PRODUCTIVITY improvements introduced for heavy vehicles in South Australia will have flow-on national benefits, NHVR Chief Executive, Sal Petroccitto, has said.
Mr Petroccitto was speaking after the amendment to the road train notice to allow tri-axle dollies on road trains in South Australia that came into effect on June 29 and follows the recent allowance of quad road trains in South Australia from June 4.
"Prior to this, quad road trains could not be used for the Adelaide to Darwin route. One of these combinations can now be used for all 3,000km of that route to carry up to 20t of extra mass over the traditional triple road train," he said.
"Road trains will now be able to use tri-axle dollies for interstate trips into and out of South Australia. This brings South Australia into line with the rest of the nation.
"This removes previous suspension, draw bar and turntable requirements for tri-axle dollies in South Australia, and for such vehicles to go through the Performance-Based Standards (PBS) scheme.
"A quad road train can carry about the same freight as 3.5 semi-trailers, and in addition to productivity gains, can provide additional operational flexibility to operators when they are broken up for onward journeys. Tri-axle dollies are generally speaking as safe, if not safer, than tandem-axle dollies, and operators will be able to gain an additional 7t for a triple road train," Mr Petroccitto said.
A recently released report by the South Australian Government identified that the quad road train initiative would deliver at least an eight percent productivity boost and the tri-axle dolly initiative would deliver at least a six percent productivity boost.
"These improvements will not only benefit freight efficiency with South Australia, but will also benefit neighbouring states and the Northern Territory by removing cross-border differences in rules," Mr Petroccitto said.
"It's been estimated that freight is up to 40% of the total cost of food basics like meat and bread, so harmonising rules like these will ultimately benefit the families who buy whatever comes into their communities by truck," Mr Petroccitto said.
"That's why the NHVR was pleased to work with government and industry representatives in South Australia to deliver these important gains.
"A key reason for setting up the NHVR was to remove cross-border inconsistencies, so it's great to see initiatives like these coming from the cooperative approach of the NHVR, state governments and industry working together.
"It's also a long term goal of the draft National Remote and Regional Transport Strategy to align policy and regulation across similar environments, so it's great to be making progress towards that goal already," Mr Petroccitto said.
The productivity improvements were also welcomed by industry with President of the Livestock and Rural Transporters' Association of South Australia, David Smith saying he was pleased to see South Australia coming into line with other jurisdictions that had safely operated these vehicle configurations for years.
"This is a great outcome for our local industry and in particular the agricultural sector. The removal of red tape and restrictions around operations of tri-axle dollies and quad road trains are vital in meeting the growing freight demands in our very competitive industry," said Mr. Smith
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