Preparations for raising the maximum mass for lorries
The Ministry of Transport and Communications will start preparing a decree amendment to permanently raise the maximum mass of triple axle lorries to 28 tonnes irrespective of the year of registration.
The main aim of the amendment is to reduce transport costs and to improve the competitiveness of Finnish semi-trailer combinations.
In the current provisions, the maximum mass permitted for triple axle lorries registered after 1 November 2013 is 26 tonnes. The maximum threshold for lorries registered before that is 28 tonnes until spring 2018, when the 5-year transition period terminates.
Following the amendment, the maximum mass for most of these vehicles could remain at 28 tonnes beyond the transition period. Moreover, it would be permitted to conduct a modification inspection to many triple axle vehicles taken into use after October 2013 so that they would remain at 28 tonnes.
The amendment would standardise and simplify the provisions governing maximum thresholds for masses and reduce the need to extend the use of vehicles beyond their normal lifespan. To retain the road load curves reasonable, other conditions have to be set for the structure of the vehicles as a requirement for a higher mass.
The Ministry will also examine whether the maximum threshold for six-axle semi-trailer combinations could be raised from 48 tonnes to 52 tonnes. Such an amendment would make combination vehicles registered in Finland more competitive especially in transport to Sweden.
It will be examined in the drafting of the amendments how the two increases in the maximum thresholds might impact maintenance expenses for roads and bridges. The impact of the amendments on road safety and the environment will also be assessed. The effect on transport costs and the lorry markets will be assessed too.
The assessment is expected to be completed by the end of 2016.
Mr Jorma Hörkkö, Senior Government Adviser, tel. +358 295 34 2503
Mr Juhani Puurunen, Senior Specialist, Transport Safety Agency, tel. +358 295 34 5558