Industry not ready for higher axle load on heavy vehicles, tractor trailers

The government has increased the permitted axle load of heavy vehicles and tractor trailers by 18 per cent, allowing fleet owners to carry more goods. The notification, dated July 16, 2018, applies to the sale of new vehicles.

A separate advisory for the increase in load of existing vehicles will be issued by the road transport ministry.

Manufacturers, however, said the industry was not ready to produce such vehicles that meet the revised gross vehicle weight (GVW).

“The announcement seems to have been done in a hurry. The industry does not have these products ready. It will take three to six months to bring these changes to the vehicles. Once we are ready, it will have to be certified by ARAI. There will be a cost issue as well, though we have not estimated the increase,” according to Vinod Aggarwal, managing director at Volvo Eicher Commercial Vehicles.

The increase applies to heavy vehicles with a GVW of 16.2 tonnes and above. The GVW of a two-axle truck will go up from 16.2 tonnes to 19 tonnes.  Similarly, the GVW of a five-axle truck will increase to 43.5 tonnes from 37 tonnes. The maximum permissible load in case of trucks is now 41 tonnes and this will go up to 49 tonnes. The maximum GVW of a tractor trailer is now 55 tonnes against 49 tonnes earlier.

Mahindra Logistics Chief Executive Officer Pirojshaw Sarkari said the measure would reduce the cost of logistics and improve the country’s Logistics Performance Index.

Vinod K Dasari, managing director at Ashok Leyland, said it would not have any impact on volumes. However, upgrading the vehicles to higher loading capacity will take time since tyremakers do not have tyres of this capacity, he added.