National Trial of Longer Semi-trailers 2013 Update

In 2011, the Department for Transport announced a 10 year trial of semi-trailers which are 1 or 2m longer than the current UK standard. This followed a research study, a feasibility study and impact assessment which suggested that the additional length would yield benefits in terms of both carbon emissions and fuel efficiency, due to the reduction in the number of journeys required to move the same amount of freight.

The trial will involve 100-150 UK hauliers and 1800 trailers. Risk Solutions were commissioned to set up and run a data collection and evaluation process, independently of either DfT or industry bodies. We took the lead in creating a system to gather raw journey data to DfT's specification. We have engaged subsequently with haulage company representatives from smaller operators to the UK’s biggest retailers and independent haulage groups to assure the quality and consistency of the data gathered. In 2013 we were re-appointed to support the trial for a further 2-4 years, with a view to supporting the evaluation exercise once the database has been sufficiently populated to support robust analysis.

Our ability to bring together technical and analytical skills with positive stakeholder engagement has resulted in a strong client relationship with DfT and very positive feedback from the industry participants.

Trial participants can send any enquiries related to the data collection aspects of the trial to Risk Solutions at 

Any enquiries not related to the data collection or analysis should be addressed directly to the Department. This includes queries about the allocation process and enquiries from hauliers wanting to participate in the trial at a later date.