The Australian Trucking Association (ATA) is pressing on with its quest for a significant reduction in the registration cost for lead or ‘A’ trailers in B-double combinations. It claims the annual registration charge for a tri-axle A-trailer has increased from $1065 in 2007-08 to $6525 in 2011-12.
The focus of the ATA’s investigation is a consultation paper released by the National Transport Commission (NTC) last December outlining four options for reducing the registration charges on A-trailers.
According to ATA chief executive Stuart St Clair, the massive increase in registration charges has regrettably forced some truck operators to relinquish the use of B-doubles.
“B-doubles are safer than conventional combinations due to their design which provides a high level of roll stability,” Stuart said. “They also have the latest safety features such as ABS, and B-double drivers are licensed to a higher standard.”
“Furthermore, B-doubles can carry significantly more freight than a standard semi-trailer, which reduces the number of heavy vehicles on the road. This, in turn, reduces the number of accidents, and the amount of fuel needed to manage a given freight task.
“The charging system should encourage truck operators to use high productivity vehicles, not punish them for investing in the latest, and safest, truck combinations.
“Our policy team is reviewing the figures in the NTC consultation paper. We have also asked a series of technical follow up questions as we work to lodge a submission in response to the paper.”