Thermo King rules chilling roost
Thermo King had two stands at the IAA this year – one devoted to equipment for trucks and the other devoted to buses and coaches. Both displayed a number of fascinating new products.
The highlight of the truck stand was undoubtedly the new T-Series, which is particularly suited to South African conditions and customer requirements. With a focus on efficiency, the T-Series promises low fuel consumption and low maintenance costs. The easy-to-use system reduces the risk of user error and makes for easy service and monitoring of the unit, ensuring continuous efficiency of operation.
The T-Series includes a range of single and multi-temperature units, built to match any customer requirements. The T-Series also has an impressive environment-friendly record with reduced emissions and waste due to its GreenTech engines – the cleanest on the market – as well as which 99,7% of the unit material is recyclable!
The truck stand also featured the brand new SLX Whisper, which is big news in Europe because noise is a huge issue over there (we have bigger fish to fry here in South Africa). The Whisper is pretty revolutionary stuff.
The SLX Whisper was designed to meet even the most stringent noise regulations thereby providing the solution for day or night-time distribution of goods in urban areas. Jorge Caro, Thermo King area sales manager for South Germany, Austria and Switzerland, explains the pioneering importance of this line: “We are talking about noise pollution standards of 62/63 db(A) (international standards of A-weighted decibels). This unit is below
The significance of this is that it means that the SLX Whisper is PIEK certified. The Dutch PIEK certification scheme is the most stringent in the world: “In Holland after 11 pm, you are not allowed to drive with your trailer unless you have a PIEK certified unit,” Caro explains. Although the system is currently exclusive to the Netherlands, Caro reports: “We are expecting the PIEK certification to come into effect sooner or later in other European countries.” This means that the engineering of Thermo King puts it in prime place to cater for any new sound level legislation, which could have serious impact upon night-time delivery services. Thermo King recognises that night deliveries are an important means of traffic congestion avoidance thereby ensuring faster delivery and better fuel efficiency for customers.
Over on the bus and coach stand, the big news was the launch of the new X-Series range of units. The leading X-900 model has now been supplemented by an X-500 and X-700 version in the new range, in which both the weight and refrigerant charge have been reduced. The range is well suited to vehicles anywhere between eight and 15 metres in length and has been tested in cold European climates as well as in the heat and humidity of India and the Middle East. Based on customer feedback showing different preferences, the X-Series can be placed on the side or in the centre of the vehicle, as the customer chooses. The X-Series also features a unique new control system, the CANAIRE, which can be used with the unit only or expanded to include floor heating, driver’s area and auxiliary pre-heater, all controlled from one easy-to-use human machine interface (HMI) panel.
There was also considerable interest in the Athenia MKII Series S-805 and S-960 – these are new versions of existing products. This series which, like the X-Series, is lightweight and low on refrigerant charges, offers up to 100% fresh air. The MKII Series enables users to customise their applications to suit their passenger capacity, vehicle size and climate conditions, with multiple options for controllers (including the CANAIRE range), compressors and refrigerants.
Plus, many visitors were inspecting the Athenia D, which is now standard on the Citea, which was named Bus of the Year recently. With fresh air intake located on the top of the vehicle for cleaner air and ease of maintenance, and specially designed hoses to minimise leakages and provide for minimum installation time, the Athenia D, although not yet available in South Africa, is a product worth looking out for.
• Thermo King is represented in South Africa by Grenco.