TIL Freight found the more they talked together, the more fuel they saved


The group teamed up with EECA (Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority) in 2014 through its Heavy Vehicle Fuel Efficiency programme. “The main appeal of the EECA programme for me was safety”, says TIL Group CEO Jon Kyle. “But we’re now seeing lower operating costs, and we can point to better environmental management too, which is increasingly important for many of our customers.”

Kyle has led from the top, forming a working group with members from across the business – drivers, branch managers and corporate staff, and with EECA approved fuel management advisor Jim Pollard. They instigated a pilot programme for TNL Freighting, the South Island subsidiary of TIL.

“There’s an excellent cross-section of people on the working group and it enables us to talk about subjects from all angles of the business”, says Kyle. “For example, it was highlighted at a working group meeting that there were a number of TNL runs which weren’t fuel efficient, so we created a sub-committee to reconfigure those runs to make better use of the fuel burn. The result of this conversation was a reduction in the numbers of kilometres travelled to carry the same amount of freight.”

TNL also sent 15 drivers on a SAFEDNZ course, and monitored their driving before and after the course. Early results show a 7% reduction in fuel burn and a 25% reduction in gear changes among those drivers. TNL now has four SAFEDNZ driver trainers who will work with the rest of the company’s more than 200 drivers.

Other issues covered by the programme include scheduling and route management, through to tyre pressure management (even checking valve extensions on inner trailer tyres to make it easier to check tyre pressures).

Jim Pollard is impressed with the speedy progress TNL has made. “Jon [Kyle] attending the working group meetings sends the right message to the company that they have his full support, and he’s created a relaxed environment that people want to be part of – that’s been a big driver of momentum.”

From Kyle’s perspective the early results speak for themselves. “I believe the programme will more than repay the investment of time and money that has been spent on it thus far; already we’ve seen a significant reduction in fuel burn and we’ve barely scratched the surface.”

The pilot has been so successful, TIL has decided to extend the Heavy Vehicle Fuel Efficiency Programme to the other brands under TIL’s umbrella – Roadstar and Hooker Pacific. TNL covers a wide variety of trucking applications and operations, from metro deliveries to line-haul. The South Island company fleet is made up of general freight trucks, container truck and trailers, tippers, reefers, and tankers. The only two categories of freight not handled by TNL are livestock and logs.

Key results

  • The programme delivered lower operating costs, and better environmental management
  • Cross-functional working groups identified opportunities to improve scheduling, route management, tyre pressure management and fuel efficiency
  • 7% reduction in fuel burn and a 25% reduction in gear changes amongst drivers trained on SAFED

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