RTA looks to cotton transport concessions


NSW cotton growers and transporters are likely to soon see the fruits of negotiations to allow for baled cotton loads to have the same concessions as wool and hay/straw loads. <br /><br /> Cotton Australia has been battling for concessions on several fronts including vehicle dimensions and oversized loads. The Road and Traffic Authority (RTA) says it is seeking to introduce a concession to allow the transport of baled cotton loads to an overall width of 2.7 metres.

By Rob McKay | October 13, 2011

NSW cotton growers and transporters are likely to soon see the fruits of negotiations to
allow for baled cotton loads to have the same concessions as wool and hay/straw loads.

Cotton Australia has been battling for concessions on several fronts including vehicle dimensions and oversized loads.

The Roads and Traffic Authority (RTA) says it is seeking to introduce a concession to allow the transport of baled cotton loads to an overall width of 2.7 metres.

The majority of baled cotton loads are less than 2.6 metres with only about 10 percent of loads between 2.6 metres and 2.7 metres, it has been told.

Vehicles affected are rigid trucks, semi-trailers and B-doubles which have B-coupled trailers and can provide greater vehicle stability.

However, there has been less progress with road trains.

"The on road dynamic performance of the A-double road train and overall vehicle stability of this combination is poorer than that of B-coupled trailers due to the nature of the drawbar (A-coupling) between the trailers," the RTA says.

"The nature of this coupling is the back trailer sways in a wider arc than B-coupled trailers and takes up more road space.

"Any increase of the load width increases the amount of road space required for the A-double road train.

"This introduces additional risk of incursion into the adjacent opposing lane on rural roads where lane width varies significantly."

While the outlook seems promising on loads, that for load restrains for round modules and bales is less so, with the RTA saying Cotton Australia’s draft load guidelines need to be certified compliant with the National Transport Commission’s National Load Restraint Guidelines.

Cotton Australia is also keen of gaining over-dimension concessions for harvesters such as the six metre wide, six tonne, John Deere 7760 round module cotton picker to travel on roads under their own steam. Though there were about 80 such machines in the country fro the last harvest, the next one is forecast to attract more than 200 of them.

You can also follow our updates by joining our LinkedIn group or liking us on Facebook