Trucking operators 'embracing' IAP

Trucking industry is "embracing" IAP despite a fall in the number of companies taking up the scheme

Trucking operators 'embracing' IAP
Trucking operators 'embracing' IAP
By Brad Gardner | September 1, 2009

The trucking industry is "embracing" the Intelligent Access Program, according to the authority responsible for administering it, despite a drop in enrolment figures.

Transport Certification Australia (TCA) has released IAP enrolment figures up to July 30 since the scheme became mandatory for higher mass limits (HML) access from July 1.

According to the figures, almost 300 transport operators nationwide registered with IAP. The number represents 1,785 vehicles, of which the TCA says 626 vehicles have fully enrolled.

But while TCA Chief Executive Chris Koniditsiotis is anticipating "a steep increase" in enrolment figures, the nationwide number is actually less than NSW.

A spokesperson for the Roads and Traffic Authority (RTA) says 571 companies in the State had pre-enrolled before the cut-off date last year, but only 200 went through with the enrolment process before IAP became mandatory.

Fewer companies have adopted the program north of the border, with a spokesperson for the Department of Transport and Main Roads saying 83 operators had enrolled in Queensland by July 8.

But armed with the latest figures, Koniditsiotis claims interest is growing in IAP and the uptake rate increased steadily during May to July this year.

"These figures demonstrate both the robustness of the program and indicate that the industry is embracing the IAP with increased momentum, as transport operators come to better understand the program and its associated commercial benefits," he says.

Yet as the TCA proudly declares IAP acceptance is on the rise, companies such as Baxter Transport may walk away from the scheme due to access constraints.

As reported by ATN, trucking companies in NSW cannot gain HML access on local routes because a lack of council funding and a refusal by the RTA to finance local route assessments.

Kel Baxter says his company spent $20,000 installing the IAP technology in five trucks and must also pay an $800 monthly fee.

"At the moment I can’t even get my $800 back," Kel says.

But Koniditsiotis is hopeful the issue can be overcome, saying HML has come a long way in recent years.

"It is now not as restrictive, especially the declared road network," he says.

Koniditsiotis adds that companies must make informed commercial decisions on IAP and weigh up the benefits before enrolling.

The TCA boss also says the enrolment figures are all the more impressive considering they have come during the global economic downturn.

"It’s a good sign," Koniditsiotis says.

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