B-TRIPLE NETWORK EXPANDED TO NEWELL HIGHWAY

Friday, August 09, 2013

B-triple network expanded to Newell Highway

Modular B-triple truck configurations will now be allowed on the Newell Highway from Narrabri to Goondiwindi in NSW.

As part of national heavy vehicle reforms, modular B-triples are allowed to operate on the road train network west of the Newell under the same conditions as Type 1 road trains.

Transport operators travelling from far western NSW, e.g. on the Kamilaroi Highway, will now be able to access the Newell at Narrabri to use the 225 kilometre stretch of highway to Goondiwindi, and then beyond.

Even though they have an extra (third) trailer, modular B-triples are typically shorter than Type 1 road trains currently operating on this section of the Newell.

Modern modular B-triples are said to be safer than some of the older and heavier vehicle combinations using these routes, especially in terms of their manoeuvrability and handling performance. Being articulated they follow the road better.

Industry research has shown that a semi-trailer operating at a higher mass limit (HML) takes approximately 37 trips to transport 1,000 tonnes of freight, whereas for the same tonnage a modular B-triple operating at HML only requires about 17 trips.

The stretch of the Newell Highway between Narrabri and Goondiwindi has been determined as having suitable infrastructure to accommodate these types of trucks.

Type 1 Road Train Max length = 36.5 metres

Modular B-triple Max length = 35.0 metres

The roads west of the Newell, on which Type 1 road trains and modular B-triples currently operate, have significantly lower traffic volumes than the Newell itself.

For this reason, and to ensure consistency with the existing approach taken for routes on and east of the highway, modular B-triples using the Newell itself will be required to meet additional requirements including:
•Accreditation under the maintenance module of National Heavy Vehicle Accreditation Scheme (NHVAS);
•Road-friendly suspension; and
•Enrolment in the Intelligent Access Program (IAP).

Consistent with requirements already in place for road trains and modular B-triples in this part of NSW, vehicles will need to comply with a maximum speed limit of 90 km/h.

In April this year, the NSW Government and Transport Certification Australia (TCA) announced a new entry options initiative and flexible pricing framework to help reduce the costs of transport operators implementing and using IAP.

The entry options arrangement recognises transport operators have existing in-vehicle GPS units and makes it easier for transport operators to have their existing in-vehicle units assessed and type-approved to comply with national IAP standards.

Modular B-triples are expected to start using the Newell Highway between Narrabri and Goondiwindi from late August, subject to permit approval.

Operators interested in applying for permits should contact iap@rms.nsw.gov.au.

 
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