For some years now, discussions are ongoing at EU level with regard to allowing so-called Monster Lorries (also called gigaliners or megatrucks): they are up to 25.25 metres long and have a payload of 60 tons. Opponents of such overlong lorries are vehemently criticizing the contemplations of the European Commission regarding the revision of the relevant Directive: the costs for adapting the infrastructure would be huge, the environment would suffer as a result of a shift from rail transport to megatrucks and road safety would be at risk.
Lengthwise such an HGV is roughly equivalent to 6 motorcars with an average length of 4.2 metres; as to weight, the Monster Lorry could be compared to a Boeing 737-300, which has a loading capacity of up to 58 tons of goods.

The supporters of gigaliners argue that a Monster Lorry emits up to 15 % less CO2 and needs 17 % less fuel. What they don’t mention, however, is that a shift from the significantly more environmentally friendly means of transport, i.e. waterways and rail to Mega HGV would reverse this effect, thereby resulting in an increase of CO2 emissions for the entire freight transport.

As the roads have not been built for such heavy transport vehicles, investments worth billions would have to be made for adapting the infrastructure. The German Ministry of Transport estimated the costs of reinforcing the bridges in Germany alone at € 8 billion.

Another factor, which is plainly ignored by the Commission, concerns the jobs, which will be lost by megatrucks: jobs, however, will not only be lost in the HGV sector (2 gigaliners replace 3 “normal” HGVs), but also in rail transport and shipping, as a shift to the road has to be expected.

Road safety too would suffer as a result of these new vehicles. Calculations show that a 60-ton HGV, which travels at a speed of 80 km/h, reaches the same kinetic energy as a 40-ton HGV travelling at a speed of 100 km/h. In addition, an accident involving a mega truck would have far more serious consequences than a 40-ton HGV. So far there are no experience values as to whether these HGVs are at all suited to cope with road sections involving a height difference of several 100 metres.

Based on these negative effects, a number of organisations from the environmental, transport and trade union sector have been campaigning against the plans of the Commission for quite some time. 151 organisations have already joined the so-called “No Mega trucks Coalition”. Information about mega trucks is available under

Their stance against these Monster Lorries already has resulted in a first success: the responsible Transport Commissioner Antonio Tajani announced that this legislative period would not see another Directive proposal. The danger, however, is by no means off the table: should a new transport commissioner come from one of the supporting member states (in particular Sweden, Finland), one can expect a new attempt to get Monster Lorries on the road.

Further information:

AK position on the admission of gigaliners