New quad road trains are being trialled on the roads of the Pilbara in Western Australia. The longest road trains on public roads in Australia, the combinations have been granted WA State Government approval to start operating for a three month period.
According to the WA Transport Minister, Dean Nalder, the road trains are longer but safer than any seen on Australian roads before, with a prime mover and four trailers (AAA quads), stretching out to an overall length of 60 metres.
The trucks will travel on a section of Great Northern Highway, between Munjina-Roy Hill Road and Utah Point, Port Hedland.
“These vehicles are known as Super Quads and we have committed to an Australian-first trial of these roads trains to operate in the Pilbara region,” said Nalder. “Even though they are longer, these are state-of-the-art vehicles with improved safety and superior handling compared to the standard 53.5m road trains, the longest currently allowed on our roads.”
The first two state-of-the-art vehicles have been manufactured by WA trailer manufacturers, Bruce Rock Engineering and Howard Porter, to transport iron ore and other minerals for Process Minerals International and Qube Bulk.
The trial is intended to provide the mining industry with greater productivity and lower operating costs, reduce the number of vehicles on the road in the long-term and introduce a safer vehicle, according to Nalder.
During the trial, the WA Government will assess the impact on the road infrastructure and other road users, using pavement assessments, traffic data, community surveys and on-road monitoring to research its findings. The vehicle combinations will be assessed by a panel of the Road Safety Commission, local government, WA Police, WA Main Roads and the ‘caravanning industry’.
As part of the conditions for the trial, the quads will be speed limited to 90kmh, allowing easier overtaking by other vehicles and ensuring superior on-road performance. All vehicles must be equipped with electronic braking systems, stability control and in-vehicle telematics to monitor the vehicle’s operation. The telematics will be used to ensure drivers do not deviate from the approved route or exceed 90kmh.