James Jones & Sons Ltd is partnering with Volvo in a three year trial of electric timber trucks, funded by Scottish Forestry. The project is the first of its kind in the UK. The trial will test the use of state-of-the-art electric timber wagons to transport timber.

Around 7 million tonnes of wood are harvested from Scotland’s forests each year and transported to sawmills, board manufacturers and other processors, mostly on 44 tonne diesel lorries. The forestry sector, whilst inherently green, is keen to use modern technology to tackle timber transport issues as part of its overall efforts to decarbonise and reach Net Zero.

James Jones & Sons Ltd, one of the largest sawmill groups in the UK, will trial a 40 tonne articulated lorry from its sawmill in Lockerbie to transport timber to its Hangingshaw national distribution centre.

Joint Managing Director, David Leslie, commented “Whilst James Jones & Sons is prioritising reducing timber miles through local round wood purchasing and selling sawn goods to markets close to the Group’s sawmills, the trial will give the industry a valuable insight into the suitability of such vehicles in the timber sector over the next 3 years. Timber is our only natural renewable resource and whilst transport is a major factor in the country’s CO2 emissions, growing commercial trees is the most effective way of capturing the CO2 and storing embodied carbon in timber products, such as construction timber and pallets, for the future.”

A key element of the three year trial is that all the partners involved are committed to sharing their experiences of running the electric lorries with others in the timber and rural haulage sectors.

Creel Maritime consultants will monitor the use of the lorries and arrange knowledge exchange opportunities over the course of the following three years.