The DfT is planning a major trial of around 3,000 25-metre artics on Britain’s roads this year and will drum up support by giving Denby Transport permission to use its Eco-Link B Double road train as a demonstrator from next month.

Denby Transport chairman Dick Denby, who has been lobbying the government for over 20 years, told that the DfT is looking at issuing a Section 44 permit to enable the 25.25m 60te B Double to take to the road from 1 March.

The move follows a recent survey of hauliers which was requested by the DfT as evidence of industry appetite for the vehicle.

The survey revealed overwhelmingly positive feedback, with 80% of respondents stating their intention to adopt it.

Dick Denby told MT: “DfT wanted to know if there was sufficient interest for a trial of 3,000 trucks. The survey showed there is - and getting the Denby Eco-Link onto the road will draw even more interest.”

He added: “I am currently in discussions with DfT officials on the paramenters of the Section 44 licence and hopefully we will get on the road very soon.”

It is understood that the vehicle will undergo a series of tests ahead of a wider trial.

HazComp MD Kevin Buck - another advocate of the 25.25 metre 60-tonne B Double, who is also working with the DfT on the trial plans said: “In parallel to issuing the section 44 permit for the Denby vehicle, the DfT will be considering how a wider trial would operate, including inviting interests from other operators.”

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He said the vehicles are a “win win” for operators.

“They increase productivity significantly per pallet moved, whilst reducing operating costs, as two of these vehicles can do the same work as three standard 13.6 meter articulated vehicles.

“Fuel consumption is much lower per pallet moved, meaning emissions are also significantly reduced, which benefits all.”

He called on operators to waste no time in applying to join the trial once it is launched. He said: “I would encourage as many operators as possible to issue an early expression of interest with the DfT in participating in such trials of the 60-tonne road train within the UK.”

The vehicle is a double-axle tractor with a short double-axle semi-trailer equipped with a second fifth wheel connected to a second 13.6m double-axle semi-trailer.

Supporters argue the it offers a much more efficient use of road space with two of the vehicles able to be used more efficiently than three standard 16.5m semi-trailer combinations. In addition 52 pallets can be carried per vehicle rather than the normal 35, cutting the number of trucks used and reducing fuel consumption.

They also conform to the standard 13.6-metre turning circle requirements of a conventional 44-tonne articulated vehicle.

The vehicles are already in widespread use across Holland, Scandinavia and Spain.