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Are better roads too much to ask?

Truckies are happy to contribute to the cost of roads and road maintenance, but we must get better value money.


In his latest Owner//Driver column, road transport safety advocate Rod Hannifey says the transport industry needs to get better value out of its contribution to the state of Australian roads.

“For years the road transport industry has correctly claimed that we are overcharged for our contribution to roads and road maintenance,” he says.

“We are not the only ones who use them; yes we are the biggest and carry the most weight, but whilst we do carry freight with intent to make a profit, we are a service industry to the people of Australia.

“If they did not need and buy the products we carry, we certainly would not be running up and down the road empty, just for fun!”

As a truckie himself, Rod traverses the country behind the wheel of the TruckRight Industry Vehicle and sees it as his duty to report areas of dilapidation. But ongoing issues have him angry.

“I have been ringing road authorities for years asking for bits and pieces to be repaired,” Rod continues.

“If we do not report a problem, how will someone sitting in an office hundreds of kilometres away ever know of it?

“Yes, there are still some road crews who will look and report road issues, but if they are driving along at 60km/h, will they see, feel and recognise the impacts on a fully laden B-double and will they do anything about it?

“How often do we see road repairs done and they have failed by the next week and we are forced to pay for that bad work, over and over again?

“Yes, we must contribute to the cost of roads and road maintenance as road users. But we must get better value for road building and road repairs.

“The dips, bumps, culverts and bridge abutments that subside, and the potholes and the damage caused to the truck and the driver, must be recognised as a cost not only to the owner and driver, but to the Australian community, let alone often a contributing factor to crashes.

“If the roads were built to a standard and we got good value from them, instead of being built to the cheapest cost that may well then see maintenance costs over the life of the road far exceed the original price.”

Read Rod’s full thoughts in the December issue of Owner//Driver. Subscribe here.




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