In an earlier post, Gary showcased some pretty cool big rigs from across the globe. These were special trucks; ones called "road trains."
A road train,
roadtrain or land train is a method of trucking used in remote areas of
Argentina, Australia, Mexico, the United States, and Canada to move
heavier freight as efficiently as possible. The term is most well-known
in Australia, however. A road train consists of a relatively
conventional tractor unit, but instead of towing one trailer or
semi-trailer, a road train pulls two or more of them.
The heavy grill at the front of this road train is to protect the truck from kangaroo collisions!
Early road trains consisted of "traction engines" pulling multiple wagons. The first road trains ran across South Australia's Flinders Ranges in the mid nineteenth century. Australian Kurt Johansson is recognized as the inventor of the modern road train, which were used initially during World War II to carry tanks.
Schematic of popular trailer arrangements
Current Usage Across the World:
Australia: When it comes to road-legal vehicles, Australia has the largest and heaviest in the world. A two-trailer road train is legal in most areas of Australia. A three-trailer road train is allowed in just some of the territories (New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia, Western Australia and the Northern Territory. Quads (four-trailer) vehicles are allowed in South Australia, Western Australia and the Northern Territory. The vehicles offer extensive hauling convenience, though their operation is governed by strict regulations regarding licensing, registration, weights and experience.
Canada: In Canada, road trains are most frequently called Long Combination Vehicles (LCVs). Doubles and triples are allowed in most places. A "Queen city triple," similar to B in the schematic above, is the longest combination truck in North America.
United States: In the United States, trucks on public roads are limited to two trailers and a dolly to connect measuring 63 feet long or less. However, triples are allowed in Idaho, Oregon, Montana, the Ohio Turnpike and the Indiana East-West Toll Road.
Europe: In Finland, Sweden, Germany the Netherlands, Denmark and Norway, trucks with trailers are allowed to be 82.8 feet long. Elsewhere in the European Union, the limit is 61.5 feet.
Mexico: Total road train length is restricted to 82 total feet in Mexico.