Modern trucks, buses and trailers with aluminium bodies are several hundred kilograms lighter than those built using conventional methods of construction. There are multiple advantages of using aluminium in the road transportation industry. China’s largest bus manufacturer (the world’s second largest), developed two environmentally-friendly bus prototypes. The aluminium-intensive bus body is nearly 50% lighter than a traditional bus. It requires less fuel and emits fewer greenhouse gases.
The main concern of transport companies is profitability. Investment in new engine technologies and the rising price of fuel increases costs. At the same time it is difficult to increase transport prices due to the high competition between operators. Therefore, vehicle manufacturers aim to constantly improve their performance at minimum costs. South American, in particular Brazilian, buses have always been extensively manufactured with aluminium. This experience has enabled Brazil’s to become worldwide leaders in bus manufacturing. The same applies to Chinese manufacturers. The choice of material greatly impacts the profitability. Key benefits of using aluminium:
Improved Fleet Performance
Truck fleet operators benefit from a better performance of their fleet. The use of aluminium ensures a significant cargo increase which makes the fleet much more profitable. Another fact is cost savings that result from smaller fleets with less staff, lower fuel bills and lower road toll costs.
Use of aluminium components increases the residual value of vehicles due to the high value of aluminium scrap. The aluminium components are recycled in an established process and thus land-filling is avoided. For these reasons, aluminium use in trucks, trailers and buses will continue to grow significantly.
Aluminium Looks Good Forever
Modern commercial vehicles can’t escape the pressures of industrial design. Among other things operators vehicles represent their businesses its essential for their fleets to look good and be clean. Due to aluminium’s flexible properties it is the ideal material for producing vehicles that not only look good but are easy to clean.
China: A New Era of City Buses
Recent years have witnessed a continuing population shift in China, as more people migrate from rural areas to urban settings. This inward migration presents stresses to the existing infrastructure — particularly transportation routes. As a solution China has begun implementing bus rapid transit (BRT) systems, which increase speed (due to aluminium), safety and diminish pollution.
In summary aluminium usage in the road transportation industry has been very successful due to the lightness of aluminium, the design flexibility for manufacturers and the economical way that the material can be recycled. Aluminium rolled and extruded products used by the truck and bus manufacturing industry in China is also available for export. Lodec Jinshu offer rolled, extruded and cast alloys for manufacturers.