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earlier commentsEdit

I found this article to be very interesting. I don't believe we have road trains in America, at least not as long as in Australia. Being a contributor to Wikipedia, it never occurred to me that I might actually learn something by reading these articles. I'm glad I found this one. Too bad we lost the railroads in the U.S. - Fernkes 00:17, Oct 12, 2003 (UTC)

Now now, this is a tad too pessimistic, the railways are fighting back and the roadrailers are an important aspect of that fight. --Peter Horn 02:39, 31 July 2006 (UTC)

It is stupid not to use railway.Edit

(This section should be deleted. It does not discuss changes to the article but expresses the editor's personal views about the topic. See Wikipedia:Talk page guidelines Rsduhamel 07:21, 5 May 2007 (UTC))

Agree that this section should be deleted, or at least marked as contentious. A user's political leaning should not be allowed to influence an encyclopedic article. Dionysus ab (talk) 04:05, 27 March 2010 (UTC)

Why don't the aussies build true railroads? The friction between steel wheels and track would be less than 1/10th of a gravel road and a lot of fuel could be saved. Modern, fully automatized sapper trains can build hundreds of miles of track on their own quickly and efficently. You could even electrify the tracks and use electric locomotives and a nuclear power station for zero emission hauling. Looking at those millipede truck-trains I no longer need to wonder why the people down under failed to sign up for Kyoto! Shame on them!

Um, this isn't Usenet, but on the basis you're really interested in the issues, there are a number of railways built through outback Australia. Most of them go from mines to ports, because there's enough freight to be shifted to justify it. Out where the road trains operate, human activity is so diffuse (other than mining, the only economic activity is cattle grazing on a scale that would boggle the mind of most Americans, let alone Europeans) the amount of road traffic is so tiny it's often not economical to build a bitumen road, let alone a railway. Yes, even with sapper trains and whatnot. These are places that are so isolated that inhabitants keep light aircraft to pick up groceries (no, I'm not kidding). But while this takes up most of Australia's geographical area, it is completely foriegn to most Australians, who live in the coastal capital cities, the vast majority of whom have never seen a road train. Most of the trucks in Australia travel around the streets of the capital cities picking stuff up from ports and dropping it at warehouses, factories, and retailers.
Australia's abysmal greenhouse performance is largely caused by the same reason as the United States - the denizens of the cities cool their McMansions with electricity from brown coal. Second to that is the prediliction of those outer-suburban denizens for driving massive SUVs round the burbs. Road trains are a very minor factor. --Robert Merkel 12:48, 29 July 2005 (UTC)

Even the suggestion of starting a new rail way infrastructure is silly when monorail is technologically superior and has a lower total cost of ownership. --User:Rekutyn

Are you serious about building a monorail to cart cattle, fuel, and other general freight thousands of kilometres!??! Are there long-distance freight monorails in use in other countries? They don't seem to be mentioned in that article. --Scott Davis Talk 15:23, 21 June 2006 (UTC)
The environmental cost of a lightly-used railway could easily outweigh any fuel savings. Think of all the fuel required to refine the steel and shape it into rails, the ties (timber or concrete, both have environmental costs), shaping the roadbed etc. The fuel saved by putting the freight generated by small and widely dispersed outback towns on rails would not be be more then the fuel expended in building the railroad. Toiyabe 16:54, 21 June 2006 (UTC)

Ah, the beauty of the discussion page is that it is a chance to indulge in usenet-type debate, all aimed at improving the quality of the article. There are discussions about relative economics of road vs rail transport and how the equation has changed over time (with political and technological factors coming into play.) Essentially though, there are now railways that follow the major Australian transcontinental routes, but we still have road trains running on the highways parallel to those railways. Others have pointed out that where there are some cases where rail is obvious (such as bringing ore from the inland to seaports - although in the case of relatively valuable refined material (such as mineral sands) it has been done by truck). An examination of the economics gets down to a discussion about timing, versatility and the availability of facilities supporting rail freight. The situation is most easily illuminated (and probably deserves a full study) on the 1,000 mile route between Kalgoorlie in Western Australia and Port Augusta in South Australia. Here rail and road run parallel, and there is virtually no drop-off or pick-up points for freight inbetween, that is to say that the versatility of trucks in terms of route selection doesn't count for anything on this section of the road. Why all freight heading east and west isn't loaded onto trains for carriage between these two points gets down to a bunch of factors. Firstly the rail line is at many points single track, necessitating delays in managing overtaking and passing on limited double track sections. Secondly neither the track nor the freight trains are suitable for high speed, while trucks run at 100kph. Thirdly the rail is subject to derailments, sometimes due to the rails simply buckling in the extreme heat and cold of the Australian inland. Finally the rail service, while carrying shipping containers, is not set up to carry road trailers, and even in the case of shipping containers there are no high tech facilities at either Kalgoorlie or Port Augusta to allow quick reloading of containers between road and rail. Australia, although experiencing a period of extraordinary economic growth, largely fueled by resource exports to China, has invested very little money in transport infrastructure in the last 20 years. Once you get away from the Kalgoorlie-Port August scenario the other major factor comes into play, and that is the extraordinarily diffuse and relatively low population of Australia, which gives the advantage to the truck and its ability to deliver 'to the doorstep'. So all sides of this argument are correct, there should be more rail and better use of rail, but road trains will remain a factor and continue to be, even if they eventually only have a role in transporting cattle from the vast inland properties where the front driveway can be a hundred miles long. Given that the cost of laying rail in Australia in such a way that it would resist the climate extremes and the routine floods is very high, the day when rail becomes more economic than road freight on the majority of routes is a long way off.Tban 06:20, 12 July 2006 (UTC)

The new Darwin - Adelaide standard gauge line is a good start. --Peter Horn 02:39, 31 July 2006 (UTC)

The Alice Springs to Darwin rail line was always going to be a white elephant. Poor route planning and inferior building techniques (not enough culverts in some sections - the line has been washed away three times, TWICE in the exact same spot within six weeks of each other) have hindered this project, not to mention the rush to actually install the line. When this line opened, it was subject to a 60kmh speed limit FROM ALICE SPRINGS TO DARWIN, for 12 months. 60kmh for 1500km for 12 months...oh, joy. Derailments, collisions, washouts, track failures...this line has had it all. The company that owns the line has not seen any profit from this corridor at all. Nor has the freight operator, who incidently, has been running at a loss since day one, and is looking at going under administration. And the fact that there hasn't been a big "Wet" season yet is something the owners and operators should be grateful for. Time will tell on that scenario. While there is alot of freight being carried by rail into and out of the Northern Territory, the service that road freight provides cannot be compared with. The majority of time sensitive freight still travels by road, on road trains, and will continue to be, well into the future. Sted904 (talk) 17:03, 7 August 2010 (UTC)

Clarification neededEdit

The following phrase is a "dog's breakfast": "A road train consists of a relatively conventional truck chassis, cab, and tractor," I'm breaking my head as to how best to clarify this one. --Peter Horn 02:26, 31 July 2006 (UTC)

How about: "A road train consists of a relatively conventional prime mover pulling two or more semi-trailer units connected with dollys." --Scott Davis Talk 05:08, 31 July 2006 (UTC)
Why not just Tractor Unit pulling two or more semi-trailers? I mean if it were ME id just say truck and leave it at that, but, "prime mover", seriously? Also even though i am not from Australia the trucks are anything but conventional in nearly every form of the word.CaptianNemo (talk) 04:08, 14 October 2011 (UTC)

Trailer arrangementsEdit

This section should perhaps be transferred from the Trailer (vehicle) article to this one. Any comments?

--Peter Horn 17:17, 1 August 2006 (UTC)

Perhaps, or to semi-trailer. A B-double (not B-train) (up to 25 metres) is not considered a road train in Australia and can be approved to operate on almost any main road that allows semitrailers, I think. They must have a "Long Vehicle" sign on the rear.
A-double and longer are usually just called road trains, and are generally only permitted in remote areas. I come from Adelaide. It has only been in the last few years that A-doubles (but no more than double) have been allowed to operate along Port Wakefield Road (only) south of Snowtown, initially to Two Wells and now to Port Adelaide via a specified route.
I've never seen a C-dolly - can you add a photo or diagram? --Scott Davis Talk 07:25, 2 August 2006 (UTC)

See Dolly (trailer) for the difference between the A-dolly and the C-dolly. In any case, perhaps someone can provide a photo or a diagram. --Peter Horn 16:38, 3 August 2006 (UTC)

There's a nice photo at [1]. Probably can't use that in wiki. There's a diagram showing an A dolly, C dolly and a B train at [2]. That's a work of the US govt, so it can be used in wiki.
C dollys still fairly rare, I can't say I've ever seen one on the road, but I don't look for them either. Toiyabe 23:15, 3 August 2006 (UTC)

Great going. Thanks Toyabee. I have added both references as "External references" to the Dolly (trailer) article. --Peter Horn 16:36, 4 August 2006 (UTC)

Broken linkEdit

There is a broken link in the world's longest section. --5telios 13:41, 26 September 2006 (UTC)

Typical Length in Australia?Edit

Having only seen 2, and rarely 3 trailer trains in the US, I'm curious what is the typical size of a road train in rural Australia? The world records are neat trivia but obviously those are not representative of real-world use. —Dgies 22:52, 22 November 2006 (UTC)

A-double (two full-length trailers) are allowed south of Port Augusta, all the way to Port Adelaide with the right permits. North of Port Augusta they use A-triples (three full-length trailers). In the Northern Territory, the fuel tankers are often 4 trailers (like the BP one in the picture) - two B-doubles joined by an A-dolly - a total of 17 axles (1 steer- 2 drive - 3 on first trailer - 3 on second trailer - 2 on dolly - 3 on third trailer - 3 on fourth trailer). I'm not sure if livestock are ever moved on 4 trailers. I think I've seen 4 or 5-trailer pictures from remote north Western Australia hauling minerals where a railway was uneconomic (not sure if these were on public roads). Where should that information fit in the article? --Scott Davis Talk 12:33, 16 December 2006 (UTC)
I had a closer look at the picture - it's an A-double followed by a B-double, 19 axles: 1 steer- 2 drive - 3 on first trailer - 2 on dolly - 3 on second trailer - 2 on dolly - 3 on third trailer - 3 on fourth trailer). It might even have tri-axle dollies, the angle makes it too hard to tell. I live in South Australia, which doesn't permit tri-axle dollies or more than three trailers. Rules and maps for SA can be found at [3] and (links from) [4]. --Scott Davis Talk 14:18, 16 December 2006 (UTC)

Turning capability of road trainsEdit

Does anyone know about the capability of road trains at going round corners? It is desirable that each trailer follows exactly in the track of the preceding trailer, but does this necessarily happen? Is there a tendency for the later trailers to cut the corner, or even swing wide due to their natural tendency to go straigbt on? What happens if the rolling resistance is, for some reason, slightly higher on one side of the trailer to the other?

If a trailer has one axle that does not steer, it will always make a tighter turn than the vehicle in front (truck or trailer). Many manufacturers selling in Europe produce semitrailers with one or two steering axles, but excetpt from the semis with only one axle, the construction always turns one or two axles only enough to reduce tire wear and tear. Those axles are typically self-steering, meaning the steering bolt (do you call it that in english?) is not vertical and it will therefore adjust the wheel according to the influence from the driving. Other models (mostly 1-axled) have mechanic steering, provided by a special "thing" interacting with the fifth wheel behind the king pin and hereby steering the rear axle actually making the middle of that rear axle track with the position of the king pin, unless in very tight turns such as a U-turn or so. Of course it's hard to calculate when reversing to a ramp, but it works when going forwards. Those so-called "city trailers" have become very popular the last 4 years in Denmark. For oversize loads one would sometimes use a computer aided steering system, usually controlled by a co-driver, to make tight turns with chimneys, windmills etc. in narrow places. This does require slow driving, sometimes even moving inch by inch and checking every corner of the load before the next inch. I've more than once waited more than ½ an hour to pass an oversize going to a painter some 200 meters before my work :-(. Those guys split up in one driving the truck and one walking behind, remotecontrolling the steering at the rear, telling over the radio when the driver should move back and forward. Hope this helps you? G®iffen 10:10, 16 December 2006 (UTC)
In Nevada it's fairly common to see doubles and triples on city streets. These trailers do not have steering axles in the rear. They do typically have very long drawbars which helps the trailers track better. With a good driver they seem to be able to go anywhere a single trailer semi can go. Toiyabe 18:33, 18 December 2006 (UTC)
How long are your double and triple road trains? 53.5 metres (175.5 feet) would be somewhat unwieldy on city streets I would have thought. That's the maximum length of a triple road train here, but only in remote areas.[5] Double road trains (36.5 m, 120 feet) are allowed a specific route from the country into/out of the port area. B-doubles up to 25 m (82 feet) are allowed on most freight routes that semitrailers use, although only on through routes, not through the CBD/downtown area. --Scott Davis Talk 13:57, 19 December 2006 (UTC)
To Toiyabe - Good drivers can do lots of tricks, but still each unit must take a litte more off the corner than the one in front. I don't (yet) have the E-licence (drivers license for trailers over 750 kg total), but I'm certainly capable of getting a solo rigid truch around where semi- or full trailers won't fit in. I'm sure single-semi drivers will say the same about their relations to road train drivers.
Generally: The more distance you have from the rear axle to the coupling point behind it, the closer the second unit gets to tracking the first because of the overhang pulling in opposite direction of the turn. The same effect is seen in the distance from the front coupling to the first axle; less distance gives closer tracking.
Eventually go to the toy store and buy one of those road trains and check when your curtains are pulled and the wife is asleep :-) You'll need a large area for the truck if you want the last trailer to follow smoothly. G®iffen 16:44, 19 December 2006 (UTC)
Nevada maximum combined trailer length is 95', so the total vehicle length (with tractor) will be up to ~110' (max length is the same for tractor-unit and two or three trailers, truck-unit plus two trailers is 98'). I sense some doubt, so I'll get a picture of a triple making a turn on a city street next time I've got my camera handy. Toiyabe 17:32, 19 December 2006 (UTC)
I admit that my experience of Nevada is that I watch CSI, but yes, I am surprised at driving 110' long multi-articulated vehicles commonly on city streets. Are they allowed to turn or just drive straight through? --Scott Davis Talk 08:25, 20 December 2006 (UTC)
They pick up and drop off in cities, especially construction materials such as aggregate, as well as drive through. I guess it's taken for granted, it's hard to find discussion of it. Here's two google caches of newspaper columnists complaining about them - [6] and [7]
They do really suck at signalized intersections - they can take a full cycle to clear the intersection. They also suck on freeway on-ramps. It does make delivery costs a lot cheaper, though. When I bought gravel for my driveway, I got three loads delivered at once (dump truck + two pup trailers), so it was about 1/3 the delivery cost I would have had to pay just about anywhere else in the country. Toiyabe 17:02, 20 December 2006 (UTC)

Im not sure if this helps but "19 metres" which are a shorter version of a B-double are maneuvarable than a single semi, hope this helps cheers Bnsbeaver 15:16, 2 January 2007 (UTC)

I've seen a 2 trailer road trains and B Doubles do U-turns outside our house (in NSW). The road is quite wide (about 4 lanes worth), but it's still a sight to see. We did also see one roll over outside our house, but I'm not sure that was the type of turning the question was about. :-P Supertin (talk) 08:28, 27 August 2008 (UTC)

How many trailersEdit

Do the Australians actually consider a tractor pulling doubles a "road train"? It seems to me that I've only heard the term used for the combinations with three or more trailers. Also, I used to drive trucks and I never heard the term "road train" used in the U.S. except when talking about Australian road trains. Rsduhamel 07:29, 5 May 2007 (UTC)

As far as signage on the trucks, "Road Train" must appear if there's a dolly involved. B-Doubles/Triples must have "Long Vehicle" instead. Single trailers have none. Common practice is to remove just half the sign when running single or no trailers, so we see a number of trucks that are labelled "Long" or "Train" getting around towns. Supertin (talk) 08:34, 27 August 2008 (UTC)


Darwin, NT, is the only capital city in the world that will allow triples and quads to within 1km of the CBD.

What is a CBD? (Link or spelling-out of abbrev/acro please) 07:07, 8 June 2007 (UTC)

World's longest road trainsEdit

Please rearrange so that the current world record is on top, and previous ones relegated to less prominent positions (or indeed removed altogether) 07:11, 8 June 2007 (UTC)

Opening paragraph is inacurate!Edit

The opening paragraph is inacurate:

A road train does not exist. Trains travel on rails, these big trucks travel on the road. trucking concept used in remote areas of Australia, the United States, and Western Canada to move bulky loads efficiently. The term "road train" is most often used in Australia. In the U.S. and Canada the terms "triples", "Turnpike doubles" and "Rocky Mountain doubles" are commonly used for longer combination vehicles (LCVs).[1]

1. Road trains do exist. This article is about them.

2. A train is a "a line or procession of persons, vehicles, animals, etc., traveling together" or "something that is drawn along; a trailing part." - "Train"

3. The author of this statement is refering to railway trains which travel on rails. A road train (which by the definition of train is a legitimate term) is a series of trailers drawn by a single prime-mover.

4. The third sentence is not even complete.

This paragraph should read something like this:

A road train is a trucking method used in remote areas of Australia, the United States, and Western Canada to move bulky loads efficiently. Road trains are made up of a series of trailers drawn by a single prime mover. The term "road train" is most often used in Australia. In the U.S. and Canada the terms "triples", "Turnpike doubles" and "Rocky Mountain doubles" are commonly used for longer combination vehicles (LCVs).[1]

What you propose is the previous wording before a recent editor changed it. I agree that the change is not helpful and have reverted it. Euryalus 04:48, 3 July 2007 (UTC)

LCVs in western CanadaEdit

Being a driver of one of these vehicles, I've added a bit about their use in this country.

I've changed one bit of the original article. LCVs are NOT used on the winter roads. The NWT permit restricts their operation to routes from the border with Alberta to the town of Hay River, and destinations on Old Airport Road in Yellowknife. Legal length B-trains (25 metres) are the longest vehicles used on the winter roads. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Dionysus ab (talkcontribs) 03:26, 11 January 2008 (UTC)

I'm confused by that section of the article myself. B doubles (or Super B's as they seem to be called up there) are allowed on the winter roads, right? Because the article currently effectively says they aren't. The TV series says otherwise (even if the animators repeatedly incorrectly showed a B double having a dolly). —Preceding unsigned comment added by Supertin (talkcontribs) 08:39, 27 August 2008 (UTC)

Legal length B trains are allowed on the winter roads. They have a maximum length of 25 metres. The difference between a B-train and a super B is the third axle on the lead. A B train weighs in at 56,500kg across 7 axles; a Super B weighs in at 63,500 across 8 axles. An A-train is also legal at 25 metres, and consists of a tractor pulling a pup trailer which pulls an A converter pulling another pup. All three converter types are usable in legal length vehicles. Dionysus ab (talk) 04:22, 8 November 2009 (UTC)

" LCVs do not operate north of Yellowknife." ? the lack of roads may be a factor in that situation .... Doc Adam (talk) 18:15, 24 September 2013 (UTC)

Image CaptionEdit

Can anyone decipher this? I would correct it if I knew how, but the phrases seem contradictory: "Road train overview. Letters do not reflect the here mentioned types, although B is a B-double. True road trains are not represented in this diagram."Hyperizer (talk) 23:37, 11 January 2008 (UTC)

It is purely fortuitous that the example 'B' corresponds to a B-train. Only A, B and C-trains exist; there is no such thing as a D-convertor. The caption should probably read something along the lines of 'Methods of connecting multiple trailers to a drawing vehicle.', but as I am totally new here, I have no intention of diving in and undoing other peoples' work, particularly when the page is actually going in two directions at once. Road trains are, or seem to be, a purely Australian phenomenon. Other jurisdictions do not use the term. I would have preferred to have made my contributions on a page entitled 'Long Combination Vehicles' since that is what I drive and that is what I know. An example of this problem occurs in the first line of the article, where the claim is made that trains are used in remote areas. Although this may be true in Australia, in Alberta, the reverse is true. Turnpikes and triples are limited to the Edmonton-Calgary corridor, the most densely populated part of the province.

Dionysus ab (talk) 23:58, 11 January 2008 (UTC)

Long-distance passenger land trainsEdit

I wonder if such a vehicle might be feasible or doable. The idea I have would be to reserve or build highway lanes (or make a wide highway lane) and run trains on highways rather than rails, thus avoiding Amtrak's freight railroad problem (responsible for many Amtrak delays). This could require entirely new rolling stock and some sophisticated turning tech, but I think it's technologically possible. I dunno about feasibility or political possibility, though. — Rickyrab | Talk 18:13, 26 January 2008 (UTC)

Those trains would consist of buses, except that they would be specialized so they could couple with one another and form through passageways, like on a passenger railroad. The trains could potentially break up and assemble near the highway exits, and disassembled "trains" would, in the form of buses, run routes through urban and suburban areas. One drawback of this approach is that width of the vehicles would be limited (buses are narrower than trains are), as they would need to be in order to fit in the streets. This might, among other things, make road-train food service a pain in the neck. However, wider cars might be used along the highways for such service, and be decoupled at the end of highway runs. Ditto with sleepers (but passengers would be able to transfer by moving through the train. Wheelchair passengers would have to disembark and re-embark, though.) — Rickyrab | Talk 18:21, 26 January 2008 (UTC)
Oh yeah, and turns might be a bit slow. RoadRailer maybe? — Rickyrab | Talk 18:34, 26 January 2008 (UTC)
"even huge bus bodies pulled by tractor trailers used to haul oil field workers in the Middle East."? Like these? Trekphiler (talk) 02:34, 19 April 2008 (UTC)
By far, amusement park "trams" notwithstanding,this is the closest type of vehicle that I know of to my concept. A true passenger road-train would be longer, and perhaps the "accordions" would also be longer, to accommodate sharper turns. — Rickyrab, Talk, 16:08, 9 October 2008 (UTC)

Talking out of both sides of the cab?Edit

The article says, "total permissible length is 38 metres" & "one semi-trailer up to 53 feet long and two shorter "pup" trailers up to 32 feet long...the longest combinations allowed in Canada on public highways." So which is it? Trekphiler (talk) 02:15, 19 April 2008 (UTC)

38 meters is not entirely acurateEdit

The company that I work for is permitted for queen city triples and are allowed longer then 38 meters for all combinations. It all depends on what the specific company is permitted. I have been trying to find more info about different companies permits that I can use to accurately edit the page however all I can get my hands on is our own permit. Also the you cannot always use the maximum legnth trailers as the total legnth will be over the maximum, I will clean up the Canadian section as soon as I can get a Full copy of the regulations. Will note sources too. Dargaard (talk) 21:30, 24 August 2008 (UTC)

Looks to me, during my forays into Saskatchewan, that the "Queen City Triple" is a venture by one company, and is certainly longer than 38 metres. As you don't mention the name of the company, I'll maintain that silence. All of the instances I have seen have been of the following format:- 6x4 tractor, tridem 32' lead tank trailer, tridem 32' pup trailer, tandem converter and 53' reefer. It appears that BC is getting more relaxed about LCVs too. I saw a Canadian Freightways rocky in Dawson Creek a few weeks ago, and a turnpike double heading west on Highway 16 just last week, although that may have been staying within Alberta. I'll try to find out what is happening regarding the changes during my travels. Dionysus ab (talk) 04:14, 8 November 2009 (UTC)

Explanation requiredEdit

This article says:

Two-trailer road trains, or "doubles" are allowed in rural areas of all Australian states, except in two capital cities - Adelaide in South Australia, and Perth in Western Australia.

Now I've been to both Adelaide and Perth, and I don't think anybody would describe either as rural. So on a literal reading, the whole clause from 'except' onwards is redundant. On the other hand, the sentence could be read as clarifying that Adelaide and Perth are the only non-rural places in Australia, and hence the only place doubles are not allowed. But clearly that is absurd, as nobody in their right minds would describe Sydney, Melbourne or Brisbane as rural. I've never seen road trains in any of those places either, although I may just not have noticed. A third possibility may be that the author was trying to say that road trains are banned in all cities except Adelaide and Perth, where they are allowed. Common sense says this may be the most reasonable reading, but it is a long way from what the actual words say. Clearly this sentence needs reworking; does anybody know for sure where doubles are allowed / not allowed?.

In the meantime I've amended the sentence to the more vanilla:

Two-trailer road trains, or "doubles" are allowed in most parts of Australia, with the exception of some urban areas.

which I think covers all the above possibilities, without commiting to any one. -- Chris j wood (talk) 10:22, 23 April 2008 (UTC)

Going back to the 1960's through to the 1980's, short road trains actually operated within the Adelaide metropolitan area. The first example that I can think of was operated by Peter Hutchinson, who was a brick carter with Hayway. He owned and operated a C180 International with two single axle semi trailers with a single axle converter dolly. It was a 5 axle configuration, which was allowed to operate at 39.4 tonnes gross combination mass. Back in those days, the length limit was 66 feet or 20.117 metres. The other operator that used to run a short road train was Shrapels Traders, from Berri. They had a Kenworth tandem drive with a single axle semi trailer towing a two axle dog trailer. They used to make the daily trip to the riverland with this combination.

In recent times, there was what was known as a MAD combination. Southern Quarries used to run this configuration of a Mack prime mover, towing a tri axle tipper, which then towed a 'super dog' 3 axle tipping trailer. I understand that this configuration has had permits withdrawn but I am not sure of the reasoning.

(Waxmann (talk) 11:04, 28 March 2011 (UTC))

B-Triples do operate in VictoriaEdit

B-Triples do operate in Victoria—between the Ford factories in Geelong and the Melbourne suburb of Campbellfield. (talk) 12:11, 12 August 2009 (UTC)

Article for new "autonomous road train"?Edit

Is there an article for the new technology that allows uncoupled cars to act as a road train through wireless control from the lead car? People are calling this "road train" as well. Gigs (talk) 16:25, 18 January 2011 (UTC)

See Platoon (automobile). I've added a hatnote. MickMacNee (talk) 20:58, 18 January 2011 (UTC)
Thanks! Gigs (talk) 21:07, 18 January 2011 (UTC)

Early HistoryEdit

(17:43, 22 May 2011 (UTC))

ADDED to history section:

"There is an earlier road train built by its inventor in the United Kingdom it is shown in No 320 (No. 8. Vol. 12. February 23ed, 1907. Edition of "The Auto" Title: The Renard Road Train."

I do not understand why earlier info was not mentioned in the wiki article on road trains for before 1930 when they did exist.~NEMO

Pages are start of blurb or article. I hope this can get things started.


Page 128

Page 201. : Investments in company

Page 242.

Page 279. Continued from pg 243

Page 337. Daimler to build road trains. Page 357. Blurb

Page 592. Request for more captial

But there is also a 1904 article here pg 1275(bottom)-1276(top)

and this Popular Mechanics mention and pic —Preceding unsigned comment added by CaptianNemo (talkcontribs) 02:24, 11 May 2011 (UTC)


I've lived in Oregon. I've seen double 120 foot trailers with each hauling a single pipe even longer than the trailers themselves. The front trailer pipe extending over the cab and in front of the truck a considerable distance. The rear trailer pipe extending over the front pipe and considerable distance behind the second trailer and low to the ground. They are only escorted by pilot cars and crews at freeway, highway, and interstate junctions but not on those roads themselves. The crews arrive at the intersections independent of the trucks and direct traffic moments before the trucks arrive (as the trucks must cross into oncoming traffic and even leave the pavement to make wide turns). After, the crews pack up and leave, they do not escort the trucks. This is a fairly common occurrence at the I-5 and Highway 99 intersection. Also I've seen unescorted 4 and 5 short trailer trains on several occasions as well. Very uncommon and often somewhat nerve racking as the 4th and 5th trails tend to whip around a bit, often making full use for their lane from line to line. Triple trailers (which might also be seen whipping) with two or three identical trucks in a convoy are the norm. I've not seen triples, quadruples, or quintuples anywhere but on interstates and parked in directly accessible truck-stops. I've always assumed that loads is separated and hauled 'the last mile' as singles or doubles from the truck-stops, but I don't know really. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:37, 22 May 2011 (UTC)

Road Train???Edit

I live here in Austraila and as far as i know a " B-Double" is just that two bogies, most drivers have a licence to drive them they are common as all *&^%. A Road train is at least Three trailers or more. I have seen up to Six in the top end of Australia and when you see one coming you get off the road.... — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:09, 18 September 2011 (UTC)

Well doneEdit

Great work, everyone who's worked on this article. (talk) 05:55, 12 May 2012 (UTC)

Researching info is the easy part for me. It getting all the "fun" coding in that slows any work on Wikipedia for me. But I am slowly learning and gathering info for several articles on exciting things nobody has heard about... (CaptianNemo (talk) 01:10, 31 August 2012 (UTC))

Queen city triplesEdit

The article says Queen city triples are the longest combination allowed on North American highways. It also states the combination consists of a semi-trailer (16.2 meters) and two pup trailers (9.8 meters). 16.2 + 2 * 9.8 == 35.8 meters. But a few paragraphs above it says Turnpike doubles may be up to 38 meters. Perhaps the Queen city triples may be longer because there's the length of the truck to be added as well, or at least one of the statements about Queen city triples or Turnpike doubles is wrong. It either needs a fix, or a clarification. (talk) 13:38, 16 June 2015 (UTC)

Double bottoms were in use long before thisEdit

"Double bottom: unit consisting of tractor, semi-trailer and full trailer (one with both front and rear axles). Down in the corner: "creeper" gear. Drag down: shift down to lower ..." From Motor Truck News, in 1940.

a cite showing multiple combinations, and how to figure out, state by state, whether they are legal on-road....from 1947. Anmccaff (talk) 17:48, 6 December 2016 (UTC)

removed substantial unsourced materialEdit

I culled quite a bit of unsourced material; some challenged, some not needing challenge. There's still a ton left that's unsourced, but that's my contribution for today. This article is way too full of claims and statements without any means of verifying them directly within the article. Sourcing is fundamental to wikipedia; without it, we might as well just make things up with our imagination. Anastrophe (talk) 05:30, 10 July 2017 (UTC)

Return to "Road train" page.