Maiden voyage in Scania vehicle is the latest milestone for the European Modular System.
In early April, Spain became the latest country to see a 25.25-metre and 60-tonne truck and trailer combination on its roads, with the maiden voyage of a Scania R 450.
A consortium led by Spanish car manufacturer Seat, and promoted by the Catalan Automotive Industry Cluster (CIAC), oversaw the truck’s journey to Seat’s headquarters in Martorell.
Seat Logistics director Enric Martí says, “We are very proud to lead this pioneering initiative in Spain, which will have a direct impact on the efficiency and sustainability of the logistics processes at the Martorell plant.” Martí adds that the success of the pilot test makes him optimistic about being able to cover three routes on the Iberian Peninsula with these longer trucks in the months ahead.
Environmental benefits of longer truck combinations
Spain’s parliament approved the legislation allowing longer trucks and trailers in December 2015. The country is just the latest addition to the steadily-growing ranks of nations that are recognising the sustainability of the European Modular System, which increases transport efficiency through longer and heavier tractor and trailer combinations.
“It is highly pleasing to note that more and more countries have realised the economic and environmental benefits of permitting longer truck and trailer combinations,” says Erik Dahlberg, Head of Vehicle Regulations at Scania.
“We have for many years advocated legislative changes to pave the way for longer vehicles and are now starting to see results. With longer trucks and trailer combinations, we can achieve a substantial reduction of CO2 emissions without compromising economic growth and the need for transport.”
“Necessary first step”
CIAC President Vicenç Aguilera views the maiden voyage as a very positive step for Spanish transport, saying, “We are very pleased to have achieved this milestone. It is the necessary first step in both improving logistics and transport and promoting competitiveness in our country”.
The next journey after the maiden voyage will be for the promoters of the initiative to reach the point where 25.25-metre trucks are a regular presence on Spain’s roads. At present, these types of vehicles are only allowed to travel with prior permission from the National Department of Traffic or by the Catalan or Basque traffic authorities.
The European Modular System has been in use in Sweden and Finland since decades and is also permitted in Denmark and the Netherlands. The advantages are obvious when three trucks on the road can be replaced by two.