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Aerodynamic trucks to be fast-tracked

The days of climbing into a bluff-fronted cab appear to be numbered. New regulations governing truck and trailer length will allow more aerodynamic trucks, such as the concept picture above (photo credit: Wikipedia/Spielvogel).

Designed to slip through the air rather than displace it with bluff-fronted force, these new aero trucks will offer lower operational costs and improved safety.

The change to the shape of cabs has been announced by the EU. It accelerates the introduction of streamlined cabs which was scheduled for 2022.

Directive exemption

Cabs have been designed upright thanks to an EU directive on the combined length of cabs and trucks: the regulations led to the optimisation of load area over compression of the cab space.

In 2014 regulation was passed to allow a further 80cm for the cab - but not until 2022. However, a derogation - or exemption - has been allowed to bring this forward.

The European Commission explained that, besides important aerodynamic improvements from elongated cabs, “such cabs would also provide benefits in terms of better visibility for drivers, improved safety for other road users as well as safety and comfort for drivers.”

It means more fuel-efficient aero cabs could start appearing on the roads as early as next year.