Prominent road transport operators’ association NatRoad has welcomed the recent decision by Duncan Gay, the NSW minister for roads and ports, to consolidate and extend the temporary width concessions for baled agricultural commodities.
Under the new ‘Class 3 Baled Agricultural Commodities Load Exemption Notice 2012’ that came into effect on July 6, rigid trucks, semi-trailers and B-doubles carrying baled products must not exceed 2.7 metres overall width, while roadtrains, truck and dog and truck and pig trailer combinations carrying bales are restricted to an overall width of 2.6 metres. In all cases the overhang on each side of the vehicle must not exceed 100 mm.
“The Class 3 Baled Agricultural Commodities Load Exemption Notice 2012 will give operators certainty on the current arrangements until at least 2017,” said NatRoad vice president, Allan Thornley. “NatRoad worked hard to achieve the original range of 12 month exemption notices and we are particularly pleased that the consolidated notice will now extend the exemption to include a broader range of trailer combination types including B-doubles, roadtrains, truck and dog, and truck and pig trailers.”
Thornley said the arrangements recognise that baled wool, straw, hay and cotton have been transported in NSW for many decades in the current manner with no evidence to suggest that safety is a major concern.
“The conditions attached to the notice strike a reasonable balance between protecting public safety and the practical need to move naturally compressible bales from farm to customer,” he remarked. “NatRoad commends Minister Gay on this sensible decision and will support his push for the exemptions to be preserved during the transition to heavy vehicle national law.
“NatRoad will also seek the national application of the NSW arrangements to ensure that operators transporting baled agricultural commodities across NSW borders are not subjected to differing regulatory requirements.”
The notice and related conditions are available on the RMS website.