Gautier Fret Solutions (GFS) is less than a year old, however Jean-Yves Gautier has spent his life in the industry and his family’s legacy goes back much further. In 1949, his father, Rémy Gautier, founded Société des Transports Gautier (STG) with a modest fleet of two cattle transporters and one tanker. Last year, when Jean-Yves sold the company to a group of investors, STG had around 3,500 employees.
In early 2019, Jean-Yves Gautier founded GFS, which specialises in transporting spare parts, tyres, oil and furniture in north west France. Already his new company has over 450 employees and a fleet of 220 trucks. “Our goal is to be the leader in western France in delivering industrial products,” explains Jean-Yves Gautier. “Key to our success is a willingness to listen to customers and adapt to change, and the fact that we always trust our employees and provide them with the very best equipment.”
Like most haulage companies, fuel is one of GFS’ biggest costs – around 25–30 per cent. “We need to optimise our fleet and get our vehicles moving as much as possible,” says Jean-Yves Gautier as he highlights the three key factors for minimising fuel consumption. “Firstly, it’s about the choice of vehicle – it’s important to choose the right driveline. Secondly, it’s about giving the driver the right training. And thirdly, it’s about the technology we now have access to.”
The most recent developments which Volvo Trucks has added to its vehicles will help us to achieve fuel consumption levels that wouldn’t have been possible a few years ago.
When Volvo Trucks needed a customer to trial its new Volvo FH with I-Save in real operating conditions, GFS was an obvious candidate. For the past year, the company has been using a Volvo FH with I-Save, which typically cover 15,000–20,000 kms per month, with an average gross combination weight of 30 tonnes.
After 12 months, the truck has covered 140,000 km and GFS has seen a fuel reduction of between 7–10 per cent compared to its other vehicles, as well as a 30–40 per cent reduction in AdBlue costs. “The most recent developments which Volvo Trucks has added to its vehicles will help us to achieve fuel consumption levels that wouldn’t have been possible a few years ago,” says Jean-Yves Gautier. “With this new engine and new technology, Volvo will be ahead of the game.”
GFS’ drivers are similarly impressed by the Volvo FH with I-Save, with many claiming that it delivers more torque, less noise, and makes it easier to drive more fuel efficiently. “Because of the type of roads I drive on, I often use cruise control and I-See,” explains Stéphane Huchet, who has been driving trucks for 26 years. “I-Save and the turbo compound technology mean that in a low gear I can still drive at a commercial speed and save even more fuel.”
Apart from new vehicles and technology, GFS is also exploring alternative fuels and can see great potential in LNG. In fact, the company is currently in discussions with the gas supplier Air Liquide and the local municipality about building an LNG filling station close to their premises. As a long-standing partner of Volvo Trucks, GFS is also looking into the Volvo FH LNG.
“We had some demonstrations and the Volvo LNG trucks are also very good,” explains Jean-Yves Gautier. “With its diesel technology, it is one of the better performing LNG trucks so it’s certainly an investment that we are considering – watch this space!”
Gautier Fret Solutions (GFS)
Established in: 2019
Owner: Jean-Yves Gautier
Location: Rennes, France
Employees: 450 (including 290 drivers)
Fleet: 220 trucks
Annual turnover: €50 million
Biggest customers: Michelin, TOTAL, Pirelli and Good Year
History: Rémy Gautier founded Société des Transports Gautier (STG) in 1949, and originally transporting live animals between Rennes and Paris. Rémy Gautier´s son, Jean-Yves, sold the company in 2018, and founded Gautier Fret Solutions (GFS).
Services: GFS specialises in transporting industrial products in western France, including automotive parts, tyres, oil and goods for the paper industry.
Volvo FH with I-Save
The Volvo FH with I-Save is Volvo Trucks’ most fuel-efficient, long-haul vehicle to date. Its D13TC engine and updated fuel-saving features were designed to cut fuel costs by up to seven per cent. The D13TC engine uses Turbo Compound technology found in high-power aircraft engines adapted for the road, with the TC unit reusing excess heat and energy from the truck’s exhaust gases. The whole driveline has also been calibrated for maximum fuel efficiency, with a new piston design allowing less heat energy to be lost. Furthermore, I-Save integrates Volvo Trucks’ state-of-the-art technologies such as map-based I-See software and I-Cruise with I-Roll. It is especially suitable for long-haul operators that typically drive more than 120,000 km per year.