Combinations can be divided roughly into two types of combination. These are modular combinations and all the others not included in these. Module combinations means they are structurally more than 22.00 m long full trailer combinations and over 16.50 m semi-trailer combinations. Module combinations’ maximum length is 25.25 meters. More than 22.00 meters long combination should have ABS brakes. Finland and Sweden are the only EU countries which allow these combinations.
At least in Netherlands and UK these are in test use. Elsewhere in Europe there are pressure in taking these longer combinations into use. In Finland had also been studied the transport efficiency of extra-long HCT (High Capacity Transport) transport combinations. HCT – vehicle combination means a combination of vehicles with a length and/or mass are larger than usual, but which are not classified as special vehicles.
Full trailer combination
Full trailer combination is drawn by a truck equipped with ”pulling jaws”. Trailer is connected to the truck’s ”pulling jaws”. The official name of this combination is a combination of a car and the actual trailer. The combination is also known as full trailer or a full trailer combination. Maximum length of the combination is 22.00 meters. Modular full trailer combination’s maximum length is 25.25 meters. The maximum permissible mass for full trailer combination is 60 tons if the combination has at least 7 axles. The maximum length of the cargo space in module combination is 21.42 meters. In some southern European countries, a maximum permissible gross weight of a full trailer combination is 40 tons with five axles.
Full trailer combination can also be made of truck, dolly (apuvaunu) and semi-trailer. Dolly is a special structured center-axle trailer on top of which tractor unit is installed. Any semi-trailer can be connected to the tractor unit.
Semi-trailer combination is drawn by a vehicle equipped with a tractor unit. Tractor unit is connected to semi-trailer. Semi-trailer pulling vehicle is often called tractor or prime mover. Semi-trailer combination is often called half or truck and semi-trailer is also called trailer. Maximum length of semi-trailer is 16.50 meters and a maximum permissible gross weight is 48 tonnes with six axels. Further in south Europe largest permissible gross weight of semi- trailer combination is 40 tonnes with five axis.
Combination extended with center-axle trailer
It is possible to connect a center-axle trailer to semi-trailer combination. Same size and weight restrictions apply to this module combination as for the modular full trailer combination. This combination’s unofficial nickname is spoon – fork due to its unpleasant tendencies when it is slippery. Same restrictions apply to this module combination as for other module combinations.
Combination extended with semi-trailer
It is possible to connect to the first semi-trailer of semi- trailer combination a second semi-trailer. In this case, a tractor unit should be installed in the first semi-trailer. This combination haven’t been for long in Finland and it has established yet a nickname. The combination is called B-train or link in Sweden. (Original pictures by SKAL, edited by LM).