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Vehicles (trucks, trailer, semitrailer)

Classification of vehicles for freight transport

There are many types of road vehicles, however the Directive 2014/47/EU, on the technical roadside inspection of the roadworthiness of commercial vehicles circulating in the Union, applies to the following categories:

  • Motor vehicles designed and constructed primarily for the carriage of persons and their luggage comprising more than eight seating positions in addition to the driver’s seating position — vehicle categories M2 and M3;
  • Motor vehicles designed and constructed primarily for the carriage of goods and having a maximum mass exceeding 3,5 tonnes — vehicle categories N2 and N3;
  • Trailers designed and constructed for the carriage of goods or persons, as well as for the accommodation of persons, having a maximum mass exceeding 3,5 tonnes — vehicle categories O3 and O4;
  • Wheeled tractors of category T5, the use of which mainly takes place on public roads for commercial road haulage purposes, with a maximum design speed exceeding 40 km/h.

Vehicles approved for load securing, EN 12642

To facilitate load securing operations, the so-called vehicle superstructure is used if possible. For example, the walls are used for securing by blocking, local or general. Being able to secure the load without using lashing devices, such as web lashings, chains, ropes, speeds up loading operations and subsequent unloading operations.

To take advantage of this possibility, vehicles approved according to EN 12642, Strength of vehicle body structure shall be used. These can be approved with “L” or “XL” code. The latter are to be preferred as they can withstand higher load forces, making the use of lashing devices unnecessary in some cases.

The following diagram shows the logical process to evaluate the correct use of a vehicle approved according to EN 12642.

Logical process to determine the correct use of vehicles approved according to EN 12642
Logical process to determine the correct use of vehicles approved according to EN 12642

Precautions when using EN 12642 approved vehicles

Even in the case of using a vehicle approved according to the EN 12642 standard, it is necessary to adopt some precautions to ensure safety during transport.

  1. Although the structure of the vehicles is reinforced and designed to withstand the load forces, the resistance is still limited. Therefore, based on the load mass and the friction factor, the formulas provided by the EN 12195-1 standard shall be applied to verify that the vehicle offers sufficient blocking capacity.
  2. Once the previous point has been verified, the loading shall be carried out in such a way as to fill the empty spaces. Unless otherwise indicated in the approval certificate according to EN 12642, the sum of the empty spaces in each horizontal direction shall not exceed 15 cm. In fact, an excessive empty space would cause, in the event of an emergency maneuver, the impact of the load with the wall with consequent damage.
  3. In some cases, vehicles are approved for carrying a specific load, such as beverages. Therefore it is necessary to carefully check the indications, and the limitations of use, reported on the certificate certifying the approval according to the EN 12642 standard.

Therefore, too casual use of approved vehicles must be avoided, tempted by the fact of being able to avoid in any case resorting to securing the load by lashing.

Vehicle models approved according to EN 12642

Among the various models available on the market, the following are worth mentioning.

SCHMITZ CARGOBULL: this manufacturer offers a wide range of semi-trailers approved with code “XL” according to the EN 12642 standard. They range from general models, suitable for various types of loads, to models designed for specific goods. This is the case, for example, of vehicles approved for the transport of steel coils, paper reels, beverages, tires. There is also a model with a two-storey system, which makes it possible to make the most of the space when transporting non-stackable loads.

KRONE: anche questo produttore offre una vasta gamma di soluzioni adatte a tutte le esigenze, dai modelli generici a quelli specifici per certe tipologie di merci, compreso l’allestimento specifico per trasporto di componenti automotive.

KRONE: this manufacturer also offers a wide range of solutions suitable for all needs, from generic models to specific models for certain types of goods, including specific equipment for the transport of automotive components.

Which model to choose?

In case of repeated transport of specific goods, it is convenient to use dedicated vehicles. These are equipped with the necessary devices to speed up loading and securing operations, improving safety and reducing times.

Instead, for the transport of goods of various types it is more convenient to focus on generic models, to enjoy greater versatility.

Vehicles not approved according to standard EN 12642

In questi casi le pareti devono essere considerate come un elemento di protezione del carico dalle intemperie, ma non come un elemento di fissaggio.

In these cases the vehicle walls shall be considered as a load weather protection, not for securing.

It is therefore necessary to resort to securing the load by lashing, calculating the minimum number of web lashings, chains, ropes according to the EN 12195-1 standard.