DfT is planning a major trial of around 3,000 25m artics on Britain’s roads this year and will drum up support for the trial by giving Denby Transport permission to use its Eco-Link B-double road train as a demonstrator from next month.
Denby Transport chairman Dick Denby, who has been lobbying the government to trial the vehicle for over 20 years, told CM DfT is looking at issuing a Section 44 permit to enable the Denby Eco-Link B-double road train to take to the road from 1 March.
The move follows a recent survey of hauliers which was requested by DfT as evidence of industry appetite for the 25.25m 60-tonne B-double road trains.
The survey revealed overwhelmingly positive feedback, with 80% of respondents stating their intention to adopt the vehicle.
Dick Denby told CM: “DfT wanted to know if there was sufficient interest for a trial of 3,000 trucks. The survey showed there is - and getting the Denby Eco-Link onto the road will draw even more interest.”
He added: “I am currently in discussions with DfT officials on the parameters of the Section 44 licence and hopefully we will get on the road very soon.”
HazComp MD Kevin Buck - another advocate of the 25.25m 60-tonne B-double road train, who is also working with the DfT on the trial plans said: “In parallel to issuing the section 44 permit for the Denby vehicle, the DfT will be considering how a wider trial would operate, including inviting interests from other operators.”
He said the 25.25m 60-tonne B-double road trains are a “win win” for operators.
“They increase productivity significantly per pallet moved, whilst reducing operating costs, as two of these vehicles can do the same work as three standard 13.6m articulated vehicles.
“Fuel consumption is much lower per pallet moved, meaning emissions are also significantly reduced, which benefits all.”
He called on operators to waste no time in applying to join the trial once it is launched. He said: ““I would encourage as many operators as possible to issue an early expression of interest with the DfT in participating in such trials of the 60-tonne road train within the UK.”