Audit reports
You are here: Home / Audit reports / Products / Annual Reports / 2018 spring report / Slider / Reporting item 1 - Adequately study the impact long vehicles have on road infrastructure

Document Actions

Reporting item 1 - Adequately study the impact long vehicles have on road infrastructure

Apr 10, 2019

Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure
Departmental budget No. 12
     

Long combination vehicles may have a length of up to 25.25 m that exceeds standard lorries (maximum 18.75 m), but are subject to the same weight restrictions as these and may weigh up to 44 tonnes under certain conditions. Although they are subject to the same weight restrictions, long vehicles are in fact often much heavier than standard lorries. Both with and without a load, they often carry more weight on the road. There are five major types of long vehicles (see figure below). Type 1 is currently tested until the end of 2023.

The Federal Ministry of Transport discontinued its study of the impact long vehicles have on the road infrastructure without having gained reliable knowledge. Long vehicles may have a length of up to 25.25 m that exceeds the length of standard lorries (maximum 18.75 m), but are subject to the same weight restrictions. The Ministry had temporarily approved the operation of long vehicles in a field test. The Ministry had recorded the number of long vehicles in use and done monitoring research on their operation. From 2017 up until the time of our audit work, the Ministry had granted approval for road operation to four out of five heavy road vehicle types. At the same time, the Ministry had discontinued data collection and the monitoring study on the operation of long vehicles.

In the field test, potential problems had been highlighted such as parking on rest areas, undersized emergency stop bays and an increased fire load in tunnels, roundabouts, driving on construction sites and overtaking on by-roads. The field test and the research study had not yet provided any reliable results.

In our view, it is crucial for the Ministry to pursue recording the increased operation of long vehicles on roads. If the number rises significantly, the Ministry will have to review the impact on infrastructure and traffic safety. This will help the Ministry identify in a timely manner what steps to take and what expenditure is projected for road infrastructure.

Heavy lorries and combination vehicles

© 2019 Bundesrechnungshof