In the absence of better arguments, those opposed to the LHV, or longer heavier vehicle, are constantly using pseudo-reasoning to make their opposition clear. Of course, it helps that in Germany people are able to defame the truck in general, and in particular the LHV by using false arguments, since doing so is popular and serves both publications and rates. Even the wildest anti-truck theories are often taken as the whole truth and simply repeated by editorial staff.
An unfortunate example was recently provided by the Automobil-Club Verkehr (ACV), a German motoring club, in an article in the Augsburger Allgemeinen, a German newspaper.
The article states:
“When overtaking what are known as Longer Heavier Vehicles – also called longliners or super lorries – drivers on country roads should plan to use at least 50 more metres than usual. ‘These gigantic trucks are difficult to overtake, and doing so requires more time than normal’, says Annabel Brückmann from Automobil-Club Verkehr (ACV).”
The passage contains more scare-mongering than truth. Most drivers do not even notice when they overtake a LHV on the motorway, as the procedure takes less than a second longer than for a normal truck.
Of course, this also applies to country roads. Lets do the maths:
if the LHV is driving at the legal maximum speed on a country road, that is 60 km/h, then it is travelling 16.66 metres per second. If a car is travelling at 100, then it covers 27.77 metres per second. With a difference of 40 km/h, the car is travelling 11.11 metres further per second than the (long)truck, which is travelling at only 60 km/h. Instead of the 1.7 seconds it takes to drive past a ‘normal’ truck (which is 18.75 metres long), the car requires 2.3 seconds to pass a LHV, that is 0.6 seconds more. The car will travel 16.6 metres in those 0.6 seconds. Why the car should plan for an extra 50 metres more to overtake the LHV, as suggested in the article, is not apparent. But even if that were the case, it would take less than two seconds.
The ‘extra time’ LHV opponents cite for overtaking is only pertinent if you consider a truck overtaking a truck, with only 1-2 km/h difference between the overtaker and the overtaken, but not in the everyday scenarios most seen on the roads. If a ‘normal’ truck overtakes another truck on the motorway with a difference in speed of 2 km/h, then the overtaking truck requires 32 seconds in order to pass the other normal sized truck. This time is 10 seconds longer for an LHV. The delay for the driver behind the truck comes, therefore, less from the fact that an LHV is being overtaken, and more from the much smaller difference in speed.
If a truck overtakes another truck on the motorway with a difference in speed of 20 km/h, then the overtaking truck requires 1.5 seconds more to overtake an LHV than it does to pass a normal sized truck.
Frustrating for the industry, of course, is not just the frivolous propaganda spread by car drivers and train lovers, but more importantly the fact that even media editors, who are otherwise well known for their careful research, simply accept any nonsense as fact provided that shows trucks in a bad light. Even completely false information, e.g. that LHVs weigh 60 tons and drive over tiny round-abouts and old bridges, is often spread by the media with absolutely no proof. If you believe that, you must also believe that hammerhead sharks make great carpenters. Eco-liners weigh – just like ‘normal’ trucks – only 40 tonnes and may only drive on roads on which there are no too-small round-abouts or old bridges.
Similar articles: Keep calm…one week without lorries!