Trends and developments in construction and infrastructure

Posted by Iep van der Meer on Feb 2, 2018 9:02:05 AM

Sustainability, health and safety legislation and accessibility are important topics in construction. Complex and heavy machines and building materials often need to be delivered deep into the city centre and there are no real alternatives to this. Small trucks are often unsuitable, given the dimensions and weights of the cargo. Furthermore, even if this was possible, more vehicle trips would be necessary for the same transport capacity. Sustainability therefore also goes hand in hand with efficiency. After all the more efficient the transport, the fewer vehicle trips are needed. This not only reduces the emissions per transport capacity, there is also less disturbance for area residents and other traffic.

Manoeuvrability is also a crucial aspect. In particular, the vehicle length increases when transporting long loads such as structural steel, piles and machines that are necessary for construction. To be able to move in the tight city centre, steered axles are indispensible. In low loaders with individually-steered pendle axles, the steering angle is no less than fifty degrees. There is also a 550 mm long suspension stroke, making it easy to take obstacles such as higher traffic islands or kerbs. These vehicles make it possible to deliver indispensible construction machines into the heart of the city.

Lower is better

Aside from the weight of the load, the height of the load such as machines and steel constructions also sometimes poses a hindrance. The maximum transport height is four metres, and a low vehicle is a must to be able to transport everything within this limit. That alone is a good reason to choose a trailer. For example, the Broshuis SL series has a ride height of only 85 centimetres. That means that objects up to 315 cm in height can be loaded within the legal rules. However, the legal framework is not the only thing that sets limits: there are physical obstructions such as cycling bridges, roofs or overhead lines that limit the clearance. So the lower the better, but then while still retaining load capacity.

Emission requirements

Extendible trailers such as the semi low loader and the low loader are indispensible for construction transport, including in the cities. For a number of applications, box trucks can also be considered, but these are then quickly vehicles with a complicated superstructure and therefore a longer amortization period. The advantage of trailers is that they use tractor units that are relatively cheap and can easily meet the latest emission requirements. This is possible because a tractor unit is easy to switch to a more sustainable, quieter version with the latest technology. In the future, electric motive power will be possible, even for the heaviest applications. The advantage of standardised trailers and low loaders is that the current generation of pulled vehicles can be used together with these future electric vehicles. This again proves the value of the trailer concept. This not only applies to special transport, but also to tippers and concrete mixers. There too, a tipper quickly has the advantage because of the characteristics above.

Safety first

Governments rightfully continue to invest in a cleaner and safer living environment. This does not have to conflict with the needs of contractors and transporters when good agreements about this are made. Setting the maximum dimensions for lorries in an inner city, as we sometimes see, is not preferred. Firstly, this is because cities should not be about the admission requirements for vehicles in this country. Transporters cannot be expected to use a different type or model of vehicle for every city. That would lead to the highest inefficiency and therefore an unnecessarily polluting logistical supply chain. Instead of this, local governments also need look into the possibilities that modern transport equipment offers today. Not using more smaller trucks for the same transport capacity, but precisely using larger, cleaner and safer vehicles should be preferred. This leads to fewer vehicle trips and therefore less nuisance, lower emissions and fewer safety risks. By putting more focus on tractor-trailers, it is then easier to implement environmental policy on urban transport. We now already have great alternatives to diesel with HVO, LNG, Hybrid and even fully electric vehicles that can be used directly in combination with trailers.

Topics: Semi low loader, low loader, English, special transport