ATA looks to higher productivity vehicle usage

New truck impact chart shows bigger trucks promote safety and efficiency

ATA looks to higher productivity vehicle usage
The latest chart suggests that longer trucks can achieve more with less, reduce fuel consumption, lower emissions, and improve safety.


The Australian Trucking Association (ATA) is making a case for the benefits of higher productivity heavy vehicle usage with the release of its latest Truck Impact Chart (TIC).

The national body says use of higher productivity trucks can improve safety and reduce the number of trips required to move goods.

However, knowing what truck combination is most suitable for a particular type of job is key, ATA senior engineering adviser Chris Loose says.

The new chart attempts to simplify the process of access determination by comparing the impact of different vehicle combinations on a range of parameters to help operators decide what truck combination to use for a particular job.

The current chart is based on the 2010 edition, which was authored by David Coonan (ATA’s policy manager, now retired) and Bob Woodward (of Barkwood Consulting), and includes updated data related to vehicle combinations and axle loadings.

It compares different truck combinations and includes information such as the amount of road space required, overall length, number of trips required to move 1,000 tonnes, fuel usage, and driver and license requirements.

It also offers information regarding fuel quality, emissions, safety statistics, and impacts such as low-speed swept paths.

The chart suggests that longer trucks can reduce the number of trips, lower emissions, and reduce fuel consumption, and since they are driven by "more experienced" drivers, who are required to meet tougher licensing requirements, they have a better overall safety record.

"The updated truck impact chart clearly shows that larger trucks can reduce the number of truck trips required to move a load of goods, reduce fuel needs, reduce emissions and reduce the amount of road space needed to move goods from A to B," Loose says.

"When deciding what truck combination to use or allow on our roads to do a particular job we need to pay attention to the wide range of truck impacts in order to make the right call.

"Not only can bigger trucks move more with less, but they can do it with less emissions, less fuel consumption, a better safety record and with more experienced drivers who have to meet tougher licensing requirements."

Developed by the ATA’s Industry Technical Council, the chart is part of the national body’s technical advisory procedure for heavy vehicle operators.

However, the points highlighted in the chart will not be applicable across all national jurisdictions considering Western Australia and the Northern Territory have, so far, not adopted the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR’s) national framework – the Heavy Vehicle National Law (NHVL).



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