The efficiency test conducted by three major freight forwarding companies with vehicles built by the German commercial vehicle manufacturers Daimler and Krone has revealed what fuel-saving potentials are possessed by modern trucks that are holistically optimized. In this connection Matthias Wissmann, President of the German Association of the Automotive Industry (VDA), explained, “If we use all available technical and logistic options and in addition make even further use of long trucks, road haulage traffic can still become considerably more CO2-efficient. To achieve this, all concerned must pull together – the truck and trailer manufacturers, but also the haulage companies, their customers, and the policy-makers. The road transport sector needs an integrated approach to reducing CO2.”
In the practical test a truck/semi-trailer combination was optimized, for instance with low-resistance tyres, an aerodynamic trailer and light-weight construction elements, and then two forwarding companies compared this with a conventional truck/trailer combination. In addition a long truck was tested. Fuel savings of 12 to 14 per cent, and in the case of the long truck of 17 per cent, were achieved.
Wissmann stressed, “We are doing our best to make full use of all possible opportunities for reducing consumption in haulage traffic. These include further technical and aerodynamic improvements, optimizing logistics, and in particular the long truck too. This practical test demonstrates that the long truck is a genuine green truck. Two long trucks can do the work of three conventional trucks. For instance, long trucks can achieve up to 25 per cent CO2 savings, especially when carrying light, bulky goods. Those German states that have been hesitating so far should open up quickly for the ongoing field trial being conducted throughout the country. With the prescribed assistance and safety systems, such as automatic proximity regulating systems, lane departure warning systems, automatic axle load monitoring and rear camera systems, long trucks are among the safest vehicles on German roads at all.