Higher productivity trucks gain access to NSW saleyards

NSW opens up the Kamilaroi Highway to A-doubles, B-triples and AB-triples in a boost for freight productivity

December 1, 2011

The NSW Government has opened up the Kamilaroi Highway to A-doubles, B-triples and AB-triples, permitting the higher productivity vehicles to service one of the state’s largest saleyards.

Roads Minister Duncan Gay today announced the combinations would be given an exemption to allow them to travel on the highway from Narrabri in the state’s north to the Gunnedah Regional Saleyards.

Labelling the reform as a significant boost to freight productivity, Gay says it will increase efficiency and reduce the number of truck movements on NSW roads.

"This reform will allow A-double road trains fitted with road-friendly suspended tri-axle dollies and B-Triple and AB-Triple trucks to service the saleyards resulting in a more efficient road freight outcome for northwest NSW," he says.

"Significantly, the tri-axle dolly on these modern road trains will be permitted to operate at 20 tonnes for general mass limits and 21 tonnes for concessional mass limits."

While Gay says the announcement means road trains fitted with tandem-axle dollies will be banned from using the route, he says the tri-axle dolly exemption represents an opportunity for the trucking industry to switch to a more modern and safer configuration.

Gay is tipping the increase in mass limits to deliver benefits for Gunnedah’s community and the saleyard, which Meat and Livestock Australia lists as the second-largest cattle selling centre in NSW.

Along with the NSW Government, the Gunnedah and Narrabri councils will spend about $400,000 on safety projects along 90 kilometres of the Kamilaroi Highway. The upgrades, which include the installation of wire rope barriers, are due to be completed in April next year.

Gay says A-double road trains fitted with tri-axle dollies will be given access to the 90 kilometres of highway for three years once the upgrades are completed. Furthermore, the government plans to allow B-triples and AB-triples of up to 36.5 metres in length to operate on the route under permit.

The NSW Livestock Bulk Carriers Association (LBCA) President, Barney Hayes, says the exemption will improve regional productivity.

"Increasing freight efficiency by opening up modernised road train routes in the state will ultimately provide growth to regional industries and deliver improved safety and economic benefits to local communities," he says.

"Importantly, this decision starts linking key freight networks and providing an appropriate network to deliver real economic benefits. This will allow NSE to finally bridge the disconnect between the west and east of the Newell [Highway] and provide an optimal network to really deliver."

Gay’s announcement follows the government’s recent decision to look at the feasibility of volumetric loading for the livestock transport industry.

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