In May 2023, following a trial of around 3,000 vehicles, the Government announced that from 31/05/23 the maximum length of articulated lorries on British Roads is increasing from 16.5m to 18.55m. The Government sees the introduction of Longer Semi Trailers (LSTs) as an important, easy and affordable measure to continue to reduce CO2 emissions from the haulage industry without significant technological and infrastructure development. As the UK leading experts and manufacturers of vehicle access turntables, Movetech UK consider the implications of these new Longer Semi Trailers (LSTs) on truck turntables in new and existing developments.
The most efficient turntable size for 16.5m trucks is Ø15m turntable with a Ø17m ‘swept circle’. The ‘swept circle’ being the area in which the lorry overhang rotates beyond the turntable. As the new maximum lorry length of 18.55m is already beyond the current swept circle diameter, the question for organisations with an existing turntable-equipped yards is: Will my existing turntable accommodate the Longer Semi Trailers?
The simple answer is probably not. Using the dimensions of Longer Semi Trailers from the Don-Bur website it looks theoretically possible to get an 18.55m lorry on our Ø15m turntable, however vehicles would need to be parked extremely accurately with the front and rear wheels only just be on. However, with the significantly longer rear overhang of the LSTs this would mean a swept circle of just less than Ø21m. This space requirement will be outside the scope of the original method statement, therefore operators of existing turntable-equipped yards should contact Movetech UK to help assess whether they have the space to safely rotate 18.55m lorries on an existing Ø15m turntable.
For clients considering the most efficient use of space for new developments that wish to accommodate LSTs the question will be: What size of turntable do I need for the Longer Semi Trailers?
The smallest ‘swept circle’ in which we can comfortably rotate an 18.55m long truck is Ø19m. By keeping the turntable diameter down to Ø17m we can reduce the risk of the vehicle being parked off-centre by keeping the front wheels near the edge of the turntable, but still allow for a margin of error from the driver when positioning the truck. Our standard Ø17m turntable used for road trains, or wagon-and-drag, is perfect for this new longer articulated lorry.
In conclusion, the 2.05m increase in maximum vehicle length for articulated vehicles will likely mean that operators of existing Ø15m turntables will have to specify that they can only accommodate 16.5m vehicles. Meanwhile developers of new facilities that wish to accommodate LSTs will require 25% more area in the yard to rotate these longer vehicles than they would if they limited vehicle length to 16.5m.
QT0360-1 HGV Turntable Options With LST:
[Featured Image] Current Maximum 16.5m Articulated Lorry on Movetech UK Standard Ø17m Turntable Installed at a Dutch DC