Victoria to introduce grain harvest mass management scheme

. Peter Carruthers

A GRAINS harvest mass management scheme will be introduced in Victoria for the first time this year.  

This will allow trucks carrying grain to be 5 per cent over their maximum weight thresholds.

It will bring Victoria into line with all the other major grain-growing states, some of which have had similar schemes for more than a decade.  

Victorian Roads Minister Luke Donnellan will today announce the start of a grain harvest management scheme and said it will give the Victorian grains industry a helping hand.  

"This will not only boost safety by giving farmers and drivers more time to move more grain, but boost productivity for an important part of our economy," he said.  

From October 1 this year heavy vehicles registered under the scheme, except for road trains and trucks built before 2002, will be allowed to increase their load by 5 per cent when delivering grain to receivers who are also participating in the scheme.  

Such a scheme is designed to allow for the difficulty caused by the natural variation of grain density when trucks are loaded on farm and when growers don't have on-farm weighbridges.  

Growers have said they often underloaded their grain trucks, for fear they would be over their legal weight limit.   In other states, such as NSW, the scheme reduced the number of heavy vehicles on roads, and increased the productivity of the grains industry.  

Recent data released by the NSW Government showed 10 million tonnes of grain were moved under the scheme in 2015-16, and this saved more than 9500 truck movements.  

However trucks built before 2002 will not be allowed to register for the scheme.   

A spokesman for Mr Donnellan said this was "for safety reasons", given Victoria did not require annual registration reviews.  

VicRoads will evaluate the scheme after the first year.

News Corp Australia