Bicycles are the New Trucks

Bicycle

Trucks are loud, big, and clog the roads. Bicycles are quiet, small, and only need a fraction of the space larger vehicles need. Moving freight around a city is tough because of the traffic, so how about using bicycles to transport freight?

Bicycles are often thought as only a recreational or commuter transportation solution, but more and more people are looking into using bicycles to move freight. This already happens in large cities to deliver food and small packages, so why not use bikes to move larger goods?

This isn’t a new concept. Not so many years ago, delivery by bike was routine across Britain and remains so in many other less industrialised nations.

Newer bike-based cargo and courier firms have been around for a while but advances in e-bike technology are increasing the loads that such machines can carry and also the ease of use, particularly in hilly places.

Sleek, whirring machines are increasingly visible, even in places like the UK, where the delivery giant DHL is using them. Elsewhere, the ambitions are greater, as with Gothenburg’s “armadillo”, an articulated bike-and-trailer system that transports deliveries to city centre shops and businesses.

Read more.

A Better Truck for Safer Driving

Trucks kill a lot a cyclists and that’s a problem. We’ve looked at ways we can make trucks more efficient, now London Cycling Campaign has found ways to make trucks safer. They have modified the layout of a truck to allow the driver to see more of the road – in particular cyclists.

London Cycling Campaign haulage expert and former lorry driver Charlie Lloyd said:

“Our Safer Urban Lorry design is a challenge to the construction industry to use vehicles that help reduce the terrible number of people on bikes and on foot who are killed by lorries.

“The restricted view from the cab of many of today’s construction lorries means the driver often has little or no idea who or what is in their immediate vicinity, which is totally unacceptable

Read more at London Cycling Campaign.

A More Efficient Truck for Shipping


A new SuperTruck is a huge improvement over current long-haul trucks that ship tonnes of goods around North America. The USA’s Department of Energy wanted to make trucks 50% more efficient through various solutions, even a marginal increase can lower gas consumption and thus pass on savings to a consumer.

The demonstration SuperTruck made a whole swath of changes (as can be seen in the image above) to make their truck way better than existing fleets. All their changes add up to a 61% improvement in freight efficiency!

This was achieved without anything too exotic: The ‘SuperTruck’ uses a higher-efficiency engine and an aerodynamic tractor-trailer that significantly reduces drag combined with a waste heat recovery system, electronic controls that use route information to optimize fuel use, low-rolling resistance tires, and weight reductions all around.

Read more at TreeHugger.

Thanks to Matt!

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