Open Country Drives Sustainably

Open Country transported billions of litres of milk from suppliers’ farms to its factories around New Zealand last season. That meant a lot of travelling for the company’s transport operators, whose job is to deliver the precious milk to the right place at the right time. 

With that in mind, Open Country National Transport Manager, Brett Hamilton, says it makes sense for Open Country to use the most sustainable transport options possible.

The company is transitioning its tanker fleet to the new Euro 6 model of truck, in keeping with its company policy, and to improve its environmental footprint by creating fewer emissions and improve fuel efficiency by using less diesel.

“The dairy industry is an extremely important part of the global food chain and the New Zealand economy, and every avenue of that industry needs to look towards embracing the best technology to reduce our carbon footprint,” says Brett.

The Euro 6 trucks still have combustion engines, but they have the most stringent emission control technology on them.

The truck’s emissions technology treats harmful chemicals expended from the truck’s exhaust using a urea-based solution. The system known as selective catalytic reduction (SCR) reduces nitrous oxides, carbon monoxides and hydrocarbons.

Known as particular matter, Open Country measures these emissions. The monitoring has shown that once all trucks are Euro 6, the fleet would on average expend 1.9kgs of this matter per 300,000kms travelled compared to similar fleets with older technology expending around 8kgs.

“These trucks are really efficient at taking all the harmful toxins out of the exhaust system and reducing their impact on the environment. We’ve been really happy with their performance,” says Brett.

Brett Hamilton

European emission rules, which are the foundation for the Euro 6 technology, were introduced in the early 1990s and the technology has worked its way up from a Euro 1 to the current Euro 6, so Brett.

“These new systems are 96 percent more efficient than the Euro 1 so that gives you an idea of how far the technology has come,” he adds.

Transitioning the entire fleet to the new trucks will also have a massive impact on the company’s fuel efficiency.

“Per 1 million kilometres travelled the trucks save around $50,000 on fuel, that’s a major cost saving alongside the environmental benefits,” says Brett.

Brett has estimated Open Country will save $150,000 to $180,000 a year on fuel in their Southland fleet alone.

The tankers are a big investment and are brought into New Zealand by distributors for Swedish based Scania and Daff, which comes out of Holland. 

“At Open Country we believe in doing things right. We don’t have to go on this journey, and we could be spending less money on trucks that aren’t as efficient but we’re not. We’ve mandated in the last 12 months that any new vehicles that come into the company meet these standards,” says Brett.

Open Country is also prepared to embrace zero emissions vehicles when they become fully viable. The company was investigating hydrogen technology, which Brett believes will be the next big thing for the transport industry because electric trucks currently needed too much down time for charging to be efficient.

“We are replacing our fleet with the most sustainable heavy transport available currently, but we are committed to working towards zero emissions vehicles,” says Brett.

“The Carbon Zero journey is important for everyone to get on and every industry needs to play their part.”

Dairy Milk Tanker 2018