European forwarders’ organisation CLECAT has produced a position paper highlighting opposition to European Union proposals to standardise trailer heights at 4m.
It said: “We feel that there were two distinct elements to this issue. For international movements on Continental Europe, it was accepted that due to bridge heights, 4 metres was the normal operating height particularly in the Netherlands even if there are also a number of occasions in the continent when trucks exceed 4 metres high, especially at the front of the trailer.
“However, our UK member, the British International Freight Association, recently expressed their concern as within the United Kingdom many trailers are taller, with heights of 4.2 and 4.3 metres being common place.
“This allows UK trailer operators to load two decks instead of one, making the industry more cost efficient, fuel efficient and environmentally friendly.”
It points out that such a proposal from the European Commission would be hidden within the Type Approval Regulation which aims to simplify the rules and improve vehicle standards, not impose arbitrary standards that disadvantage one Member State.
“Within the road environment, the UK has different regimes to Europe, for instance trailer length and even which side of the road to drive on, therefore, CLECAT, on behalf of BIFA, strongly believes that the UK must be allowed to retain and build the higher trailers to ensure the efficient, economically and environmental sensible distribution of freight within the UK.”