DOUBLE TRAILER TRUCKS * Japan - Planed by Government
* Tokyo - Ministry plans double-trailer trucks to cover driver shortage
--- The transport ministry in November will start tests on using double-trailer trucks on public roads to address the serious shortage of truckers in Japan... The ministry plans to ease regulations on truck lengths and allow the use of vehicles with a second trailer in 2018 at the earliest... Trucks account for 90 percent of freight transport in Japan... However, 68.8 percent of 1,252 truck fleet operators across Japan said they were short of drivers, according to a survey conducted in part by the transport ministry in 2015. Drivers have had to work on holidays or overtime to cover demand... The continuing growth in courier services, led by the spread of Internet retailing, is exacerbating the situation... Under the ministry’s plan to let single drivers haul more freight, revised Road Law regulations would extend the maximum allowable length of a truck from the current 21 meters to 25 meters. The extension would enable a single truck to pull two large-truck trailers linked together... With an emphasis on safety, the ministry plans to only allow double-trailer trucks on highways with few curves and other thoroughfares. It will also discuss safety measures, such as requiring the installation of rear-view cameras on the truck bodies...
Tokyo, Japan - The Asahi Shimbun, by YOSHITAKA ITO - October 31, 2016