Crayford, Kent-based UK and international supply chain specialist, Solstor UK Limited has reported an overall reduction to date of almost 20 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions since moving to a Vacu-Lug new and remould tyre policy for its tractor unit fleet and from a new-only policy to a Vacu-Lug remould policy on its trailer fleet last May.

“Solstor is firmly committed to reducing its impact upon the environment, and we recognise the contribution being made in this respect to our operations by Vacu-Lug,” says Andy Hitchings, Operations Director for Solstor UK Limited. “Furthermore, in addition to benefiting the environment, the switch in our tyre policy is also proving financially successful while operational service levels are unaffected.

Since embarking upon its new tyre policies, more than 350 Vacu-Lug Duramold super-single tyres have been fitted to the Solstor trailer fleet, representing a saving of 54.2 kilogrammes of carbon dioxide emissions per tyre.  This figure equates to the reduced amount of carbon dioxide emitted during the remould manufacturing process compared to that of a new tyre.

To emphasise the environmental benefits of its new tyre policies, a proportion of the Vacu-Lug Duramold remould tyres fitted to the Solstor fleet are made from a green coloured compound developed by Vacu-Lug.  This compound has a lower rolling resistance than regular tyres and therefore contributes further towards carbon reduction.

The green tyres have been manufactured using a specially-formulated compound which replaces the traditional carbon black with a mix of silicas, resulting in a low-rolling resistance product which provides operational and environmental benefits.  Independent trials conducted by TARCC (Tun Abdul Razak Research Centre, the UK-based research arm of the Malaysian Rubber Board) have proven the tyres to be more environmentally-efficient in a number of ways:

  • The silica-based compound is harder and tougher than a standard tyre, meaning there is less deformation in the crown area, which significantly improves the tyres’ rolling resistance by up to 30 percent.
  • The tread surface of the high-silica compound is harder and microscopically rougher than regular carbon black-based compound and, as a result, increases surface grip.
  • Less movement in the tread means there is less heat build-up, thereby prolonging tyre life.
  • The harder compound theoretically improves the wear characteristics of the tyre over a period of time.
  • The silica-based compound shows a much improved snow and ice behaviour and better wet skid properties, with abrasion remaining constant.

Solstor UK Limited is part of the AG Thames Group.  In addition to its Crayford Head Office site, the company has depots in Peterborough, and Boston, as well as operations in Spain, Italy and Poland providing a true pan-European, end-to-end solution.  The firm’s double-shifted fleet of 80 tractor units and 160 trailers is involved in the distribution of fresh and chilled produce to many leading UK supermarket retailers.

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