The maximum length for trucks within the EU (European Union) is 18 meters. However, Sweden and Finland have been exempted from that rule and have had 24-meter trucks for many years. Trials have been conducted with higher payloads (74 tons instead of 64 tons) and with a 30-meter length for timber trucks. Now, the Swedish Transport Administration, Trafikverket, opens for road trains up to 34,5 meters.
As the trucks suddenly become 10 meters longer and much heavier, the requirements for the vehicles, the trucks, have been updated. The new regulations on this are mainly about improved trailer hitches and brakes.
So far, there are no requirements concerning special driver’s licenses for road train drivers even though the Swedish Transport Workers´ Union has pointed that out. The union seems to generally be a bit negative as they also claim that the longer trucks increase the risks for accidents in connection with overtaking.
They start rolling on December 1st
From the 1st of December 2023, a continuous road network for 34,5-meter trucks will open in Sweden. The road network consists of 4.500 kilometers of designated roads (pointed out by the Administration and the municipalities) plus 1.400 kilometers of state-owned, connecting roads. Apart from those, all designated municipality-owned roads should be added. In total, we are talking about close to 6.000 kilometers of roads that will open for the new road trains on the 1st of December.
Also, the National Road Data Base has been updated with a special layer for the road train roads.