There are 2 kinds of axles specified in the German regulations. They are beam and split axles. In 2016, the authorities canceled the exemption for the 2-axle semi-trailers with over 12 tonnes per axle, which means that only semi-trailers with the pendle axles with 12 tonnes can receive an exemption. It is connected with the fact that the pendle axles allow distributing the weight on the road surface much better than the loaders with beam axles or independent suspension.
The German Federation of Heavy Transport and Crane Operators made a request to the Ministry of Transport. They asked to equate the two-axle trailers having independent suspension with the loaders, which are equipped with pendle axles. The request was supported by the fact that the loaders with 3 and more axles with independent suspension and pendle axles were aligned.
As a result, the Ministry of transport made a decision. First of all, they asked the Federal Highway Research Institute to compare the weight transmitted to the road while applying split and pendle axles. Besides, until the results are not ready, the authorities give the exemptions to:
- 2-axle semi-trailers with pendle axles with 12 tonnes per axle
- 2-axle low-loaders with independent suspension with 10 tonnes per axle.
Thus, the 2-axle EURO-PX with 12 tonnes made by Nooteboom has an exemption.
The situation in the other European countries
Not only Germany but also France and the Netherlands understand the advantages of the Nooteboom’s vehicles.
As for France, there are beam, split, and pendle axles. Only the pendle axles can be an exception for the higher weights if they are listed in the Cat.3. If the machinery has one of the following characteristics, it falls under the Category 3:
- the length: 25 meters
- the width: over 4 meters
- total weight: over 72 tonnes.
In the Netherlands, there are beam and pendle axles. The beam/independent suspension axles are granted with the exemption only if the weight per axle does not exceed 10 tonnes. In the case of the pendle axles, the maximum weight might be 12 tonnes.