New truck cab designs that help reduce fuel consumption have been approved for use on UK roads.
The new rules will allow fleet operators to choose vehicles with extended cabs and rear aerodynamic features, which could lead to fuel savings of 7% to 15%.
The design of the extended cabs also improves the driver’s vision, thus increasing the safety of other road users. The extra space means more comfort for the driver, for example by facilitating a larger bed in sleeper cabins.
Rear aero devices are flaps that are fitted to the rear of trailers to reduce the aerodynamic drag of the vehicle without using cargo space. They were previously not allowed to be used on Britain’s roads under regulations in place since 1986.
The regulations come into force today (February 14, 2022).
Baroness Vere, Minister of Roadssaid: “This is another brilliant step, not only in our efforts to reduce emissions on our transportation network, but also to improve safety on our roads.
“I hope operators will use these new regulations, introducing vehicles with these features into their existing fleets to reduce fuel consumption and enhance safety, as we build back better from COVID-19.”
Phil Lloyd, Logistics UK Engineering Policy Manageradded: “Allowing the use of aerodynamic features and extended cabs on heavy-duty trucks is great news for our transport sector, which is looking to improve fuel efficiency and reduce emissions.
“These features are essential to help reduce emissions and improve air quality and Logistics UK welcomes the design of extended cabs which improve driver vision and provide drivers with much needed additional comfort space.”
The Ministry of Transport has published a guide to good practice on the use of rear aerodynamic devices on heavy goods vehicles in urban and rural areas.
This follows separate legislation last year to allow the roll-out of longer, greener goods vehicles, as the government responded to its consultation on longer semi-trailers reducing mileage, congestion and carbon emissions.
Author: Matt de Prez