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economy | IST

New axle load norms: Experts divided on government's move

In a move to give a boost to the auto industry and the logistics sector, the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways on Tuesday increased loading capacity for trucks and heavy commercial vehicles.
The government is changing the truck loading norms after 35 years.
Trucks, trailers can now carry extra load of up to 25 percent. According to the new norms, the maximum weight for single axle vehicles with four tyres is 11.5 tonnes, while for 2-axle rigid vehicles is 21 tonnes. The weight limit for 2-axle puller tractor for hydraulic trailer is 28.5 tonne, while the weight, in no case, shall exceed 49 tonnes for rigid vehicles.
Talking about the impact of the government's notification, Chander Agarwal, managing director, TCI Express said that the notification would not decrease the cost of transportation as it depends on fuel cost. However, he added that the move will make transportation more efficient since one can carry more goods on one truck.
“Overall saving on transport cost could be only around 1-1.5 percent,” said Agarwal.
While Vinod Sahay, CEO-trucks & buses division, M&M, said that the overloading could lead safety hazard.
"To adhere to the norm there will be couple of changes that the vehicle manufacturers will have to do to the vehicles ... the changes could be related to steering, brake and most importantly the tyre size which will have to be changed," said Sahay.
"It could take around one-year for the vehicle manufacturers to be able to leverage the full-axle capacity according to new norms," he added.