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Heavy Goods Vehicles

Volume 35: debated on Monday 17 January 1983

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asked the Secretary of State for Transport if he will compare the relative damage done to roads by a five-axled articulated heavy goods vehicle carrying a maximum permitted gross weight load of 32·25 tonnes and a five-axled articulated heavy goods vehicle carrying a maximum permitted gross weight load of 38 tonnes.

The Construction and Use Regulations permit a gross weight of 32·52 tonnes for articulated vehicles with four axles, and this is the most common type of vehicle used today for heavy freight transport. The road damage from this vehicle when fully loaded is about 2·1 standard axles and its damage number, ie standard axles per 100 tonnes of payload, is about 10.The road damage from a fully loaded 38-tonne articulated vehicle with a 2 axle tractor and a 3 axle semi-trailer, to be permitted from 1 May 1983, is also about 2·1 standard axles, but because of the higher payload the damage number of about 8 is less. The damage from a vehicle with a similar axle configuration loaded to a gross weight of only 32·52 tonnes would be about 1·4 standard axles and its damage number about 7.