Even in the Czech Republic, we can already meet a variety of trucks regularly, differing namely in length. These are so-called "gigaliner" road trains. In addition to their length, they also impress with what is characteristic of all these sets - they have two orange beacons in the cabin and a third in the rear. Usually marked vehicles for the transport of excessive loads, such as construction machinery or parts of power plants. However, our vehicles carry food in four temperature regimes in one combination. HOPI has been using these two Roadtrains for two years and now two more new sets have been added.
Types of Roadtrains
After a very good experience with operating two combinations of vehicles consisting of a three-axle "solo" vehicle on a Scania R500 6x2 * 4 chassis, a Krone Dolly trailer with a semi-trailer turntable and a standard Krone semi-trailer, HOPI decided to use a different version. To move goods on the route Jažlovice - Prostějov, it now uses two other sets consisting of a Scania R500 4x2 tractor, a Schmitz semi-trailer with a towing device and a "tandem" lift of the same brand. These types of sets are relatively common in automotive or parcel transport, less common in the FMCG segment. All superstructures of our "Roadtrains" meet the strict ATP FRC standards for food transport.
Strict rules and restrictions
These 25.25 m long trains may only travel on motorways on a precisely defined route subject to permission from the Ministry of Transport as special use of roads for the transport of particularly heavy or oversized loads and use of vehicles whose dimensions or weight exceed the extent specified by special legislation. Part of the approval process at the Ministry of Transport is the consent of the Traffic Police of the individual regions through which the route leads. The operation of this combination has certain limitations: Arrival at the place of loading or unloading will not be longer than 10 km and at the same time there will be no level crossing. The point is that if the warning lights came on when the train was already at the level crossing, it would not have to leave the level crossing in time due to its length. Gigaliners are also not allowed to drive on their route in reduced visibility due to worsened weather conditions and poor road passability (in winter). The maximum weight of the set is also defined, which is 48 tons.
Emphasis on safety
It is not possible to sit anywhere behind the wheel of this set, driving requires safe and defensive driving. It must therefore be an experienced driver. Both in terms of driving skills and in terms of road behavior. Before setting off on the road, make sure that the beacon on the semi-trailer or trailer is working. The other two beacons, which must be in full operation, are also on the vehicle. There must be a reflective marking on the rear of the combination which warns other road users of the overall parameters of the combination. The new two sets also include another safety element - a reversing camera, located on the upper rear edge of the trailer, which transmits the image directly to the tractor cab. Like the Roadtrains, all other HOPI sets are equipped with both passive and active safety features such as Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC), Lane Departure Warning (LDW) or Advanced Emergency Braking (AEB).
Direction to the future
Thanks to their capacity of 51 pallets, two "extended" Roadtrain-type vehicles replace three standard ones. It saves not only fuel, the environment, but also human resources. In combination with ecological and powerful engines and quality drivers of our fleet, these long sets are a clear direction for the future, not only within the Czech Republic, but also for the movement of goods between individual countries of the European Union, where HOPI operates.