New truck cab designs that help to reduce fuel consumption have been approved for use on UK roads.
The new rules will allow fleet operators to choose vehicles with elongated cabs and aerodynamic features fitted on the back, which could result in fuel savings of 7% to 15%.
The design of elongated cabs also improves driver vision, boosting safety for other road users. The extra space means more comfort for the driver, such as by facilitating a larger bed in sleeper cabs.
Aerodynamic rear devices are flaps that are fitted on the back of trailers to reduce the vehicle’s aerodynamic drag without using up load space. They were previously not permitted for use on Great Britain’s roads under regulations that have been in place since 1986.
The regulations come into force today (February 14, 2022).
Roads Minister Baroness Vere, said: “This is another brilliant step, not just in our efforts to reduce emissions across our transport network, but also to improve safety on our roads.
“I hope operators will make use of these new regulations, introducing vehicles with these features into their existing fleets to reduce fuel consumption and boost safety, as we build back better from COVID-19.”
Phil Lloyd, Logistics UK’s head of engineering policy, added: “Allowing the use of aerodynamic features and elongated cabs on HGVs is fantastic news for our transport sector, which is looking to improve fuel efficiency and reduce emissions.
“These features are vital in helping to reduce emissions and improve air quality and Logistics UK welcomes the design of elongated cabs that improve driver vision and provide drivers with much-needed additional comfort space.”
The Department for Transport has published good practice guidance on the use of aerodynamic rear devices on HGVs in urban and rural areas.