Rear guard action

Shane O’Grady and Will Samuel inspect powder used to make recycled mudguards.

A collaboration between some of the country’s leading manufacturing and transport companies will mean hundreds of plastic truck mudguards will not be going to landfill this year. Instead they will be recycled into new mudguards for heavy commercial vehicles.

The project, led by Rhino Manufacturing in Rotorua, repurposes used Rhino mudguards into New Zealand’s first recycled plastic truck mudguards.

The recycled mudguards perform in strength and colour and meet the necessary industry requirements.

Rhino Manufacturing general manager Will Samuel says the project has taken a year from initial concept, to prototype, to literally hitting the road on trucks across the country.

“We are absolutely thrilled with the development of this innovative and sustainable product that will go some way to helping the freight industry reduce its carbon emissions.

“It’s a really small step, but it’s an important one and it goes to show how a bit of creative thinking can start making a difference,” says Will.

“It’s also a cost-effective solution for trucking companies, as the recycled mudguards are the same price as new guards.

The first trucking company to use the recycled guards is TR Group.

National sales manager Shane O’Grady says the recycled mudguards are a “no-brainer”.

“We are always looking for innovative solutions to help us reduce waste and Rhino have really stepped up to the plate. We are also returning our own used guards for recycling so it’s great to see the finished product back on our trucks, having come full circle.”

Fonterra is one of the largest contributors to the recycling effort with hundreds of milk tankers on the road and over a dozen mudguards on each one. It has been a key partner in getting the product off the ground.

“We started looking at our own recycling options, but after discussions with Rhino, we liked the fact that we know our old guards are being completely repurposed for the same purpose. It’s a great example of the circular economy,” says Fonterra’s national parts and warranty manager Guy Cooper.

Will says trucking companies can return their used Rhino guards for free and shipping may also be covered, depending on proximity to the specialist plastic recycling centres.


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