Truck manufacturers demonstrate why operators should focus less on a vehicle’s list price, and more on the Total Cost of Operation (TCO)
By John Challen




Transport operators have been asked to deal with a lot in the past 18 months – surviving the economic recovery is a challenge in itself, before you consider planning the implementation of a new, cleaner vehicle line-up. Before it became reality, all Euro 6 talk was about the cost of new technology, to be borne by operators, and how much more expensive it was going to be to run a truck fleet.

However, the reality, according to the truck manufacturers, is very different. As perhaps expected when they’re marketing complete new vehicle ranges, the company line is that running a Euro 6 fleet is cheaper than Euro 5. Surprisingly, in many cases they appear to be right – and have the stats to prove it.

One of the biggest advocates of Total Cost of Operation (TCO) is MAN’s CEO, Des Evans, and the recent CV Show saw the culmination of a competition inviting operators to win the use of one of the manufacturer’s Euro 6 trucks for six months. To qualify, participants had to use MAN’s new TCO calculator which considers a wide range of factors, such as number of trucks, years in service, annual distance, purchase price, residual value and average fuel consumption.

costly exercise

The aim of the exercise is to work out costs for fleets, and how these can be reduced through looking at the wider TCO picture.

“We have been monitoring trucks as part of an initiative to prove what difference Euro 6 can make to businesses, and are saying they can save you money,” says Evans, who identified at the CV Show Fowler Welch, Maritime and DHL as just three of the fleets involved in the study. “Achieving 10 mpg compared with 9 mpg can mean a £220,000 saving on vehicles, due to the reduction in overall running costs. Our figures show Maritime’s Euro 6 fleet is achieving 11 mpg and saving 15 per cent CO2, further reducing its costs.”

However, as a rule, the truck industry is relatively conservative – whether it is new or old, operators will typically pay more attention to purchase price than anything else. “We can take a used vehicle and change the value on the TCO calculator,” explains Evans. “A two-year-old vehicle costing £45,000

summer coverAs featured in the Summer 2014 issue of Trucking. Buy the magazine here