If any freight forwarder is interested in trailer aerodynamics, it’s Mustafa Celik of Celik Logistik in Iserlohn, Germany. Back in 2017, he and a vehicle builder friend converted a Standard trailer, lowering the top of the vehicle by 1.20m at the tail end. Celik was pleased to note that he was able to reduce fuel consumption by 5–10% with this trailer. He even went so far as to convert the initially rigid top into a lifting roof so that the vehicle could be used more flexibly.
Nevertheless, a few teething problems remained, and so it was a good thing that Schmitz Cargobull approached the Sauerland-based entrepreneur around a year and a half ago, because the renowned trailer manufacturer had developed a very similar idea at the same time: the EcoFLEX as part of the new EcoGeneration. Celik’s curiosity was piqued and he took a look at the trailer with the height-adjustable rear end – and was so excited that he immediately bought one.
Mustafa Celik, however, is not just full of enthusiasm. He also has staying power. Over the past 25 years, he has built a trucking group comprising five companies, 90 employees, 53 motorised units and 70 trailers and semi-trailers. “This is only possible with a strong degree of customer orientation. We want to make life easier for our customers,” enthuses the 51-year-old. Celik also has the appropriate company slogan for this: Thinking in Solutions. Celik Logistik transports steel coils in full load within Germany and to the Benelux countries – an activity making up 80% of its transport operations.
The EcoFLEX has already passed its first endurance tests, as Celik has already taken it to Ukraine twice. The reason for this was aid transport, which Celik decided to undertake in the spring of this year. “The war just wouldn’t let me rest, I had to do something,” he recalls. In late April he was in cities such as Odessa and Mykolaiv, among others, not far from the southern war front. He was able to deliver aid worth €60,000, including to fighting soldiers, for whom the provision of food is often just as difficult as it is for the civilian population. Celik mastered the tours with a lot of caution, and in collaboration with aid organisations working on the ground and many helpful and grateful locals. However,he did not feel afraid: “Otherwise you can’t do a tour like this, it would be too debilitating.”
The EcoFLEX was able to convince its new owner of its advantages right away during the many thousands of kilometres it travelled through Ukraine. “Admittedly, I was on the road with two different tractor units on the two tours. Still, I can say pretty confidently that I’ve saved up to 10% in diesel compared to conventional trailers.” In addition, he says, the EcoFLEX’s road performance was convincing and the handling of the adjustable roof was trouble-free. That’s why Mustafa Celik says without pausing for a second: “I’m totally convinced by the EcoFLEX concept.”