trucks with a specification that improved on vehicle performance, capability and fuel efficiency but there was no other truck on the market that delivered this.
"We therefore designed our own based on our specific requirements which included computer synchronisation, future-proof electronics, automatic gear change, ABS, transmission retardation, a good footprint for power and torque, and a stainless steel cab.
"Through the custom drive and transmissions, we are now able to deliver the required power to move abnormal loads more efficiently, more smoothly and in a more environmentally friendly way."
ALE says that one of the special features of the Trojan's design is its ability to link up multiple tractor units in a 'command and drone' convoy, whereby the command vehicle is able to control itself, as well as any other tractor units in the convoy, through mechanical and air links, as well as an electronic Can Bus System.
The company adds that the vehicle braking, electrics, engine and transmissions on all tractor units are synchronised by computer which ensures each vehicle is in a matched gear, matched RPM and matched torque.
Vehicle braking, engine compression braking and transmission retardation can be controlled identically and there is no limit to the number of vehicles that can be added to the convoy.
These features help to deliver a smoother ride through the whole length of the convoy, thereby reducing potential stress on any consignment being transported.
The Trojan truck's design weight is 72 tonnes and it has a maximum geared road speed of 48 mph (77 kph).
It can pull a gross combination weight of 300 tonnes at its maximum gradient of 14 percent, although this weight capacity can be increased as the incline is decreased.
A bespoke engine and transmission performance reduces emissions and provides a fuel saving of 40 percent compared to that achieved by previous models, says ALE.
A further important design consideration for ALE was to ensure that power could be delivered effectively, producing significantly improved tractive effort compared to other standard market products. Critical to this was to ensure that the trucks provided a significant and balanced footprint which would also assist with retardation.
These are the first of a fleet of six new Trojans to be built by ALE, with delivery of all six by the end of next year. Four will be retained for use by the company in the UK, with two destined for the company's subsidiary in the United Arab Emirates.