Given the current legislation regarding vehicle dimensions, around 160 m³ (5,650 ft³ ) is the maximum cargo volume of an enclosed on-road combination in the Netherlands. A prime example of such a big rig is this Burg semi-trailer, towed by a Scania truck. It’s a so called ecocombi with an overall length of 25.25 m (82’10”) and a legal maximum GVM of 60 metric tons.
The towing vehicle, a 2017 Scania S 450 6×2 truck with low profile tires (450 DIN-hp from a 12.7 liter inline-6).
This is the connection between the truck and the semi-trailer, a 2009 Burg tandem converter dolly.
Here’s where the dolly is hooked up to the truck. Also visible, the Scania’s liftable single-wheeled tag axle is up.
The dolly’s fifth-wheel coupling…
…and its own full tail light bar and vehicle registration plate.
Burg also built the semi-trailer, equipped with a liftable second axle and steering third axle. The Ravenhorst company made the curtain side bodies for the truck and the semi-trailer.
Lang-LKW (Lastkraftwagen), it says on the sign. That’s German for a long commercial vehicle/ecocombi. The combination is allowed to drive into Germany, however, at a maximum GVM of 40 metric tons (the Germans just can’t overcome their heavy truck phobia).
Needless to mention there a more differences between the Dutch and German regulations regarding these ecocombis. No harmonization whatsoever. What’s new?
Harmonization ? Maybe the Germans have steep hills and the Dutch don’t .
Very heavy vehicles are not particularly welcome in some places, where bridges were built 150 years ago to cope with goods vehicles that were much lighter.
The steep hills can’t be an issue with their own 600+ hp trucks and tractors (Mercedes-Benz and MAN). Let alone with 700+ hp Scanias and Volvos.
These ecocombis are only allowed to drive on the main roads, in both countries. Not on 150 year old (or much older, for that matter) bridges in ancient towns/cities.
The lower the weight limits, the more trucks or trips you need to do the same job. Hence, ECOcombi: up to 30% CO2 emission reduction.
Impressive rig, but i’m not sure it would be UK legal either. 60 tonnes sounds unfamiliar
Europe’s heavy weight champion: Finland, 76 metric tons GVM. Currently testing with combinations weighing 104 metric tons, by the way…
44 tonnes on six axles is the maximum on public roads. Current UK regs here:
Yes, 44 tons max. in many other Euro countries too.
It’s quite simple here: with the correct axle spacing, 5 axles will do for 50 tons vehicle weight. Rigid truck, rigid truck + trailer, tractor + semi-trailer; everything goes.
Note that 60 tons is only possible in combination with an extra long rig as described in the article.
Pfft, what mere puppies. Road trains all through Northern and Western Australia are anything up to 50m and at least 120 tonnes, sometimes even approaching 200 in mining areas.
A tiny bit less population, though. The Netherlands has 505 people per sq km: Australia’s Northern Territory has 0.18 per sq km. Mind you, the Dutch have about 5,400 sq km, the Territorians 1.4million sq kms, so those big rigs have to do enormous miles on those empty dirt roads. No fun at all to come up behind one on dirt, even if you get a kind driver who’ll indicate for you to pass – he’s assuming you have the balls to drive for a good minute on the wrong side of very rough roads absolutely blind, though you do come to trust it even if your gonads never do.
In the populated Southern states, also 25 metre, approx. 60 tonne max with double trailers like this one, right into the cities. Also in Aus, big rigs seem to be pretty well kept and driven, though not quite to the European standards you show.
Yes Justy -or just justy-, the Australian road trains are mighty impressive. I started reading about them in the early eighties. I even ordered this book back then. Pre-internet days, so it took a while before the postman delivered.
“The golden book of trucking in Australia”. At the bottom, “Adventure in the transport business still exists!”
Still must have it somewhere, I’m sure of that.
Thank you Johannes for these great profiles and photos over the past several weeks of so many very desirable trucks. This Scania is a great looking design. Its styling is remarkably elegant for a truck. Chromed wheels look so good on transports and trailers. I’ve really enjoyed this collection!
Those are polished alloy rims we have Alcoa alloy wheels on everything to lower tare weights.
Five axle trailers behind four axle rigid trucks are a standard H unit here max weight 58,000kg, 25 metres length is max, low profile 70 aspect tyres are standard on trucks, our axle spacings are different though, those self steering trailers are only used as semis I havent seen any converted to drawbar trailers like the above yet.
H units are only permitted on main highways above 50 tonnes and our cheaply made roads are disintegrating under them.
Why is this rig a truck towing a semi on a converter dolly instead of a conventional truck and trailer or a conventional semi trailer with a log wheelbase tractor and a dromedary box? Is there a specific requirement for axle loading?
Joe, click on the link in the first paragraph for the ecocombi options.
I’d say it is likely due to versatility. This way you can use the truck by itself and pull it up to a dock. For this rig I doubt axle loads are an issue unless they are back hauling. They seem to be a manufacturer of containers for liquid and thus cube out well before they hit weight.
Quite right, the Scania truck can also be used to tow a mid-axle trailer, forming an 18.75 m long standard combination (non-ecocombi, so to speak). Like the DAF + Van Eck rig I posted a few weeks ago.
Joe mentions a tractor with a dromedary box. Although it is theoretically and legally possible to form an ecocombi that way, I have yet to see one on the road.
A local Bakery company used to use a lot of LWB cabovers with a Dromedary, but since Class 8 cabovers are almost extinct they have gone to running doubles. But here is a street view from 2011 https://firstname.lastname@example.org,-122.3051368,3a,90y,192.1h,80.7t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sxbuJ1F1AwmciTG7ojHZfpg!2e0!7i13312!8i6656 There are still a few in the fleet though as I drive by this location frequently.
It seems as though this is not an uncommon set up for bakeries.
I came across this, the Walmart Supercube from Canada. It dates back to 2013 or so.
Technically, the trailer is a “full” trailer when it’s got a dolly under the front of it like this one, and it’s a “semi” trailer when the front of it is sitting on a truck’s fifth wheel.
Those small boat and lawnmower trailers you see behind pickups are “3/4” trailers.
And there’s your trailer trivia ration for the day.
Everything that rests on a fifth-wheel coupling at the front, and thus can be detached easily, is officially registered as an “oplegger” here. That’s a semi-trailer, translated.
As mentioned, the dolly has its own license plate, it’s registered as a “middenasaanhangwagen”, a mid-axle trailer.
That rig is too clean, efficient, expensive and smart for the USA.
The driver of the rig is too educated, too proficient, too well paid for the USA.
I’ve seen no trucks that nice here. Fed Ex and UPS do have decent rigs that are clean with usually courteous and careful drivers. A very few independent operators take care of big rigs like this. But my experience on I-80, I-90, I-25, I-40, I-17, I-70 and I-15 in the west tells me there is nothing like this out here. Our rigs are generally filthy; the drivers are discourteous and incompetent.
Again, I admire the Dutch vehicles – and probably the German ones too. I’m confident the drivers are good also.
That’s a really impressive rig – would love to see it on the road.
Had to google “Dromedary”, as I had no idea what it was. Now I know!