Wool bale exemption extended in NSW

NSW roads minister extends load width concessions for the movement of wool, hay, straw and cotton bales until 2017

Wool bale exemption extended in NSW
Wool bale exemption extended in NSW
July 9, 2012

Trucking operators hauling wool, hay, straw or cotton bales in New South Wales will continue to receive a width concession, with road trains permitted to carry the goods for the first time.

Roads Minister Duncan Gay has moved to provide certainty to transporters by declaring the one-year concession announced last year will stay in place until at least 2017.

Gay says the new Class 3 Baled Agricultural Commodities Load Exemption Notice consolidates a number of existing notices and allows semi-trailers and B-double trucks to transport wool, hay, straw and cotton bale loads up to 2.7 metres in width. The concession is designed to recognise that bales can bulge out beyond 2.5 metres when being loaded onto a trailer.

For the first time, the new notice also allows double road trains to transport loads of baled wool, hay and straw up to 2.6 metres in width on the road train network. Gay says the vehicles could only transport cotton bales in the past.

Similarly, the new notice also permits truck and dog trailer, and truck and pig trailer combinations to carry loads of baled wool, hay, straw and cotton up to 2.6 metres in width when operating outside the urban zone. Gay says dog and pig trailer combinations were previously banned from transporting any of the agricultural commodities.

"Without comprising safety, we’re injecting much needed common sense back into the farm freight productivity equation," Gay says.

"Semi-trailers and B-double trucks are allowed the extra width concession from 2.6 metres to 2.7 metres because they exhibit better tracking and stability than road train and dog and pig trailer combinations."

Loads up to 2.6 metres in width are not subject to any additional access restrictions or conditions, while loads between 2.6 metres and 2.7 metres are subject to some travel restrictions and conditions, such as the need to install flashing lights.

The notice still requires operators to meet a number of conditions, including limiting the side load projection on any one side of the vehicle to 100mm at most. Vehicles travelling at night carrying more than 2.6 metre width loads must have a flashing light, load delineators and warning signs.

Gay says he will push for the concessions to remain in place under national heavy vehicle regulations.

"The New South Wales Government has listened to farmers and transport operators and also considered the expert advice of road safety authorities to arrive at a safe and sensible solution to this issue," Gay says.

As reported by ATN in 2010, the Roads and Traffic Authority – now known as the Roads and Maritime Services – was enforcing a 2.5 metre width on wool bales despite knowing it could not be legally complied with.

It resisted industry calls to reform the scheme, with NatRoad waging a two-year battle to change the policy.

Gay announced an immediate concession last year, winning praise from the industry in the process.

Click here to view and download a copy of the new notice.

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