Around 1000 timber haulage vehicles are required to haul the 10m tonnes of softwood timber produced each year in Great Britain. Around two thirds of these will be timber lorries specifically designed for hauling roundwood logs. The remainder will be hauled on general haulage vehicles with flat beds and bolsters.
The timber lorry is an important interface between the timber industry and the public. Because timber lorries are identifiable and active on minor country roads they attract attention not experienced by most other industries.
The Road Haulage of Round Timber Code of Practice 4th Edition sets out the maximum weights and length for public road –going timber lorries. It also covers good practice with regard to loading, unloading and securing roundwood loads on lorries.
The Forum’s guidance Tread Softly provides an overview of the typical configurations of road-going timber lorries. It focuses on lower impact vehicle technologies suitable for more fragile roads such as wider tyres, double wheels and tyre pressure control systems.
Several presentations on low ground pressure vehicles and tyre pressure control systems were made at the FCE/ROADEX seminar in Perth in 2010. Other reports can be found in the Reference section.
Timber hauliers are the experts and the Forum encourages hauliers to submit Quality Statements setting out how they will address the road constraints and ensure that the timber is transported with the minimum impact on the roads and local communities.
Most road going timber haulage will use normal duty-paid fuel. There are some very particular circumstances where limited use of the public road can be made by forestry vehicles running on rebated fuel (Red Diesel). There is guidance on this but the limits of where red diesel use is permitted can be difficult to define.
The Road Haulage Association is a member of the Timber Transport Forum and we maintain links with the Freight Transport Association.