Fewer truck movements on roads this grain harvest

Monday 14 October 2013

Fewer truck movements on roads this grain harvest

Roads Minister Duncan Gay today welcomed strong support from industry and regional councils for the NSW Government’s 2013-14 Grain Harvest Management Scheme (GHMS).

“The new Grain Harvest Management Scheme will result in an increase in road freight productivity during the grain harvest season which will lead to fewer truck movements on state, regional and local roads,” said Minister Gay.

Minister Gay said due to the sheer size of the NSW grain harvest, even slight weight increases for individual trucks translate to substantial state-wide freight efficiency gains for farmers, transport operators and grain handling companies.

“Under the new scheme, a typical 19 metre six-axle semi-trailer – the ‘workhorse’ of the grain haulage task in country NSW – will be able to operate at 44.6 tonnes rather than 42.5 tonnes when running at General Mass Limits (GML).

“The extra 2.1 tonne in weight equates to a 5 per cent increase in road freight productivity and provides some flexibility to help alleviate the issues of fluctuating moisture content and slight load shifts in grain seeds which can throw out weights from paddock to silo,” he said.
Grain is one of the state’s most important agricultural industries, with the NSW grain crop valued at nearly $4 billion in 2012-13 and employs more than ten thousand people.

“Industry has been calling for a program which helps move grain to market more efficiently to the receival silos, particularly those on our rail network. We’re thrilled with the support that has been thrown behind the 2013/14 scheme so far by local councils, growers and transport operators.

“With nearly 30 local councils already signing up to the scheme – as well as endorsement from leading organistions such as GrainCorp, NSW Farmers Association and the Livestock and Bulk Carriers Association of NSW – we’re confident we’ve designed a smart, safe scheme which will deliver real benefits and savings to the road network and supply chain from paddock to port,” Minister Gay said.

“Significantly, under a tough – but fair – ‘three strikes and you are out’ policy the days of operators overloading their grain trucks will be a thing of the past.

“If operators are slightly overloaded they will be given three opportunities to adjust their loading practices, after which their truck will be removed from the scheme for the remainder of the season.

“Furthermore, trucks severely overload by exceeding 5 per cent above the GHMS – for example a GML semi-trailer running at 47 tonnes – will be immediately removed from the scheme and those involved in the operation will face the full force of the law, including Chain of Responsibility legislation.”

In addition to increased oversight of all loads being presented at participating silos, the GHMS places obligations on silos to provide an area where overloaded trucks can adjust their loads.

Minister Gay said this will eliminate the ridiculous and wasteful situation of overloaded trucks being returned to the road network and in some cases having no option but to drop valuable grain on the side of the road.

The scheme has been designed by Transport for NSW’s Freight and Regional Development Division in conjunction with Roads and Maritime Services. It follows six months of extensive consultation across regional associations of councils, individual councils, organisations and key industry groups.

“This productivity initiative supports our grain industry to be more competitive in the national and international markets and help drives economic growth in country NSW.
“I’d like to personally thank all those Mayors and Councillors and local road engineers who took the sensible step of enrolling their local economies in this new scheme – like you, I fully understand and appreciate the challenges you experience in operating and maintaining a road network,” Minister Gay said.

The 2013-14 Grain Harvest Management Scheme will commence after Gazettal tomorrow (Tuesday 15) and run until the completion of the summer rice harvest at the end of May 2014. It will be administered by Transport for NSW.

The new scheme applies to the transport of wheat, barley, rice, oats, canola and legumes.
Media: Marie Scoutas 0467 739 976

View the original media release (PDF)

Share this page: