B-triple embrace should have happened sooner: Baxter

Rural trucking operator Kelvin Baxter Transport says B-triples are a priority in dealing with a growing freight task

By Brad Gardner | October 31, 2011

A well-known rural operator which has introduced B-triples in its fleet says greater use of the combination must be a priority to cope with the growing freight task.

NSW-based Kelvin Baxter Transport, which has been using B-triples in Queensland and NSW in recent years, has questioned why governments have not embraced the higher productivity vehicle sooner.

He wrote to the National Transport Commission in response to its discussion paper on a nationally-agreed access framework for B-triples, saying the units are safe and can reduce the amount of trucks needed to complete the freight task.

"I find it difficult to comprehend why they have not been embraced on the east coast earlier. They are a logical extension to the safety and freight productivity the B-Double has brought to the freight task," company owner Kelvin Baxter writes.

"With predictions on the size of the freight task doubling going forward the adoption of the B-Triple needs to be a priority."

Baxter says his company uses B-triples in its bulk haulage operations and breaks them down into B-doubles on the final leg to the port.

The NTC has proposed allowing 35-metre modular B-triples access to the type 1 road train network as the first step in opening up the eastern inter-capital network to the combination.

Baxter says access needs to be extended beyond road train routes and that the Intelligent Access Program (IAP) should not be a condition.

"They should operate under standard Road Train conditions as they do in other states. They are not a vehicle that needs monitoring because they are not so particularly different or threatening to what’s out there now operating across the country," Baxter writes.

His letter also raises the industry’s ongoing concerns with high A-trailer registration fees. Baxter says the cost of the trailer makes B-triples and expensive combination to register.

The NTC favours access for 35-metre combinations made up of two A-trailers and a semi-trailer to the road train network.

It says restrictive and inconsistent state and territory laws are constraining B-triples to intrastate operations. It estimates a nationally-agreed access scheme will reduce CO2 emissions, fatalities and the number of trucks on the road.

Related stories:
Unchain B-triples to drive productivity gains
Advertising campaign needed to combat scare mongering
Truck manufacturers want ‘rapid expansion’ of B-triples
WA backs B-triple expansion
Modular approach runs risk of access exclusion

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