Maximum road train length: allowable vehicle dimensions
Maximum road train length: allowable vehicle dimensions

Cargo transportation is very developed nowadays. To meet a truck on the track is a given, not a rarity. There are more and more such machines, and they themselves are becoming more and more. For this reason, today we will talk about the maximum length of the road train and everything connected with this issue of dimensions, in addition, we will also touch on the situation in other countries, as well as the prospects for the development of the sphere.


The maximum length of a road train according to the current rules is twenty meters (with one trailer). The rules give a clear explanation of the length. A single vehicle must not exceed twelve meters in length, a trailer for motor vehicles must also not be longer than twelve meters, and the maximum length of a road train with a trailer, as we said above, must not be more than twenty meters in length.

It is important to say that the length of the road train includes the length of the tow hitch (drawbar). For example, a truck in lengthis ten meters, his trailer also has a length of ten meters, but do not forget that the drawbar of the trailer is two meters, the total length of the road train will be twenty-two meters, not twenty meters. In this case, the maximum permissible length of the road train will be exceeded by two meters. This is a violation, it is worth considering.

maximum permissible length of a road train
maximum permissible length of a road train

Other dimensions

But dimensions are not measured by the length of one. We found out the maximum length of the road train, now it's time to talk about its other allowable dimensions. The rules clearly state that the width of the road train must fit into a dimension equal to 2.55 meters (2.6 meters for refrigerators and isothermal bodies). In terms of height, there is a limit of four meters above the road surface.

It is allowed to transport cargo in road trains that protrudes two or less meters beyond the rear edge of the trailer. In addition, the movement of a road train with two or more trailers is allowed, but this is regulated by separate rules. This is an ambiguous question, we will touch on it below.

permitted train length
permitted train length


We all know that the traffic police do not miss the opportunity to talk with the driver of the road train. Drivers say there is always something on a road train that is a violation.

Although there are also such drivers of road trains, to whom there is simply no option to find fault. First of all, traffic police officers are interested in precisely the questions of whether the road train fits into the dimensions that operate incountry. This applies to weight, and length, and everything else. You need to remember this and try not to give a traffic police officer a reason to issue a fine for any violations in the legislative framework of our country.

Three-link road trains: history

Three-link road trains appeared a long time ago, it is believed that for the first time this option was tested in Germany. At that time, there were no strict and rigid norms that would concern the weight and length of road trains. Then everything was limited by the capabilities of technology.

In the early sixties of the last century, all of Europe adopted common and familiar norms. But all carriers are very zealously striving to increase these existing parameters. This initiative arose in the late eighties of the twentieth century in Germany, then it turned out to run several three-link road trains on the roads of their country.

maximum permitted train length
maximum permitted train length

Three-link road trains: USSR and Russia

Old truckers and movie lovers of the USSR will remember that in the vastness of our country, road trains with more than one trailer in the composition used to slip. Two or even three trailers were pulled behind them by activists-chauffeurs who carried grain. And at that time conditional GAZ-53 drove around the city, for which whole "beads" from barrels of kvass were hooked. But after 1996, such road trains are no longer found on our roads.

There is a clause in the law that two or more trailers can be included in the road train, if there is an appropriate permit. But if everything were so simple, then such road trains would be found on the tracks in ourtime, but they are not. This means that everything is not so simple, and no one has canceled the Russian bureaucracy with the collection of certificates and papers. It will probably be easier for a truck driver to make two trips than to collect all the necessary documents, unfortunately.

Three-link road trains: other countries

Today, Holland is considered the most liberal country in Europe in this matter (this country has significant easing in legislation not only in road trains). There are five hundred three-link road trains (length up to twenty-five meters, gross weight sixty tons) in the country, mainly container transportation.

There are Scandinavians in Europe, they have always had their own rules on this matter. Previously, everything was limited to twenty meters in length and fifty tons of gross weight, then the numbers grew to twenty-five meters and sixty tons, respectively. Today, the length of a road train must not exceed thirty meters, and the road train itself must meet seventy-six tons of gross weight by weight.

It is noteworthy that at one time a Finnish road train with two trailers traveled around our country (Helsinki-Moscow-Helsinki route), this happened according to a special intergovernmental agreement between the two countries.

Today in Finland on internal roads you can see a road train, which includes two trailers of forty meters or four trailers of twenty meters. Sweden went even further. They are having an experiment and they are testing themselves in the case of a road train with a gross weight of up to ninety tons!

maximum train lengthwith a trailer
maximum train lengthwith a trailer

In the US, such transportation also occurs, the difficulty lies in the fact that different US states have their own laws and regulations. Michigan stands out from all others. Here you can see on the road a road train with a gross weight of up to eighty-six tons, but such road trains have many wheel axles to reduce the load on the roadway.

In Canada, Latin America and even in Africa there are also "three-linkers". And in Brazil you can find a combination that goes beyond the reasonable! There are combinations in the country in which the permitted length of the road train is a respectable thirty meters, with a gross weight of eighty tons!

But that's not all. Australia is ahead of the curve on this issue. There are road trains that are limited to one hundred and sixty tons! This figure is simply amazing in the mind of our trucker, and in Australia no one is surprised by this.

what is the maximum train length
what is the maximum train length

Russia's difficulties

As can be understood from the above, three-link road trains are not uncommon in the world. What do we have? In fairness, let's say that record road trains run in countries with a favorable climate. Our asph alt is already in a terrible state, and if records are set on it by road trains, it will disappear altogether.

Yes, of course, our neighbors from the Scandinavian countries also live in a climate that is similar to our harsh northern regions, but the maximum permitted length of a road train in those countries is not decreasing, but only growing. But there is a drop of sadness in our country. We do not haveorder, we have no roads, and without it, nowhere. Let's hope things change for the better soon.

Roads of Russia

Every motorist knows that sometimes it is very difficult to overtake a road train on a regular road. And if the maximum length of a road train in Russia grows? It certainly won't be easier to overtake. In Europe and the West, the roads are wide and have at least two traffic lanes in each direction. We have only a few such roads.

We also have such places on the roads where it is simply impossible to maneuver on a tractor if the maximum length of a road train in Russia is equal to that in Western countries. Unfortunately, our infrastructure is not yet ready for such events.

maximum permitted length of a road train in Russia
maximum permitted length of a road train in Russia

Russian car fleet

But you can't just scold our government for the fact that our roads are not ready for this, that the infrastructure is not ready, that the bridges will not withstand and so on. We need to say a little about ourselves. After all, if something is allowed to a Russian person, then he begins to use it without hesitation.

Here, imagine a situation where in our country they will be allowed to ride multilink road trains without any problems. And then our fictitious private trucker will buy an old KAMAZ or MAZ, which was assembled at the dawn of the USSR, and hook a couple of trailers on it, then he will load everything to the eyeballs in order to somehow meet the norm, and go to the track. How safe will it be for the driver and other road users?

The problem must be solved in a complex, andnot to point the finger at other countries and say that they can do it, even if we can do it too. A complex solution of problems takes time and money. Both time and funds are required colossal.

Toll roads

Perhaps toll roads will be the solution. Theoretically, powerful, reliable toll roads with multiple traffic lanes in each direction and well-thought-out modern infrastructure could be an initial solution for Russia.

Private carriers can start using toll roads to get even more profit from their transportation. But let's not forget how difficult innovation is in our country. Not so long ago, this could be seen when the "PLATON" system for heavy vehicles was introduced. Although in the countries of Europe and in the West such systems exist and have been operating for a very long time. In our country, everyone wants to get everything at once and preferably for free. This has been done since ancient times and continues to this day.

traffic rules maximum length of road train
traffic rules maximum length of road train


On some thematic forums there is the following interesting information, let's analyze it with an example. The maximum permitted length of a road train is regulated in our country. And it is almost impossible to obtain permission to include two trailers in a road train. But our drivers found a way out.

You cannot hitch two trailers for a conditional KAMAZ, but the same KAMAZ can tow a broken KAMAZ with a trailer. Why don't you like a long road train that fits into our strange current legislation?Of course, no one claims that the traffic police will not guess that you are cunning.

Although on these thematic forums where this information is taken, there are users who say that they use this scheme quite successfully. Let's hope this is true, and not their fiction and boasting.

Modular road train of the future

The future is near. Today, the development of the so-called modular road train is actively underway. There are some developments that are already close to testing and implementation in real conditions.

The bottom line is that the driver sits in the first heavy truck, and behind this heavy truck there are, for example, five more heavy trucks. These five cars are computer and automatic controlled. They essentially copy the behavior and trajectory of a car with a driver.

In fact, we have six separate heavy trucks that easily fit into any norms and requirements for dimensions and only one driver. Of course, multi-lane roads are needed for such purposes, but the idea itself is interesting and attractive.

There are also such developments that the driver will not be required in the first lead car. And all this will be extremely safe. This is a big step forward for the world's freight transport. Let's see how quickly all this is implemented, implemented and taken root.

Again, it seems that our country will not become a platform for pilot projects with such innovative innovations, but, of course, every modern car enthusiast wants to follow this situation.

Summing up

Today we learned whichthe maximum length of a road train is valid in our country and what are the similar indicators in the world. We have room to strive and grow. But you need to clearly understand that today's maximum permitted length of a road train in Russia is not taken from the sky, but is designed for our realities. I would like to believe that we will catch up with the leading world countries in this area in the very near future and not only overtake, but even go ahead.