A British company involved among other things in International distribution, logistics, and heavy haulage, wants to bring “superlorry” to the British roads. The “supervehicle” is not only heavier but also 30ft (nearly 9m) longer than a normal lorry. The company wants to launch it for lightweight goods such as cereals and aluminium cans because conventional lorries run out of space before they run out of weight.
The vehicle is 25.25m (83ft) long. In comparison, a normal articulated lorry is 16.5m (54ft) long. The company argues that the lorry could take more lightweight goods to replace three existing trucks and still meet the UK weight limit of 44 tonnes. It would reduce the amount of accidents and CO2 emissions.
The vehicle has been modified, especially in the lorry’s middle set of wheels maintaing the same turning circle as in conventional articulated lorry. The company faces however legal issues. While its lawyers argue the lorry complies with all the current regulations, the government disagrees. The problem lies around the interpretation of “towing implement”‘ in the regulations. The Department for Transport argues this refers to recovering a vehicle after an accident or breakdown. The company assures that if the superlorry turns out as illegal, it will pull it off the roads.
The objectors to the longer vehicle argue that despite the tight turning circle, bigger lorries are simply not suited to Britain’s roads, and would take freight away from rail. Stephen Joseph, from the Campaign for Better Transport, asks: ”The question about these mega-trucks is where do you stop? So we get 25m lorries that can carry 44 tonnes, then they’ll carry 60 tonnes, do we then end up with 50m lorries carrying 100 tonnes – where does this stop?”