“This is pure efficiency”

StoryReading time: approx. 4 minutes
Text: Juliane Gringer
Photos: Rüdinger

Save 30 percent on fuel and costs, protect the environment, as well as the road surface – and, above all, load 50 percent more than with a standard semitrailer: Rüdinger Spedition has long recognized the potential of the long truck for itself and puts it on the road as often as possible.

Roland Rüdinger points out of his office window onto the yard of his company and asks: “Can you tell me which of these trailers is 13.60 metres long and which is 15 metres? I don’t think you can see the difference. I only recognise it myself by certain tree features that I know we have combined.” The entrepreneur, owner of Rüdinger Spedition from Krautheim in Baden-Württemberg, has one goal: he wants to optimise loading areas. “The more a driver can take with him, the cheaper the transport becomes for our customers,” he explains. Everyday transport is often not standardised – and whenever goods exceed the usual dimensions of a trailer, individual solutions are needed.

Company boss develops wider curtainsider low loader

Rüdinger has specialised in precisely such cases: Extra-wide transports, the transport of XXL unit loads as well as groupage in lifting traffic and oversized transports under tarpaulin are part of the company’s daily business. Roland Rüdinger has therefore developed, for example, a tarpaulin low-loader that can pick up overheight or extra-wide machines or equipment. “The rear of this vehicle can be widened for loading,” he explains. “This is what we are known for nationwide.”

Long saddle has pretty much only advantages

The long truck is also an ideal partner for utilising the loading area – the freight forwarder has therefore been committed to its use for a long time. “I have been involved with this topic for about two decades,” says Roland Rüdinger. His company has been participating in the large-scale trial of the manufacturer Kögel for 14 years. The haulage company itself operates long trucks of type 1 with an overall length of 17.88 metres, type 3, which is up to 25.25 metres long, and type 5 with 24 metres. Type 1 in particular proves its worth in everyday use: “This long semitrailer has virtually nothing but advantages,” says Roland Rüdinger. “We save fuel and protect the road surfaces because fewer trucks are driven per kilometre of road for the same freight volume. At the same cost to the driver, I have ten percent more loading space available and costs and fuel consumption are reduced by ten percent. That’s pure efficiency.” At his company, this 15-meter semitrailer is now displacing trailer trucks because it offers almost the same volume at a lower production cost, Rüdinger explains. “And given the current economic climate, every metre is needed after all.“

»If you want to save CO2, you should actually demand and promote the long truck.«

Roland Rüdinger, Managing Director of Rüdinger Spedition

Charge 50 percent more than on a standard saddle

He says he can load 50 percent more onto a type 3 or 5 long truck than a standard semitrailer: “That’s a house number! And if I compare type 1, the long semitrailer, with a jumbo trailer, the former consumes three litres less diesel per 100 kilometres. The operational cost reduction and the improvement of the CO2 balance run parallel here. So there are few rational reasons against the long truck.” One of the few disadvantages of the vehicle, he said, is that many shippers are not yet prepared for the additional capacity. “When you change the market, you have the problem that many players are working with old data,” Rüdinger explains. Where 33 pallets are entered as standard in the systems for a truck, the four additional parking spaces offered by the Type 1 long truck are not recorded. Type 3 and type 5 may also only be used in the Positivnetz – “and the positive network is small”. The remaining scepticism about the long truck is purely political and cannot be justified on technological grounds, explains the entrepreneur: “And anyone who wants to save CO2 should actually demand and promote the long truck.”

Expanding the positive network and linking it to industrial areas

Rüdinger would like to see politicians extend the positive network to all federal roads and motorways and link it to industrial estates. “Because where there is a lot of goods to move, you should use an efficient device.” He also calls for the release of the long semi-trailer for dangerous goods: “On an 18.75-metre-long trailer train I am allowed to drive dangerous goods, but on a long semi-trailer with 17.90 metres total train length I am not – that makes no sense. It would be beneficial for the hub transports of groupage hauliers if this were changed – they could save ten per cent of the transports. “
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