The UK has been trialling the use of longer semi-trailers and now comes a report from the nation’s Department for Transport showing there are significant benefits from using longer trailers.
The ten-year trial commenced in 2012 and involves the use of trailers that are up to 2.05m longer than the standard 13.6m units commonly seen on UK roads.
Five years in, the report says the longer trailers are helping to reduce truck movements and that is bringing both environmental and safety benefits.
The report says of the vehicles involved in the trial, the ability to be able to carry more load on each truck, has helped cut truck movements by one in nineteen.
While the trucks have been involved in around 70% fewer personal injury collisions and casualties than the average for ‘standard’ semi-trailers.
The Freight Transport Association (FTA) has welcomed the positive results so far.
“The success of the longer semi-trailer trial is clear and undeniable,” Christopher Snelling, FTA’s Head of National and Regional Policy.
“The success of this project shows what can be gained from adding marginally to the dimensions of our road freight fleet – massive carbon, air quality and safety benefits can be achieved right now.
“Weights and dimensions should be looked at in a rational, evidenced based manor and not simply rejected because some campaigners do not like the sound of them.”
In Australia, current national laws require semi-trailer trucks to be less than 19 metres in total length.
We’ll bring you further details on the UK trial as additional info comes to hand.