"It makes a massive difference": Extreme fuel and AdBlue savings on Finland's challenging roads9/17/19 4.5 min read 4.5 min read
Finnish company Kuljetusliike Antti Airaksinen recently began using a Volvo FH with I-Save in its food distribution operations. Fuel consumption has since decreased by 4.5 litres per 100 kilometres, making a huge impact on the company’s profitability.
A Volvo FH snakes its way through the remote, snow-covered forest roads of eastern Finland on a still, misty afternoon. At the wheel, Toni Korhonen is on his way to deliver more frozen food to stores in the small villages around Kuopio, a town of around 120,000 inhabitants.
“The roads here are tricky, with thick snow covering many hills and sharp bends. I have to make frequent stops, sometimes over a dozen in one small town. This can eat up a lot of fuel.”
In mid 2018, Kuljetusliike Antti Airaksinen (which translates into English as Antti Airaksinen Transport) acquired their first Volvo FH with I-Save as part of a field-testing programme. With its D13 Turbo Compound engine making use of excess energy to deliver more torque, the result is a powerful and fuel-efficient truck.
“The new truck has already made a huge impact on our operations,” says Antti Airaksinen, who is CEO at the family-owned company he founded in 1990.
“The difference in fuel consumption is 4.5 litres per 100 kilometres. If a truck uses 4.5 litres less diesel when driven well, it makes a massive difference when consuming two million litres per year.”
Each truck in the company clocks around 180,000-250,000 kilometres per year, and Antti therefore focuses heavily on fuel economy, monitoring each driver’s fuel performance and driving style via Volvo Trucks’ fleet management system Dynafleet. They place specific importance on reducing idle running times, in order to maximize fuel resources. Engine Idle Shutdown is just one of the functions included in I-Save and it has been a major benefit, according to Antti.
The new Volvo FH with I-Save has already proved popular among the team. “Our drivers like the new truck very much,” Antti Airaksinen says, smiling. “Its low-end torque has been widely praised. There are less gear changes when travelling uphill. In fact, our three man team like the truck so much that they don’t want to hand it over to stand-in drivers.”
Having such a powerful yet fuel-efficient truck at our disposal has made a big difference to our deliveries.”
Around 90 per cent of Antti’s company’s revenue comes from the food industry. Their vehicles mainly operate in Finland, although one covers the Benelux countries. The route from Finland’s capital Helsinki to Kuopio is one the drivers cover regularly. Deliveries are made from Kuopio to small towns and villages nearby.
The new Volvo FH with I-Save works long hours in three shifts, six days a week. “Rural eastern Finland poses challenges in deepest winter,” says Antti Airaksinen. “To have such a powerful yet fuel-efficient truck at our disposal has made a big difference to our deliveries. We are also very happy that the centralized servicing and maintenance provided by Volvo is in Kuopio. Local garages operate extremely flexibly, which is handy for us.”
Another appreciated feature of the D13TC engine is a cooled Exhaust Gas Recirculation System, which reduces the amount of nitrogen oxide during the combustion process. This in turn cuts the need for AdBlue. “The engine consumes 50 per cent less AdBlue than previous models, which of course we factor into our total savings,” says Antti Airaksen. “As we cover greater distances, we look forward to I-Save making a bigger contribution to the company’s profitability.”
Back on the road, driver Toni Korhonen is heading for the small village of Kaavi with a consignment of frozen bread.
My team and I want this truck for ourselves. We’re not giving it up for anyone else!
He has been driving trucks for five years and has worked for Kuljetusliike Antti Airaksinen for four of those, often making night-time deliveries to the small municipalities around Kuopio. “It is very beautiful and remote out here, and I enjoy being behind the wheel of such a reliable truck. I have driven other brands, but what I like about Volvo is the good driving position and comfort," he says and adds: “I’ve been working with the Volvo FH with I-Save truck for six months. My colleagues and I are big fans of its low-end torque and the way it just keeps pulling uphill. My team want this truck for ourselves – we’re not giving it up for anyone else!”
Kuljetusliike Antti Airaksinen Oy
Established in: 1990
Owner: Antti Airaksinen
Number of Employees: 80, of which 50 are drivers
Load: Frozen and temperature-controlled goods
Number of trucks: 27, of which 23 are Volvos
Biggest customer: Kesko
History: The family-owned company was founded in March 1990 in Kuopio, Finland. Initially operating both domestic and international deliveries, they switched focus to mainly domestic in 1997.
Services: The company specializes in frozen and refrigerated food distribution and operates 26 rigid trucks with trailer combinations, of which almost all are Volvos.
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.