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Lorry convoy trial soon

Technical issues not related to a DLOC car marque, eg tyres, ethanol, other car makes, etc. and legal, political and insurance
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Re: Lorry convoy trial soon

Post by theoldman » Sun Aug 27, 2017 10:07 pm

ps - don't start me on railway problems, Peter, as I do in fact have all the answers as to why these problems exist - and you probably won't like them!! :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen:
Normal for Norfolk

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Re: Lorry convoy trial soon

Post by Barrie » Mon Aug 28, 2017 3:42 pm

Here's another view on the situation:
Three or more lorries now have only one driver.
So two or more lorry drivers are out of work.
That's tough for them and they may find other work at some other time.
Whilst they are out of work the Treasury looses their tax, their national insurance contribution (3% I think) and their employers NI contribution (11% when I last checked)
There may also be some element of support given by the State to support these newly superfluous lorry drivers whilst they retrain/find another job/remain on permanent benefit.
The employers have effectively employed a robot to improve efficiency but only pay a marginal rate on increased profitability.
There will consequentially be a substantial net deficit the the Treasury.
Maybe the answer is to tax robots when they take over a human's job?

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Re: Lorry convoy trial soon

Post by John-B » Mon Aug 28, 2017 3:59 pm

I believe that a driver must always be in the cab of the following lorries to take over if necessary, but as convoys become common, many drivers will just fall asleep and will be slow to disengage the link when necessary. The drivers of the following lorries will be needed when they leave the road that allows convoys. The benefit of convoys is supposed to be that vehicles can be closer together and steer, brake and accelerate as one unit.

The Australians manage road trains OK, but the trailers are physically linked. In this case the link is by WiFi which is unproven, but may work the same way. The proviso is that a vehicle alongside must be able to break the links and move in between the lorries if it's in an outer lane and wants to leave by a junction. Australian drivers have to brake and move behind the last trailer and seem to manage OK but perhaps this will be more difficult on UK's busy motorways.

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Re: Lorry convoy trial soon

Post by New Dexter » Mon Aug 28, 2017 4:47 pm

There is and will continue to be, a shortage of lorry drivers in this country which is why so many haulage and distribution companies employ drivers from the Continent. There are some inherent dangers with this as they are driving on the "other" side of the cab and "other" side of the road. Speaking to one company's assessor recently there have been times when he has assessed a driver who has never been in the UK before, has never driven a RHD vehicle and yet thinks he can drive here. He added that his assessment vehicle was not fitted with dual controls, it would be any one taken from the fleet and there had been times when he had had to hurl himself across the cab to grab the handbrake and steering wheel to avert a potential accident.
There is a company in Lincoln, Denby Haulage which had proposed the use of what were called "double bottoms". A strange description because it was just an articulated lorry pulling a drawbar trailer. There have been videos demonstrating how manoeuvrable these outfits are yet the DFT refuses to accept them. Essentially one driver drives an articulated lorry with a drawbar trailer at the back, arrives at a designated location and hands the second trailer to another driver. The Australians have been using road trains for years because they have far greater distances to cover, they don't have the railway infrastructure that we have left and there are many more gauge changes in Australia than there are here.
I have my doubts as to the efficacy of driver less vehicles. I was listening to someone the other day expound his views against these and he had a very good argument. I think he was the unsuccessful Labour Party candidate in one of the West London constituencies but he had a very cogent argument against them.
Why there is a need in town I am not sure. There are 'buses and trams for the overland short hops. The driver-less lorry argument seems a strange one. If there are drivers in the following vehicles what would they be doing there? The argument that they could follow more closely and thus enjoy the effect of slip streaming is a possible benefit but why not assemble a road train somewhere, drive on to the motorway or other designated approved route and continue to a disassembly point where the trailers could be taken over by other drivers with articulated units. Something like that, travelling at 56 mph would not be a danger to others, providing it was hauled by something with sufficient power and it might stop some of the "last minute Larries" from changing from lane 3 to the slip road in about 50 yards and at 70 mph as there would not be a gap, just and only just big enough for them to squeeze into. You might note that most of these drivers have Audis, the "new" BMW drivers. A for Audi, A for arrogant A for A******. Fill in the spaces at your leisure

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Re: Lorry convoy trial soon

Post by New Dexter » Mon Aug 28, 2017 4:55 pm

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Re: Lorry convoy trial soon

Post by John-B » Mon Aug 28, 2017 5:55 pm

Well, that's a mini roadtrain. I'm in favour of those. Another vehicle can tell that the trailers are attached, and Australian roadtrains have notices fore and aft to warn other drivers.

The convoy trial is for three separate lorries which will be longer than the Denby Eco Link and vehicles alongside may be confused.

The other concept we have heard about is that in the future any vehicle will be allowed to join a linked convoy, which could be miles long and mixed lorries and cars, and leave it at will. When in a convoy, drivers would be able to read, sleep, play cards, etc. Advanced cruise control, linked to the vehicles in front and behind. We're not ready for that yet!

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Re: Lorry convoy trial soon

Post by NickDeAth » Mon Aug 28, 2017 8:25 pm

If I remember correctly Mr Denny actually took that unit on the road to provoke a test case in court and challenge the current regulations. His legal eagles maintained it conformed to regulations.

As soon as he got it on the public highway there a traffic officer waiting to stop and charge him. (He bad already told the local police what he was going to do).

The case went to court and he lost.

"Nick - do you think you will ever put that old car back together again?"

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Re: Lorry convoy trial soon

Post by Christopher Storey » Thu Aug 31, 2017 5:57 pm

I have heard of some daft ideas in my time but this one, even by the standards of gormless civil servants and even more gormless ministers, ( or should that be the other way round ) takes the biscuit . What happens when e.g. the middle lorry of 3 suffers a power loss. It slows, but lorry 3 which is still connected to and governed by lorry 1 carries on regardless ? I need not spell it out, and there are countless similar situations where disaster would be inevitable . And all this was published on a day when 2 lorries under human control , with no significant volume of traffic around, managed to run over a minibus with catastrophic consequences

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Re: Lorry convoy trial soon

Post by Sydsmith » Fri Sep 01, 2017 11:58 am

There is so much research going on into fuel saving and therefore pollution saving, the purpose of some of the ideas are difficult to follow.

I am all for it and the sooner we solve the pollution problem the safer the future for our children will be.

Couple of points, the first one I made in an earlier post, could someone point me to where it says these convoys will have just one driver?

Second point, I contend there is a shortage of heavy goods drivers because the wages are so poor. Many of the drivers hauling hundreds of thousands of pounds worth of truck and goods are paid little more than £10 an hour and are expected to sleep in motorway service areas winter and summer in what amounts to a mini caravan. Who wants a job like that? I know companies like Stobart's pay a good deal more but they also demand a great deal higher skill, which many of the heavy goods drivers don't have

Third point, as I understand it, it costs just under £2,000 to get the training and pass the test for an HGV articulated licence, how many out of work folks who might otherwise train as HGV drivers can afford that. Few firms will pay those fees these days as once qualified and with a couple of years experience the new drivers are off to pastures new leaving the employer out of pocket.

I am convinced the answer lies in containers on the rail, rails are almost unused over night, what's wrong with over night transport to rail hubs then trucks to finish off the journey, it used to work, lifting gear is so much more efficient now, why can't it work now

Huge tankers run from Caernarvon in the north of Wales to Pembrokeshire in the south every day, then run back the other way ready for the following day, fresh milk coming down, left overs from Cheese making on the way back, that lot could all go on one train and be there and back over night, even though it means going the long way round. Our coast road is packed with Mansel Davies tankers 7 days a week, 24 hours a day winter and summer holding up impatient drivers who cause accidents almost daily in frustration.

Up to the late 60's our milk, coal, fuel and post came to Aberystwyth by rail on one train over night and it worked, none of that now comes by rail and the goods yard is a shopping centre, the whole lot comes in trucks struggling over Plynlymon and the A44, polluting the fantastic scenery and travelling on the most dangerous road in the UK, with so many slow moving trucks coming over the mountain, is it any wonder almost every week there is an accident on that road.

Bring back a sensible rail system, it makes sense.

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Re: Lorry convoy trial soon

Post by Keith Aubrey Pearson » Sat Sep 02, 2017 10:04 pm

I suppose that this will mean "elephant races" up hills with convoys racing instead of single lorries. Although I suppose a robot would be a better drive, not given to eating Greggs pies, smoking and texting all the time.

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