Comparison of the Performance of Heavy Vehicles Results of the OECD Study: ‘Moving Freight with Better Trucks’

In many parts of the world the freight transport task is primarily undertaken on public roads. The exact share is heavily influenced by the presence of other transport modes (railway, inland waterways) and the topography of the country, and for these reasons the share of road transport varies from approximately 35% (Australia) to over 70% (European Union). Worldwide, there are various regulations regarding the weights and dimensions (and accordingly, axle loads) for heavy vehicles, and as a result, the heavy vehicle industry has developed a range of transport solutions in response, leading to a wide range of vehicle combinations which vary in their design and specification. In 2010, the Joint OECD/ITF Transport Research Centre (JTRC) working group selected 38 different heavy vehicle combinations from Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) member states, and studied their performance in order to gain an understanding of the influence of their individual characteristics in three key areas; the vehicle's inherent safety, its productivity, and its impacts on infrastructure. Vehicle productivity was described using various metrics involving cargo weight and volume, energy consumption, and travel distance. Higher loading capacity and utilization (lower tare mass), and lower fuel consumption (low rolling and air resistance) can increase the efficiency as much as possible for a given travel speed and distance. Inherent vehicle safety and dynamic performance in various driving maneuvers was addressed using computer simulation, conducted in accordance with the Australian ‘Performance Based Standards’ scheme. Vehicle infrastructure performance was calculated on the basis of axle loads, tyre type and size, as per the ‘COST 334’ vehicle road wear performance analysis method. This paper presents and discusses the results demonstrated by ten of the vehicles investigated in the OECD study. Nine out of ten vehicles represent current and possible future freight vehicles for Europe, and were selected because they have particular relevance given the current debate in Europe on increased masses and weights of freight vehicles. Further, one Australian ‘road train’ vehicle was included, as it represents one of the longest and heaviest vehicle combinations permitted access throughout the world, and is useful for comparative purposes.


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  • Accession Number: 01486696
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Jul 9 2013 9:09AM