Trial shows demand for safer livestock loading options

A feasibility report into the trial of innovative infrastructure has demonstrated there is a demand for safer options for loading and unloading livestock.

Assistant Minister for Road Safety and Freight Transport Scott Buchholz said that the trial of a Parallel Access Landing (PAL) frame included a user-pays option for drivers arriving at Kilcoy Global Foods.

“Having seen the PAL frame in action, it’s clear that there are big safety benefits for operators as well as for livestock. It provides easy access to the top decks of trailers, keeping drivers safe from falls and separated from livestock at all times,” Mr Buchholz said.

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

NHVR CEO Sal Petroccitto said that the project was funded by the Heavy Vehicle Safety Initiative (HVSI), supported by the Federal Government.

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”.

NHVR CEO Sal Petroccitto said that the project was funded by the Heavy Vehicle Safety Initiative (HVSI), supported by the Federal Government.

“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,” Mr Petroccitto said.

ALRTA National President Stephen Marley said 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. This trial confirmed that the majority of operators are willing to share the cost if it means safer unloading for drivers,” Mr Marley said.

“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.”

Over the course of the trial there were no safety incidents for those operators using the PAL frame.

The full report Investigating the Feasibility of User-pay Loading and Unloading Infrastructure is available here.

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