Tagged: trucks

0

Ministers consider allowing longer lorries with bigger loads on the roads to cut down on pollution

  • A fleet of 1,800 extended trailers are currently being driven around the UK 
  • At 15.65m, they are two metres longer than currently allowed on the roads
  • This allows them to carry two more rows of pallets or three rows of goods cages
  • Ministers see lengthening HGVs as a simple way of cutting carbon emissions

|

View
comments

It is unlikely to be popular among motorists attempting an overtaking manoeuvre.

But longer lorries could be allowed on the roads to tackle congestion and cut down on pollution, according to a government-sponsored report published yesterday.

A fleet of just under 1,800 extended trailers are currently being driven around the UK as part of a trial launched by the Department of Transport five years ago.

The ‘semi trailers’ – which have wheels at the back and are supported at the front by a truck – are two metres longer than currently allowed on the roads – at 15.65metres instead of 13.6 metres.

This allows them to carry two more rows of pallets or three rows of goods cages compared with existing trailers.

Longer lorries could be allowed on the roads to tackle congestion and cut down on pollution, according to a government-sponsored report published yesterday (file image)

Ministers believe extending the maximum length of lorry carriages may be a simpler – and cheaper – way of cutting carbon emissions than improving engine efficiency and investing in electric vehicles.

The government has also been exploring whether to extend to maximum overall length of articulated lorries – including the truck and trailer.

This is currently 16.5 metres for standard lorries and 18.75metres for lorries with more than one trailer – known as road trains.

The data has been collected by independent data firm Risk Solutions.

Based on the information gathered so far, it has concluded that they have cut down on journeys, emissions, and accidents.

Its report found that the longer lorry carriages have resulted in between 125,000 and 150,000 fewer journeys during the course of the trial, with between 15.1million and 17.8 million vehicle kilometres saved.

Individual operators were able to cut up to one in nine journeys.

The average saving in distance of journeys of 5 per cent was also used to provide a rough estimate of the reduction in emissions.

The government has also been exploring whether to extend to maximum overall length of articulated lorries – including the truck and trailer (file image)

Ministers hope to save 3,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide – the greenhouse gas which causes global warming – over ten years.

Around 319 million kilometres have been travelled in total by these lorries.

The report also said these longer lorries were involved in fewer accidents per kilometre but admitted there is no reason why they should be inherently safer.

It said this could be because drivers taking part in the trial had to undergo special training.

The government provided 1,800 extended semi trailers to haulage companies wanting to take part when the trial began in January 2012.

These companies had to secure a special license to drive these longer lorries legally.

Over the past five years they have submitted detailed logs of their journey, showing the start and end location and time, the nature of the journey.

Crucially drivers have had to record how full the carriages were.

This is the key measure as longer carriages will only cut down on the number of journeys – and reduce congestion if the extra two metres is used.

But the findings were dismissed by one campaign group, which said longer lorry carriages are more dangerous.

It said the findings are based on ‘flawed assumptions’ that longer lorries will lead to fewer more fully loaded trucks on the roads.

The extra-long lorries and reduce congestion if the extra two metres is used (pictured: the view onto the M20 in Kent)

Philippa Edmunds, manager of the Freight on Rail campaign group said: ‘Despite what the Department for Transport claims, longer semi-trailers are not the answer to reducing collisions, congestion or pollution and are actually more dangerous than standard HGVs on urban and town centre roads, because of their 7ft tail swing and extended blind spot.’

She added: ‘There is no question that longer semi-trailers save operators money, but this is because these bigger trucks result in lorries paying even less of the costs they impose on the economy and society with the taxpayer picking up the bill in terms of more road crashes, road damage, congestion and pollution and this is simply unacceptable.’

It could be some time before longer lorry carriages are allowed on the roads.

In January the government extended the trial by another five years, meaning it will not finish until 2027.

The Department of Transport has said that there will be up to 2,800 longer semi-trailers on the roads by the middle of next year. 

 

References

  1. ^ e-mail (www.dailymail.co.uk)
0

Shell Rotella’s Starship Truck to debut early 2018

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. – If Captain James T. Kirk and his sidekick Spock were to get behind the wheel of a big rig, surely Shell Rotella’s Starship Truck would be an obvious choice.

Providing a sneak peek into the details of its Starship Truck initiative, Shell Rotella plans to unveil its next generation vehicle early 2018 with a coast-to-coast tour, showcasing what the company says will be a more fuel efficient option for long haul transportation in a world where energy demand will continue to rise.

Bob Mainwaring, technology manager of innovation for Shell Lubricants, said the overall goal of the Starship Truck is to produce a more energy efficient vehicle that can minimize the amount of energy needed to move goods.

With transport trucks currently getting anywhere between six and 6.5 mpg fuel efficiency, the Starship initiative aims to design a truck that can at least double that mark by improving roll resistance, aerodynamics, and engine efficiency.

When measuring energy efficiency, Mainwaring said people must get away from their tendency to simply look at miles per gallon as the gauge of success.

“Miles per gallon is the metric, but I don’t think it’s the best metric,” explained Mainwaring, saying the focus should rather be on freight-ton efficiency, which measures how much fuel is used to move a certain amount of cargo.

For example, one truck moving one ton of freight at 10 mpg would equate to 10 ton mpg, while one truck moving 20 tons of freight at 7mpg would equal 140 ton mpg, a more efficient freight-ton efficiency, Mainwaring said.

To enhance the overall efficiency of a truck, Mainwaring divides the multitude of options into two categories – those that reduce energy demand, such as lightweight components, auto tire inflation systems, exhaust aftertreatment, and aerodynamics, and others that enhance the efficiency of energy delivery, like the engine, transmission, regeneration, and solar energy capabilities.

Facing what he said were three hard truths the world is facing moving toward 2050 – increased energy use, lack of resources, and energy security – Mainwaring said it is imperative that transportation, which makes up 35% of the world’s energy use, become more efficient.

To emphasis this need, Mainwaring underscored that by 2050 the world’s population is expected to increase to nine billion, people in cities would reach 75%, and energy demand would increase by 200%, all of which could have a significant impact on the environment.

“Because transport is the largest segment, you have to pay close attention to it if you’re going to reduce CO2 emissions,” Mainwaring said.

Chris Guerrero, global heavy duty engine oil brand manager, Shell Lubricants, said the Starship Truck initiative was the perfect example of “the beauty of the American can-do spirit,” while Mainwaring added that it is imperative that we not put off until tomorrow what we can do today.

Shell Rotella Starship Truck model.

0

AAA studies say better safety technology in large trucks could prevent up to 68000 crashes

CINCINNATI —

AAA research recommends that large trucks have more advanced safety technology to save more lives.

From 2012 to 2016, the study said there were 103,833 crashes involving large trucks in Ohio resulting in 811 fatalities and more than 29,000 injuries.

Advertisement

AAA’s most recent study shows that six out of 10 adults feel less safe driving past large commercial trucks than driving past cars.

Greater Cincinnati roads have a constant volume of large trucks. AAA Driving School manager Mike Belcoure said the safety measures are especially needed for drivers in greater Cincinnati.

“You can’t go on any of the major highways around here — 71, 75, 275 — without being surrounded by semi trucks. If you think about 6 out of 10 people are uncomfortable,” Belcoure said. “I thought it would have been more. We need to figure out a way to make people more comfortable around trucks.”

AAA said updated technology in large trucks could prevent up to 63,000 truck-related crashes each year.

“Things like lane departure learning systems or on-board video safety systems that help the driver monitor the traffic and cars around them so they are not leaving lanes when cars are in their blind spots,” Belcoure said. “You are talking about thousands of less crashes a year and hundreds of less deaths a year. Just adding lane departure warning system or the video safety — the on-board safety monitoring. Even something as simple as the truck having air disc brakes. It saves lives and makes it more safe on the road.”

Until changes are put in place, Belcoure said remember those no zones while driving. If drivers can’t see the truck drivers in the side mirrors then they are too close.

AAA studies say better safety technology in large trucks could prevent up to 68,000 crashes.