Acumen Distribution has grown its fleet of longer semi-trailers from four to 18 15.65m units.

In June the Department for Transport admitted that it would be “highly unlikely” that its target of 1,800 longer semi-trailers would be on the road by the end of December 2013.

It subsequently changed the application process to participate in the trial.

Acumen said that following the changes it was able to obtain licences for a further eight 15.65m trailers from the DfT, and the RHA put the company in touch with another operator who had two licenses that were surplus to requirements.

“For our customers with high load volumes, such as automotive parts, there is a strong argument for the use of longer semi-trailers as they offer approximately15% extra load capacity,” said MD Chris Doughty adding that it was making nine fewer trips per week – equivalent to 189,000 road miles a year - to a “major Tier 1 automotive supplier” on a regular Midlands/ North East roundtrip.