Super Lorries

Errm, has anyone actually thought this through?

Superlorries weighing 60 tonnes and measuring 80 feet in length could soon be hitting the roads as part of Government plans to cut down on costs and carbon emissions.

Every time we\’ve had an increase in the allowable weight of lorries on UK roads imposed upon us by the EU (and all previous ones have been, whether this one is I don\’t know)  we\’ve had arguments about the costs of upgrading the bridge and road network to cate to them. It slightly worries me that there is no mention of such costs here.

8 thoughts on “Super Lorries”

  1. I can see some fun and games as the Great British Public tries to overtake these things on our relatively twisty A and B roads – in the time honoured, snatch-a-quick-look-and-go-like-hell fashion – and finds out the hard way they’re a lot longer than normal. Those dirty ambulances being complained of on the BBC news this morning will be even busier.

  2. Consult with a civil engineer (or whatever you call polite engineers in England) and have him explain the formula that shows road wear goes up as the fourth power of axle weight.

  3. Yes, Max, IIRC, I worked out that a 38 tonner does around 10,000 times more damage than a 1 tonne car.

    So let them pay a road tax of £1,400,000p.a.!

    I know what, lets allow even bigger and longer lorries and build special roads for them separate form the rest of the traffic. Further, lets have them run on special low-friction wheels and surfaces that lower fuel consumption even further. Once we do that, and seeing as they are on dedicated roads, we can have them guided (for why the need to steer?) and then use computer control to operate them and keep them apart.

    Oh, we did most of that 150 years ago…it is called a railway.

  4. Let’s not get too carried away – for starters, length does not correlate to weight or axle loading. It’s perfectly possible to formulate a regime for these very large lorries that does not increase axle loading over the current crop of HGV’s. Many US states do so very successfully, and allow 53-foot single trailers (= an 80-foot combination) and even-longer double-trailer combinations. It’s all in the axle loading you specify – and enforce.

    Let’s also not forget that many articulated combinations are excessively equipped for the loads they haul – when hauling low-density materials, for example, when the volume capacity of the trailer is reached long before its weight capacity is reached. For loads like that, a much-longer trailer which is still within current axle-loading limits might make a lot of sense and save a lot of fuel.

    Specify an axle loading, and let the market sort it out. If you don’t want longer combinations on some roads, then close those roads to longer combinations.



  5. How do they cope with roundabouts then? Do they just count on frightening all the other traffic into submission?

    The articulated wagons we already have, find themselves living in interesting times when they arrive in Northumberland, roundabout capital of the world.
    I foresee snarl-ups, bewilderment, stationary traffic, trailers being uncoupled in the street, and shire horses being roped in to help dispel the chaos.

  6. Just heard on Radio 2 that they are going to be road testing one today to force a legal argument through. Denbigh Transport is the company doing it!! hatch this space……

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