Relieving the roads with the long HGV
In 2012, approx. 4.3 billion tons of goods were transported in Germany. Around 77 percent of this was moved on HGVs. In comparison: rail was used to transport 365 million tons, 4.3 million tons were moved as air cargo, 220 million tones transported by barge on the inland waterways. These figures were published by the Federal Statistics Office.
The Federation of German Wholesale and Foreign Trade (BGA) expects freight transport to increase by a further 2.5 billion tons by 2015. How can this volume of goods be transported on Germany's roads without causing traffic gridlock? This question has been occupying the transportation industry for many years already. The policy strictly rules out changes to vehicle heights and widths, so all that is left is vehicle length.
Krone presented a 25.25 m long vehicle at the IAA Commercial vehicle fair in 2004, which has been used for decades in Scandinavia. These so-called long HGVs with 40 t maximum permissible weight could also be brought into use on Europe's motorways to provide significant relief within a short period. They result in less fuel consumption and pollution by reducing the volume of traffic whilst at the same time increasing the transport volume by up to 50 percent.
Three concepts have been formed in Germany based on the VDA long HGV concept on existing vehicles. Earlier field studies have proved their suitability. They are: the classic 6x2 motor vehicle with attached dolly and 13.62 meter semitrailer. So that the cornering properties needed for the "BO-Kraftkreis" (defined turning circle) can be achieved, a steerable axle dolly is used. Another solution uses the standard tractor / trailer, the trailer is fitted with a trailer coupling used to pull a central axle trailer. The cornering properties of this train is achieved by using a self-steering axle on the semitrailer or by automatically releasing the last trailer's axle during the turn. The third solution is the "B-double" known from Scandinavia which consists of two semitrailers. The front semitrailer has two hydraulically steered axles to meet the turning performance of the whole train as well as a semitrailer coupling on the rear to attach the second semitrailer. The axle assembly and semitrailer coupling can be pushed under the superstructure meaning that there is a rear-flush loading and unloading capacity at the loading ramp.
These versions were tested in field trials in Germany since 2012. The first experiences have been thoroughly positive. VDA has recently reported that forwarding companies have achieved fuel and CO2savings of up to 30 percent.
Additional plus points of the vehicle: Long HGVs place less load on roads and bridges than conventional HGVs as their total weight is distributed over more axles. While conventional HGVs carry their weight across five axles at most, a long HGV has seven or eight axles. This means that each individual wheel places less load on the road. Krone is exhibiting the long HGV version with a central axle trailer at the east entrance to the Munich exhibition grounds.
Tobias Eichberg will be pleased to respond to any queries:
Tel. +49 (5951) 209-584
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