Arla Foods has taken delivery of seven new Volvo FM LNG 6x2 tractor units to assist the company’s decarbonisation plans.

The UK’s largest dairy cooperative, Arla, now considers bio-LNG (liquified natural gas) to be the best choice for improving the sustainability of its commercial vehicle fleet in the medium term, according to its Inbound Logistics Director, Richard Wilson. 

The company has selected Volvo as its supplier following extensicve testing against another manufacturer. The new FM 6x2 tractor units are supplied by Volvo Truck and Bus Centre South & East and have sleeper cabs. They will be used for back-to-base activities, such as collecting and delivering milk from Arla’s farms and depots in Leeds and Burton-upon-Trent to processing plants around the UK.

“We have some ambitious sustainability targets to meet in the coming years, and reducing emissions from our logistics operations will be key to helping us meet these. We have trialled dual fuel vehicles which proved successful, but these new units are an even bigger step up for us. We are now turning cow poo from our farms, and food which would otherwise go to waste, into a source of renewable fuel,” said, Richard Wilson, Inbound Logistics Director at Arla Foods.

 “These new bio-LNG trucks will play a crucial part in our plans to hit our 2030 sustainability targets – which is a 63 per cent reduction of CO2 against our baseline from 2015 for our own fleet operations. Who knows what the future holds in terms of electric and hydrogen technology but for now and the medium term we believe trucks powered by bio-LNG are the best route for us to make a significant carbon reduction in the fleet.”

volvo arla

Source: Volvo Press Release

The FM LNG benefits from Volvo’s innovative approach to gas engine technology, which uses tiny amounts of diesel to spark the air-fuel combination. This allows the Volvo G13C engine to provide the same 460hp and 2,300Nm of torque as a regular 460hp diesel engine while maintaining comparable driveability, dependability, and service intervals. The gas powertrain also offers engine braking, exactly like a standard diesel tractor unit, but without the need for an additional retarder, which adds weight and complexity.

When combined with Arla’s eye-catching milk tanker trailers, the new FMs will cover 200,000km per year and are supported by the five-year Volvo Gold contract to ensure optimal uptime.

They will refuel at Daventry International Rail Freight Terminal (DIRFT), Gasrec’s flagship open-access facility, and at the Gasrec-built station at Reed Boardall’s yard in Boroughbridge. Arla’s commercial vehicle fleet will be replaced with seven FM LNG trucks, which will replace seven diesel tractor units.