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European lawmakers have finalised a set of regulations that will result in the eventual manufacture of new, aero-designed lorries that improve driver visibility and reduce fuel consumption. The new lorries will not likely arrive on the market for a few more years but when they are available, future HGV training will be adjusted to accommodate the improved design.

News reports say the aero trucks are longer with streamlined cabs that can improve a driver’s field of vision by as much as 50%. That should enable HGV drivers to see cyclists, motorcycles and other vehicles that would otherwise pose a collision threat. The new designs have been a long time coming for safety advocates trying to reduce fatal crashes between bicycles and lorries.

Companies involved in the haulage industry favour the new design as well, particularly for the fuel savings these should offer. Early estimates suggest that the best aero designs could improve fuel efficiency from 7% to 10%. With every bit of fuel saved, profits grow proportionally. Therefore, haulage companies want to see the vehicles in production as soon as possible. Manufacturers, on the other hand, are not necessarily keen on the idea.

They successfully lobbied lawmakers to delay the full implementation of the regulations until 2022. Furthermore, compliance with the aero design standards will not be mandatory. Manufacturers are concerned that the new designs, combined with safety rules to be introduced next year (2016), could be too costly if they are forced to begin implementation right away. Manufacturers are expected to begin voluntarily producing their new lines sometime after the safety regulations are finalised.

New Training Guidelines

Once the new lorries start hitting European roads, we anticipate the development of new training guidelines to accommodate the improved aero design. Having longer trucks, for example, will require some modifications to how drivers operate vehicles on congested city streets. Greater visibility will also mean new guidelines in terms of dealing with cyclists and other city traffic. Overall, things should turn out better for both HGV drivers and those they share the roads with.

Until that time, companies such as the HGV Training Centre will continue to provide training based on the types of lorries most haulage companies are using today. Our commitment is to produce competent and safe drivers capable of meeting employer expectations for productivity, efficiency, and safety.

Our training programmes are built on the philosophy that the best drivers are knowledgeable and skilful drivers. We focus our training on the information and practical skills that our students need to pass their tests successfully, not on things they do not need to know. Furthermore, we employ a proven, fast-paced approach that enables our students to learn and retain the required information. We can have most students trained and ready to look for work in a matter of weeks.

Your career as a lorry driver begins with reliable HGV training. We are committed to providing that training, both now and in the future.

Sources:

  1. Motoring Research – http://www.motoringresearch.com/car-news/aero-shaped-lorries-approved-by-europe-0313967412

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