When Electra Vehicles needed a space-saving compressor solution, the company turned to Gardner Denver for an innovative solution.
Established in 2018, Electra Commercial Vehicles is a UK-based company that designs and builds low impact commercial vehicles for use in busy city centres. It now boasts a 20-strong fleet and lays claim to the world’s first electric gritter.
The company has benefited from rapid interest in electric vehicles which are now dominating the news cycles. Yet even just two years ago the prospect of bringing a fully electric lorry to market seemed unrealistic.
In 2018, most major manufacturers were still stuck in development and had yet to introduce a functioning electric lorry to public roads. Recognising a gap in the market, as well as a growing need to lower HGV emissions, Sid Sadique founded Electra Commercial Vehicles. The business’s aim was simple: clean up city air and lower carbon emissions by building a range of low impact commercial vehicles that maintained all the capabilities of diesel-powered models.
At first, Electra was purchasing diesel trucks from partnered suppliers and stripping them down to fit a battery package. However, working this way proved a challenge, with much of the lorry’s original design needing changes to accommodate the equipment necessary to transition to full electric without taking up too much space. The auto compressor was no exception to this redesign and it soon became clear that a ‘conventional’ fitting would not suffice.
Most diesel lorries will incorporate a compressor within the engine build but electric vehicles demand much more of a subsystem and cannot be equipped in the same way. To overcome this challenge, Electra approached Gardner Denver in late 2018 to develop a bespoke solution.
The business had previously worked with a piston-based compressor but found that Gardner Denver’s rotary vane compressor provided a number of benefits, specifically lower noise and less vibration, which made it particularly suitable for HGVs working in residential neighbourhoods.
As conversations progressed, it was decided that a variant of Gardner Denver’s Hydrovane compressor would be best-suited to the task. Specifically, Gardner Denver developed a bespoke package design of its ultra-quiet TX02 compressor, which maintained full functionality without compromising any of the compressor’s benefits.
As a market leader, Qube strives to maintain their fleet and facilities at the highest possible level of operational performance and efficiency. Modernisation of their dry bulk transport vehicles, playing an essential role in Qube’s activities, came with an updated style Scania chassis subject to tighter space constraints, owing to a number of factors.
A regular user of Drum XK18 blowers from Gardner Denver for their dry bulk unloading applications, Qube found itself in the need of employing a right angle gearbox to drive the blowers on their new vehicles affected by the space limitations. Adding the extra component, however, translated into additional costs, and the company eventually decided to seek a more efficient solution for their fleet.
Building upon over a decade-long relationship with Gardner Denver and fruitful collaboration on a variety dry bulk transfer projects to date, Qube’s experts did not hesitate to trust us again for an optimised solution matching their specific application needs. And, with the release of our TR20 blower with direct prop shaft design, Gardner Denver had the ideal technology to offer to our valued partner.
Following Qube’s request, we worked closely with the vehicle OEM, Scania – the chassis provider, and Holmwood Highgate – our contracted installer, to ensure that we had the best component mix and integration solution meeting our customer’s specification and timeline requirements.
The Gardner Denver TR 20 screw compressor is the latest machine to be developed for efficient unloading of dry bulk products from road tankers, eliminating the need for a right angle gearbox, which used to be necessary with the previous system. This smart move, which translates into complete removal of one of the important components from the installation, produces a number of significant advantages.
The new solution, installed on the customer’s chosen vehicles, maintains the air output levels necessary for Qube’s dry bulk cargo unloading applications, while reducing space and componentry requirements.
The list of customer benefits is longer, with decreased maintenance costs and noise levels among the most important improvements.
As part of the comprehensive package devised by Gardner Denver, hydraulic components were also installed to enable container tipping that facilitates the customer’s product discharge applications.
A successful partnership continuously enables both parties to grow and benefit from their joint endeavours.
With the success of the five TR20 packages and hydraulic installations delivered in 2017, Qube decided to use Gardner Denver’s solution as a recommended standard across Australia. This strategic decision resulted in the current order for more units as part of their fleet nationwide.
We are proud that Gardner Denver’s TR20’s have become a ‘best practice’ for the customer’s new dry bulk vehicles and vehicle replacements, and will continue driving their performance and cost-efficiency.