Main Roads rejects OHS concerns over truck bulldozers

Queensland Main Roads says new recovery units are safe and made locally.

By Michael House

The Queensland department of Main Roads has hit back at claims from the Queensland Trucking Association (QTA), recovery units they plan to put into use on the state’s roads do not comply with health and safety regulations.

A spokesperson from Main Roads told ATN the units had been purchased with the full knowledge they were fit for public use.

"The health and safety of employees is Main Roads number one priority.

"The units, once operational will be operated by extensively trained and qualified staff in compliance with Queensland’s workplace health and safety laws," the spokesperson says.

Main Roads also says the units are not imported from the USA as claimed by the QTA and are a vital new tool to ensure congestion issues are dealt with.

"Research conducted by Main Roads revealed a machine capable of moving heavy vehicles and loads were not available in Australia.

"To address this, Main Roads engaged Sunshine Coast- based company Ekebol Engineering Pty Ltd to build the specialised units.

"The units are not being imported from the USA, as alleged by the Queensland Trucking Association," the spokesperson says.

QTA Chief Executive Peter Garske provided information to the State Government last week suggesting the type of mobile crane proposed would be incapable of moving an overturned articulated vehicle.

Garske says experts on crane operation within the QTA say it is immediately evident the cranes simply will not be able to cope with the weight of an overturned truck.

"Expert eyes tell us from looking at the size of one of these cranes that if a large truck was picked up the crane would fall over.

"If you put a crane on one side of a truck and another one on the other end, the truck would act like a piece of plasticine and then you have got 45 tonne wobbling in the air- things aren’t going to be stable," Garske says.

Main Roads says it would be open to discussion with the QTA about any concerns regarding the units but maintains the units are on track for launch in Brisbane "later this year".

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