Dear HVTT Forum Subscribers,
I hope this newsletter finds all of you and your families in good shape in these unusual times. Life here in Europe has changed significantly for most of us because of Covid pandemic. Schools and universities are mostly closed and education is being practiced as e-learning. People are encouraged to limit social contact and, if the profession allows, to work from home. To a certain extent it is rather pleasant as one has more time to spend with the family, though combining normal work duties with role of home teacher, especially for small children, requires some patience. Teleconferencing represents a special category of tools which became ‘’our daily bread’’ on a large scale. Personally, I do not find it that inconvenient as it keeps you focused on the topic, on the other hand it can develop into a rather high adrenaline event due to the unexpected intrusion of children, which I experienced myself number of times in past weeks. So, let us hope life gets back on the old track soon.
In this newsletter I would like to kindly invite you again to visit our new HVTT Forum webpage and if you like provide us with feedback. The same holds for following our LinkedIn channel, which we want to use in the future to reach a wider audience with HVTT updates and announcements.
Furthermore, I want to briefly share with you the current status of High Capacity Transport here in the Netherlands. Almost twenty years after the introduction of European Modular System (EMS) vehicles – having maximal allowed length and weight of 25.25 meters and 60 tonnes, respectively – the Dutch ministry of Transport is exploring a further step towards an even more sustainable way of road freight transport through the employment of so-called Super Eco Combinations (SEC).
These combinations, which are also known in the world as A-doubles, consist of a tractor and two classical semitrailers that are intercoupled with converter dolly. SEC are already allowed in Finland and pilot tests are being executed in Spain, Sweden and Norway. For the Dutch conditions it is expected that the length of combination reaches approximately 32 meters, which represents about 7 meters more than currently operating EMS vehicles combinations. The maximal weight for SEC is accounted to be 72 tonnes which should be distributed over eleven axles. Currently, there are ongoing discussions between the Dutch National Road Authority, Vehicle Regulator and the Transport Companies, to shape the plan of the pilot project for the coming years. At the first stage the risk analysis with the strong focus on traffic safety needs to be elaborated by the Transport Companies and submitted to the Vehicle Regulator, which will subsequently test the SEC on dedicated test terrain expectedly within this year. Based on the successful outcome of the test results it is foreseen that a limited number of SEC will get permission to operate on specified corridor between the logistic hubs, most likely nearby the cities of Rotterdam and Venlo for a duration of one year. During this test period the interaction of the vehicle combination with the infrastructure will be primarily investigated. Hopefully, we will see the results published in some of the upcoming HVTT conferences.
As for the weather, we are having here in the Netherlands a beautiful start to the spring, that is full of sun, blooming flowers, and surprisingly without any rain…terrible weather indeed, considering we shouldn’t be going outside much.
All the best and take care,
HVTT Forum Vice President, Europe