As heavy vehicles are primarily responsible for road wear, the introduction of Smart Trucks or Performance Based Vehicles (PBS), continue to yield great benefits including vehicle safety and the protection of road infrastructure.
Road wear remains one of the biggest challenges on South African infrastructure. With a paved road network that has an estimated value in excess of R2 trillion, the cost of South Africa’s road maintenance backlog is nearing R417-billion, according to research undertaken by the University of Cape Town (UCT) School of Economics.
Research shows that smart trucks are more road- friendly per ton of payload with a recorded R24 500 road-wear cost reduction per vehicle. Trailers for smart trucks are designed to achieve a low centre of gravity, and in certain instances, they will incorporate additional axels and tyres for improved stability and safety.
Smart Trucks or Performance Based Vehicles (PBS) continue to yield great benefits
In a side tipper application, seven smart trucks are equivalent to ten standard trucks, thus leading to a reduced number of trucks on the road, road-wear, congestion, as well as a reduced accident rate.
Adrian van Tonder, Senior Manager: Technical from Barloworld Transport, notes that results from the road-wear assessments on this combination show that per ton of payload moved, road-wear is about 50% less than a standard legal side tipper because of the extra axels and double wheel tyres on a smart truck. In essence, it carries 14 tonnes more but has 50% less road-wear per ton of payload moved.
Smart Trucks have shown significant benefits over prescriptive vehicles, including a saving of 11.4 million kms and close to 75 000 trips saved per year.
“At Barloworld Transport, we are proud to have grown our smart truck fleet to 80 vehicles this year, saved YTD 5 800 trips, while moving the same amount of payload and saved over 800 000 litres of diesel. For us, it has been a success story as this also means sustainable benefits for our customers,” concludes van Tonder.
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