Blanchard scores with PBS despite setbacks

Herb Blanchard Haulage scores productivity gain with PBS despite 'last mile' setbacks

Blanchard scores with PBS despite setbacks
Blanchard scores with PBS despite setbacks
May 4, 2010

Herb Blanchard Haulage is backing performance based standards (PBS) to deliver the goods despite struggling to gain access in some areas.

The family-owned business gained approval to run a purpose built truck carrying power poles. The twin-steer combination is fitted with specialised log-handling cranes without losing payload and deck space and is capable of using longer trailers than conventional vehicles.

"We’re enjoying the benefits of the vehicles running throughout NSW…it’s the most cost effective, safe and efficient method of delivering the power poles and our customers are enjoying the benefits too," Blanchard CEO Rob Blanchard says.

But echoing comments made by Baxter Transport and Haulmark Trailers, Blanchard says an inability to gain access to council roads is a "big stumbling point" for operators.

"Sometimes the depot is just 100 metres from an arterial road and we need to get rid of up to five tonne in order to be able to drive on the local road to the depot if we don’t have the approval work beforehand," he says.

"The process of gaining local road access is very time consuming, involving finding out the name of the council to write to and waiting for approval from sometimes many councils at a time.

The system is even worse for operators who do not have a set run and may be travelling in different areas from one day to the next."

Blanchard says the company’s specialised vehicle is safer because it is built so the driver can use the crane without the need for slings and chains unlike usual configurations.

"In a normal situation with a conventional type crane there are three people involved and slings and chains, which is to some degree less compared to what we are currently doing," he says.

The log-handling cranes are fitted with custom clamps to grasp poles ranging from 1.8 metres to 23 metres when unloading.

It has a 1.8 tonne lifting capacity at 9.5 metres.

"Our customers are also requesting direct site deliveries in rural centres where the hire of external cranes normally would prove to be time consuming and costly to the customer for the traditional delivery method," Blanchard says.

The National Transport Commission (NTC) has proposed streamlining the PBS application process to reduce the industry’s administrative burden.

It wants the scheme to be run by the national heavy vehicle regulator when it is introduced in 2013 as a one-stop-shop for design approvals, access and advice.

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