A news story this week about trucking operators dropping trailers in Wagga is one which could be repeated all over the country. The drastic lack of decent and safe facilities where trailers can be left during changeovers is a national problem, illustrated here in a major transport hub.
The story in Wagga’s Daily Advertiser this week tells of local demands in the city for a specialist truck parking bay after locals raised serious safety concerns. According to the story there are no truck parking bays in the city, now trailers are being left in various areas, many in unsuitable locations.
“We need a truck service centre, where trailers can be left and swapped, because it’s already happening on Hammond Avenue, Pearson Street and Copland Street,” Wagga Councillor Alan Brown is quoted as saying.
“The Caltex service station at Gumly Gumly is not adequate and there’s already been a fatal accident there because of trucks parked on the side of the road. We’re a major city on a major highway, it doesn’t make sense that Tarcutta has a better truck stop than Wagga.”
The New South Wales Roads and Maritime Services is currently assessing a plan for a bypass of the city. Councillors and trucking operators are urging for the plan to include an effective parking area where trailer swaps could take place in safety.
The Daily Adveriser also talked to Leeton Bulk Freight Transport Director Royce Teerman who told the newspaper truck drivers were taking their lives into their own hands decoupling trailers on Wagga roads.
“When the truck driver winds down the set of legs on the trailer, there’s 17 tonnes pressing down on the road, and on a hot day the trailer legs will go straight through the bitumen,” said Teerman. “It’s happened to me four times. What happens if someone’s walking past or the driver’s walked down the side of the trailer to get to his toolbox?
“That may only be a one in 100 event, but it’s bound to happen. We’d like to see a spare block somewhere in Wagga where drivers can have a rest and safely swap trailers.”