Major players in the parcel, 3PL, retail and bakery transport sectors are concerned with European Commission proposals to limit the height of UK trailers. The Freight Transport Association (FTA) has been asking operators for evidence to support its call to protect the current systems which gives UK operators the right to operate trailers above four metres.
Andy Mair, FTA’s Head of Engineering Policy, said: “All the evidence points to the fact that many significant operators in the UK use trailers that would be outlawed if EC proposals went ahead; the cost-saving and CO2 benefits of higher trailers would be lost too.”
The EC’s proposal on masses and dimensions for type approval (which ensures that manufacturers of vehicles comply with certain safety and environmental standards) threatens to remove the existing derogation which allows vehicle and trailers in the UK to be set at over four metres. Following intensive lobbying, the leading trade body was encouraged when the EC announced it would consider lifting the height limit to 4.88m for double-deck trailers. However, this does not go far enough.
Mair continued: “The truth is that there is a substantial chunk of our logistics sector that operate trailers over 4.88 metres. Ideally, we would like the height limit for all trailers, not just double-deck, to be set to at least 4.95m.”
The leading trade body has now sent its findings to the Department for Transport. Evidence from the survey shows that:
- Some cages used on double deck trailers brought the overall height to over 4.88m.
- A lower height would mean that ‘double-stacking’ would not be possible
- Also, some products moved in stillages (caged pallets) are stacked with no room to spare height wise and even a small reduction in height would result in the loss of one stillage per stack less.
- Bakeries had specific issues where the factory automated stacking systems stack to a height which fits perfectly with a 4.95m double deck trailer with no headroom to spare. Any reduction in height would mean the loss of the top stack, which would have to be manually un-stacked before loading.
For more information http://www.fta.co.uk