PAL frame trial gains industry approval

ALRTA, NHVR and Buchholz highlight benefits of livestock loading innovation

PAL frame trial gains industry approval
A Parallel Access Landing frame


A feasibility report into the trial of new livestock loading and unloading infrastructure has offered endorsement for the initiative, the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR) reports.

The trial of a Parallel Access Landing (PAL) frame includes a user-pays option for drivers arriving at Kilcoy Global Foods (KGF).

The feasibility study by the Australian Livestock and Rural Transporters Association (ALRTA) concluded that, "depending on the type of gantry installed and average daily usage rates, installation and maintenance costs can typically be fully recovered by a higher volume livestock facility in less than three years".

ALRTA’s Investigating the Feasibility of User-pay Loading and Unloading Infrastructure concludes:

  • It is possible to operate a Crate PAL on a user-pay basis
  • There is a typical supply/demand relationship between user prices and usage rates (i.e. usage rates increase as the price per use is decreased)
  • At the KGF site, the optimum price was $10.00 per use with a cost recovery period of 2.6 years
  • At other sites, installation, maintenance and charging costs could typically be fully recovered in less than three years
  • User-pay is likely to be feasible at all sites with more than 15 truck deliveries per day
  • Installation of a Crate PAL improves unloading safety without reducing efficiency.

"Having seen the PAL frame in action, it’s clear that there are big safety benefits for operators as well as for livestock," Assistant Minister for Road Safety and Freight Transport Scott Buchholz says.

"It provides easy access to the top decks of trailers, keeping drivers safe from falls and separated from livestock at all times.

"The positive result from this trial means that other businesses can now seriously think about this as an option."

The PAL frame trial was announced in September last year

ALRTA national president Stephen Marley says the trial had demonstrated that transport businesses are willing to contribute to the cost of safer infrastructure via a user-pay system.

"Loading and unloading livestock is a high-risk activity," Marley says.

"This trial confirmed that the majority of operators are willing to share the cost if it means safer unloading for drivers.

"Not only have we proven a willingness to contribute, we have also demonstrated that it is technically possible to operate infrastructure on a user-pay basis without impacting efficiency.

"In partnership with Proway, this project produced a first of its kind moving gantry that fully retracts while remaining parallel to the ramp and vehicle, so there is a range of gantry systems available to suit all sites.

"Livestock facility owners can now bring forward safety improvements using the user-pay option with full confidence that it is a low risk proposition accepted by the majority of transporters." 

The project was funded by the federal Heavy Vehicle Safety Initiative (HVSI).

"Heavy vehicle safety is everyone’s responsibility, and our support for this project is a perfect example of how the NHVR is helping to deliver tangible safety improvements with the potential to be rolled out nationally," NHVR CEO Sal Petroccitto says.

The full report is available here.

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