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Trade body optimistic about future directive

06 June 2014 #CV Sector #News #Policy #Top Stories

The new directive on the weight and dimensions of trucks devised by the European Transport Committee has been met with optimism by trade body ACEA.

The sector has been lobbying for changes to the weights and dimensions of these vehicles for some time and ACEA (Association des Constructeurs Européens d’Automobiles) feels that any new legislation should give manufacturers plenty of lead time to understand the regulatory framework before it is implemented.

Erik Jonnaert, ACEA Secretary General, said, “Industry should have the flexibility to make use of the revised rules to deliver even cleaner and more efficient trucks in the most cost-effective manner.

“The industry is committed to continuing to improve truck safety. Safety technologies that prevent accidents happening in the first place are the best way forward.”

One issue is the proposal for re-designing truck cabs. Jonnaert said, “The lead time granted to the industry must reflect the complexity and expense of this exercise, bearing in mind that trucks are very complex to design and are also produced in small volumes. This lead-time should respect the product lifecycle for a new truck, which is on average 10-15 years. This means that manufacturers need to know about a new regulatory framework several years before its implementation.”

Another area of contention has been the extension of current maximum lengths of vehicles and the combinations of vehicles. ACEA believes that it will give more flexibility to OEMs to drive further efficiencies into their designs, while Freight on Rail, a campaign group for rail freight operators, believes that extending the length of HGVs is an accident waiting to happen.

Philippa Edmunds, Manager at lobbying group Freight on Rail, said, “International use of mega trucks could result in more road fatalities increased road congestion, pollution and road damage.

“Even the European Commission admitted mega trucks were more dangerous than existing lorries.”

These concerns have already led European Transport Ministers to block the European Commission proposal allowing mega trucks, up to 25 metres and weighing up to 60 tonnes, to cross international borders.

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