Lighter, more fuel-efficient vehicles

It's easy to optimize transport: Maximize your load at a minimum cost

This simple idea – maximize load at minimum cost – held true until trucks and trailers could be manufactured to load more than roads could carry. Along with environmental concerns and high traffic intensity in many countries, this has led to a steadily growing interest in technologies that increase load capacity. And lower weight pays off – an extra tonne on the truck can increase revenues by 6,000 euros per year.

Each new series of trucks and trailers are supplied with equipment for increased safety and comfort. Air conditioning, refrigerators, microwaves and the latest electronic devices are constantly increasing a vehicle’s curb weight. Nowadays, the weight savings can really only be gained on the chassis, engine and drivetrain.'

How (and why) to lightweight a heavyweight

Many heavy-vehicle manufacturers succeed in reducing weight by using advanced high-strength steels. Close collaboration between engineers at SSAB's Knowledge Service Center and customers’ designers help make this possible.

In fact, just by switching from conventional steel to advanced high-strength steels brings great potential for weight savings. The better steel grade can more or less cut weight by up to 45 percent.

Finally, the truck or trailer users themselves are the ones who gain the most profit when the weight drops. If the load capacity increases by a tonne, the owner can make € 60,000 more in a year.

Manufacturers also stand to benefit from using higher strength steels. Production costs fall, partly because thinner sheet requires less welding material, while production becomes more efficient.

Semi-trailers and other heavy vehicles originally designed to be made of advanced high-strength steel may often benefit in terms of quality. The material properties result in products that require less maintenance, increase profitability and have longer lifespans.

SSAB’s steel products for the transportation industry

Learn how our steel brands are used in trucks, trailers and containers, automobiles and racecars, and cranes and lifting equipment.