Cotton industry group backs NSW width reform


Cotton Australia has hailed NSW Government changes to trailer widths for bales that it has lobbied for. <br /><br /> An exemption notice has now been granted allowing for a maximum width of 2.7 metres. The notice applies to rigids, prime mover and semi-trailer combinations, B-double combinations and, to a maximum of 2.6 metres, Class 2 road trains.

By Rob McKay | December 5, 2011

Cotton Australia has hailed NSW Government changes to trailer widths for bales that it has lobbied for.

An exemption notice has now been granted allowing for a maximum width of 2.7 metres.

The notice applies to rigids, prime mover and semi-trailer combinations, B-double combinations and, to a maximum of 2.6 metres, Class 2 road trains.

Cotton Australia Field Policy Manager James Houlahan says "this relatively small difference in load width will be a big deal for cotton gins and bale transport operators".

"Allowing trucks hauling cotton bales from the gin to be loaded just a little wider, means now all gins will be able to comply with our own industry’s bale loading BMP guidelines; which is 3 bales wide" and with the minimum recommended load restraint system."

This latest exemption brings cotton into line with other large commodities and their transport logistics like wool and hay, but with at least one very significant difference, the organisation says.

"The use of Class 2 road train combinations is critical to our industry for moving cotton bales to the warehouses and ports Houlahan says.

"We’ve achieved an important first for NSW in obtaining concessions to use Class 2 road trains for transporting cotton bales from gins to warehouses at load widths ‘over-size’ out to a new maximum of 2.6m and this will immediately benefit at least 90% of cotton gins.

Houlahan insists that the announcement should be considered a ‘win-win’ for industry and regulators, as it will ultimately mean fewer heavy vehicles on the road through the smarter utilisation of road trains.

Cotton Australia put the victory down to its close working relationship with road transport authorities in NSW.

It is now looking to "ensure these exemptions remain in place after the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator comes into force from January 2013".

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