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Monster trucks may ply autobahn for field trial

The Local · 17 Aug 2011, 14:54

Published: 17 Aug 2011 14:54 GMT+02:00

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The field trial of the trucks will take place in seven of Germany’s 16 states over five years if approved by the Transport Ministry, the Frankfurter Rundschau newspaper reported on Wednesday.

The participating states would include Schleswig-Holstein, Lower Saxony and Thuringia, as well as Bavaria, Hamburg and Hesse.

The test, however, is being opposed by a coalition of groups, including the ACE automobile club and the German Police Union (DPolG), who both say the trucks will increase danger for regular drivers and damage fragile roads.

“Gigaliners are nonsense,” DPolG head Rainer Wendt told the Bild newspaper. “Our roads are not built for these monster trucks, nor are drivers trained to share the road with them.”

The Pro-Rail Alliance, which lobbies on behalf of the railroad industry, is also opposed to the trucks because of concerns of competition with cargo trains.

Advocates for the trucks, which pull more than one trailer, champion their larger cargo capacity – meaning fewer trips – and lower fuel consumption compared to regular big rigs.

"They are of interest to our clients and to society in general," Fabrice Piombo, a spokesman for Renault Trucks, told news agency AFP at a trade fair in Hannover last year.

Such vehicles are legal in places like the United States and Australia, but are still largely frowned upon in much of Europe, other than the Netherlands, Finland and Sweden, where they have long been legal.

Story continues below…

If the field trial is successful, it could pave the way to eventually allowing the trucks on all German motorways.

The Local/mdm

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

16:46 August 17, 2011 by frankiep
Great! Because being surrounded by normal trucks on the Autobahnen isn't dangerous enough!
16:51 August 17, 2011 by zeddriver
Oh great! more elephant races. With the big loads it will now take twice as long for these idiots to pass each other. Use the rail network and then smaller trucks for local delivery away from the train tracks.
17:13 August 17, 2011 by neunElf
If you are really concerned about the environment you should welcome these larger trucks. Two of these units replace three of the normal sized trucks, in other words, one less engine to achieve the same result!

To think that you can continually heap loads of environmental regulations upon business and then not allow them to mitigate their costs is truly shortsighted.

After all business will only pass along their ever-increasing costs to the consumer. With the effects of the nuclear hysteria yet to make themselves known, you may want to reconsider an opportunity to keep consumer costs lower.
18:05 August 17, 2011 by The-ex-pat
17:13 August 17, 2011 by neunElf.........Two of these units replace three of the normal sized trucks, in other words, one less engine to achieve the same result!

Not forgetting the unemployed trucker that is no longer required.
18:13 August 17, 2011 by michael4096
We can all look forward to two years of bauarbeiten to make the junctions, slip roads and lay-byes monster-friendly. But, after that there will be less traffic. Hmmm
18:57 August 17, 2011 by Gretl
@neunElf - Trains are even more efficient.

Germany - please use your rail system as much as possible. Tractor-trailers with doubles or triples (allowed in some US states) are dangerous. Just say no.
22:04 August 17, 2011 by catjones
neunElf...using your logic; if two are better than one, then three are better than two. When you see one of these in your mirror on a snowy day, that wet spot in your pants won't be sweat.
00:32 August 18, 2011 by neunElf
Productivity makes us all wealthier, the superfluous trucker needs to acquire more skills.

Trains are more efficient? If that was the case the market would render trucking obsolete. I think evidence points to the truck being best, particularly when speed is concerned. At some point during a products transport it will have to move by truck! So any perceived advantage of railroads would quickly vanish by the extra handling required to get a product to its ultimate user. If it is a bulk commodity moving from user to user I would agree with trains, but for most of modern day freight that is surely not the case.
03:02 August 18, 2011 by piper1
"Gretl" Dangerous?.. Baed on what? These things have been on the road in Australia for many many years without an incident.

11:58 August 18, 2011 by DoubleDTown
Germany's autobahn is twisty, windy, no-shouldered. The Western U.S. or rural Australia it ain't.
15:00 August 18, 2011 by michael4096
@neunElf - "So any perceived advantage of railroads would quickly vanish "

Depends on your cost and subsidy model. For example, whether environmental damage is included. Currently, as the damage done by trucks appears free, you are correct
09:47 August 20, 2011 by whatsup
This is awful. Hope it doesn't happen, as it is the roads are full of trucks every day - these monstrous trucks must stay in big countries like USA and Australia. Europe is definitely not the place. They should transport more on rivers and railways.

Roads in Germany are stressful enough without bigger trucks.
20:55 August 20, 2011 by PierceArrow
Those double-trailer trucks would be OK on the Autobahnen only if the German fuel tax is raised high enough so that the truck companies themselves pay to cover the extra road maintenance.

(American truck and car drivers do not pay nearly enough fuel taxes to pay for road construction and maintenance. IOW, we American drivers are getting a "free lunch" paid for by other taxpayers.)
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