Greater road train access from next week


Trucking operators will be able to apply for road train access to a regional saleyard from April 30

By Brad Gardner | April 27, 2012

Higher productivity vehicles will be given greater access to the NSW road network from next week when permits are introduced to run on the Kamilaroi Highway to the Gunnedah Regional Saleyards.

Roads Minister Duncan Gay announced in December last year he would open up the highway to A-doubles, B-triples and AB-triples, and Livestock and Bulk Carriers Association (LBCA) Executive Director Emma Higginson says operators will be able to apply for access from April 30.

Permit holders will be granted an exemption to travel on the highway from Narrabri to the saleyards in a move Gay says will increase productivity and reduce the number of trucks on the road.

"Importantly, this announcement will allow NSW to finally bridge the disconnect between the west and east of the Newell [Highway] and see regional industries previously separated by the divide start to prosper," Higginson says.

"The reform is an example of what is required to increase industry standards whilst introducing higher productivity and safer vehicles on to the existing road network. This decision starts linking key regional freight networks and delivers real economic benefits."

A-doubles must be fitted with road-friendly suspended tri-axle dollies. Gay says the permit will allow the tri-axle dolly on the A-doubles to operate at 20 tonnes for general mass limits and 21 tonnes for concessional mass limits.

Road trains fitted with tandem-axle dollies will be banned from using the route, and Gay hopes the limits granted to tri-axle dollies will encourage operators to switch to the configuration.

Higginson says the limits means operators are rewarded for increased safety standards and also ensures they do not lose out on productivity gains.

She says permits will be valid for one year and will allow an authorised vehicle to operate at a gross mass limit of 82.5 tonnes on the approved section of the Kamilaroi Highway.

"Operators will need to reapply for a new permit after 12 months. Importantly, eligible CML [concessional mass limits] vehicles will be able to carry up to 84.5 tonnes total combination laden mass," she says.

The NSW Government’s decision to permit greater access to the saleyards followed its move to end the need for truck drivers to carry the class 2 B-double approval notice last year.

Industry group NatRoad welcomed the move, saying it would reduce the amount of paperwork drivers would need to carry.

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