In what at first glance seems like a contradictory move, the British government is pushing gigantic trucks as a way to cut carbon emissions and costs.
The trucks are called LHVs, for longer, heavier vehicles, or “superlorries”. They are similar to the Australian “road trains”, although they are a bit smaller. It consists of two trailers joined together behind a single engine. The trucks can carry 60% more than normal trucks, which cuts down on costs and carbon emissions.
The trucks that will be used in the upcoming government trial will be a maximum of 83 feet long and as heavy as 60 tons. A normal trailer is around 54 feet long and weighs up to 40 tons. That’s a 30% increase in weight capacity, but a 60% increase in storage capacity. The “superlorries” are common in several Scandinavian countries and the Netherlands.
Many people will question the safety of such vehicles. However, a recent study found that they were just as safe as normal trucks. A study in the Netherlands found that traffic and road casualties were actually reduced because the trucks reduced overall vehicle mileage. However, they do have less manoeuvrability, and if there was an accident there would likely be greater damage due to the trucks’ increased weight.
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