Fletcher's builds terminal to gain access


Regional exporter builds own terminal to gain access for quad-axle semi trailer and increase payload

March 6, 2012

Fletcher International Exports has resorted to building its own intermodal terminal in central NSW to gain access for a higher productivity vehicle.

The Dubbo-based processor and supplier of sheep meat, skins and wool products wanted to use a quad-axle semi trailer over the conventional tri-axle unit between the company’s abattoir and the town’s rail terminal.

Managing Director Roger Fletcher says a tri-axle semi could not fill the 40-foot containers at the terminal to be shipped to Port Botany for export.

The company gained approval carry 55 tonnes using a quad-axle but could not access the existing terminal because the roads would not support the heavier load.

"Because the council advised us that Yarrandale Road was constructed to a higher standard in terms of its pavement we decided to build our own intermodal rail terminal. This suited the council because it no longer had the tri-axle semi-trailers operating on the back roads of Dubbo to the old rail terminal," Fletcher says.

"This means the truck trip is a 750-metre long journey along Yarrandale Road to the new intermodal rail terminal within Dubbo’s industrial precinct. Using the quad-axle semi trailer has led to a significant payload increase over the tri-axle alternative."

The trucking company contracting to Fletcher’s had to fit the Intelligent Access Program (IAP) before the council approved access. The IAP tracks vehicles via GPS and is a condition of use for higher mass limits in NSW and Queensland.

Dubbo Councillor Allan Smith says Yarrandale Road has already been approved for HML but that the council needed to determine if the benefit of a quad-axle semi trailer outweighed the cost of wear and tear to the road.

He says the council would not have approved access without IAP.

"The IAP provided the assurance council was looking for. If this technology was not available to use in this way, I do not believe council would have approved this application," he says.




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