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Acumen Distribution joins select number of UK operators chosen by the Department of Transport to begin a ten year trial of longer semi trailers

Acumen has been allocated four 15.6 metre trailers, which it is trialling in partnership with Johnson Control Automotive to help reduce CO2 emissions.

The Freight and Logistics Division of the Department for Transport (DfT) has commissioned the study to examine the feasibility and impacts of allowing longer semi-trailers to operate within the British road haulage market. The primary objective of this study is to establish whether the introduction of longer semi trailers will deliver overall economic, environmental and communal benefits.

The 15% increase in volume carried by each longer semi-trailer has enabled Acumen to run 3 less trips per week on behalf of Johnson Controls Automotive on a regular Midlands – North East – Midlands roundtrip. This equates to 63,000 road miles per annum. This is clearly helping the environment, reducing fuel consumption, decreasing traffic congestion and providing greater operational efficiency.

"We have been focusing on our environmental policy for a number of years and have attained ISO 19001 and ISO14001 accreditation", said Chris Doughty, Managing Director. "Being chosen as part of these trials has enabled us to take our environmental aspirations one step further".

The current UK maximum semi-trailer length is 13.6 metres. Some vehicles, particularly those carrying lighter consumer goods, tend to reach their payload volume capacity before their gross vehicle weight (GVW) limit of 44 tonnes. Additional semi trailer length would enable such vehicles to carry more cargo within the existing GVW restrictions, even if the increase in the weight of the semi-trailer led to a reduction in the maximum payload weight carried. The purpose of the trial is to ascertain whether longer semi-trailers will provide operating efficiency gains and reduced environmental impacts if fewer vehicles are required to carry the same volume of goods.

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