Australia’s transport ministers have agreed to national road network access and operating conditions for modular B-triples that will enable these vehicles to use the current type 1 (double) roadtrain network.
While B-triples are already used in many parts of Australia, operators of these combinations have been disadvantaged by inconsistent state and territory road access and operating conditions.
Having turntable (B) couplings on each trailer as opposed to a dolly (A) connection as found on double roadtrains, B-triple combinations are considerably more stable at highway speeds and therefore safer than their double roadtrain counterparts.
National Transport Commission (NTC) chief executive, Nick Dimopoulos described the decision made at the recent SCOTI (Standing Council on Transport and Infrastructure) meeting as a win for industry and the community.
“Modular B-triples are safe, efficient vehicles. They have been designed to allow the use of existing B-double equipment, providing the flexibility to mix and match equipment according to the level of road access,” Dimopoulos said. “We hope this decision will provide industry with the confidence needed to invest in these vehicles and increase uptake across Australia.”
The NTC estimates this decision by ministers will prevent many fatalities, result in a reduction of CO2 emissions of 1.1 million tonnes and generate an estimated $1.1 billion in productivity savings (Net Present Value) by 2030. This financial gain derives from both reduced vehicle numbers and kilometres travelled.
“We would like to acknowledge our reform partners in government and industry for working so collaboratively with us on this initiative,” Nick added.
Modular B-triples comprise a prime mover and three semi-trailers, and can be assembled from standard B-double trailing equipment. They meet stringent requirements to ensure they are safe enough to travel on Australian roads and do no more damage to roads and bridges than double roadtrains.
The NTC’s final policy paper as endorsed by SCOTI, A National Framework for B-Triple Operations, can be downloaded from the NTC website.