Seino Transportation Co.’s double-trailer truck starts demonstration trials. The rear trailer is detached and hooked up to another tractor vehicle on March 28 in Komaki, Aichi Prefecture. (Video footage by Tomohiro Yamamoto)

KOMAKI, Aichi Prefecture--A common sight on highways in other countries but not in Japan, a double-trailer truck being tested by Seino Transportation Co. could help alleviate driver shortages and increase hauling capacity.

The company rolled out a 25-meter-long double-trailer truck to the media on March 28 for demonstration testing.

When separated from the front trailer, the rear trailer can be hooked to another tractor vehicle and used as an independent truck. This twin-trailer model, of 25 meters in length, is the first of its kind in Japan.

The company expects that the frequency of loading and unloading cargo will be reduced and work productivity will be improved. It developed the new truck in conjunction with Hino Motors Ltd. and other firms.

In autumn 2016, the Japanese government announced a plan to ease current measures and allow double-trailer trucks to be a maximum of 25 meters in length for experimental testing. Currently, a 21-meter-long double-trailer truck is allowed for road use only with government permission.

The demonstration experiment launched March 29. Two trailers left from Mie and Gifu prefectures, respectively. They were articulated into one double-trailer truck in the company’s Komaki branch in Aichi Prefecture. The double-trailer truck traveled 170 kilometers toward the company's Fujieda branch in Shizuoka Prefecture, where it was separated.

The new double trailer is expected to help reduce the number of drivers needed in certain areas.

“Not only will it help solve short staffing issues, but we hope it will improve productivity. Hopefully, we will be able to increase the number of the trucks,” said Shinji Komori, Seino Transportation's senior executive director.