Based on research conducted over the last six years, Scania Transport Laboratory has shown that by driving with two full-length trailers, Scania reduces fuel consumption by up to 30%. The Swedish Transport Agency has now granted permission to operate tandem truck rigs of 31.5 meters (103.3 feet) in total length—i.e., two full-length trailers—between Södertälje and Helsingborg in Sweden.
Scania gathered data while transporting materials under realistic operating conditions between its production units in Södertälje, Sweden and Zwolle in the Netherlands.
The Transport Laboratory has already been able to demonstrate a halving of CO2 emissions per tonne-kilometer from 2008 to 2012, due to skilled drivers, optimized vehicles and lower average speed. Another step is now being taken to show how heavy vehicles can reduce climate emissions to 20 grams per tonne-kilometer.
The haulage service has been operated to date using rigs of 16.5 meters, which is the maximum permitted length today for the tractor-semitrailer vehicle combination in most European states, with the exception of countries such as Sweden and Finland. For the truck-trailer combination, a maximum length of 18.75 meters applies in most European states, while countries such as Sweden and Finland, permit 25.25 meters.
There are positive environmental effects of longer vehicle combinations but unfortunately it is difficult to find support for this issue in many European countries. It is really gratifying that the Swedish authorities are taking action to obtain these benefits. To achieve an equivalent climate effect through vehicle development would take several years.—Erik Ljungberg, Senior Vice President, Corporate Relations at Scania
The decision of the Swedish Transport Agency was preceded by the Swedish Transport Administration’s stability tests on vehicle combinations of 31.5 meters in order to ensure that these vehicles do not present any risk, for example during sudden evasive manoeuvres.
Our long haulage services will not cause any disruptions to the pace of traffic and we will quite easily be able to maintain the legal speed limit of 80 km/h [50 mph].—Anders Gustavsson, Managing Director of Scania Transport Laboratory